Marty and Karla Grant

[Home] [What’s New?] [Books for Sale] [Christian] [Genealogy] [Search] [Support] [About] [Contact]

William Hensley (c1706-1777) and Elizabeth — of King George and Culpeper Co., VA

Hensley pages [Hensley Home] - [Table of Contents] - [Virginia] - This page [Children’s section]


Special thanks to Laura Schreibman and Suzanne Baird for data shared on this family.

Before you read more about this William Hensley, let me add a huge caveat. I’m not 100% certain that the William born ca 1706, and living in King George through 1728 is the same man later found in Culpeper Co., VA who died there in 1777. There is a significant gap in the records for William from 1728 to 1756 that makes it impossible to be entirely sure that the earlier William and the later one are the same man. I’d like to think they are the same, but it’s possible they are not. That’s the caveat.

I don’t know how I’m related to this William Hensley, but he certainly could be the father of my ancestor, William Hensley (c1730s-c1807). In fact, I think he probably has to be, lacking other strong suspects. Alas, I can’t prove it though.

As there were several William Hensleys in Virginia before 1800, you should refer to my analysis page on that subject. 

This William was born ca 1706 or earlier, but probably not much earlier. He was likely born in what was then Richmond Co., VA, but became King George County in 1720.

William Hensley is almost certainly a son of Benjamin Hensley (d 1728) and Elizabeth, as there are really no other choices for who his parents could be. I can’t prove his parentage, but the only other Hensley around at the time who could be his father was Samuel Hensley (d 1735). That Samuel did have a proven son named William, but I believe that William is a few years older than this one.

The two William Hensleys were contemporaries in the 1720's and also associated with each other. This makes sorting them out problematic. Samuel’s son William was born in the 1690's, I believe, and died ca 1764 in Orange Co., VA. Samuel (d 1735) and Benjamin (d 1728) were almost certainly brothers, making the two William’s first cousins to each other.

The first time William (son of Benjamin) appears in the records (in 1727), he is listed as William “Jr” to distinguish himself from his older cousin. That is helpful.

On 4 Aug 1727, in King George court, it was ordered that Jonathan Williams, William Hensley, Benjamin Hensley Jr, William Hensley Jr, Nicholas Porter, and Higgason King be bound over to the next court to answer the complaint of Robert Peck by virtue of their recognizance (meaning they posted bond to guarantee they’d appear in court). (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p. 374, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

One might automatically assume that William “Jr” was a son of the older William, but keep in mind that “Jr” was used in those days merely to distinguish a younger man from an older one of the same name. No relationship between them was implied, even if there was one.

The Hensley men in the record above were, I believe, William (son of Samuel d 1735), and his first cousins Benjamin “Jr” (son of Benjamin & Elizabeth) and William “Jr” (also son of Benjamin & Elizabeth).

On 2 Sep 1727, the above case was again carried over the next court, Jonathan Williams, William Hensley, William Hensley Jr, Benjamin Hensley Jr, Nicholas Porter and Higgason King. (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p, 379, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

On 3 Nov 1727, the above case was again carried over the next court, this time only naming William Hensley, William Hensley Jr, Benjamin Hensley Jr, and Nicholas Porter. For some reason Williams and King were not included. (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p, 388, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

On 1 Dec 1727, the above case was again carried over the next court, once again only naming William Hensley, William Hensley Jr, Benjamin Hensley Jr, and Nicholas Porter, leaving out Williams and King. (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p, 392, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

On 3 May 1728, the suit of Robert Peck against William Hensley, William Hensley Jr, and Benjamin Hensley, Jr was heard. The court ordered William Hensley and William Hensley Jr to pay a fine of 50 shillings each and remain in custody of the sheriff until they can enter a sufficient bond for their good behavior for a 12 month period. Benjamin Jr was ordered to pay 20 shillings for his good behavior for a 12 month period. (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p. 405, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

Someone probably posted their bond, for I don’t think the Hensleys were left rotting in jail for they were free on 5 Oct 1728 (see below).

On 5 Oct 1728, the court ordered the Sheriff to take the bodies (arrest them) of William Hensley, William Hensley Jr, and Benjamin Hensley Jr until they enter into security for 12 months of good behavior. Since the same order was issued back on 3 May 1728, it would seem they managed to post bond then and not spend the interim in jail. Why a new order at this point? Did whoever originally post bond for them withdraw it? (King George Co., VA Order Book 1725-1728, p. 421, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

Neither William Hensley appears in the records again until Samuel Hensley (d 1735) made his Will on 28 Feb 1731/32 naming his son William (not this William).

