THE DANCY FAMILY
by Fenton M. Dancy¹, 1961
THE FOLLOWING IS SOMEWHAT A 'JUMBLE' BUT REPRESENTS CONSIDERABLE RESEARCH AND IS GREATLY APPRECIATED.
The first to come to America was John Dancy, son of John Dancy, both of Worcestershire, England. This young John was born in Worcester in 1602 and came to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1621. He settled in Charles City County, about ten miles west of Jamestown, and during his lifetime acquired 1250 acres of land, according to ancient Virginia records. While many of the ancient Virginia records have been lost, or destroyed during the Revolutionary or Civil Wars, it is evident John was a forerunner of all the Dancys in the United States, however, in 1660's another John Dancy came to Virginia, this one from Ireland. The descendants of the English John and the Irish John are pretty well known; and indeed, it is believed they must have been of the same clan, for the one from Ireland and his descendents were all of Protestant faith, as was the English John.
" A Dictionary of British Names," by P.H. Reaney, gives the following information as to the origin of the name "Dancy"
"DANCEY, DANCY, DANSEY, DANSIE, DAUNCEY: William de Anesi, 1086 Winton: Milo de Dantesia, 1177: de Dantesia, de Dantesie, Richard Danesi 1210, de Anesi 1236; de Dantesia 1243; de Anesey alias Daneseys, 1249; Thomas de Aunteseye 1269; from Anisy de Anesi became Danesi and with an intrusive T, Dantesi. This was identical in form with the D B and later fpr of Dauntsey (Wilts) where Roger Dantesie held ¼ of a fee in 1242 (Fees). The surname was often thought to derive from the Wiltshire place and de inserted (de Dantesie). The confusion was completed as the family left its name in Winterbourn Dauntesey in the same county. The modern surname may derive independently from Dauntesey." #
In Burke's Landed Gentry of Great Britain, 1900 issue, with reference to the family "Dansey of Docklow" it is stated: lineage. The Dansey's, originally Daunteseys, rank with the most ancient families in Herefordshire, a county remarkable for old and eminent houses, and the original places of residence was in Wilts, in which Shire Camden records that William Dauntesey held land by Knight's services, Henry VIII. The same antiquary also mentioned that Richard Dauntesey (spelt d'Anesey in a monumental window in Brinsop Church, AD 1301) was possessed of estates both in Wiltshire and Herefordshire in the reign of Edward I. The representative of the Hereford line, temp. Henry VIII was John Dansey of Brinsop who m. Jane, daughter of the manor and estate of Little Hereford, and thus became possessor of the manor and estate of Little Hereford. His son and heir, Thomas Dansey of Brinsop, m. Sybil, youngest daughter Of John Scudamore of Holme Lacy, one of the Gentleman Ushers to Henry VIII."
The descendants of the Virginia Dancys of the 1600's have generally kept their migrations to the Southern States to North Carolina, then on to Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Some have in recent years resettled in Oregon and Washington and prior to that in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
A surprising number of them have been physicians.
Virginia records from 1621 show the name spelled, as it was in England, "Dansey." From 1640 on it has been generally spelled "Dancy."
In the book "Cavaliers an Pioneers," by Nell Nugent, head of the department of Archives, Richmond, Virginia, the original John Dancy is mentioned frequently in connection with his several tracts of land, and in description of other tracts of land adjoining his.
Burford Church. An heiress of the Wiltshire branch of the family, Joan Dansey married Sir Edward Stradlinger of St. Donats in Glamorganshire and by that marriage the estates of West Lavington in that county passed into that family. The emanate Sir John Moore's daughter married a son of Sir John Dansey of Brinsop. One of Sir John Moore's descendants was a pensioner of the family till a recent date, his property being confiscated by his attainer. In the reign of Henry VIII Roger Dansey of Brinsop married Sybil, daughter and co-heiress of Nicholas Delamere, the other sister married Mr. Archer who obtained by her the estates of Mickenhampton in Gloucestershire. The mansion of the Delmamere's adjoined the church. It was of great extent moated round with a corn mill within. A drawing of it is extant in possession of an Antiquarian Collector of this county. Neither of the resided if it. Roger Dansey built Bleathwood Court and Mr. Archer, Woodhampton, both in his parish. A son of Roger Dansey's married lady Douglas Dudley, a sister or daughter of Robert, Earl of Leicester and is buried at Brinsop. The family married also into the family of Sir G. Shuckbury of Shuckbury Park, Co. Warwick, the Scudamores of Hume Lacy, and the Colles of Hatfield both of Herefordshire. The Habbingtons of Henlop Co. Worcester and Sir Francis Rupel of Stonehouse in that county, all of whom mention is made in the family pedigree with the dates and authorities.
