Marty and Karla Grant
William Hensley (c1753-1807) and Mary Delaney/Dulaney and Ann Griffin of Culpeper Co., VA and Fayette, Woodford, Mercer and Franklin Co., KY and White Co., IL
Special thanks to Laura Schreibman for data shared on this family.
I don’t know how I’m related to this William Hensley, but he’s certainly a cousin at least to my ancestor, William Hensley (c1730s-c1807).
As there were several William Hensleys in Virginia before 1800, you should refer to my analysis page on that subject.
William Hensley was born ca 1753. This is based on his oldest proven child’s birth of 1774 and assuming he was around 21 then. Of course he could have been a little older or younger.
I don’t know where he was born for certain, though somewhere in Virginia for sure.
I don’t know who William’s parents are. He was associated with Richardson Hensley in Kentucky, but they are not brothers though of similar age. They could be first cousins or more distantly related and just wound up near each other there for a brief period by coincidence. They definitely knew each other as at least one record proves.
William could be part of the William Hensley (c1706-1777) family of Culpeper. After all, he did live in Culpeper too and not very far from the older William. The natural assumption other researchers have made is that William (1753) is a son of William (d 1777). While this could be correct, I think, if they are closely related, that the older William is the grandfather of the younger William and not his father.
Of course that leaves the identity of William’s (1753) father unknown. He named his oldest son Benjamin, so perhaps that was his father’s name. If so, I don’t yet know which Benjamin as none ever show up in Culpeper records.
Going back to Richardson Hensley for a moment. We know William is not Richardson’s proven brother named William, because that William died in 1778 in the revolutionary war. (Thanks to Kyle Wear for sharing definitive proof that William d 1778 is indeed Richardson’s brother.) We also know that William (1753) is too old to be Richardson’s nephew and too young to be his uncle. How about 1st cousin? Richardson’s uncle Samuel Hensley (1700/10-1765) had two sons, James and John, born in the 1730s, whose own children have not been well documented. William could quite easily be a child of either of them, and thus Richardson’s first cousin. However, with no evidence to go on, I’m not ready to say that’s probably how he connects. The use of the name “Benjamin” as William’s oldest son suggests he isn’t part of the Samuel, Richardson, etc., branch of the family at all as that name just wasn’t used amongst them. Of course naming patterns aren’t an exact science.
William Hensley married Mary Delaney (alias Dulaney) before 1774. She was born ca 1750/60 per her age on the 1830 census. She may be a daughter of William Delaney who died in Culpeper ca 1787. William Hensley was administrator of that estate and also an heir, though whether William was Mary’s father or brother I don’t yet know. I am also a Delaney descendant myself, but haven’t researched this branch of the family yet.
There are some records relating to a William Hensley in the 1770s in what is now Kentucky, in association with Daniel Boone’s colony there. Others claim it is this same William Hensley. Is it? What are those records? (**** Find out more about this ****)
The first record we’ve found for him is from Nov 1781 when William Hensley was paid for 66 days of service for driving and collecting cattle in Culpeper Co., VA. (Abercrombie, Janice L. and Richard Slatter, Virginia Public Claims, 1992.)
William Hensley is listed on the 1782 personal property tax list in Culpeper. He is listed with one tithable above 21 (himself), three slaves (Solomon, Nick and Grain?), two horses and four cattle. He was in Henry Field Jr.’s district. This wasn’t the same district where the other Hensleys (William Hensley d 1777 family) lived.
William was listed on the 1783 personal property tax list in Culpeper in Henry Hill’s district. He had one white tithe over 21 (himself), none under 21 (but above 16), 3 slaves (not named this time), 1 horse and 5 cattle. The other Hensleys were in Benjamin Lillard’s district.
William Hensley is listed on the 1784 personal property tax list in Culpeper in Henry Hill’s district. He had one white tithe over 21 (himself), none under 21 (but above 16), 3 slaves (not named this time), 2 horses and 5 cattle. The other Hensleys were in Benjamin Lillard’s district.
William Hensley is listed on the 1785 personal property tax list in Culpeper in Henry Hill’s district. He had one white tithe over 21 (himself), none under 21 (but above 16), 2 slaves (not named this time), 2 horses and 5 cattle.
William Hensley is listed on the 1786 personal property tax list in Culpeper in Henry Hill’s district. He had one white tithe over 21 (himself), none under 21 (but above 16), 2 slaves (not named this time), 2 horses and 3 cattle.
William Hensley is listed on the 1787 personal property tax list in Culpeper now in Daniel Brown’s district (probably the same district as before, just with a new captain). He had one white tithe over 21 (himself), none under 21 (but above 16), 2 slaves (not named), 2 horses and 3 cattle.
