An American Family History


Hensley Families
in Washington County, Virginia

  also spelled Hansley, Hensly, Heansley  
Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.

Essex County was established in 1692 from the old Rappahannock County, Virginia 

The first European settlement in Orange County, Virginia was in 1714 and the county was officialy formed in 1734 with no western border. In 1738 the western part became Augusta County.

Samuel Hensley 

His sons with his first wife were:

William Hensley
Joseph Hensley
Edward Hensley

His sons with his second wife, Elizabeth were:

Samuel Hensley
James Hensley
George Hensley

On June 8, 1721 Samuel Hensley, William Mumford and Anthony Seale, Jr. appraised the estate of William Berry in King George County, Virginia.

King George County was was formed from Westmoreland and Richmond Counties in 1721.

On November 17, 1724, Samuel of St. Mary's Parish was charged by the court in Essex County, Virginia with not cutting up his tobacco according to the law. Essex County bordered King George at that time with the Rappahannock River as the border between them.

On February 17, 1724/1725, King vs. Samuel Hensly in the Essex County Court was dismissed. The case concerned a debt.

By 1728, Samuel, was in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Spotsylvania bordered Essex until the formation of Caroline County in 1728.

On August 7, 1728, in Spotsylvania County Court, Samuel Hensley sued the estate of Isaac Johnson for a debt.

On May 6, 1729 Samuel Hensley was appointed overseer of a road in Spotsylvania County.

On July 7, 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.

Samuel lived in the part of Spotsylvania County that became Orange County in 1734.

Samuel Hensley made his will on Feburary 28, 1731/1732. He referred to himself as Samuel Hansley of King George County and Hanover Parish. He said whereas

my sons by my former wife are grown to years capable of getting their own living and considering by estate to be barely sufficient for the raising of my younger children

it was his desire that his sons William, Joseph and Edward be content with one shilling each. 

His wife, Elizabeth, received his plantation in Spotsylvania during her life, and afterwards it was to go to his sons James and George. He his gave his son, Samuel, a heifer. He named his wife, Elizabeth, as executrix. Samuel signed with a mark. The will was witnessed by Joseph Berry, and Thomas Suttle.

Orange County was formed in 1734 from the western portion of Spotsylvania County so his will was proved in Orange County. Elizabeth along with William Bohannon and Abraham Bledsoe made an Administration Bond on 2 Feb 1735.

On February 17, 1735/36, Andrew Harrison, James Cox, Henry Held and Isaac Bledsoe appraised the estate of Samuel Hensley in Orange County, Virginia.

American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

 Spotsylvania County, Virginia was established in 1721 from parts of Essex, King and Queen, and King William counties. In 1734 Orange County was created from part of Spotsylvania.

The Holston River flows from Kingsport to Knoxville.
map by Kmusser
Joseph Hensley was born about 1750.

His wife was named Jane.

Elizabeth Hensley (married John Fleenor).

Joseph Hensley served as an orderly sergeant in Captain White's Company under Colonel William Davis, in the second regiment of Virginia.

On April 17, 1780, Joseph was at the estate sale of Christopher Dicken in Culpeper County.

On November 28, 1781 a treasury warrant was issued to William Hensley, assignee of Joseph Hensley, for 274 acres in Washington County, Virginia. The land was surveyed on March 25, 1791. The land was on Cove Creek a branch of North Fork of the Holston River.

Joseph was listed on the tax lists in Washington County from 1782 through 1790.

The Great Wagon Road was the most important Colonial American route for settlers of the mountainous backcountry. It went from Philadelphia to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. One fork went to the Tennessee Valley and Knoxville and the other to the Piedmont Region of North Carolina.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

Samuel Hensley was born on August 19, 1754 in Culpeper County, Virginia.

Samuel married Ellinor Elliott.

Mary Hensley (1777, married William Benham),
Catherine Hensley (1778, married Gavin Head),
Simon Hensley (1785),
Thomas Hensley (1788),
Elizabeth Hensley (1790),
Isabella Hensley
Margaret Hensley.

In 1774, Samuel served in the Fincastle County Militia during Lord Dunmore's War.

Samuel died on February 13, 1841 in Washington County.


The Washington County Surveyors Record 1781-1797

Samuel Hensley
372 acres
Commissioners Certificate
in Rich valley on both sides of Walkers Mountain, on the waters of Cove Creek, a branch of the north fork of Holstein [Holston]River
Beginning on the east side of a ridge above a branch
in William Heads line
on the south side of Walkers Mountain
crossing a spring branch
near the top of the Mountain.
corner to Henry Spahrs land he now lives on
at the head of the Sinking Waters
October 18, 1782


Hensley, Samuel
14 May 1801
80 acres
Exchanged Warrant No. 960
dated 13 Dec 1799
both sides of Kiterons’s [Ketron’s] fork of Cove Creek [a south branch of the North Fork of the Holston River]
adj: said Hensley, Spahr & Robert Preston Jr., Hartsock

Assistant Washington County Surveyor: Elijah Gillenwaters
[Land now located in Scott County, VA.]