In the will he said whereas "my sons by my former wife are grown to years capable of getting their own living and considering my estate to be barely sufficient for the raising of my younger children" it was his desire that "my sons William, Joseph and Edward Hanslee" be content with one Shilling Sterling each.

Samuel (Jr), son of Samuel (d 1735), moved to to neighboring Spotsylvania County in the 1730's and his brother William did as well, by 1734. That William was in Orange Co., VA by the 1740's and remained there until his death sometime after 1764, leaving a widow Jane. The elder William was in numerous Orange County records.

What became of William Hensley “Jr” after 1728? I thought perhaps he followed his cousin into Spotsylvania for a time, then onto what later became Culpeper, however, we find no record of the younger William in Spotsylvania at all, nor in Culpeper until 1756, which of course leaves a nearly 30 year gap in the records. That means there’s no way to really know if William last seen in 1728 King George and William of 1756 Culpeper are the same man. I’d like to think they’re the same man, but enough time had passed that the one in Culpeper could be a younger man of the same name.

I’ve taken a leap of faith, and concluded that the William of Culpeper is the same William Jr who had been in King George back in 1728. Keep in mind that I could be very wrong about this. The nearly 30 year gap in records is troublesome. If I’m wrong about them being the same person then we have new questions: What happened to William Jr after 1728? And who is this William in Culpeper from at least 1756 onward? His son? Nephew? Other?

William Hensley (son of Benjamin), if born ca 1706 as I surmised, could have married as early as ca 1724 while still in King George. His widow was named Elizabeth, but if he was as old as I think then she wasn’t his first wife. Also, the fact that she had children on up until ca 1803 suggests she was way younger than William, thus probably didn’t marry him until just a few years before his death, making her a second or third wife.

The record for William is a bit complicated by the fact that the elder William (son of Samuel) was nearby in Orange County and actually had some land transactions in Culpeper. It’s helpful that the older William had a wife named Jane whose name appears on some of the records.

On 7 Sep 1736, John Jones of Spotsylvania deeded a tract of land to William Hensley of Spotsylvania for 5 shillings. The land was in St George’s Parish, Spotsylvania County, being 520 acres bordering Robert Baylors line, Harry Beverley’s new line, Capt John Camms? and Samuel Smith. John Jones signed. Witnesses were Adam Gordon, Samll Hensley, Robert King. John Jones himself acknowledged the deed in court on 5 Oct 1736. Agnes Jones, wife of John Jones relinquished her dower rights. (Spotsylvania Co., VA Deed Book C, pp. 203-204).

For some reason, the very same deed was recorded again, starting on the same page the first one finished. The only difference in the second one was that the acreage wasn’t given and there were a few other differences in wording. The metes and bounds and neighbors all seem to be identical. (Spotsylvania Co., VA Deed Book C, pp. 204-205). I can’t help but wonder if two tracts of land were sold, but the same metes and bounds were used accidentally for the second one since filed and copied at the same time? I just can’t imagine the clerk hand copying the same deed twice in a row into the county deed books unless there was some good reason for it.

Which William Hensley is this in the 1736 deed? Is it the other William son of Samuel, or this William son of Benjamin? The Samuel Hensley who witnessed it was a brother to the older William, both sons of the Samuel who died in 1735. However, Robert King and the Jones family is associated with the younger William in later Culpeper records. We already know the two Williams were well acquainted with each other, so it wouldn’t be strange for them to associate with the same people over the years.

The answer seems to come in 1747 when William Hensley and wife “Jane” sell this same land. That suggests it’s the older William. That is, unless both Williams had wives named Jane! Lacking any evidence of that, I’m going with the older William for the 1736 and 1747 deeds.

What we do know for sure, is that a William Hensley moved to what is now Madison Co., VA before 1756 and settled in the area near Old Rag Mountain, Hughes River and Popham Run. That area was part of Spotsylvania county until 1734 when Orange County was created. It was the western frontier of Virginia for a few years. This land was very close to the Augusta line (formed 1738). I don’t think the 1736 deed is applicable because the land William later lived on would have been in Orange County in 1736 when that deed was made, but the deed clearly said the land was in Spotsylvania, though Orange had been in existence for two years by then.

