James Hensley (c1780) and Nancy (Anderson) of Buncombe and Yancey Co, NC and Washington Co, TN and Clay Co, KY

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I (Marty Grant) am not related to James Hensley as far as I know.

James Hensley was born ca 1779/80 in Virginia, probably Henry Co, VA. He moved as a child with his parents to Burke Co, NC, in the section that became Buncombe Co, NC in 1791, and later Yancey Co, NC in 1833.

I have no direct proof as to who James Hensley's parents were, but I strongly suspect he was a son of Henry Hensley Sr and Barbara Angel. Other researchers place him there as well, but so far, I've seen no direct evidence this is true.

There are really only a few choices though, using the 1790 and 1800 census records as a list of suspects.

In 1790, there were five Hensley households in Burke County, four of which had sons in the "under 16" category, or born ca 1774/1790, which is where James would be (born ca 1779/80). The suspects were: Benjamin Hensley, with 3 sons under 16; Henry Hensley with 5 sons under 16; Hickman Hensley with four; and James Hensley with two. Of these, we can eliminate Hickman, based on other considerations, so that leaves Benjamin, Henry and James as suspects. James can be eliminated because he only had 3 living heirs alive in the 1830's, so that leaves Benjamin and Henry, with no direct evidence to eliminate either.

In 1800, James Hensley would probably be in the age 16-25 category (c1774/84).

In 1800, there were six Hensley households in Buncombe County, and two in Burke. Of these, only Henry, Hickman, and James Hensley (in Buncombe) had sons in the 16-25 age group, (born ca 1774/84), while in Burke, Benjamin Hensley had a son in that age group. 

So, assuming that I'm correct in my analysis, then James (1779/80) was home with Henry Sr for the 1790 census in Burke Co, NC (in the region that soon became Buncombe County), and home with him for the 1800 census in Buncombe County. This is far from conclusive though.

James Hensley married Nancy --- ca 1800/1810 in Buncombe (now Yancey) Co, NC. I've seen others list her maiden name as "Anderson", but I don't know what evidence there is for that.

James Hensley was listed on the 1810 census in Buncombe Co, NC. They were about 13 houses from his suspected father Henry Hensley Sr. James' next door neighbors in 1810 were Jonathan Hunt and John Jordan.

1810 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1810 Buncombe Co, NC pg 77 James Hensly 10100-20100
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 16-25       (1784-1794)	James HENSLEY (1779/80) s/o Henry & Barbara
1 Male(s) 0-9         (1800-1810)	Son? (1804/10)
1 Female(s) 16-25     (1784-1794)	Nancy (ANDERSON) Hensley (1787/88) wife
2 Female(s) 0-9       (1800-1810)	Daughter? (1804/10)
					Daughter? (1800/10) --> gone by 1820

James Hensley was on the 1820 census in Buncombe Co, NC, listed as James Hensley "Sen" (Senior), indicating that he was the elder James Hensley in Buncombe County, and that their was another by the same name that he wanted to be distinguished from. The younger James was probably James Hensley (c1795) son of Colbert Hensley. Though he wasn't listed on the 1820 census. James (1780) was listed just a few houses from a "Jemima Hornsly" or "Hornsby", which is mighty suspicious. I have read it several times, and it clearly says H-O-R-N-S-L-Y. The "L" is the only questionable letter, as it could be a "B". In either event, it may be just a coincidence that such a similar name was nearby.

James' father Henry Hensley Sr was several houses away. John Hensley (1794/1800) was on the same page with James, and roughly 20 houses away. James' next door neighbors in 1820 were John Culage and Isaac Shelton.

