Robert Hensley (1760) of Hawkins and Roane Co, TN

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        19 Apr 2008 New format by Marty Grant, relationship unknown.

Robert Hensley was born "29 Feb 1759" in "Bucks County, Pennsylvania". These two facts were given in his Revolutionary War Pension Application (thanks to Laura Schreibman for this data). Since he said he was born on the 29th day of February, this raises a red flag. Laura pointed out that 1759 was not a leap year, so February didn't have 29 days that year, but 1760 was a leap year. This raises the question as to which part of the birth date was given in error. Did he mean "1760" instead of "1759", or did he mean the 28th, instead of the 29th? Neither of these dates agree with his 1850 census entry giving his age as "98", or born ca 1751/52. However, I suspect he wasn't the one who told the census taker his age that year. Back in 1840 he was listed as age 81 (born ca 1758/59). These dates aren't easily reconciled with 1850, but they work fine with a 1759 or 1760 birth date. There is reason to doubt some of the data in his Pension record, as he was charged with fraud in his application, though I don't know the details.

Robert's birth place of "Bucks County, Pennsylvania" seems incongruous, but could be correct. His 1850 census record gives "North Carolina" as his birth place, but that seems unlikely also, as there weren't any Hensleys in NC at that time, as far as we've found. If his parents are who we think they are, then he was probably born in Virginia, but Bucks Co, PA is certainly possible.

Robert Hensley's parents are unproven, but I suspect he is a son of Benjamin Hensley (c1730) and Elizabeth ---, formerly of Virginia, and later of Western North Carolina. I can't offer much proof to support this, but Robert's only proven son was named "Benjamin", and he (Robert) did serve in the same militia with several of Benjamin's sons in Henry Co, VA.

There was another Robert Hensley (c1759) who lived in Culpeper Co, VA, later in Washington Co, VA and Sullivan Co, TN and it is quite possible that some of their records have been mixed up, but probably not too much.

Robert Hensley was a Revolutionary War Soldier, apparently serving in Henry Co, VA along with his supposed brothers Henry, Benjamin and Hickman also served.

Our Robert Hensley would have turned 21 around 1780 or 1781, so should start appearing on public records around that time, and he seems to first show up in Henry Co, VA.

Robert was listed on the 1783 and 1784 tax list for Henry Co, VA.

Assuming Robert was still in Virginia at the time, he ought to have been listed on the 1787 State Census. There were two listed, one in Washington Co, VA (probably the other Robert), and one in Russell Co, VA, which might be this same Robert, as Charles Hensley was also listed there, and he would be his brother.

Robert would probably been listed on the 1790 census, but, unfortunately this census was lost for all of Virginia and Tennessee.

The following records in Washington co, VA and Sullivan Co, TN are most likely for the other Robert Hensley (c1759), but for the sake of completeness, here are those records. A Robert Hensley shows up in Washington Co, VA by 1787, when he is listed on the census there, on the same page with Joseph Hensley and Samuel Hensley. He is listed there on the 1788 tax list also. In 1791 he receives a land grant  in Washington Co, VA. He is listed on the 1792 tax list for Washington Co, VA.  By 1794 he was in Sullivan Co, TN when he purchases 100 acres of land. This deed was witnessed by a Samuel Hensley. It isn't clear which Samuel this is. It may be Samuel Hensley (1755) of Washington Co, VA (who would be our Robert's 1st cousin), or perhaps it is another Samuel. In Sullivan Co, TN in 1802 Robert Hensley "of Washington Co, VA" sells some land. The above records are probably not the Robert of Hawkins and Roane Co, TN.

Robert Hensley married sometime prior to 1797, perhaps well before. His wife has not been identified yet. Since their oldest known child was born in Tennessee, it would stand to reason that they married in Tennessee, though no record has been found. They may have married in Virginia, then moved to Tennessee afterwards.

Robert and family were probably in Hawkins County, Tennessee by the time of the 1800 census, but, unfortunately, this census was lost for Tennessee.

