William K. Hensley (1815-1898) and Elizabeth Osborne of Scott Co., VA, Pulaski Co., KY, Putnam Co., IN and Decatur Co., IA

martygrant.com: Home > Genealogy > Hensley > Families > William

[Children] [Researcher List] [Register Report] [A Note about sources] [How to contact me] [Home]

The author (Marty Grant) is a 1st cousin 5 times removed to William K. Hensley. His father is a son of my ancestor Larkin Hensley (c1761-1806)

Special Thanks to Ruthe Muench and Laura Schreibman for information shared on this family. Also thanks to an article on this family published in The History of Decatur County Iowa (author?). I believe the book was from ca 1880.

William K. Hensley was born 27 Feb 1815 in Scott Co., VA. The original source for his birth date isn't known, but it was given in the article mentioned above. This does agree with two of his three census entries: in 1860 he was 45; in 1870 he was 57 (doesn't quite match); and in 1880 he was 65. The same article gives his birth place as Estillville, Scott Co., VA. (Estillville is now Gate City.) This seems correct for William's earliest records are found in Scott County.

The same article lists William's parents as "Ichabod and Anna (Peters) Hensley." I have seen no direct proof linking William to Ichabod C. Hensley (1792/94) but he is the only Ichabod this could be referring to. There is also an Ichabod Hensley (1780/90) who had lived in Washington Co., VA early on, but he was gone from the area by 1815. Ichabod C. Hensley was in Scott County at the time, so it must be him the article referred to.

As mentioned, I have found no primary source documentation that would link William to Ichabod C. Hensley, but I don't doubt that he is William's father. There is some question as to whether Ichabod was married to Anna Peters or not, for there was an Anna Peters in Scott Co., VA who never married, but apparently had at least one child out of wedlock (by James Hensley (1804) in 1825.) There could be more than one Anna Peters in the area, but the one I found was born ca 1800 and died 1855 a daughter of John Peters and Catherine (---) Peters. She had two sisters marry into the Hensley family, one (Eleanor) married James Hensley mentioned above (the one who father a child by her), and Susannah who married Jesse Hensley (1785). These two Hensleys are generally thought to be sons of Fielding Hensley (c1761), but neither is proven.

If Anna Peters (1800-1855) is William's mother, then there should be a court record in either Washington or Scott Co., VA mentioning his birth since out of wedlock births were often brought to the attention of the court. If it was a different Anna Peters, then there would probably be no record since births weren't officially recorded in 1815.

I should point out that children born out of wedlock were usually required by law to take the mother's surname except under certain conditions. I believe if the father acknowledged the child (either voluntarily or through court action), the child could use the father's surname. That would explain why William used the Hensley surname and not Peters. I'm not sure if that is the case here or not.

William K. Hensley would have been about 5 years old by the time of the 1820 census. By this time his father Ichabod C. Hensley had moved to Howard Co., MO and married Sarah Gibson Fulkerson (in 1818). It seems likely that young William remained with his mother in Scott Co., VA. Even if Anna Peters (1800-1855) isn't his mother and it was some other Anna Peters, it still seems that William remained in Scott County. This would probably mean that his mother had died and he was left in care of maternal grandparents or other relatives.

Unfortunately the 1820 census is lost for Missouri where Ichabod was living so there is no way to tell if William was home. Looking in Scott Co., VA I notice that John Peters (Anna's father) has 2 boys under 10 living with him. These would be boys born 1810-20. One of them could be William K. Hensley.

For the 1830 census, William would have been about 15 years old. His father Ichabod C. Hensley was listed on that census in Hardeman Co., TN. Ichabod had no sons in that age group with him, so apparently William was not with his dad. Back in Scott Co., VA Anna Peters was listed as head of household and she did have two young boys with her, one aged 5-9 (born ca 1820/25) and one aged 10-14 (born ca 1815/20). That last one could easily by William K. Hensley. The younger one must be the son she had in 1825 by James Hensley. There were also two girls at home.

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

1830 Scott Co, VA pg 23 Anna Peters 0110000000000-1010100000000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 10-14        (1815-1820)	William K. Hensley (1815) s/o Ichabod C.
1 Male(s) 5-9          (1820-1825)	 Hensley (1825) s/o James
1 Female(s) 20-29      (1800-1810)	Anna Peters (1800) d/o John & Catherine
1 Female(s) 10-14      (1815-1820)	Daughter?
1 Female(s) 0-4        (1825-1830)	Daughter?

Although he turned 16 in 1831, William K. Hensley was not listed on the tax lists for 1831 through 1835. There was another William Hensley listed (he had been listed since the 1820's.)

William K. Hensley was listed on the 1836 Scott County tax list with 1 male over 16, and 1 horse. This is the first official record I've seen with his name on it.

William K. Hensley married ca 1836 to Elizabeth Osborne, daughter of Wood Osborne and Catherine Livingston. She was born 9 Sep 1818 in Scott Co., VA. The source for her birth date, maiden name and parents is the article quoted earlier. I've seen no primary evidence, but they were Scott County residents so it seems reasonable. Two of her three census records are compatible with her birth date.

