Marty and Karla Grant
Samuel Hensley (c1706-1765) of Spotsylvania Co., VA
I don’t know how I’m related to Samuel Hensley, but I’m certain he is related to my ancestor William Hensley (c1730s-c1807). Although Samuel is old enough to be my William’s father, there is no evidence he had a son of that name, nor did he mention William in his Will. Thus, probably not his father.
As there were several Samuel Hensleys in Virginia before 1800, you should refer to my analysis page on that subject.
Special thanks to Laura Schreibman, Ruthe Muench and Suzanne Baird for data shared on this family.
Samuel Hensley was born ca 1706 or before. I base this on his marriage in 1727, assuming he was at least 21 then. He could have been a little younger of course, say 18, putting his birth at ca 1709.
Samuel is a proven son of Samuel Hensley (Sr) and his second wife, Elizabeth. He was named as such in his father’s 1732 Will.
Samuel Hensley (Jr) 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 possibility.
On 7 Jan 1726, Dick, a “Negro boy belonging to Samuel Hensley Jr” was adjudged by the court to be 10 years old. (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p. 296, shared by Suzanne Baird.) The above is the first record we have for Samuel Hensley (Jr).
On 3 Mar 1727 Samuel Hensley obtained a marriage license to marry Martha Snell in Spotsylvania Co., VA. I don't know who her parents were, but a John Snell later sold land to Samuel Hensley. That John Snell was son of an older John Snell, who might be Martha’s father.
Spotsylvania county was just up the river from where he was born and raised and was the frontier at that time.
On 6 May 1729 Samuel Hensley was appointed overseer (of a road) in Spotsylvania County. Keep in mind this could be Samuel Jr, for Samuel Sr. was probably a very old man at this time, and probably not residing in Spotsylvania.
On 7 Jul 1730 Samuel Hensley petitioned the Spotsylvania court for payment for attending court 10 days as a witness in the case of John Taliaferro vs William Bickham. Probably Samuel Jr. again.
On 3 Oct 1730 Benjamin Porter of St. George Parish, Spotsylvania County sold 400 acres to Samuel Henslee of Hanover Parish, King George County. The land was in Spotsylvania. This is Samuel Sr, I believe.
Samuel Hensley Sr made his Will in King George Co., VA on 28 Feb 1731/1732 and left his son Samuel a heifer.
On 6 Sep 1731, Thomas Yates deeded land to Samuel Hensley Jr of St. George’s Parish. The land was 360 acres in St. Mark’s Parish, Spotsylvania Co., VA. (Spotsylvania Co., VA Deed Book 1722-1734 shared by Suzanne Baird.)
On 4 Mar 1734 John Snell of St. George Parish, Spotsylvania Co., VA deeded 100 acres to Samuel Hensley, Martha Hensley and Kathren Hensley of same place. Witnesses were G. Home and William Henslee.
Martha Hensley was Samuel’s wife. Kathren was probably their daughter. Samuel had a brother named William, so that’s who the witness probably was.
On 7 Sep 1736, John Jones of Spotsylvania deeded land to William Hensley. Witnesses were Adam Gordon, Sam. Hensley and Robert King. (Shared by Suzanne Baird.)
On 23 Aug 1738, Samuel Hensley of St. George’s Parish, Spotsylvania, sold 360 acres to James Taylor. (Spotsylvania Co., VA Deed Book 2, pp. 458-460, shared by Suzanne Baird.)
Samuel was mentioned in a Land patent dated 1 Jun 1741 for land (543 acres) in Orange Co., VA on Terrys Run. The bordering land included Capt. Gwyn, Philip Waters, Henry Rice, Joseph Sharp & William Sharp, Samuel Hensley Jr, Samuel Hensley Sr and William Smithers. Terry's Run is very close to the Spotsylvania line.
I believe the above reference is to this Samuel (c1706) as Jr, and Sr was his father, though deceased by this time. On the other hand, it may be referring to this Samuel (1706) as Sr, and another Samuel as Jr. I kind of doubt that though, for I’m not aware of any younger Samuel owning land at this time. I could be wrong of course.
Samuel Hensley made his Will in Spotsylvania County on 7 Jan 1765. He referred to himself as being of Spotsylvania County and King George's Parish, sick and weak of body but of perfect mind and memory.
He named his wife Martha, daughter "Catey Estis (formerly Catey Hensley)" and mentioned Grand daughter Patty Estes. He also named his "two sons" John and James Hensley. Executors were wife Martha and son John Hensley. Witnesses were Benjamin Johnston, Thomas Hutcherson and Thomas Perry. The Will was proven on 5 Aug 1765, so he had died by that date.
There is a Martha Hensley listed on the Spotsylvania tax lists in 1783 and 1784. Is this Martha Snell Hensley? She was not listed in 1782, nor in 1785 through 1790.
It is certainly possible it was the same Martha. If so, she apparently died after 1784.
Samuel and Martha Hensley had three children proven by his 1765 Will. Three seems like a very small family, however, remember that the mortality rate was much higher in those days. They may have had other children who died young. It is also possible he left some children out for various reasons, but we have no evidence of that.
2. John Hensley
Since her parents married in 1727, it can be assumed she was born sometime after that, though probably no later than ca 1740.
Her husband wasn’t named in Samuel Hensley’s Will, but other records prove his name was Thomas Estes. In 1778, Thomas and Catherine sold land to her brother James Hensley in Spotsylvania.
In 1773, a deed proves that this Thomas Estes is a son of an older Thomas Estes, deceased, of Caroline Co., VA. It also proves a sister of Thomas (Jr), Barbara Rogers, also deceased, and a son of Thomas (Jr), John Estes then of Orange Co., NC.
There is a Thomas Estes on the 1782 personal property tax list in Spotsylvania. However, this might be a different Thomas Estes, the one married to Hannah, a son of Abram and Ann Estes.
John Hensley died in Orange Co., VA ca 1796. See his own page for more information.
James Hensley was in Spotsylvania through 1787. See his own page for more information.
For Family Group Sheet and other notes see my database page for Samuel Hensley & Martha Snell.
Revised: September 3, 2021