In 1787 (date?) William Hensley was listed as administrator of the estate of William Delaney in Culpeper Co., VA. (Source? *****)
William Hensley is not listed on the 1788 personal property tax list in Culpeper, nor were any of the other Hensleys. I read the list twice to be sure. It wouldn’t be unusual for one of them to be missed, but two different sets of Hensleys in two different districts? Odd.
In 1789, the “other” Hensleys were back (Enoch Henslee et al) in Culpeper but William was not. There is a William listed, but he is with Enoch and is almost certainly Enoch’s son of the same name who was of age by this time. They used the “Henslee” spelling.
Therefore, this William (1753) had apparently left Culpeper county sometime after the 1787 tax list. His entry on that list was dated 1 May 1787.
I found him on the 1789 tax list in Fayette Co., VA (now KY). I’m sure it’s the same one because his brother-in-law Joseph Dulaney/Delaney was also listed there. William was in Bartlet Collins’ district, taxed for one tithable (himself), no slaves and 2 horses. His kinsmen Richardson and George Hensley were also in Fayette that year, but in a different district. I read the 1787 and 1788 tax lists for Fayette and didn’t find William there for either of those, though Richardson was there in 1787 and both he and George in 1788.
I didn’t find William on the 1790 tax list in Fayette. He’d probably moved to neighboring Mercer County by then. Unfortunately the 1790 tax list is lost for that county, as is 1791, 1792 and 1793. However, deed records show him as a resident of Woodford Co., KY during this period, yet he wasn’t on the tax lists there in the 1790s. Mercer and Woodford bordered, so perhaps he was living in both.
The 1790 census is lost for Kentucky, but William probably would have been listed in Mercer or Woodford that year.
On 6 Jul 1790, William Hensley of Woodford Co., VA (this was before Kentucky was formed), appointed his “trusty friend” William Delaney of Frederick Co., VA to be his attorney to settle the matter of 100 acres of land in Culpeper adjoining William Lucas on Devil’s Run. (Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
Devil’s Run is a stream that rises in Culpeper County near the Madison border, flows northerly into Hazel River. I don’t know how William Hensley obtained this land unless it was inherited from the Delaneys. This isn’t all that far from where William Hensley (d 1777) resided in what is now Madison Co., VA.
On 18 Oct 1790, William Dulaney, attorney for William Hensley, of Frederick Co., VA sold the above land to Thomas Brown. (Reference? Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
On 23 Aug 1791, the Woodford Co., KY court ordered Joseph Anderson to pay William Hensley 73 lbs of tobacco for one day attendance at court and for riding 24 miles as a witness in a court case. (Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
In May 1792, the Woodford Co., KY court ordered (who?) To pay William Hensley 179 lbs of tobacco for three days attendance for riding 52 miles, etc. as a witness in court case. (Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
In Jan 1793 in Mercer Co., KY court, William Hensley sued John Lightfoot for non payment against the estate of William Delaney, deceased. (Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
On 2 Oct 1793, Patrick Doran and wife Elizabeth, made a deed to William Hensley, all of Mercer Co., KY for 110 pounds for part of 566 and 500 acres in a “bent of the Kentucky River opposite the mouth of Clear Creek” adjoining Joseph Delaney’s line, containing 177 acres. (Mercer Co., KY Deed Book 2, pp 94-98 shared by Laura Schreibman).
On the same date (2 Oct 1793), the Dorans sold Richardson Hensley 173 acres adjoining Dorans line and William Barrows line for 97 pounds, 17 shillings. (Mercer Co., KY Deed Book 2, pp 94-98 shared by Laura Schreibman).
The two deeds above associate William and Richardson Hensley with each other, though it could be argued it was a coincidence the Dorans sold both of them land on the same day, but I think not.
In a book by Donald Hart (Title?) It is stated: “Richardson and William, and William's brother in law, Joseph Delaney had just purchased land on a bend of the Kentucky river opposite Clear Creek, where they built their homes and constructed a ferry boat which they operated for several years.” (Shared by Laura Schreibman.) **** Find out what this book is and when published. *****
William Hensley is listed on the 1794 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in Gabriel Slaughter’s district. He is taxed for one tithable, one horse and 10 cattle. Richardson Hensley and James Hensley are also listed in the same district. William has 177 acres.
William Hensley is listed on the 1795 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in Gabriel Slaughter’s district. He is taxed for one tithable, one horse and 11 cattle. He has 147 acres. He was now the only Hensley in the county.