William K. Hensley was not listed on the 1837 tax list.

William K. Hensley was listed on the 1838 Scott County tax list with 1 white male over 16, and 2 horses.

I was unable to find William K. Hensley on the 1840 census. The birth places of his children suggest they were still in Virginia until the mid 1840's.  Ann Peters was listed in Scott County that year, but other than a girl under age 5, she had no one else with her. There was a William Peters Jr listed next door to her. His enumerations are a perfect match for William K. Hensley and family. If this is him it would suggest he used the Peters surname also. He was listed as "Jr" for there was a slightly older William Peters (1812) in the area too. By 1850 only the older William Peters was in Scott County, so this supports the theory that William Peters Jr and William K. Hensley are the same person. This is entirely speculative of course, but it would explain his seeming absence in 1840, and it wasn't uncommon for "bastard" sons to alternately use their mother and father's surnames. Keep in mind that William Peters Jr might be someone else and not William K. Hensley, though to illustrate my point, look at his census entry and my analysis:

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

1840 Scott Co, VA pg 299 William Peters Jr 2000100000000-0000100000000
Analysis:
1 Male(s) 20-29        (1810-1820)	William K. Hensley (1815)
2 Male(s) 0-4          (1835-1840)	James H. Hensley (1837) son
					Martin Hensley (c1838) son
1 Female(s) 20-29      (1810-1820)	Elizabeth Osborne Hensley (1818) wife

The Hensleys, along with Elizabeth's parents, moved to Pulaski Co., KY in the mid 1840's. I searched high and low for them on the 1850 census but was unable to find them. Wood and Catherine (Livingston) Osborne were listed in Pulaski Co., KY, but no sign of the Hensleys there (nor under the Peters surname either). The article that I mentioned earlier stated that the Hensleys left Kentucky for Putnam Co., IN in 1849. I checked the 1850 census for that county also and found no sign of them under either Hensley or Peters. Incidentally I searched the entire 1850 census (all states) for a William Peters born in the 1810's in VA who might be the William Peters Jr of 1840 Scott County. No matches anywhere. Only William Peters (1812) of Scott County fit the bill, but he was the other William Peters from 1840 Scott County.

By 1860 the William K. Hensley family was in Decatur Co., IA. They were listed next door to Martin Hensley (probably their son). They were the only Hensleys in the county at the time.

1860 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)
DECATUR CO, IA Page 116   House/Family # 1239/1146 -- FRANKLIN Twp  GARDEN GROVE P.O.

HENSLEY WILLIAM K     45 M W FARMER            2000   950 VA                   1814/1815
HENSLEY ELIZABETH     42 F W                              VA                   1817/1818
HENSLEY RHODA         17 F W                              VA                   1842/1843
HENSLEY MARTHA        16 F W                              VA                   1843/1844
HENSLEY WILLIAM       13 M W                              KY                   1846/1847
HENSLEY ALBERT E       4 M W                              IA                   1855/1856

They were still in Decatur for the 1870 census.

1870 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)
DECATUR CO, IA Page 281B  House/Family #   56/  57--FRANKLIN Twp  P.O.

HENSLY WILLIAM        57 M W FARMER                3500  1155 VA              1812/1813
HENSLY ELIZABETH      50 F W KEEPS HOUSE                      VA              1819/1820
HENSLY WILLIAM        23 M W FARM LABORER                 350 KY              1846/1847
HENSLY EDWARD         14 M W FARM LABORER                     IA              1855/1856
HENSLY ARTHER         10 M W                                  IA              1859/1860

They were still in Decatur for the 1880 census. The census taker did not number the households or families, but they were the 3rd house listed on the page so I used that for the house and family number. The census taker also put the middle initials before the first names!

1880 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)
DECATUR CO, IA Page 193   House/Family #     3/   3 -- FRANKLIN Twp

HENSLEY K WILLIAM              W M  65 HD M FARMER               VA  VA  VA  1814/1815
HENSLEY ELIZABETH              W F  61 WF M KEEPING HOUSE        VA  VA  VA  1818/1819
HENSLEY A EDWARD               W M  23 S  S FARMER               IA  VA  VA  1856/1857
HENSLEY AUTHOR                 W M  19 S  S FARMER               IA  VA  VA  1860/1861
HENSLEY IDA                    W F  19 GD S KEEPING HOUSE        IA  VA  OH  1860/1861

William K. Hensley died in Decatur County on 28 Jun 1898, and Elizabeth Osborne Hensley on 11 Jan 1899. Both dates are from Ruthe Muench's research, I don't know the original source.


Children of William K. Hensley and Elizabeth Osborne. William and Elizabeth had five children as proven by the 1860 and 1870 census. I've added two more older children making seven total. Martin Hensley (c1838) was living next to them in 1860 so it seems likely he is their son. James H. Hensley (1837) was in Putnam Co., IN in 1860 (where the Hensleys had lived just before that), and came to Decatur Co., IA by 1880. All that could be a coincidence, but I think it is likely that James H. is also their son.