In 1749 Culpeper County was formed and this land fell into that county until Madison was formed in 1792/93. That is where it remains today, currently very close to the borders of Rappahannock, Culpeper and Page counties. A huge problem for researchers is the loss of many early records for Culpeper during the Civil War. Therefore we only find a few Hensley records during the middle 1700s for Hensleys in this county when there should be many more.

(The other William) On 17 May 1750, William Hensley of St. Thomas Parish, Orange Co., VA sold 200 acres of land in Culpeper County to Jacob Ward of the same parish, Culpeper Co., VA. It was the same 200 acres William Hensley obtained in 1745 (when the area was still part of Orange) from Henry Pickett. The deed was signed by William and Jane Hensley, (both with marks) showing it was the older William and not “Jr.” Witnesses were James Rucker, Spencer Bobo and James Barnett. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book A, pp. 156-158.)

On 16 Nov 1756, Robert King, planter, and Mary his wife, of Culpeper made a deed to John Thomas of the same place. For five shillings, the Kings deeded 83 acres. The land was described as part of a larger tract purchased by Robert King from Isaac Norman and James Turner in Spotsylvania on 2 Feb 1730/31. The land being now sold “is the part whereon William Hensley now lives.” Later, “Jones line” is mentioned in the description. Robert King signed the deed, his wife Mary made her mark. Witnesses were Joseph King, Joshua Davis and George Bow. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book C, pp. 4-5).

The above shows that William Hensley was living on Robert King’s land in 1756. He was probably leasing some of it, or sharecropping it. It shows he didn’t own any property yet.

On 20 Aug 1763 James Barbour, Jr brought a suit against William Hensley, probably for debt. Barbour won the case. (Culpeper Co., VA Order Book, p. 429, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

On 14 Oct 1767, William is mentioned in a deed between John Seal of Culpeper to Alexander McDaniel for 60 acres. The tract was described as near the Ragged Mountains, Seals corner at the upper end of Mr. Hensley’s plantation to the line between Robert King’s and Seal’s, including the plantation where Alexander McDaniel now lives. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book 4, pp. 432-433, shared by Suzanne Baird.)

The above shows that William Hensley had acquired property between 1756 and 1767. It seemed to be in the very same area he’d been living as Robert King was a bordering land owner.

I couldn’t find the “Ragged” Mountains, but there is an “Old Rag Mountain” in what is now Madison Co., VA but was then Culpeper. One of the streams coming down from the mountain is called “Ragged Run” so that fits. This is quite close to the modern Rappahannock County line.

I believe that William Hensley married 2nd or later wife Elizabeth — in the early 1770's in Culpeper Co., VA. I haven’t found a record that explicitly states she was his wife, but she was “Widow” Hensley who, after William’s death, had the same neighbors William had before his death, so it seems almost certain she was his widow. It doesn’t seem they were married very long before he died, perhaps long enough to have a child or two. I don’t know when his first marriage would have taken place. If he is the same William born ca 1706, then he could have married in the late 1720s. He could easily have had other wives in between that first one and Elizabeth.

On 17 Mar 1777, in Culpeper County, an inventory and appraisal of the estate of William Hensley, deceased, was returned by Joseph King, Michael Kluge and John Thomas. (Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, Culpeper County Virginia Will Books B and C. Court Suits, Loose Papers, Inscriptions. p. 19.)

If my estimated birth date for William of ca 1706 is correct, and this is that same William, then he was about 71 when he died.

Note that the Kings were mentioned in several of the records that William Hensley was part of. The 1736 Spotsylvania deed, witnessed by Robert King. The 1756 deed from Robert King mentioned William Hensley as a tenant. The 1767 deed from John Seal to Alexander McDaniel mentioned Hensley and Robert King as neighbors, and the 1777 estate which had Joseph King as one of the appraisers of William Hensley’s estate. John Thomas was also one of the appraisers, and he too was part of the 1756 deed, purchasing the land from Robert King that Hensley lived on at that time.

I don’t know if the Kings are related, but they were certainly neighbors over many years. It is interesting that one of William Hensley’s probable sons is named Robert Hensley, perhaps after Robert King? That’s highly speculative of course.