Sir F. Rupel's daughter was co-heiress, her mother was daughter of Sir Rowland Lytton of Ilerebrook, Co. Herts, ancestor of the celebrated novelist. His sister married Mr. Ravenhill of Lower Eaton in Herefordshire and the Rupel property ultimately to her, William Dansey not having children, his brother Col. Richard Dansey succeeded to the estates who served in the campaign under Lord Peterboutough in Spain and of whom is recorded in the Herefordshire song (1770):" A braver soldier ne'er sure fought Than gallant Colonel Dansey. He trimmed the jackets of the Dons At the battle of Almanzer.
His sword at Brinsop to be seen A blade both true and trusty The Spaniard's blood was ne'er wiped off Which makes it look so rusty."
Colonel Richard Dansey died unmarried. One of his sisters married clandestinely from Sir Thomas Edwards of Frodesley in Shropshire, Mr. Collins of Acton Brunell in that county who's son took the name and estate of Dansey. He married Miss Sawyer of Canon Pain niece of Sir Sawyer, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and now the habits of the family came somewhat within our own knowledge. They resided at Brinsop, but reserved the large Hall and Parlour adjoining of Bleathwood Court for their use where they often traveled in a coach and six horses. It was a day's journey through the distance is only 14 miles. They kept all the farm servants in their house at Brinsop with a memorandum book of the absence of everyone from his duties, their footman's wages were deducted. Their linen was all spun in the house an neighbourhood. His nephew, Col. Dansey served in the American Wars with distinction and was made Aide de Camp to George III. He married a daughter of Sir Thomas Malet's of Wilksbury, Co. Wilts and had three sons and a daughter. The eldest son was page to the king and received a commission in the Guards. He was killed in India. Charles Cornwallis was in the Artillery, George Henry in the lines. Both served in the Peninsula and were mentioned for their bravery in the Duke of Wellington's dispatches. The daughter married Col. Scroggs of Wiltshire.
Dansey Collins succeeded his great uncle and took the name of Dansey. He resided some time at Brinsop and removed to Ludlow to superintend the alterations of Eastow, a farm house at Little Hereford that he intended to be his residence.
Bleathwood Court had been let on a long lease. He had only completed the gardens and stables of Eastow when he died and left an infant family. Richard Dansey was born at Brinsop and succeeded to the estates. He was more than commonly endowed with prepossessing qualities of mind and person. His letters were to be handed about as models of style. In consequence of his affairs becoming involved, it was necessary to appoint as trustees of the property his brother-in-law, Archdeacon Corbett of Longnor Hall, Shropshire and the Rev. James Ingram of Barford. They found it necessary to sell Webton Court and Ashford and Ashford Carbonell together with the marsh and duns water, two estates of which his father had purchased the of the three lives younger than his son. The property sold with a great quantity of timber amounted to 100,000 pounds. His son Dansey Richard succeeded to the remaining estate amounting to about 5,000 pounds a year.
Of the Wiltshire branch of the Dansey's, it appears that the heiress of Dansey and West Lavington in that county married Sir John Stradlinger of St. Donats, Glamorganshire in the 15th century. She, not having a son was succeeded by her daughter who took the name of Dansey and married Sir John Danvers of Culworth. In the 17th century another marriage took place with the heiress of Dansey and a Sir John Danvers of Culworth. They had three sons and seven daughters. The eldest son was attainted, and the second created Earl Danby and the third was a regicide. The daughters married: Ann = Sir Arthur Porter, Lucy = Sir Henry Baynton, Elinor =Thomas Walmsley, Elizabeth = Sir Thomas Hobby, Catherine = Sir Richard Gargave, Dorothy = Sir Peter Osborne and Mary died young.
In a history of Wiltshire now of course of publication in numbers it is stated that the two eldest sons of the heiress of Dansey and Sir John Danvers fled the kingdom in consequences of having killed in a political warfare, Mr. Long of that county. They resided in Holland till the Restoration when they returned, The eldest to his father's title and estates, the latter to his mother's estates and was created Earl Darby, K.G. What connection there was between Earl Dany and Lord Danby, afterwards created Duke of Leeds, who took so active a part in the Revolution of 1688, I have not been able to learn. Earl Danby married a daughter of Sir John Newport he had no children and bequeathed his property to his sister, lady Gayrace which will was set aside, Through the influence of Sir John, the regicide with Cromwell. On the Restoration, Sir John 's property shared the same fate, and the estates of Dansey it is supposed were given by the crown to Lord Peterbrough. Earl Danvers built and endowed a church at Dansey. His portrait is in the rectory of Dansey. In the Stradlings correspondence, edited by Mr. Traherne, there is a letter from Mr. Walwyn of Herefordshire in which he expresses a wish to become acquainted with Sir Edward Stradlinge 's relations in that county in order to repay in some degree the favours Sir Edward had bestowed on him.