The article in the History of Decatur County says they had 10 children: Martin, James, Rhoda A., Martha J., William, Edward, Arthur, all living at the time of the article, and John, Livingston, and Mary who were dead by then. Since the last three didn't appear on any census records as far as I can find, they probably died young.

Since Martin died in the 1860's, I have to wonder when the article was written. From the wording, it was obvious that William and Elizabeth were still alive at the time, so before 1898 certainly. Can anyone enlighten me on the date and other details for this book History of Decatur County Iowa?


Researcher List

Persons researching this family (Contact me to add, change or delete your listing here):

  • None so far

Register Report


1. William K1 Hensley , born 27 Feb 1815 in Scott Co, VA; died 28 Jun 1898 in Decatur Co, IA, son of Ichabod C Hensley  and Anna Peters .  He married bef 1837 in Scott Co, VA Elizabeth Osborne , born 9 Sep 1818 in Scott Co, VA; died 11 Jan 1899 in Decatur Co, IA, daughter of Wood Osborne  and Catherine Livingston .

 

      Children of William K Hensley and Elizabeth Osborne were as follows:

+    2          i      James H2 Hensley , born Feb 1837 in Scott Co, VA; died aft 1900 in Linn Co, KS.  He married Mary Josephine (---) .

+    3          ii      Martin2 Hensley , born 1837/38 in Scott Co, VA; died aft 1863 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married Jane (---) .

      4          iii      Rhoda2 Hensley , born 1842/43 in VA; died aft 1860 in Decatur Co, IA.

      5          iv      Martha2 Hensley , born 1843/44 in VA; died aft 1860 in Decatur Co, IA.

+    6          v      William K2 Hensley , born Feb 1847 in Pulaski Co, KY; died aft 1900 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married Frances C (---) .

      7          vi      Edward Albert2 Hensley , born 1855/56 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

      8          vii      Arthur2 Hensley , born 1860 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

      9          viii      John2 Hensley .

      10         ix      Livingston2 Hensley .

      11         x      Mary2 Hensley .

 

Generation 2

 

2. James H2 Hensley  (William K1), born Feb 1837 in Scott Co, VA; died aft 1900 in Linn Co, KS.  He married bef 1859 in Putnam Co, IN Mary Josephine (---) , born Apr 1837 in IN; died aft 1900 in Linn Co, KS.

 

      Children of James H Hensley and Mary Josephine (---) were as follows:

      12         i      Viola M3 Hensley , born 1858/59 in Putnam Co, IN; died aft 1870 in La Porte Co, IN.

      13         ii      James A3 Hensley , born 1861/62 in Decatur Co, IA.

+    14         iii      William3 Hensley , born Jul 1864 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1900 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married Laura K (---) .

      15         iv      Jeminey L3 Hensley , born 1866/67 in Decatur Co, IA.

      16         v      Jean3 Hensley , born 1870 in Decatur Co, IA.

      17         vi      Daisy3 Hensley , born 1871/72 in Decatur Co, IA.

      18         vii      Walter3 Hensley , born 1874/75 in Decatur Co, IA.

      19         viii      Josephine3 Hensley , born Feb 1879 in Decatur Co, IA.

 

 

3. Martin2 Hensley  (William K1), born 1837/38 in Scott Co, VA; died aft 1863 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married in 1850/59 in Decatur Co, IA Jane (---) , born 1841/42 in OH; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

 

      Children of Martin Hensley and Jane (---) were as follows:

      20         i      James Frank3 Hensley , born 1858/59 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

      21         ii      Ida3 Hensley , born 1860/61 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

      22         iii      Lee W3 Hensley , born 1862/63 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1880 in Decatur Co, IA.

 

 

6. William K2 Hensley  (William K1), born Feb 1847 in Pulaski Co, KY; died aft 1900 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married in 1874/75 in Decatur Co, IA Frances C (---) , born Dec 1853 in OH; died aft 1900 in Decatur Co, IA.

 

      Children of William K Hensley and Frances C (---) were as follows:

      23         i      George3 Hensley , born Apr 1876 in Decatur Co, IA.

      24         ii      Blanche3 Hensley , born Oct 1883 in Decatur Co, IA.

      25         iii      Don3 Hensley , born Dec 1887 in Decatur Co, IA.

      26         iv      Karl3 Hensley , born Jul 1889 in Decatur Co, IA.

      27         v      Fleeta3 Hensley , born Oct 1892 in Decatur Co, IA.

 

Generation 3

 

14. William3 Hensley  (James H2, William K1), born Jul 1864 in Decatur Co, IA; died aft 1900 in Decatur Co, IA.  He married in 1891/92 in Decatur Co, IA Laura K (---) , born Mar 1873 in IA.

 

      Children of William Hensley and Laura K (---) were as follows:

      28         i      Helen G4 Hensley , born Feb 1894 in Decatur Co, IA.


martygrant.com: Home > Genealogy > Hensley > Families > William