Robert was listed on the 1809 Hawkins Co, TN Tax list.

The 1810 and 1820 census records are lost for Hawkins County, Tennessee, but presumably, Robert was living there during those years.

Robert was listed on the 1830 census in Hawkins County. He was one page away from widow Betsy Hensley, and one page from William Hensley (1790/1800). His relationship to these two has not been established. It is possible that Betsy was his widowed mother. Robert was listed between the households of John Calvin, and John Hicks, who was probably his son-in-law. Robert and wife had no children at home in 1830.

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

1830 Hawkins Co, TN pg 47 Robert Hensley 0000000010000-0000000010000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 60-69        (1760-1770)    Robert HENSLEY (1760) s/o Benjamin
1 Female(s) 60-69      (1760-1770)    Wife? (1760/70)

Robert Hensley was not listed as head of household on the 1840 census, but he was listed as a resident of the household of John Hicks (his probable son-in-law). The 1840 census didn't give the names of anyone except the head of household, excepting only those who were Revolutionary War Pensioners. Robert was listed as a Pensioner living with Hicks, and listed as age 81 (born ca 1758/59). John Hicks also had an older woman with him who is probably Mrs. Hensley. They were in Hawkins County just a few houses from William Hensley, relationship unknown, possibly a son of Robert.

In 1832 Robert Hensley applied for a pension for his Revolutionary War service. He stated he had lived in Hawkins Co, TN for 40 years, which would have him in Hawkins during most of the time the other Robert Hensley was in Washington Co, VA and Sullivan Co, TN (which is physically near this Robert lived in Hawkins). He also claimed to be 74 years old then (born ca 1757/58). For some reason he was brought up on fraud charges in regards to his pension application. He was later found innocent of fraud.

1840 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1840 Hawkins Co, TN pg 193 John Hicks 2010010000100-0200010001000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 80-89        (1750-1760)    Robert HENSLEY (1760) father-in-law?
1 Male(s) 30-39        (1800-1810)    John HICKS (1809/10)
1 Male(s) 10-14        (1825-1830)    Son? (1825/30) --> gone by 1850
2 Male(s) 0-4          (1835-1840)    Son? (1835/40) --> gone by 1850
                                      Joseph HENSLEY (1835/36) son
1 Female(s) 70-79      (1760-1770)    Mrs. Robert Hensley (1760/70) wife/Robert
1 Female(s) 30-39      (1800-1810)    Elizabeth HENSLEY Hicks (1799/1800) wife
2 Female(s) 5-9        (1830-1835)    Daughter? (1830/35) --> gone by 1850
                                      Daughter? (1830/35) --> gone by 1850

For some reason or another, Robert moved down to Roane Co, TN in the 1840's. He probably moved there to join his son Benjamin. Some researchers think that Robert who was in Roane is not the same man as Robert of Hawkins Co, TN, but I don't see who else it could be. I'm reasonably sure they are one and the same.

Sometime in the 1840's, Robert's wife died. There is a marriage record that may show him marrying a second time. If it is not his own marriage, then it probably a grandson of his also named Robert. This marriage bond is dated 24 Jan 1842 in Roane County between "Robert F. Hensley" and Nancy K. Brock. I'm reasonably sure this is not Robert Sr, but the reason I mention it is that two young children (born ca 1843 and ca 1845) were with Robert in 1850, presumably they are children of this marriage. That would make them either his sons (at his age that seems unlikely, but possible), or his Great Grandchildren. My personal theory is that Robert F. Hensley is a son of Benjamin, who is a son of Robert Sr. I believe circumstantial evidence supports this.

Robert Hensley was listed on the 1850 census in Roane County, Tennessee in the same household as his son Benjamin, but with a separate family number. This means they were in the same physical house, but wanted to be counted as different families. Two young boys were listed with Robert, and as previously mentioned, I think they are his orphaned great grandsons.