Colles of Hatfield, Herefordshire
Colles place in the Parish of Sudelay, Co. Worcester that is mentioned in a ______ of the Priory of Malvern in the reign of Henry III as belonging to the family of Colles. Mr. Edmond Colles, whose ancestors were possessed of lands in Leigh, Brandford, Hallow, Grunley, Broadwas, Sudeley and Cotheridge married Somerville of Sumerville Aston, Co. Gloucester by whom he had a daughter married to Mr. Dansey of Brinsop Court, Co. Hereford and a son William who married Mary Palmer, heir and daughter of Jerome Palmer by Eleanor third daughter of William, Baron P___ Lord Privy Seal and knight of Garter. A brother of Mr. Colles was Mr. John Colles of Hatfield, Co. Hereford. The name came to be pronounced "Colly". The last of the name was a lunatic, who rambled about the country.
Hiniess Hall, Worcestershire
Now taken down, interesting from its association with the Gunpowder Plot, many of the conspirators being concealed many weeks in the chimneys. The proprietor's wife is supposed to have caused the discovery of it by writing a letter to her brother, Lord Monteagle. Her husband was confined to Worcestershire for life for his supposed participation in it. Thomas Dansey of Brinsop married Eleanor, daughter of Richard Habington of Hinlop and Brockhampton, Co. Hereford had issue Eleanor, married first to John Talbot of Grafton , Co. Hereford and secondly to Sir Thomas Baskerville of Eardisley Castle, Co. Hereford.
In Bencham Church, Worcestershire, erected by Col. Richard Dansey to the memory of his niece, near this place lies the body of Anne Dansey, daughter of William Dansey of Brinsop Court, Co. Hereford, by Elizabeth his wife, daughter of Sir Francis Rupell of Strencham and co-heir of this Manor and his wife, daughter of Sir Rowland Littow of Knebworth, Co. Herts. The said Anne Dansey died at Brussels in Flanders, Nov. 16th 1732, aged 33 years. See Dr. Nash's History of Worcestershire.
On a Brass plate from the monuments in Brinsop Church. Here lyeth the body of William Dansey of Brinsop Esque. Who married Jane the daughter of Edmund Colles Esque. By whom he had issue 3 sons and 2 daughters after which deceased he married Anne, widow of Anthony Struckborowe of Struckborowe in Northampshire Esque. Daughter of Skerrington of Skerrington in the County of Linc. Esque. By whom he had no issue. He died the 27 day of March, AD 1628 and in the Eighty third year of his age. Unto who God grant a joyful resurrection.
On a flat stone outside East window. Here lyeth the body of the Right Honourable Lady Douglas Dudley Wife unto Captain William Dansey being the second issue to Roger Dansey Esque. Who departed this life the 2nd day of August Anno Domini 1640.
On a Brass Plate inside the Church. Here lyeth Catherine wife of William Dansey of Brinsop Esque. And daughter of Richard Reed Esque. of Lingwardyn in the County of Hereford. She had VI sons and V daughters. Died March the 2nd 1704, aged 63.
On an oval marble slab in the Church. Here lyeth the body of William Dansey of Brinsop Esque. who married Catherine daughter of Richard Reed of lingwardine in this county Esque. by whom he had VI sons and V daughters vis. Richard, Ann, Elizabeth and Catherine. He departed this life the 28 August Anno Domini 1715 in the 73rd year of his age.
On a small Brass Plate inside the Church. In memory of Mrs. Anne Dansey eldest daughter of William Dansey Esque. and Cathererine his wife of Brinsop Court in the County of Hereford who married this life June 15th 1720
On a Brass Plate inside the Church. Here lyeth the body of Mrs. Catherine Dansey 5th daughter of William Dansey Esque. and Catherine his wife of Brinsop Court in the County of Hereford who departed this life Oct. 25th 1722 Grieve not for me, for my glass is run It is the Lord and let Him Will be done.
On a Brass Plate inside the Church. In memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Dansey third daughter of William Dansey of Brinsop Court. She was the last survivor of that ancient family a person of great sincerity and strict virtue and died Oct 27th 1745 aged 70 years an 6 months.
On a White Marble Tablet with shields inside the Church. To the memory of William Dansey Gent. Son of William Dansey of Brinsop Court and Little Hereford in this County Esque. who married Elizabeth daughter of Sir Francis Rupell of Strencham in ye County of Worcester Bart. By whom he had three daughters Anne, Catherine and Judith. He departed this life, June 18th 1708 in the 45th of his age.