Elizabeth, widow of William outlived him by a considerable number of years, not dying until the 1830's suggesting she was far younger than he. She was probably born in the 1750's. We know for sure she was born before 1765 per her age on the 1810 census.

Though she was a young widow, she didn’t remarry. She did, however, “take up” with Capt. Benjamin Lillard and have a very public relationship with him while he was still married. However, they didn’t live together apparently. She kept her own place, and he lived by himself after his separation from his wife. According to the Lillard family histories they had at least eight children together. Benjamin Lillard was born in the 1760's, and was married to Frances Crow. Him leaving his wife certainly caused a ruckus in the family as court records show. For an interesting read, visit his entry on Wikitree. There is a notation there that suggests widow Elizabeth Hensleys’ maiden name might have been Seale. That’s a family that lived in the very same area. Click here for another interesting writeup for Benjamin Lillard.

On 28 Jul 1777 “widow Hensley’s plantation” was mentioned as bordering property in a deed between Joseph and Mary King to Samuel Leather. The land being sold was 433 acres on the waters of Hughes River. Bordering properties or landmarks included Widow Hensley’s plantation, John Seals’ fence, John Sampson’s corner, Samuel Leather’s fence, Lewis Render’s? line, near the top of the Long Mountain, George Frederick Cribler’s, Dutch Glebe land. Witnesses were John Lillard, Ambrose Barbour, Benjamin Lillard and George Wetherall. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book H, pp 505-507)

“Widow Hensley’s plantation” was mentioned again in a deed dated 8 Apr 1779 between Samuel Leather and John Seal. The land being sold was 75 acres. Bordering properties and landmarks included John Sampsons line, Seals fence, Widow Hensleys plantation. Samuel Leather and his wife Mary signed. Witnesses were George Wetherall, Ambrose Barbour and James Yowell. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book H, pp 563-565.)

On 15 May 1780, Elizabeth Hensley was a purchaser at the estate sale of William Campbell. On the same date, Robert Hensley purchased part of John Campbell’s estate.

Robert Hensley (c1759) is likely her step-son, a child of William and a previous wife.

On 19 Jun 1780 Robert Hensley and Elizabeth Hensley both purchased items at the estate sale of John Berry in Culpeper Co., VA.

I wasn’t able to locate Elizabeth Hensley on the 1782 Personal Property Tax list in Culpeper Co., VA, although Laura’s notes shows she was listed. Benjamin Lillard is listed in Henry Hill’s district, so that’s probably the district she would have been in as well, however, after multiple readings I couldn’t find her there or in other districts.

I did find Elizabeth on the 1783 Personal Property Tax list in Culpeper Co., VA. She was listed in Benjamin Lillard’s district (of course), having no white male tithables (no sons over 16 or 21), no slaves, no horses and 5 cattle. Robert Hensley was in the same district. William Hensley was in Henry Hill’s district. That William is a son of the other William Hensley (c1690s-1764), I believe.

Elizabeth Hensley was not listed on any of the other personal property tax lists in Culpeper during the period of 1784-1804. The lists for 1805-1810 are missing. She was still alive during that period though as other records prove. The tax lists typically only included males. Exceptions were made for women who had their own property. However, if living with one of her children, her property could have been listed along with theirs in that child’s name.

On 22 Nov 1785, Benjamin Lillard made a deed to his children, Clara Lillard, Dennis Lillard, Lucy Lillard, and Mordecai Lillard. Capt John Strother and Thomas Lillard were also parties to the deed, relationship not stated. The deed was for two tracts of land and a considerable amount of personal property items as well as slaves. (Culpeper Co., VA Deed Book N, p. 106.)

The 1790 census is lost for Virginia.

On 25 May 1790, Benjamin Lillard deeded to Elizabeth Hensley, stock, household furniture and so on for £38, 9 shillings. Witnesses were Boswell Pulliam, James Lillard Sr and Thomas Lillard Sr. This was recorded 27 Jun 1805 after Madison County had been formed. (Madison Co., VA Deed Book — (***** get reference), shared by Laura Schreibman).

Madison County was created in 1792, effective 1793, from the portion of Culpeper where the Hensley land was located. Although she clearly lived there for a time, Elizabeth Hensley is not listed on any of the personal property tax lists in Madison from 1793-1817.