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 ROANE CO, TN Page 339   House/Family #  241/ 251  - 20th SUB-DIVISION
 
HENSLEY BENJAMIN      53 M W NONE                       TN           1796/1797
HENSLEY MARY          53 F W                            NC           1796/1797
HENSLEY NANCY         21 F W                            TN           1828/1829
HENSLEY MARSHALL G    18 M W NONE                       TN           1831/1832
 
1850 ROANE CO, TN Page 339   House/Family #  241/ 252  - 20th SUB-DIVISION
 
HENSLEY ROBERT        98 M W NONE                       NC           1751/1752
HENSLEY BENJAMIN F     7 M W                            TN           1842/1843
HENSLEY SAMUEL         5 M W                            TN           1844/1845
 

I did not find Robert on the 1860 census, so it seems likely that he died in the 1850-60 timeframe, presumably in Roane County. Both of his young Great Grandchildren (from 1850) were with Robert's son Benjamin in 1860. Benjamin was appointed their guardian in 1850.

Children of Robert Hensley. Robert and wife probably had lots of children, but I think only two are proven. There are no extant census records for Robert prior to 1830, and by then he had no children left at home, so it is difficult to speculate on who might be his children.

There was a William Hensley (c1800) who was near Robert in Hawkins Co, TN in 1830 and 1840, and he could easily be a son, but I have no evidence to support that, other than proximity. Joseph B. Hensley is another possible son.

Amy Hensley (1790/1800) married Harmon Griffin in 1817, and lived in Roane County near Benjamin in 1830, so she is a possible daughter of Robert also, though far from proven.

There may be many others, but evidence is lacking, except for these listed below.

1.      Benjamin Hensley (c1797)

2.      Elizabeth Hensley (c1800)

Benjamin Hensley was born ca 1796/97 in Tennessee, presumably Hawkins County. The only proof of him being Robert's son is that Robert was living with him in 1850. That seems solid enough. The census records were lost, but presumably Benjamin would have been home with Robert for the 1800, 1810 and 1820 census.

Benjamin married Mary Gallion prior to ca 1828 in Tennessee. See their own page for additional information.

Elizabeth Hensley was born ca 1799/1800 in Tennessee, presumably Hawkins County. The only proof of her being Robert's daughter is that Robert was living with her and her husband in 1840. Other than this, I have not seen anything proving that Elizabeth was a Hensley, much less Robert's daughter, but it does seem reasonable. The census records were lost, but presumably Elizabeth would have been home with Robert for the 1800, 1810 and 1820 census.

Elizabeth married John Hicks prior to 1830, presumably in Hawkins County, Tennessee. I didn't find a marriage record though. I base their marriage on Robert Hensley living with John Hicks in 1840. I could be jumping to the wrong conclusion about this.

John Hicks was listed on the 1830 census next door to Robert Hensley in Hawkins County.

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

1830 Hawkins Co, TN pg 47 John Hicks 1100100000000-0000100000000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 20-29        (1800-1810)    John HICKS (1809/10) s/o ?
1 Male(s) 5-9          (1820-1825)    Son? (1820/25) > gone by 1840
1 Male(s) 0-4          (1825-1830)    Son? (1825/30)
1 Female(s) 20-29      (1800-1810)    Elizabeth HENSLEY Hicks (1799/1800) wife

John Hicks was still in Hawkins for the 1840 census, and he had his in-laws residing with them. His father-in-law Robert Hensley was listed in his house as a Revolutionary War pensioner, age 81.