On 31 Mar 1795 James Baker sued William Hensley and Benjamin Wilson for building him a poorly made boat to carry goods to New Orleans. The boat sank in the Ohio River causing him to lose all his cargo. (Shared by Laura Schreibman.)
William Hensley is listed on the 1796 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in Gabriel Slaughter’s district. He is taxed for one tithable, 2 horses and 17 cattle. He now has 157 acres of land as well as 1,103 acres in Green Co., KY on Logan (River?), originally entered by Michael Snider.
William Hensley is listed on the 1797 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in James Slaughter’s district. He is taxed for one tithable and 3 horses and 157 acres, no location.
The 1798 tax list is missing, as it is for much of Kentucky.
William Hensley is listed on the 1799 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in William Gaines’ district. He is taxed for one tithable over 21, and one between 16 and 21, 4 horses and 206 acres, no description.
On 20 Apr 1800, William Hensley and wife Mary, and Joseph Delany and wife Nancy, all of Mercer Co., KY, sold to George Reed of Nelson Co., KY, for 247 lbs, a parcel of land in Mercer near the Kentucky River opposite Delaney’s Ferry containing 219 acres. (Mercer Co., KY Deed Book 4, pp 143-145, shared by Laura Schreibman.)
He is not listed on the 1800 or 1801 tax lists in Mercer.
The 1800 census is lost for Kentucky but he would have been in either Mercer or neighboring Franklin then.
On 4 Apr 1801 the Franklin Co., KY court ordered that William Hensley be appointed surveyor of the road from McQuedy? to the south fork of Benson on the Shelby Road in room of Thomas Berryman and to take charge of the hands allocated to said Berryman. (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book B, p. 140.)
William Hensley is “back” for the 1802 tax list in Mercer Co., KY in James Slaughter’s district, taxed for one tithable over 21 (himself), one between 16 and 21 (a son, presumably), and 1 horse. He also had 150 acres in Franklin County on “Biggbenson.” Franklin bordered Mercer to the north. It is noteworthy that the 1800 tax list for Franklin is missing. Perhaps William was living there then.
William Hensley is listed on the 1803 tax list in Mercer Co., KY taxed for one tithable over 21 (himself), and 1 horse. He has no land listed.
It would seem that Mary Delaney Hensley died* between 1800 and 1804, for on 13 Jan 1804, William Hensley obtained a marriage bond in Mercer Co., KY to marry Ann Griffin. Lanty (or Lantz) Armstrong was the bondsman.
* Did she die though? See below for more on who I originally thought was Mary who outlived William by several years.
William Hensley is listed on the 1804 tax list in Mercer Co., KY taxed for 170 acres in Franklin Co., KY on Benson (Creek? River?). There are no tithables listed, so perhaps he wasn’t a resident of the county.
William Hensley “Snr” is listed on the 1805 tax list in Franklin Co., KY as was his son William “Jun.” William Sr had 150a in Gallatin Co., KY on South Benson, also 47a in Gallatin Co., KY on Salt River.
William Hensley “Senr” is listed on the 1806 tax list in Franklin Co., KY as was his son William “Jun.” William Sr had 197a in Franklin Co., KY on Benson.
William Hensley “Sen” is listed on the 1807 tax list in Franklin Co., KY as was his son William “Jun.” William Sr had 75a on Benson, and 47a on South River.
On 20 Apr 1807 William Hensley claimed one days attendance in court as a witness. (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 90).
On 18 May 1807, William Hensley asked the court to bind William Parker, orphan, to him for nine years and seven months to learn the “mistery” of Carpenter & House Joiner trade. (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 93).
On 15 Jun 1807, William Hensley and others claimed one days attendance in a court case. (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 98).
William Hensley was dead by 18 Jan 1808, for on that date, “On the motion of Wm Hensley ordered that administration be granted him on the estate of Wm Hensley decd, he entering into bond with John Arnold Junr and Wm Constantine his security in the penal sum of $800 ...” (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 136).
Apparently William died without a Will since an administrator had to be appointed.
Only one William Hensley is listed on the 1808 tax list in Franklin Co., KY. That was certainly William D. Hensley.
On 17 Apr 1809, “On the motion of Ann Hensley, widow of Wm Hensley, deceased, it is ordered that Robert Blackwell, Thomas Prather, Walter Kennedy and James Lester? Or any three of them, be appointed commissioners to settle with the administrator of the said deceased and lay off her dower and make report thereof next court.” (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 236).
On 15 May 1809, “On the motion of William D. Hensley, administrator of the estate of William Hensley, deceased, ordered that James Slate, Alexander Wilson, David Wilcox, Elisha Yeargood, John Butler or any three of them be appointed commissioners to settle with the administrator of the said deceased and to lay off her dower and make report thereof to the next court. (Franklin Co., KY Court Order Book D, p. 241).