1820 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1820 Buncombe Co, NC pg 98 James Hensley Sen 210010-31010
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 26-44       (1775-1794)	James HENSLEY (1779/80) s/o Henry & Barbara
1 Male(s) 10-15       (1804-1810)	Son? (1804/10) > gone by 1830
2 Male(s) 0-9         (1810-1820)	Son? (1810/15)
					Levi HENSLEY (1815/16) son
1 Female(s) 26-44     (1775-1794)	Nancy (ANDERSON) Hensley (1787/88) wife
1 Female(s) 10-15     (1804-1810)	Daughter? (1804/10)
3 Female(s) 0-9       (1810-1820)	Daughter? (1810/20) > gone by 1830
					Daughter? (1810/20) > gone by 1830
					Daughter? (1810/20) > gone by 1830

James Hensley was listed in Buncombe Co, NC for the 1830 census. He was next door to Pleasant Hensley (c1799) and Kate Runing? Also, "B. Hensley" was next to Pleasant, and I think that was Blasengim Hensley. On the next page, but not many houses away was J. B. Hensley (who might James B. Hensley c1805) and Samuel Hensley (c1800).

1830 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1830 Buncombe County, NC pg 285 Ja. Hensely 0011001000000-1200010000000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 40-49        (1780-1790)	James HENSLEY (1779/80) s/o Henry & Barbara
1 Male(s) 15-19        (1810-1815)	Son? (1810/15) 
1 Male(s) 10-14        (1815-1820)	Levi HENSLEY (1815/16) son 
1 Female(s) 30-39      (1790-1800)	Nancy (ANDERSON) Hensley (1787/88)
2 Female(s) 5-9        (1820-1825)	Daughter? (1820/25) 
					Daughter? (1820/25) 
1 Female(s) 0-4        (1825-1830)	Daughter? (1825/30)

In 1833, Yancey County was formed from part of Buncombe, including where the Hensley's resided.

I didn't find James Hensley on the 1840 census in Yancey or Buncombe Co, NC. I believe he moved to nearby Washington Co, TN by then. There was a James Hensley listed on the index on page 193, but I don't yet have the listing in order to verify that it could be this James.

James moved to Clay Co, KY by 1841, for in that year he was listed on the County tax list (but not in 1840, 1839, etc). He was taxed for 1 white male over 21 (himself). (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1842, James Hensley was listed on the Clay Co, KY tax list and taxed for 1 white male over 21 (himself) and for 1 horse.  Interestingly, there were two James' listed that year, with the same taxables. I don't know if this is a duplicate entry, or if there were two men named James there in 1842. It appears to be a second James. I don't know who this other James was. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

On the 1843 Clay Co, KY Tax list, there was both a James H. Hensley and a James Hensley, both taxed for 1 white male over 21 and 1 horse. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1844, only one James was listed (no middle initial), and he was again taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1846, James Hensley was listed on the Clay Co, KY Tax list and taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1847, James Hensley was listed on the Clay Co, KY Tax list and taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1848, James Hensley was listed on the Clay Co, KY Tax list and taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1849, James Hensley was listed as James "Sen" (Senior) and taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. Another James Hensley (c1829) was listed this year as well. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

In 1850, James Hensley was listed as James "Sen" (Senior) and taxed for 1 white male over 21 and for 1 horse. Another James Hensley (c1829) was listed this year as well. (Thanks to Laura Schreibman for the Kentucky Tax Lists).

James and Nancy Hensley were listed on the 1850 census in Clay Co, KY. They were near several other Hensley families, starting 9 houses away, beginning with Pleasant Hensley (c1799), Benjamin Hensley (c1814), William Hensley (c1823), and Levi Hensley (c1816) who were all next door to each other.

1850 census abstract: (Explanation of this census)
(Note: The dates at the end of each line are not part of the original census, but are approximate birth years based on age)
1850 CLAY CO, KY Page 121   House/Family #  306/ 306

HENSLEY JAMES         70 M W NONE                       VA                   1779/1780
HENSLEY NANCY         62 F W                            VA                   1787/1788

James Hensley was not listed on the 1851 tax list in Clay Co, KY.  He was certainly of age to be "non tithable", so perhaps that is why he wasn't listed.

