Mary Hensley (1770/80) of Washington and Scott Co., VA
The author (Marty Grant) is not related to Mary Hensley as far as can be proven. She did live in the same counties (Washington and Scott Co., VA) as my ancestor Larkin Hensley (c1761-1806).
Note: I'm working from the assumption that Mary was married to a Mr. Hensley and was widowed prior to 1830. However it is quite possible that she was a Hensley by birth and perhaps a single mother, but I have no evidence either way, so I'll err on the side of widowhood.
Mary "Polly" --- was born ca 1770/80 per her ages on the 1830 and 1840 census. I don't know where she was born, but somewhere in Virginia is the most likely place, though of course there are other possibilities.
Her 1830 census entry shows her with an apparent daughter born ca 1800/10, so (assuming that this person is her daughter), she was married to a Mr. Hensley sometime before ca 1810. The next oldest child was born ca 1820/25, so using that as a reference point, she was certainly married prior to ca 1825. There is no way to know if these were her children or not.
The 1810 census shows five Hensley households in Washington Co., VA: Samuel Hensley (1754), William Hensley, Fielding Hensley, Elizabeth Hensley, and Ithe Hensley. Samuel Hensley wasn't Mary's husband, his family is well documented. William Hensley's wife is named Mary. More on them in a minute. Fielding's wife was Nancy. Neither Elizabeth nor Ithe had a female Mary's age with them in 1810.
Now, William Hensley Jr did have a wife named Mary as proven by several deeds. The 1810 census and two deeds that same year are the last records we have for William and Mary. Several of their suspected children wound up in Washington Co., IN by 1820 and there was a widow Mary Hensley listed there that same year. Some of those kids came back to Virginia for a time, so it is entirely possible that this is the same Mary who was widow of William Hensley.
The 1820 census shows only one Hensley in Washington Co., VA with a female about Mary's age: Samuel Hensley (1754) had a female aged 26-44 (born ca 1775/94). I don't know who that is, but I doubt it is Mary.
In neighboring Scott County in 1820 (formed 1814 from Washington) there are several Hensleys but only two with females close to Mary's age: Fielding Hensley (1761) and Zachariah Hensley (1794), both of whom had a female 26-44 (1775/94). Neither of them had a wife named Mary though.
I mentioned earlier that there was a Mary Hensley listed on the 1820 census in Washington Co., IN. There is a strong possibility that Mary of Indiana is the widow of William Hensley Jr of Washington Co., VA, and the same Mary listed in Virginia in 1830 and 1840, but I have no solid proof of either possibility. Consider her census entry for comparative purposes at least:
1820 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)
1820 Washington Co, IN pg 207 Mary Hensley 000000-01101 Analysis: 1 Female(s) 45 & up (before 1775) Mary (—) Hensley (bef 1775) 1 Female(s) 16-25 (1794-1804) Daughter? (1794/1804) 1 Female(s) 10-15 (1804-1810) Daughter? (1804/10)
For the 1830 census Mary Hensley of 1820 was no longer listed in Washington Co., IN, nor were any other Hensleys there that year. Several Hensleys married in that county in the 1820's who had Scott and Washington Co., VA ties, all of whom are thought to be children of William and Mary.
Meanwhile, back in Washington Co., VA there is a Mary Hensley listed on the 1830 census. Unfortunately, this census was alphabetical, so I can't tell who her neighbors were or if she were near any other Hensleys.
1830 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)
1830 Washington Co, VA pg 256 Mary Hensley 1000000000000-1100100100000 Analysis: 1 Male(s) 0-4 (1825-1830) Son? Grandson? 1 Female(s) 50-59 (1770-1780) Mary (—) Hensley (1770/80), widow of ? 1 Female(s) 20-29 (1800-1810) Daughter? 1 Female(s) 5-9 (1820-1825) Daughter? 1 Female(s) 0-4 (1825-1830) Daughter?
This 1830 household is compatible with the 1820 Indiana listing. In 1820 she had two daughters either of whom could be the older female here in 1830 (born c1800/10). The three younger children could be grandchildren of Mary or perhaps her own kids.
For the 1840 census, I believe Mary is listed in neighboring Scott County, Virginia. I say believe because there is the possibility this isn't the same person. She is listed as "Pally" which may have meant "Polly" which is a very common nickname for "Mary" and just written badly. It clearly does not say "Sally" though some have misinterpreted it that way. She is listed two houses from Solomon Sells who was associated with Samuel Hensley (1754), and one of his sons married one of Samuel's daughters just after 1840. This probably puts Mary Hensley in the Scott County area near the Washington County border.
1840 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)
1840 Scott Co, VA pg 301 Pally Hensley 0000000000000-0001000010000 Analysis: 1 Female(s) 60-69 (1770-1780) Mary (—) Hensley (1770/80) widow of ? 1 Female(s) 15-19 (1820-1825) Daughter?
I was unable to find Mary "Polly" Hensley on the 1850 census. She may have died by then, or perhaps remarried or moved away.
Unknown Daughter (1820/25). Mary Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with her in 1830, aged 5-9 (born ca 1820/25). She was still home in 1840, aged 15-19 (born ca 1820/25). I don't know who this might have been. She could be a granddaughter instead of a daughter.
Unknown Daughter (1825/30). Mary Hensley had an apparent daughter this age with her in 1830, aged under 5 (born ca 1825/30). She was gone by 1840. I don't know who this might have been. She could be a granddaughter instead of a daughter.
Unknown Son (1825/30). Mary Hensley had an apparent son this age with her in 1830, aged under 5 (born ca 1825/30). He was gone by 1840. I don't know who this might have been. He could be a grandson instead of a son.
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