Marty and Karla Grant

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Edward Hensley (c1690s-1750) and Elizabeth — of King George, Orange and Norfolk Co., VA

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If I have it all worked out correctly, Edward Hensley is my second cousin, many times removed.

Special thanks to Laura Schreibman for data shared on this family.

Edward Hensley is a proven son of Samuel Hensley (d 1735), as named in Samuel’s 1732 Will.

I estimate Edward Hensley’s birth as between ca 1690 and 1700. I base this on how he was referenced in his father’s Will dated 1732 as being grown and able to provide for himself. To me that meant he was at least 21 then, or born ca 1711 or earlier. However, I put his birth date even earlier than that because his younger siblings (from Samuel’s second wife) all seem to be born ca 1700/1710. Thus, I push Edward’s birth back from before ca 1711 to ca 1690/1700.

Edward Hensley may have been born in what was then Richmond County in the section that became King George County in 1720. I don’t know for certain that’s where he was born, but it’s a probability.

Edward’s father, Samuel Hensley Sr, made his Will in King George Co., VA on 28 Feb 1731/1732 and left his son Edward 1 shilling sterling, which wasn’t much at all.

Edward Hensley married Elizabeth —, date and place unknown. She was his widow in 1750, so considering his likely age, they could have married as early as ca 1710s.

Edward, along with his brother James, moved south to Norfolk Co., VA for some reason, most likely to make a living as merchants there. That was a bustling port city even back then.

James appears in Norfolk in 1735, but Edward isn’t seen until 1742 when he witnessed the Will of John Shepherd. He could have been in Norfolk several years by then.

On 6 Jan 1741/42, John Shepherd made his Will in Norfolk. Edward Hensley was one of the witnesses. I have only seen a brief abstract of this record, so I don’t know who else might have witnessed nor if there is any likely relationship between Edward and John Shepherd. (McIntosh, Charles Fleming, “Norfolk Co VA Wills 1710-1753” shared by Laura Schreibman.)

Edward Hensley was mentioned as a neighboring land owner on a deed dated 27 Aug 1747 in Orange Co., VA. The deed was between Richard Bradford of Caroline Co., VA, St. Margaret’s Parish, to James Michal of St. Thomas Parish, Orange Co., VA being 200 acres. Benjamin Hensley, Charles Oakes and Edward Hensley were bordering property owners. (Orange Co., VA Deed Book 10, pp 522-523, shared by Laura Schreibman.)

When did Edward acquire the above land? When did he dispose of it? And which Benjamin Hensley is this? Does this indicate that Edward was alternating between “home” in Orange County and “work” in Norfolk? It would have been a really long commute! Or is it possible the 1747 record refers to some other Edward Hensley? I kind of doubt that, but it’s within the realm of possibility.

On 17 May 1750 and 18 May 1750, Edward Hensley and wife Elizabeth of Norfolk Co., VA, sold land to Thomas Morgan of Princess Anne Co., VA. The land was “lying without the Town Bridge and being one half the Lot that the said Hensley bought of Col. George Newton and being the part on which the house stands adj. to the land of Anthony Walker & including buildings, orchards, etc. Witnesses were Robert Todd, Benjamin Forbes and John Drury. (Norfolk County, Virginia Wills & Deeds Vol. II 1742-1799. Film #7799 pt.12; Book 14,page 224 shared by Laura Schreibman.)

The above deed shows them selling land of which we’ve found no record of them purchasing. However, within the deed itself it says it was bought from Col. George Newton.

On 29 Jun 1750 Edward Hensley of Norfolk sold land to Durham Hall, being a ½ lot of land without the Town Bridge, being the other half of the land he sold to Thomas Morgan earlier. Witnesses were Hugh Blackburn, Archibald Campbell and John Drury. (Norfolk County, Virginia Wills & Deeds Bks 15-16; Film #7799 Pt 13, shared by Laura Schreibman.)

On 8 Jul 1750 Edward Hensley made his Will in Norfolk Co., VA. He left his daughter Mary Hansley the sum of 55 Pounds, 4 gold rings weighing 2 pounds,3 shillings,20 Pounds part of the said 55 Pounds being the remaining part thereof from Thomas Morgan with Robert Todd security dated 18 May 1750.He mentions his loving wife Eliza. He names his friend Mr. James Pasteur to keep in trust the items for his daughter Mary during her minority (meaning she was under 21). If his daughter were to die, then it to go to his “loving brother George Hensley living in Spotsylvania.” The Will was proven on 16 Aug 1750 meaning Edward had died by then.

On 21 Sep 1750, James Pasteur and Eliza Hensley, “relict of” Edmund Hensley petitioned the court regarding his estate, but was rejected.

I don’t know when Eliza Hensley died. It should be noted that “Eliza” and “Elizabeth” are not normally used interchangeably. I would wager the original documents are written out as “Eliza.” with a period, indicating an abbreviation, or perhaps a superscript “Elizath” which wasn’t noted on the transcription. Then again, perhaps not. Regardless, I would assume Elizabeth and Eliza are the same woman.


Edward and Elizabeth Hensley apparently only had one child, a daughter named Mary who was a minor in 1750, thus born between ca 1730 and 1750. While it’s possible there were other children, none were mentioned nor hinted at. It was stated in the Will that if Mary should die (presumably before reaching 21), then her inheritance was to go to Edward’s brother George. That strongly suggests there were no other children.


1.         Mary Hensley (c1730/1750). No further information.

For Family Group Sheet and other notes see my database page for Edward Hensley & Elizabeth

Revised: September 14, 2021

Copyright © 1996-2021 Marvin A. Grant, Jr. All Rights Reserved.

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