In 1852, there was one James Hensley listed in Clay Co, KY, but I don't know if it was this James or the younger one. He was taxed with 100 acres on Bull Skin, and 1 white male over 21. I think this is the younger James (c1829) as the 1855 tax list shows James "Jr" with 100 acres on Bullskin.

James Hensley (Sr) was not listed on the 1853, 1854, 1855, 1856, or 1857 tax list. This might mean he had left the county for awhile or was just not taxable due to his age.

However, in 1858, there were 3 James Hensley's listed on the Clay Co, KY Tax list, each taxed only for 1 white male over 21.. One was "Sr" the other two just "James". However, the following year (1859), the James Hensley born ca 1829 was listed as "Sr", showing that the older James was dead by then. I base this on the "Sr" in 1859 being taxed for 100 acres on Bullskin.

James Hensley died 16 Oct 1859 in Clay Co, KY. This is listed on his tombstone which reads "James Hensley died Oct 16 1859 Father of Levi Hensley" (Thanks to Sheryl Holland for sharing this).

The fact that son Levi's name is on the tombstone may indicate that he is the one who had it placed.

James was not listed on the 1860 census in Clay Co, KY, nor did I find his widow Nancy. However, I have not done a thorough check of that census yet, and I know from the index, that there were several Hensley families listed there, that do not show up in the published version. I'll check that when I can.

Nancy (Anderson) Hensley died in Clay Co, KY on 18 Jul 1862. This is listed on her tombstone which reads "Nancy Hensley died June 18 1862 wife of James Hensley" (Thanks to Sheryl Holland for sharing this).

I have no additional data on this family. Buncombe and Yancey County, NC and Clay County, KY records may reveal a great deal more about them.


Children

James and Nancy Howard Hensley had quite a number of children, based on the early census records. However, to my knowledge, none of their names are proven except for Levi Hensley (c1816). I've seen lists of their children, including Pleasant Hensley (1799) and Samuel Hensley (1800) as their sons, but both of these are too old to be their children.

Unknown Son (1804/10)

Unknown Daughter (1800/10)

Unknown Daughter (1804/10)

Unknown Son (1810/15)

Levi Hensley (c1816)

Unknown Daughter (1810/20)

Unknown Daughter (1810/20)

Unknown Daughter (1810/20)

Unknown Daughter (1820/25)

Unknown Daughter (1820/25)

Unknown Daughter (1825/30)


Unknown Son (1804/10). James Hensley had an apparent son this age with him in 1810 (age under 10, born ca 1800/10) and in 1820 (age 10-15, born ca 1804/10). He was not with James in 1830, so married or dead by then.

I don't know who this might be, but there are several unconnected Hensley's who fit this age group, who were listed as heads of household in 1830, including: James A. Hensley (c1805), William M. Hensley (c1810), Bannister Hensley (c1810), William Hensley (1800/10), Lawrence Hensley (c1809), Abraham Hensley (c1800/10), Jesse Hensley (c1804), and Samuel Hensley (1804). All of these fit "age-wise", but none have the advantage of having also moved to KY with James.


Unknown Daughter (1800/10). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1810 (age under 10, born ca 1800/10). She was not with James in 1820, so probably married or dead by then.


Unknown Daughter (1804/10). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1810 (age under 10, born ca 1800/10) and in 1820 (age 10-15, born ca 1804/10). She was not with James in 1830, so probably married or dead by then.

I don't know who this is. This fits age-wise with Margaret Hensley (1802/03 or ca 1805/06) who married Richard Holland ca 1828 or so, but I don't know what proof there is that she belongs in this family.


Unknown Son (1810/15). James Hensley had an apparent son this age with him in 1820 (age under 10, born ca 1810/20) and in 1830 (age 15-19, born ca 1810/15). Since I don't have James' 1840 listing yet, I don't know if he was still at home in 1840. He was not with James in 1850.

The prime suspect for this son (based on age and proximity) is Benjamin Hensley (c1814). I have no direct proof that Benjamin is a son of James and Nancy, but he did live near them in 1850, and his age matches, and he did name his oldest son "James". All of that is circumstantial evidence though.