On 5 Sep 1794, Elizabeth Hensley of Madison Co., VA made a deed to Benjamin Lillard for £160, 63 acres on the north side of Hughes River. Specific metes and bounds were given. Elizabeth Hensley signed the deed. Witnesses were: Augustin Bradley, Dennis Lillard, John Lillard and James Lillard. (Madison Co., VA Deed Book 1, pp. 127-128.)

Metes and bounds for the above deed, in hopes we can figure out where this is precisely, as well as figure out how it came into Elizabeth’s hands (via William Hensley, presumably, or perhaps inherited from her parents?).

Beginning at three chesnuts on a ridge corner in a patent line formerly Alexander Riders and running thence with said line S 43 W 150 polls to a large poplar on Hughes River, then down the said river S 50? E 8? Polls then S 40 E 2 polls then S 23 E 12 polls then S 40 E 20 polls then S 57 E 10 polls then S 65 E 8 polls then S 70 E 40 polls then S 69 E 8? Polls then S 59 E 8 polls, then S 66 E 20 polls then S 81 E 26 polls then S 66 E 10 polls to a sycamore & maple at the mouth of a branch then up the said Branch N 38 W 4 polls then N 80 W 8 polls then N 38 W 4polls then N 70 W 4 polls thenN 38 W 4 polls then N 56 W 4 polls then N 70 W 8 polls then N 60 W 6 polls then W 10 polls then N 55 W 2 polls then N 20 W 10 polls then N 3 E 6 polls then N 28 W 12 polls then N 15 W 10 polls then N 31 W 10 polls then N 6 W 6 polls then N 13 W 8 to a gum & ash at the fork of the said Branch then with the E fork of the branch N 34 E 4 polls then N 30 E 16 polls then N 21 E 30 polls then N 35 E 20 to two gums a chesnut & maple on the east side of the said branch then to the beginning ...

On 6 Nov 1800, Benjamin Lillard of Madison sold land to Abraham Alger, being 50 acres on north side of Hughes River. Signed by Benjamin Lillard, witnessed by Elizabeth Hensley, Polly H Hensley and John Davis. (Madison Co., VA Deed Book 3, p. 6.)

On 20 Jul 1802 Joseph James Senr and wife Elizabeth deeded land to their son John L. James, being 300 acres adjoining land of Major Churchill Jones and others, where Joseph and Elizabeth live, along with slaves, stock, etc. Witnesses were Benjamin Lillard, Elizabeth Hensley and Polly Hensley, all of whom signed. (Madison Co., VA Deed Book 3, pp 388-389.)

On 18 Feb 1806 Thomas Lillard made his Will in Culpeper Co., VA. It was witnessed by Benjamin Lillard Sr, Elizabeth Hensley, Absolem Lillard and John Seale Jr. (Shared by Laura Schreibman).

The above record suggests that Elizabeth was living in Culpeper by 1806. As her home in Madison county was very near the line at that time, it might have been a very short move just over the border. This part of Culpeper became Rappahannock County in 1833, the second Virginia county to bear that name, as the first had been dissolved in 1720.

Elizabeth is listed on the 1810 census in Culpeper. In fact, two of that name are listed. This census was mostly alphabetical so we can’t tell which was which based upon neighbors, so I’ll give both listings. However, it seems most likely the second one is her for there were sons at home, and Elizabeth did have some sons who should have still been with her then.

1810 Census, Culpeper Co., VA p. 43, Eliza. Hansley age 26-44 (1765/1784)


Age and Approximate Birth Range 

Who each person *might* be

1f 26-44 (1765/1784)

Elizabeth (—) Hensley

1f 10-15 (1794/1800)


1f 0-9 (1800/1810)


1810 Census, Culpeper Co., VA p. 45, Eliza. Hansley age 45+ (bef 1765)


Age and Approximate Birth Range 

Who each person *might* be

1m 10-15 (1794/1800)

Leftage Lillard (c1792) son

2m 0-9 (1800/1810)

1-Hedgeman Lillard (c1796) son

2-Oliver Lillard (c1803) son

1f 45 and up (before 1765)

Elizabeth (—) Hensley, widow of William.

2f 10-15 (1794/1800)


2-Rhoda Lillard (c1800) daughter

Enoch Hensley was also listed, though not near either of the above. That was Enoch Jr., I believe, a son of Enoch Sr., and wife Elizabeth. One of the two Elizabeth’s above could be Enoch Sr.’s widow. Alternately, Enoch and Elizabeth had a son William who married an Elizabeth Corbin in 1792 in Culpeper and vanished from the record after 1802. Perhaps one of them is that Elizabeth. In any event, it’s hard to say who is who here.