Samuel Hensley
400 acres
in the Rich Valley,
includes improvements, actual settlement made in 1776
154 ac surveyed on February 15, 1774
August 25, 1782.


Robert Hensley was probably born before 1759.

On June 19, 1780, Robert Hensley and Elizabeth Hensley bought things at John Berry's estate sale in Culpeper County, Virginia.

In December, 1780 Robert was paid for nine days of collecting cattle in Culpeper County.

Robert married Eleanor Covington about 1780 in Culpeper County. Her father was  William Covington. Their children probably included:

Samuel Hensley (1781),
Robert Hensley
Joseph Hensley (1784, married Lucy Covington),
Leftridge Hensley,
William Hensley (1790)
Eleanor Hensley (married Felix McBride).

Robert was listed on the 1782 and 1783 tax lists in Culpeper County.

On August 15, 1783, Robert was granted 122 acres on Beaver Creek, a branch of North Fork of Holston River.

On November 18, 1783 Robert bought things George Calvert's estate sale in Culpeper County.

In 1784 Robert was still on the tax list in Culpeper County.

Robert and family were probably in Washington County, Virginia by 1785 when he was on the tax list. That year he signed a petition by Washington County men requesting the formation of a new county.

In 1791 Robert had 280 acres surveyed on waters of Neels Creek, a branch of Beaver Creek at Elliots Corner and Alexander McDonald's line.

On May 12, 1793 Robert was named as the executor Alexander McDonald's estate in Washington County. The will was witnessed by Ephraim Smith, Alley [Alice] E. Smith, and Mary McDonald.

On September 17, 1793 Robert and Eleanor sold 41 acres in Culpeper County to John Strother. He sold him more land on October 17, 1793 Robert Hensley.

On May 9, 1794 Robert was granted 280 acres on Steels Creek.

On Septmber 1, 1794 Ephraim Smith sold Robert 100 1/4 of land in Sullivan County, Tennessee on the waters of Beaver Creek The deed was witnessed by Henry Harkelroad and Samuel C. Hensley.

On June 11, 1796 Robert became a lieutenant in the Washington County militia in Captain Walter Preston's Company, 2nd Battalion, 70th Regiment.

On May 14, 1798 Robert and Eleanor sold 280 acres on Steel Creek in Sullivan County to Daniel Steel of Sullivan County.

On October 18, 1798 Robert became a captain in the militia, in place of Walter Preston who was removed. He resigned on October 22, 1800.

On November 7, 1800 Robert was granted 122 acres on Beaver Creek

On July 7, 1801 Robert and Eleanor deeded property to Samuel Hensley of Washington County.

In 1801 Robert and Robert, Jr were listed in the Virginia militia in the 2nd Battalion.

On May 25, 1802 Robert sold 25 acres in Sullivan County to Michael Hickman.

On August 27, 1803 Robert sold 75 1/4 acres on Beaver Creek in Sullivan County to Fredrick Leonard.

On June 25, 1804 Samuel Hensley  of  Montgomery County, Kentucky gave power of attorney to "father" Robert Hensley of Washington County, Virginia.

  Ann Hensley was born in Culpeper County, Virginia in 1757. She married William Taylor.  
  Agnes Hensley (c1763-1850) (wife of William Godsey from Buckingham County  
  Milly Hensley (1760/65-aft 1850) (wife of William Cornett) from Buckingham County  
  Fielding Hensley (abt 1761-1833). He lived in Buckingham County before moving to Washington County

Nicholas Hensley was born about 1766.

Nicholas was listed on the Washington County, Virginia tax lists from 1788 through 1809.

On June 4, 1783 a treasury warrant was issued to Nicholas Hensley, and his assignee, Robert Preston, for 50 acres in Washington County. The land was on the north fork of Holston.

On September 24, 1793, Nicholas was paid for a month and 3 days as a private in the Washington County, Virginia. 

The 1798 list of militiamen for Washington County lists Nicholas Hensley in the 2nd Battalion, 70th Regiment.

The 1800 land tax list entry for Nicholas referred to 30 acres he bought from Lewis Pitts.

The 1804 list of militiamen listed Nicholas in 2nd Battalion, 105th Regiment.

On December 18, 1806, Nicholas was recommended as a lieutenant in the militia's, 2nd Battalion, 105th Regiment in place of Simon Hensley who refused to accept the position. On July 18, 1809 Nicholas was replaced by James Jettbecause he "failed for eight months to perform the duties of his office." 

On January 16, 1810 Nicholas sold some of his land to George Goff. It was on the Kentucky road near the three springs bordering Alexander McDonald's land. That day he also sold his land on Steels Creek to John Ringley and 55 acres to John Malone. Nicholas and Lewis Pitts sold the land on Steel Creek to Jacob Goodman.

That same day Nicholas bought land from Robert Preston and then 2 days later, Hensley and Robert sold land to George Whisenand.

Nicholas was listed on the 1810, 1820 and 1840 censuses of Woodford County, Kentucky. In 1820, Lewis Hensley was listed just a few households away.


Washington County, Virginia was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. It originally contained Sullivan County, Tennessee.









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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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