Levi Hensley was born ca 1815/16 in Buncombe (now Yancey) Co, NC. The proof of him being James' son is James own tombstone which states that he is Levi's father (thanks to Sheryl Holland for sharing this).

Levi Hensley married Anna --- in Buncombe (now Yancey) Co, NC and moved to Clay Co, KY afterwards. See his own page for additional information.


Unknown Daughter (1810/20). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1820 (age under 10, born ca 1810/20) but gone by 1830, so probably married or died by then.


Unknown Daughter (1810/20). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1820 (age under 10, born ca 1810/20) but gone by 1830, so probably married or died by then.


Unknown Daughter (1810/20). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1820 (age under 10, born ca 1810/20) but gone by 1830, so probably married or died by then.


Unknown Daughter (1820/25). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1830 (age 5-9, born ca 1820/25). Since I don't have James' 1840 listing yet, I don't know if she was still at home in 1840. She was not with James in 1850.


Unknown Daughter (1820/25). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1830 (age 5-9, born ca 1820/25). Since I don't have James' 1840 listing yet, I don't know if she was still at home in 1840. She was not with James in 1850.


Unknown Daughter (1825/30). James Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with him in 1830 (age under 5, born ca 1825/30). Since I don't have James' 1840 listing yet, I don't know if she was still at home in 1840. She was not with James in 1850.


Researcher List

Persons researching this family (click here for data on how to get on or off of this list):


Register Report


1. James1 Hensley , born 1779/80 in Henry Co, VA; died 16 Oct 1859 in Clay Co, KY, son of Henry "Harry" Hensley  and Barbara Angel .  He married in 1800/10 in Buncombe Co, NC Nancy (---) , born 1787/88 in VA; died 18 Jul 1862 in Clay Co, KY.

 

      Children of James Hensley and Nancy (---) were as follows:

+    2          i      Levi2 Hensley , born 1815/16 in Buncombe Co, NC (now Yancey Co, NC).  He married Anna (---) .

 

Generation 2

 

2. Levi2 Hensley  (James1), born 1815/16 in Buncombe Co, NC (now Yancey Co, NC).  He married in 1830/32 in Buncombe Co, NC (now Yancey Co, NC) Anna (---) , born 1819/20 in NC.

 

      Children of Levi Hensley and Anna (---) were as follows:

+    3          i      Squire3 Hensley , born 1831/32 in Yancey Co, NC.  He married Elizabeth (---) .

+    4          ii      Andrew3 Hensley , born 1834/35 in Yancey Co, NC.  He married Sylvania (---) .

      5          iii      John3 Hensley , born 1836/37 in Yancey Co, NC.

      6          iv      Matilda3 Hensley , born 1837/38 in Yancey Co, NC.

      7          v      Sally3 Hensley , born 1839/40 in Yancey Co, NC.

      8          vi      Henry3 Hensley , born 1844/45 in Clay Co, KY.

      9          vii      Judy3 Hensley , born 1846/47 in Clay Co, KY.

      10         viii      Isham3 Hensley , born 1848/49 in Clay Co, KY.

 

Generation 3

 

3. Squire3 Hensley  (Levi2, James1), born 1831/32 in Yancey Co, NC.  He married in 1850/57 in Clay Co, KY Elizabeth (---) , born 1837/38 in Clay Co, KY.

 

      Children of Squire Hensley and Elizabeth (---) were as follows:

      11         i      Nancy4 Hensley , born 1856/57 in Clay Co, KY.

      12         ii      Thomas4 Hensley , born 1857/58 in Clay Co, KY.

 

 

4. Andrew3 Hensley  (Levi2, James1), born 1834/35 in Yancey Co, NC.  He married in 1850/59 in Clay Co, KY Sylvania (---) , born 1840/41 in Clay Co, KY.

 

      Children of Andrew Hensley and Sylvania (---) were as follows:

      13         i      John4 Hensley , born 1858/59 in Clay Co, KY.


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