Abisha Danison: I Just Love the Name (52 Ancestors #22)


“A is for Abisha.” Not something you typically read in children’s alphabet books.

Sometimes, you come across an ancestor whose name just seems neat. Abisha Danison, my 3rd-great-grandfather, is one of those ancestors for me.

There are a few records that possibly shed light on the rather unusual name. He is occasionally listed as “Abijah.” (If you say it out loud, you can hear how Abijah and Abisha could be interchanged, especially if you use a softer “J.”) There are several Abijahs in the Old Testament. I’m going to go out on a limb and say my Abisha was more likely named for the king of Judah than for the wife of King Ahaz. (Then again, maybe my ancestors were progressive and didn’t buy into gender-specific names.)

Abisha (my ancestor, not the king of Judah) was born in Maryland 14 November 1791. In 1816, he married Mary “Polly” Deffenbaugh. By 1820, they were living in Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio, where he and Mary lived for the rest of their lives.

Abisha and Mary had nine children:

  • Upton
  • Ellen
  • Matilda
  • David
  • Leonhard
  • Charlotte (my great-great-grandmother)
  • Harriett
  • Abisha, Jr.
  • Mary Ann

Abisha Danison died 16 May 1868 and is buried in the Danison Cemetery in Hopewell Township.


  • Abisha Dannison household, 1820 U.S. census, Hopewell Township, Perry County, Ohio, page 8.
  • Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp.. Maryland Marriages, 1655-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
  • Perry County Chapter, Ohio Genealogical Society, Perry County, Ohio Hopewell and Madison Township Cemeteries (by the Chapter, Junction City, O H, 1989), 9.
  • Wikipedia, “Abijah,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abijah, accessed 3 June 2014.

5 thoughts on “Abisha Danison: I Just Love the Name (52 Ancestors #22)

  1. belleek

    I love this story and the name! Amy, could I ask for some help? My nephew just asked me what the 52 Ancestor Challenge was all about and I thought I ought to put a link to the original Challenge on each post …. But can I find it? Something to do with WordPress functionality on a tablet, I expect. If you could give me the link that would be great! Thanks!

  2. thegenealogygirl

    When I read his birth year I was a bit surprised. 1791 sounded early for 3rd great grandparents so I had to go check out my tree. Most of my 3rd great grandparents were born around 1850, my earliest in 1820. I do have one line that stops at my great grandfather so I suppose among his four grandparents there could be one who was born earlier. Thanks for causing me to think about my tree in a different way today!

      1. thegenealogygirl

        Sorry! Not at all what I was getting at. :) I doubt you are much older than me. I was just surprised by the difference. Some of your ancestral generations must have had babies at later ages than mine did. Mine snuck in another generation or two in the same amount of time.

        My husbands tree is even worse. He is the oldest child of the oldest child and on back for several generations. When he was born he had 18ish living grandparents and 3 of them were great-greats. When I look at his tree I’m always surprised at how many generations back I can go before I hit the 18th century. It’s much more than mine.

        And for the record, no matter how old you are, you seem pretty youthful to me! 😉


Leave a Reply