One of the Elizabeths appeared on the Culpeper personal property tax lists in 1811, 1812, 1813 and 1815. I think these are Elizabeth, widow of William (d 1777). Each time she was in Daniel Brown’s district taxed for one white male over 16 and one horse, except in 1815 when the white male was no longer there, or at least not with her. He may have been listed on his own.

She wasn’t listed in 1816 in Culpeper, but was back for the 1817 tax list. She wasn’t listed on the tax lists there 1818, 1819 or 1820.

An Elizabeth is listed on the 1820 census in Culpeper. I don’t know if it’s William’s widow or not. As in 1810, the listing was roughly alphabetical, so I can’t analyze neighbors for her approximate location. I think this is Elizabeth, widow of William d 1777.

1820 Census, Culpeper Co., VA p. 231, Elizabeth Hensley age 45+ (before 1775)


Age and Approximate Birth Range 

Who each person *might* be

1m 26-44 (1775/1794)

Leftage Lillard (c1792), son

2m 16-25 (1794/1804)

1-Hedgeman Lillard (c1796), son

2-Oliver Lillard (c1803), son

1m 16-17 (1802/1804*

* Should also be in above column.

1f 45 and up (before 1775)

Elizabeth (—) Hensley 

1f 16-25 (1794/1804)


1f 0-9 (1810/1820)


On 19 Jun 1821, Benjamin Lillard Senr of Madison and Elizabeth Hensley of Culpeper made a deed together to Leftage Lillard for $100 for 10 ½ acres partly in Culpeper and partly in Madison. The deed was signed by Benjamin Lillard and Elizabeth Hensley. Witnesses were Augustin Bradley Junr, Polly Bradley, Oliver Lillard, Hedgman Lillard, Lewis Yowell and Armistead Layton. (Madison Co., VA Deed Book 7 pp 167-168).

Note that one of the witnesses, Polly, wife of Augustine Bradley Jr was Elizabeth and Benjamin’s daughter, Polly Hensley alias Polly Lillard.

On 6 Nov 1828, Benjamin Lillard made his Will and left everything to his daughter Rhoda Pulliam. The Will was proven on 25 Jun 1829 showing he had died by then. (Madison Co., VA Will Book 5, pp. 527-528).

I didn’t find Elizabeth Hensley on the 1830 census, though she is supposedly still alive then. I located all of her Lillard children except one (Nancy) in 1830, and Elizabeth does not seem to be living with any of them. If still living, she was probably with the missing daughter, Nancy.

In 1833 a new Rappahannock County was formed from a portion of Culpeper including where the Elizabeth Hensley was residing at the time.

I don’t know the source of the date, but Elizabeth, widow of William Hensley, died ca 1834 in Rappahannock Co., VA. I checked the 1833 and 1834 personal property tax lists there and she wasn’t listed on either.

Notes: I haven’t gone into the Benjamin Lillard family much as it isn’t of great interest to me since I’m not related to either him nor widow Elizabeth Hensley as far as is known. However, it seems like a fascinating family, at least in regards to Benjamin and Elizabeth.


William Hensley probably had numerous children. However, proving who they were is a difficult matter as I’ve found no direct evidence for any of them. It doesn’t help that so many early Culpeper records were lost during the Civil War.

First, some assumptions. If our estimation for William’s birth is correct at c1706, then he probably married the first time in the late 1720s thus he could have children born from the late 1720s onward to the 1760s if married more than once.

Secondly, let’s assume that his widow Elizabeth was not his first wife, thus the bulk of his children are probably from prior marriages. This is easily supported by Elizabeth’s second batch of children being born between 1786 and 1803. Thus, even if she was 50 by 1803, that puts her birth at ca 1753 at the earliest.

Since there are no primary records naming any of William’s children, such as a Will, Probate, etc., we have to make assumptions based on proximity, age and availability, in other words, Hensleys who fit, have some connection to Culpeper, but have no proven parentage, and who seem more likely than unlikely to belong here. That leaves plenty of room for mistakes, so keep that in mind.