I didn’t find any mention of the above case in the next court, though William Hensley was mentioned, but as part of a road order.
The 1804 marriage to Ann, and her being his widow in 1808, strongly suggests that William’s first wife Mary Delaney had died before 1804. However, before finding those two records regarding Ann, I thought that Mary Delaney Hensley outlived William by a number of years. That is because a Polly (a nickname for Mary) Hensley born in the 1750s went with his sons William and Samuel and daughter Hannah into White Co., IL and was near them there on the census records. If she isn’t his widow, then who is she? An unmarried sister? A widowed sister-in-law? Or is it Mary Delaney, and she didn’t actually die, but was divorced from William?
I don’t know the answer. Maybe there are divorce records somewhere, or something that explains what happened here and who Polly Hensley is, if not William’s first wife.
Mary, whoever she was, apparently went with some of William’s children to White Co., IL. She is listed there on the 1820 state census as “Polly Hencely.” Her household contained no white males over 21, and only one white total, which was herself apparently.
She is still there for the 1830 census. William’s son Samuel is a few houses away. William’s son William is in the same county but not as close by.
1830 Census, White Co., IL, p. 21, Polly Hencely age 70-79 (1750/1760)
Age and Approximate Birth Range
Who each person *might* be
1m 20-29 (1800/1810)
1f 70-79 (1750/1760)
Mary Delaney Hensley (1750/60) wd/o William
I didn’t find her in 1840, so probably dead by then.
What happened to Ann Griffin Hensley, William’s second wife? She was alive in 1809 apparently. I’ve found an online tree that shows this Ann as having remarried a Mr. Turner and winding up in Ohio. She’s listed as 79 on the 1850 census, or born ca 1770/71, in Pennsylvania. She is apparently the mother of Julianne Hensley (c1808 KY) who married Jared Irwin in 1838 in Brown Co., OH. Julianne was residing with Ann in 1850. This does all work. The same tree also lists an Archibald Peter Hensley (1806-1876) as a child of Ann and William Hensley. That could be for the birth date works. He was also in Brown Co., OH in 1850, but listed as born in OH. That could be an error. If he was William’s son, he would almost certainly have been born in KY.
William and Mary Delaney Hensley probably had numerous children, but only two are proven, a daughter Permelia and a daughter Hannah, both proven by their marriage records. It’s quite likely William and Mary are the parents of William D. Hensley, for it does look like William D. wound up with Sr.’s land, which does prove parentage. A Samuel Hensley appears in Franklin on the 1813 tax list, so he could also be a son. William and Samuel, with their mother, moved to White Co., IL together, so that’s further proof. There is also a Benjamin Hensley in Franklin Co., KY who also had land on Benson where the Williams lived. Is he another son? He remained in KY when the others moved to IL. An Elizabeth Hansley married Stephen Grimes in Mercer Co., KY in 1795. She is probably also a child of William and Mary.
William and his second wife Ann Griffin apparently had two children as noted earlier. I don’t yet know for certain that this is the same Ann though, so I’m not going to include them just yet.
On 27 Jul 1796 Leonard Sea(y) obtained a marriage bond in Mercer Co., KY to marry Permelia Hensley. Her father William Hensley gave his consent. However, at age 22 she didn’t actually need his consent, but fortunately he gave it, thus providing us proof he was indeed her father.
They lived in Mercer, in Franklin, back to Mercer, then finally to Washington Co., KY where he died in 1842, and she in 1858. They are buried at the Sea Cemetery in that county each with nice markers.
Elizabeth Hensley was born 8 Feb 1777 (source?) possibly in Culpeper Co., VA. I don’t know if there is any direct proof that she’s William Hensley’s daughter. However, when she married in Mercer Co., KY in 1795 he was the only Hensley still there as far as I know, Richardson and George having moved by then.
On 16 Dec 1795 Stephen Grimes obtained a marriage bond to marry Elizabeth Hansley in Mercer. Eliab Delaney was bondsman. He must be related to Elizabeth Hensley’s mother Mary Delaney Hensley. Some have misinterpreted his name as Elizabeth (abbreviated), but that’s not correct. Eliab was his name. It’s from the Bible.
No parental consent was included for the marriage, though Elizabeth Hensley would have only been 18 at the time if her 1777 birth date is accurate.
I’ve found several online trees that list Stephen Grimes as born 26 May 1767 in Virginia, and dying Sep 1847 in Kentucky, no source citations of course.