1840 census analysis (based on available evidence): (Explanation of this census)

1840 Hawkins Co, TN pg 193 John Hicks 2010010000100-0200010001000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 80-89        (1750-1760)    Robert HENSLEY (1760) father-in-law?
1 Male(s) 30-39        (1800-1810)    John HICKS (1809/10)
1 Male(s) 10-14        (1825-1830)    Son? (1825/30) --> gone by 1850
2 Male(s) 0-4          (1835-1840)    Son? (1835/40) --> gone by 1850
                                      Joseph HENSLEY (1835/36) son
1 Female(s) 70-79      (1760-1770)    Mrs. Robert Hensley (1760/70) wife/Robert
1 Female(s) 30-39      (1800-1810)    Elizabeth HENSLEY Hicks (1799/1800) wife
2 Female(s) 5-9        (1830-1835)    Daughter? (1830/35) --> gone by 1850
                                      Daughter? (1830/35) --> gone by 1850

John and Elizabeth were in Hawkins still for the 1850 census.

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 HAWKINS CO, TN Page 324   House/Family #   14/  14  - DISTRICT 6
 
HICKS JOHN            40 M W LABOURER                   TN           1809/1810
HICKS ELIZABETH       50 F W                            TN           1799/1800
HICKS JOSEPH          14 F W                            TN           1835/1836
 

I have no data on them after 1850.

Researcher List
Register Report

First Generation

1.     Robert Hensley was born on 29 Feb 1760 in Bucks Co, PA. He died in 1850/1860 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

Robert married ? before 1797 in Hawkins Co, TN. ? was born in 1760/1770. She died in 1840/1850 in Hawkins Co, TN or Roane Co, TN.

They had the following children.

+              2    M         i.    Benjamin Hensley was born in 1796/1797. He died on 29 Jul 1878.

+              3    F          ii.    Elizabeth Hensley was born in 1799/1800.

Second Generation

2.     Benjamin Hensley (Robert) was born in 1796/1797 in Hawkins Co, TN. He died on 29 Jul 1878 in Loudon Co, TN.

Benjamin married Mary Gallion on 17 Sep 1817 in Grainger Co, TN. Mary was born in 1796/1797 in NC. She died on 20 Dec 1857 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

They had the following children.

                4    F           i.    Margaret Hensley was born in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

Margaret married William Giles on 14 Sep 1835 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

                5    M        ii.    John A Hensley was born in 1819/1820 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). He died after 1900 in Wright Co, MO.

John married Permelia Cooley on 22 Jul 1849 in Meigs Co, TN. Permelia was born in 1818/1819 in VA. She died in 1880/1900 in Wright Co, MO.

                6    M       iii.    Robert F Hensley was born in 1820/1825 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). He died before 1850 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

Robert married Nancy K Brock on 24 Jan 1842 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). Nancy died before 1850 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN).

                7    F         iv.    Presha Hensley was born in 1826/1827 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). She died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

Presha married Andrew Jackson King on 6 Mar 1849 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). Andrew was born in 1828/1829 in TN. He died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

                8    F          v.    Nancy Hensley was born in 1828/1829 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). She died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

Nancy married Edward Dennis on 27 Apr 1851 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). Edward was born in 1826/1827 in TN. He died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

                9    M       vi.    William Hensley was born in 1829/1830 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). He died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

William married Elizabeth A Dennis on 4 Oct 1849 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). Elizabeth was born in 1828/1829 in TN.

              10    M      vii.    Marshall G Hensley was born in 1831/1832 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). He died after 1880 in Wright Co, MO.

Marshall married Jenny Caroline Black on 26 Feb 1856 in Roane Co, TN (now Loudon Co, TN). Jenny was born in 1838/1839 in TN.

Benjamin also married Sarah on 15 Mar 1860 in Roane Co, TN. Sarah was born in 1815/1816 in VA. She died in 1894 in Loudon Co, TN.

They had the following children.

              11    F       viii.    Amelia Hensley was born in 1862/1863 in Roane Co, TN.

3.     Elizabeth Hensley (Robert) was born in 1799/1800 in Hawkins Co, TN.

Elizabeth married John Hicks before 1830 in Hawkins Co, TN. John was born in 1809/1810 in TN.

They had the following children.

              12    M         i.    Joseph Hicks was born in 1835/1836 in Hawkins Co, TN.

 

 

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