General Commentary on the Hensleys of Washington and Scott Co., VA Home > Genealogy > Hensley > Families > Washington Co., VA

The author (Marty Grant) is a descendant of Larkin and Sarah (---) Hensley who lived in Washington Co., VA from the 1780's through ca 1806. Their section of the Washington County became Scott County in 1814.

Brief County History

The Hensleys Arrive 1772-1790

Five Groups of Hensleys

Records transcribed and abstracted

Brief county history:

In 1738 Augusta County was formed and became effective in 1745. At this point Augusta covered all of western Virginia and Kentucky, though few whites lived there at first. Augusta then included what is now Washington and Scott Counties.

In 1769 Botetourt County was formed from the southern section of Augusta, effective 1770. Botetourt was huge and included the area that later became Washington County.

In 1772 Fincastle County was formed from the southern part of Botetourt and included pretty much all of South-western Virginia as well as the present state of Kentucky.

Just a few short years later in 1776 Fincastle County was divided into Kentucky, Montgomery and Washington Counties, effective 1777. This was the birth of Washington County, named in honor of General George Washington. At the time it was much larger than today covering all of SW Virginia until 1786 when Russell County was formed.

Washington remained more or less the same until 1814 when Scott County was formed from the western part of Washington (and parts of Lee and Russell Counties). Smyth County was formed in 1832 from the eastern part of Washington and the western part of Wythe County.

The county lines have remained the same (more or less) since 1832.

The Hensleys arrive 1772-1790:

The Hensleys began arriving as early as 1772 when Samuel Hensley (1754) moved to the area while it was Fincastle County. As far as can be determined, Samuel was the first Hensley to arrive. He moved there from Culpeper County, Virginia.

Samuel was soon followed by Joseph Hensley (1750/60) who also came in from Culpeper, who arrived by 1782.

By 1783 the Hensleys came pouring in from both Culpeper and Buckingham Counties. Since they all wound up living on bordering land and were generally associated with one another, they seem to all be related somehow, though the exact relationships have yet to be determined. The new arrivals included Robert Hensley (c1759), William Hensley (bef 1760), Larkin Hensley (bef 1761), Fielding Hensley (c1761), Agnes Hensley (c1763), and Nicholas Hensley (c1765/67).

These Hensleys settled in a tight group on the waters of North Fork Holston River, Cove Creek and some settled on Steels Creek and Beaver Creek. Some of the Cove Creek land wound up in Scott County when it was formed. Some of these same Hensleys also appear in records across the state line in Sullivan County, Tennessee, which was not very far away, in fact Beaver Creek flowed from Washington into Sullivan. Refer to the map below to see what I mean. Note that North Fork Holston River is marked in red, while Cove Creek is blue, Ketrons Creek (sometimes listed as Catherine's Creek) is marked in Green, while Steele Creek is dark red. The Scott County line cut right through some of the Hensley lands. When the new county was formed, the farm of Samuel Hensley was mentioned as one of the landmarks.

Five Groups of Hensleys:

The "Patriarchs" fall into three groups: those from Culpeper Co., VA; those from Buckingham Co., VA; and those from somewhere unknown. The Culpeper and Buckingham and unknown origin Hensleys all were associated so they all seem related. It is tempting to say they are all brothers. One story based on family lore spoke of a Hensley family of 21 children. This could be them though I don't have 21 probable siblings identified. Another family story regarding the rescue of Agnes Hensley Godsey from Indians mentioned five Hensley brothers who took part in the rescue (but did not name them.)

This first generation of Washington County Hensleys had numerous children, some of whom remained, though others moved off to Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana and other places. There are quite a few second and third generation Hensleys who appear in the records who are clearly related to the patriarchs, but the exact relationship can't be established. There is fifth group of Hensleys who were late arrivals into Scott County who settled in the western part close to the Hawkins Co., TN line where they also appear.

Group one: The Culpeper County Hensleys:

Group two: The Buckingham County Hensleys:

Group three: The Unknown origin Hensleys:

Group four: Next Generation Washington Co., VA Hensleys (listed oldest to youngest)

Group five: Late arrivals to Scott Co., VA (with Hawkins Co., TN connections):

Hensley Records transcribed: Home > Genealogy > Hensley > Families > Washington Co., VA