Stephen Grimes was listed on the 1795 tax list in Mercer in the same district with the Hensleys and Delaneys. His entry was dated 17 Mar 1795. He had one white tithable, two slaves and one horse. I don’t know if this is the same Stephen who married Elizabeth Hensley later that year.
According to various online trees (without documentation of course) Elizabeth Hensley Grimes died on 6 Aug 1818. I’m not sure where that would have taken place, though presumably in Kentucky somewhere.
More research is needed on this family.
Benjamin Hensley was born 26 Nov 1780 (source?) in Virginia, possibly Culpeper Co., VA. I have yet to see any real proof he was William’s son, however an early biography does mention that he had his schooling as a youth in Frankfort, Franklin Co., KY. William Hensley was the only Hensley in that county at the time old enough to be Benjamin’s father, so that does make it likely, but doesn’t actually prove the connection. He could just have easily been sent to Frankfort for schooling from a nearby county.
Benjamin Hensley married Prudence Culber(t)son in neighboring Scott Co., KY on 24 Jul 1810.
This is probably the same Benjamin Hensley that Kyle Wear found in St. Louis, MO court records 1810-1813 relating to goods being shipped down river.
He was listed on the tax lists in Franklin Co., KY in 1810, 1813 and 1814, and on the 1820 and 1830 census.
By 1840 he had moved to Jeffersonville, Clark Co., IN where he apparently ran a prison for a time, which proved unprofitable, so he returned to KY where he died in 1849.
Prudence outlived him by quite a few years, dying in 1878. She’s buried at the Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Franklin Co., KY. I don’t know where Benjamin is buried.
They had 12 children including several sons who became doctors.
William D. Hensley was born ca 1783/84 per his age on the 1850 census (66). He was born in Virginia, probably Culpeper Co., VA. I would strongly suspect his middle name is Delaney or Dulaney after his mother’s family, but I don’t know that for certain.
William D. Hensley obtained a marriage bond in Franklin Co., Ky on 21 Oct 1804 to marry Elizabeth Wilson. Her mother, also named Elizabeth Wilson, gave her consent. This suggests the father was dead by then or otherwise unavailable. John Milam was the bondsman.
William is listed on the 1805 through 1813 tax lists in Franklin Co., KY. He is also listed on the 1810 census in Franklin, the only Hensley there that year.
William D. Hensley was a soldier in the War of 1812, in 1st Rifle Regiment (Allen’s) Kentucky volunteers as a private. He was also in the 9th Regiment (Simrall’s) mounted as a sergeant and 17th Regiment (Francesco’s) Militia as a private.
He went to White Co., IL at some point prior to 1830. His mother (or whoever Polly Hensley was) and brother Samuel were there as early as 1820, but he himself wasn’t listed there on the 1820 state census unless I overlooked his entry somehow.
He was in neighboring Hamilton Co., IL for the 1840 census, and back to White for the 1850 census. On that one he was next door to his sister Hannah Oneal.
William D. Hensley died sometime between 1850 and 1860, either in White Co., IL or in Marion Co., IA (or somewhere in between), where his widow Elizabeth was found on the 1860 census.
On 6 Nov 1806, in Franklin Co., KY, Stephen Oneal obtained a marriage bond to marry Hannah Hensley. John Lillard* was bondsman. On the same date, William Hensley, her father, gave his consent to the marriage thus proving she is his daughter.
*John Lillard may also from Culpeper Co., VA as there were many Lillard’s there in the 1700s and early 1800s, including a Benjamin Lillard who was associated with some of the other Hensleys.
The Oneals moved to Union Co., KY and lived there a number of years, joining the others in White Co., IL in the 1830s. Stephen was last found on the 1840 census there. Hannah Oneal, then widowed, was listed on the 1850 census in White Co., IL next to her brother William D. Hensley.
Samuel Hensley was born in the 1790s, either in Woodford or Mercer Co., KY. He isn’t a proven child of William as far as I can tell. However, he was in the same place with him in Mercer, and also went to White Co., IL when other members of the family did.
Samuel married Rachel — sometime before 1820. She was born ca 1783/84 in South Carolina, both per her entry on the 1850 census.
I’ve seen her listed online as Rachel Satterfield McGhee, but I don’t yet know what the evidence is for her maiden name. I also don’t know if the dual names means Satterfield is her maiden name and McGhee the name of a prior husband, or if that’s just her middle and last names.
They are on the 1820 state census in White Co., IL, still there for the federal censuses of 1830 and 1840.
They made a deed there in 1841, and that is the last record I have for Samuel. He was dead before 1850. Rachel was listed in White Co., IL on that census.
Revised: November 29, 2021