On a flat stone outside the East window of the Church. Here lyeth the body of Deborah Dansey second wife of William Dansey of Brinsop Esque. being one of the daughters of James Rodde of the City of Hereford Esquire who departed this life on the 24th day of Dec. 1635.
On a flat stone outside the East window of the Church much effaced and broken. In memory of the Honorable Colonel Richard Dansey of this Parish Esquire ye last male heir of ye humble ancient family who served his country in _____ a loyal subject, real __ a just magistratem had no ____e (?) for fifty years service who died May ye 10th 1740 aged 70 years one month ______. Farewell vain world, I have seen enough of thee, I know and care less what thou sayeth to me Thy smiles I court not, nor thy power I fear ______________buried here.
On a Marble Tablet in the Church. Sacred to the memory of Richard Dansey late of Easton in the County of Hereford Esquire who departed this life on the 16th day of August in the year of our Lord 1813 abed 47 years.
The flat stones were removed from the pavement of the Church when the building was restored in 1866. Copied August 26th 1868 by F.H.B. and copied by I.M.D. May 26th 1881.
This sketch was kindly furnished to me by Mr. Henry Dansey, of Somerset, England. A member of the Dansey family if Brinsop Court in Herefordshire, England. F.M. Dancy 1961
SKETCH OF THE DANSEY FAMILY by Mrs. Dansey The name of Dansey is variously spelt, in some documents it is d"Anisey, in others Dauntesey, in Camden Dansey and in French work "The History of Rouen" , it is d'Anisi, named as accompanying William the conqueror to England. One, whose Christian name I forget, held lands according to Camden in the Counties of Hereford and Wilts in the reign of Henry the second and in the reign of Henry the third was Sheriff for both Counties.
The Towers of Brinsop Court had grotesque figures on the top after the Norman fashion as Alnwick and other Castles. The one was a monkey playing on a fiddle.
Their Mansion in Herefordshire, Brinsop Court (see Vignette) was moated round and approached by a drawbridge. Within the quadrangle was a Chapel with a crypt under it, an Armoury , a dungeon and a Blacksmith's Smithy. The Chapel with the staircase leading to it. Occupied one side of the square. It had a groined roof and the walls painted in the style of Roman Catholic Churches. The rooms occupied by the family had a profusion of oak carvings, a drawing room upstairs was wainscoted with oak and in each panel which was very small, the arms were painted in blue and gold All this disappeared when the Tithe being incomplete to the purchaser of the Estate, neither party claimed and the house was plundered of all that was valuable. The Towers that flanked the drawbridge, with one in the inner court, through in a perfect state of preservation, were by the bad taste of Mr. Ricardo, the purchaser, taken down to assist in building a wall around the stables. The Manors and Estates possessed by the family were Upper and Lower Brinsop, Webrton Court in the Parish of Madley, and Sir John Dansey held the Castle and Manor of Snowdel in the Parish of Madley, and Sir John Dansey held the Castle and Manor of Snowdel in the Parish of Dorstone in fee for knight's service. The property of Little Hereford and the adjoining of Ashford Carbonels and Ashford Jones came to the family by marriage with the co-heiress of Nicholas Delamere in the reign of Henry VIII. These continued in their possession with the exception of Snowdel till the beginning of the present century, when Richard Dansey sold Webton, Ashford Carbonele and Ashford Jones, - the amount of acreage being 7000 acres, in the counties of Hereford and Salop. They married several times into the family of the Cornewalls. Sir Thomas Dansey married the sister of Sir Edmund Cornewall, Baron of Burford in Salop, whose portrait with his sister and their confessor are painted on panel by an eminent Italian artist. His height is recorded by Dr. Nash in his history of Worcestershire to be 7 feet 5 inches and his strength proportionate, having been known to fell an ox at a blow. His staff now in possession of his steward, few men could use as such. The figure in the Lower panel represent him in his binding sheet, measuring after death nine feet. The Cornewall family were allied by marriage with a daughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and sister of Henry IV, whose tomb and mural monument is also in Burford Church, Salop. Over each figure the following: O Lord our Souls receive And begge our sins forgive With joy this world we leave And hope with thee to live Through Jesus Christ our Lord O Lord with contrite heart and meek Us to receive we thee beseek.
¹The Fenton Dancy Research was provided by his nephew, Albert G. Dancy (aka John Dancy) and Roy Dancy.
And.... Thanks to Bruce Dancy for the re-type of this file to use in the editor.
Agecroft Hall ~
Lancashire, England, was in the possession of the Dauntesey/Dauntsey
Family from 1561 to 1925.
(On this page, go to Search, enter Agecroft Hall in web search)
Agecroft Hall was moved to Richmond Virginia in 1925.
Thanks to RonB, the Prestwich Guide Web Site, for the Agecroft links.
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Revisions and Additions - October 22, 2001