There were two sets of Hensleys, some from Culpeper, some from Buckingham, who moved to Washington Co., VA around the same time and were closely associated with each other there. I believe that all of these are probably children and grandchildren of this William Hensley. I can’t prove that, but I think the circumstantial evidence is enough to outline a tentative list of children for him.

(1) William Hensley (c1730s-1807). This is my ancestor. He was in Buckingham Co., VA in the 1760's through 1790's, then he joined his proven sons Fielding and Larkin in Washington Co., VA ca 1797. I have no direct linkage between him and Culpeper County, but he and his proven children, and his unproven children do have numerous connections to the Hensleys of Culpeper. If this William is a son of William (1706-1777), then he was likely from the first marriage. William (1730s)’s children: Zachariah (c1752) (could be younger brother instead), Fielding (c1761)*, Agnes/Ankey (c1763), Larkin (c1765)*, Milly/Mildred (c1760s), William (c1765/70), Ichabod (c1780).

* Proven children. The rest were closely associated with William or with each other.

(2) Benjamin Hensley (c1730s-1788). This Benjamin died in Albemarle Co., VA. He was twice married, first to Elizabeth Landers, second to Susanna —. We have no direct linkage between him and William of Culpeper County, but some of his children wound up in Buckingham where William (c1730s), probable son of this William, had been, and DNA testing seems to show that this Benjamin and that William’s descendants are more closely related to each other than with other Hensleys in the DNA study thus far. This Benjamin also named one of his sons William. Benjamin’s children: Samuel (1750s), William (c1761), John (c1780).

(3) John Hensley (c1730s-aft 1770). This John was associated with Benjamin (d 1788) and Samuel and is last found in Albemarle in 1770 where Benjamin also was. I’ve seen no records of him in Culpeper though, but the record losses there may account for that.

(4) Samuel Hensley (c1740-c1791). This Samuel was probably the one listed on the 1756 militia list in Culpeper which provides a linkage to William. Descendants of Benjamin (d 1788) list him as having a brother named Samuel, so that fits too. This Samuel married Lilly Ann (or Lillian) and lived in Amherst in the early 1760s and Bedford Co., VA after that where he died ca 1791. I haven’t found any direct evidence linking Samuel to William other than them being in Culpeper at the same time. Samuel did name one of his sons William, as well as Benjamin.

The next batch of children are probably from a second spouse, or these could be grandchildren instead.

(5) Joseph Hensley (c1750). In 1769 Joseph Hensley witnessed a deed from John Seal to John Thomas in Culpeper. Those were both known neighbors of William Hensley. I believe you needed to be at least 16 to witness a deed, so this Joseph would be born ca 1753 or earlier. This has to be Joseph Hensley (1750) who was in Washington Co., VA by 1781. That Joseph named his eldest son William. He was also associated with the children of William (1730). If Joseph is a son of William (1706), he may be from a second marriage. It’s also possible he’s a son of William (1730s) instead. Joseph’s children: William, Elizabeth, Benjamin, Elijah, Lucy, Wesley, Susanna, Joseph and George.

(6) Ann Hensley (1757-c1855). I don’t know for sure that Ann is William’s daughter. She did live in the very same part of Culpeper, and she did name a son “William Hensley Taylor” so that says a lot!

Ann, also Anne and Anna, Hensley was born 15 Sep 1757, presumably in Culpeper. Her birth date is worked out from a statement she made on 18 Oct 1848 wherein she stated she turned 91 the 15th of September last. That works out to 15 Sep 1757. This was from Revolutionary War Pension file W6238 for her husband’s service.

Ann Hensley married William Taylor in Culpeper on 1 Jan 1780. This is from the pension application mentioned above. There is an affidavit from the Culpeper clerk stating they had a record of the marriage bond for William Taylor and Ann Hensley dated 30 Dec 1779. This statement was made in 1846, and of course that record is lost now along with many other early Culpeper records destroyed or stolen during the Civil War.

They lived in the part of Culpeper that became Madison County in 1793 and remained there until their deaths, him on 31 Mar 1841, her sometime after 12 Apr 1855.

They were listed on the 1810, 1820, 1830 and 1840 census in Madison Co., VA. Each list was alphabetical so there is no way to determine from those records if they lived near any other potential Hensley relatives. Ann, age 93, was on the 1850 census in Madison with her daughters Francis and Elizabeth. William Taylor was listed on the 1793-1796, 1798-1811 Personal Property tax lists in Madison Co., VA. He was probably listed after 1811 as well, but I didn’t look.

