Chrisley Hensley of Botetourt, Fincastle, Montgomery and Tazewell Co., VA Home > Genealogy > Hensley > Families > Chrisley

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Revision History:
  • 30 Jan 2009 New page by Marty Grant, relationship unknown. Much of what I have on Chrisley Hensley right now is thanks to the shared research of Laura Schreibman.
Chrisley Hensley (or "Christopher" Hensley) was born ca 1740 or earlier. I base this on his first mention being in 1758 in a letter from Capt. Charles Smith to Col. George Washington. I'm assuming he was at least 18 at that point, but he could be much older or a little younger, depending on the context.

I don't know who Chrisley Hensley's parents were.

On 7 Sep 1758 Capt. Charles Smith wrote a letter to Col. George Washington at Fort Loudon. Christopher Hensley is mentioned in the letter. I have not seen it, so I don't know why he was mentioned, or in what capacity. One would assume he was a soldier at that time. (Murtie June Clark, Colonial Soldiers of the South 1732-1774, 1986, p. 529, shared by Laura Schreibman).

I don't know where Chrisley spent his youth or his life in young adulthood, but if he was in the military for that time, or part of it, he probably spent it on the frontier dealing with the Indians.

Chrisley Hensley is listed on a 1771 tax list in Botetourt Co., VA. Botetourt was formed in 1769 (effective 1770) from Augusta. At the time of its creation, Botetourt was huge and included much of south western Virginia and most of West Virginia.

In 1772 Fincastle County was formed from Botetourt and basically included all of south west Virginia and a good portion of West Virginia. It appears that Chrisley Hensley fell into the new county or moved there.

Consider this:

1773.) Thomas, John and William Peery, settled where the town of Jeffersonville now stands; John Peery, Jr., at the fork of Clinch, one mile and a half east of the county seat; Captain Maffit and Benjamin Thomas, settled about a mile above, and Chrisley Hensley, near them. (William Cecil Pendleton, History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia: 1748-1920, 1920, p. 233)

This puts Chrisley Hensley's home place somewhere just east and north of the present town of Tazewell, Virginia in Tazewell County.

In 1776 (effective 1777) Fincastle County was divided into several new counties including Montgomery which is where Chrisley Hensley wound up. At this time Montgomery was pretty large including much of West Virginia as well.

Chrisley Hensley was listed on the 1782 tax list in Montgomery Co., VA. He was taxed for one male over 16 (himself), six horses, and 13 head of cattle. Benjamin Hensley and Charles Hensley were also listed there. They could be Chrisley's brothers or related some other way. It is also possible they weren't anywhere near each other due to the size of Montgomery then.

In Jan 1783 Christley Hansley was granted 300 acres on the north side of Rich Mountain a branch of Clinch River in Montgomery Co., VA. (Lewis Preston Summers, Annals of Southwest Virginia, p. 800).

That is currently the last record I have for Chrisley Hensley. He was not listed on the 1787 "census" of Virginia (collected tax lists from that year). There were no Hensleys listed in Montgomery Co., VA in 1787. Charles Hensley and Robert Hensley were listed next door in Russell Co., VA, and there was Joseph, Robert and Samuel in neighboring Washington Co., VA. The Charles of Russell could be the same Charles listed in 1782 Montgomery when Chrisley was also listed.

The section of Montgomery Chrisley lived in became Wythe County in 1789, effective 1790. And that section of Wythe became Tazewell in 1799, effective 1800. I suspect Chrisley died when the area was still Montgomery County, but I don't know that for certain.

I have found no records that show who Chrisley Hensley's wife was. One possibility is Catherine (---) Hensley Davis. A story was published over a hundred years ago,  and at least 100 years after the death of Chrisley Hensley, that may refer to his family, though he isn't mentioned by name:

The settlement at the mouth of Spruce, where Lewis Rutherford now lives, was made by Benjamin Sprouse. At just what time he settled there is not known, but he raised a large family of boys and girls, and with Reuben Thacker, a brother-in-law, moved further to the west, selling his place to William Davis, who came from Albermarle County, and claimed to be a first cousin of Thomas Jefferson. Davis married a Mrs. Hensley, of Russell County, who was the mother by her former marriage of four sons and one daughter. Three of the sons - William, Robert and John - and the daughter, whose name is forgotten. There was another son - Daniel - who had been captured by the Indians in 1790, and who remained with the Indians until 1807, when he joined the family and married a daughter of Thomas Davis, of Albermarle County, and niece of the William Davis above mentioned, settled at the mouth of Rockhouse Fork of Pigeon. Of the other Hensley boys, Robert married a daughter of Capt. Henry Farley, and settled at the mouth of Sugartree; William married a Miss Brewster, and settled opposite the mouth of Pond, on what is now known as the Lawson farm, and John married a Miss Davis and settled lower down the river. The daughter above mentioned married William Davis, a son of Thomas Davis of Albermarle, and nephew of the William Davis above mentioned, who settled near the mouth of Pigeon. William Davis, Sr., had one daughter by his first wife. William Davis, Sr., married a Miss Runyon, by whom he had two daughters, one of whom married Jess Stratredge and the other Jacob Runyon. (Ragland, Henry Clay, History of Logan County, W.Va. 1896)

Notice how Mrs. Hensley is referred to as being of Russell Co., VA. Russell borders Tazewell County, and most of the children mentioned above (Daniel, et al) were mentioned in Tazewell County records, and not Russell records as far as I know. The author could have been mistaken about Mrs. Hensley living in Russell, or perhaps she did move there after the death of Chrisley Hensley, assuming he was her late husband. 

All of the known children of the widowed Mrs. Hensley wound up in KY and WV. As of now I have nothing that links any of them to Chrisley Hensley other than them being from Tazewell County. Since Charles Hensley and Benjamin Hensley were also early residents there it is possible one of them is their father instead of Chrisley.

Children of Chrisley Hensley. I have found no record indicating children for Chrisley Hensley. He may have had plenty, or none. See the Hensleys of Logan Co., WV for some possible children.
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