If William Hensley first married in the 1730s, then it seems more likely that Ann would be from a subsequent marriage instead of the first. Then again she is of an age where she could be William’s granddaughter just as easily as his daughter. If that is the case, then I really don’t know who her parents were. I tend to think she is a child of William himself, but of course I could be wrong.

Ann and her husband William Taylor named their children: Lucy Taylor, Early N. Taylor (probably for the Early family with whom they were associated, and perhaps related to), Elizabeth H. Taylor, Zachariah T. Taylor, William Hensley Taylor, Sarah Taylor and Frances P. Taylor. If Elizabeth’s middle name turns out to be Hensley, then that might be a clue as to what Ann’s mother’s name was.

(7) Robert Hensley (c1750/58). Robert was still in Culpeper in the early 1780s and associated with William’s widow Elizabeth, thus connecting them. He’s too old to be her son though, I think. He married Eleanor Covington in Culpeper ca 1780 then moved to Washington Co., VA where he was associated with the Buckingham and Culpeper Hensleys there (Joseph, Samuel, etc.). Robert’s children: Samuel C., Robert, Joseph, Leftridge, William and Eleanor.

(8) Agnes Hensley (c1763-aft 1850). Agnes witnessed a Will in Culpeper connected to Robert & Eleanor Hensley. She then moved to Washington Co., VA and was associated with several of the Hensleys there, both Culpeper and Buckingham ones. I don’t know for sure that she was a Hensley by birth, or if she was a young widow who never remarried.

Keep in mind that I can’t prove any of the above children as being William Hensley’s children. However, proximity, age and lack of other obvious options makes him the prime candidate to be the father of some, if not all of them. If you have evidence, or even suspicions, to the contrary for any of them, please do let me know.

It’s possible William (1706) had some children with his last wife Elizabeth. They would have been born between ca 1770 and 1777. I’ve found no likely suspects for any of them yet.

Elizabeth herself, with Benjamin Lillard, is the mother of these children, all born out of wedlock, but acknowledged by their father, thus the use of his last name:

           Mary “Polly” Hensley alias Lillard (1786-1879), married Augustine Bradley.

           Nancy Lillard, no further info.

           Patsy Lillard (c1790-aft 1850), married John Rider (or Reder).

           Absalom Lillard (c1791-aft 1850) married Fannie Hisle, 2nd, Nancy Holland.

           Leftage Lillard (c1792-after 1830), married Hetta Jenkins. Last found in 1830 Shenandoah Co., VA.

           Hedgeman Lillard (c1796-before 1830), married Patsy Bradley. She was on the 1830 census in Shenandoah.

           Rhoda Lillard (c1800-after 1870), married John Ranson Pulliam.

           Oliver Lillard (c1803-after 1830), last found in Shenandoah Co., VA in 1830.

Potential children of William (1706-1777), some of whom one might logically think belong to William, but who probably don’t, at least in my opinion.

William Hensley (c1753-aft 1800) of Culpeper Co., VA and Mercer Co., KY, married to a Miss Delaney in Culpeper before 1774. There is a “Dulaney” Mountain right across from Old Ragged Mountain in present day Madison. This William was in Culpeper in the 1780's through ‘89, then moved to KY by ca 1790. Due to the Culpeper and Delaney connection, one might assume this William has to be connected to William (1706-1777). However, I don’t think he was a Culpeper native. In Kentucky he was associated with Richardson Hensley, son of George formerly of Spotsylvania Co., VA. This William is probably part of that family.

William Hensley (c1743-1810). Appeared in Madison Co., VA in 1797 and was there through 1810. I think this William is a son of the other “old” William Hensley (c1690s-c1764) of Orange Co., VA, for this younger William (1743) was in Orange and Albemarle prior to moving into Madison. He was married to a Mary and they had quite a large family.

Family Group Sheets:

William Hensley and first wife,

William Hensley and second wife,

William Hensley and third wife, Elizabeth,

widow Elizabeth Hensley and her consort, Benjamin Lillard.

Revised: November 21, 2021

Copyright © 1996-2021 Marvin A. Grant, Jr. All Rights Reserved.

[Home] [What’s New?] [Books for Sale] [Christian] [Genealogy] [Search] [Support] [About] [Contact]