Monday, October 15, 2012

Hensley/Foster connections

My Hensley DNA Participant matches only one other male with surname Hensley.  The two matches have very interesting similarities. Both lines have as the earliest known ancestor a man named Solomon Hensley.  These are two separate Solomon Hensleys.  However they are found in the early 1800's in the same general area of Virginia.  My Solomon Hensley was married to Elizabeth.  This couple's son, Bird Hensley, says that he was born in Pittsylvania County, Virginia.  I have his birth date from census etc as circa 1810/11.  



The other participant represents a Hensley line that Alice Hensley researches.  Alice sent me the following information about the Solomon Hensley that she looks at:


..... our patriarch is Solomon G. Hensley (b. about 1810, perhaps in Franklin Co., VA).  He was last found in the 1870 Cave Spring, Roanoke Co., VA census.  Solomon's son John William was my husband's grandfather.  My husband's father was Malcolm Ford Hensley (1874-1924).  John William married Marinda Showalter and they lived in Shawsville, Montgomery Co., VA.  Solomon had two other sons--Charles C. and James O.  Both had male descendants.


As you can see from this map, a family living in Pittsylvania County (Pi) could have been next neighbors with families living in Franklin (Fra) and Henry(Hry) Counties in this time period.
Alice's Solomon is the age to have been a nephew of my Solomon if there was indeed a relationship between the two men with like names.  I think it even possible that my Solomon  would have been a brother to the father of Alice's Solomon and a that her Solomon is possibly a namesake of my Solomon.  This would mean that the likely birth incident would have been my Solomon's father or even an earlier generation.  My Solomon was born c. 1779.  That would mean that his father was most likely born in the mid 1700's.  So that would point to a likely scenario of birth incident pre-1760.

Much to my disappointment, my DNA participant did NOT match the large group of Hensley males who came from Albemarle County. My 2-gr-grandmother, Lucinda Hensley Sammons, told her granddaughter that her Hensleys were from Albemarle.....so I expected to match that group.  While we have a very small group of Hensley matches  our two participants match several men who carry last name of Foster.  That certainly points to a birth incident of some sort with a Foster male.  Of course, it is my hope that it will be a Hensley female who had illegitimate son with Foster male and never married him...then the son carried his mother's surname ...this would mean that I would not have to give up the Hensley research.

It is just as likely that the birth incident is an adoption or a female who was not Hensley but had son before she married a Hensley male and her son (illegitimate or by first marriage) took the name of his step father to make life simpler for the family.  Or that the son was adopted by a sister to the mother of the son who was married to  Hensley.....there are many possible scenarios.

I have been reviewing information that I copied from the Library of Virginia....it is Vestry records from Pittsylvania County, VA from the mid 1700's until the early 1800's.  I had actually copied the pages for my Salmons/Sammons and found that there is a Hensley living on Potter's Creek that runs into Pigg River in Pittsylvania in the late 1700's....there is also a payment to a Mark Foster in the same Vestry area who is paid for maintaining a decrepit child, a pensioner in the same record group....so there is a good possibility that there is a Hensley family and a Foster family living near one another.....I would guess that this is the most likely area for the birth incident or adoption to have taken place---or the families may have been neighbors in an earlier location but traveling together when they migrated to Pittsylvania county. Below is map showing Potter Creek running into Pigg River:


And the below is a map showing a less close up of this area with red dot on the same spot:


You can see how close this area in Pittsylvania is to Franklin County where many other of the Hensley families are found.


After a quick trip to Danville, Virginia, I was sorting through the small amount of clues that I have found that might have a Hensley/Foster connection.  So I will list misc clues below:

Alice had reminded me that there was another Solomon who would have been close to the same age as my Solomon Hensley:  >I tried to imagine that Solomon (Cabell) was the same Solomon who married Evah Hickman in 1800 in Franklin Co., VA, but realized that wouldn't be, since Solomon (Cabell) and Eliz. married in the late 1790's.<  So we have at least three Solomon Hensleys living in the same general area in the late 1700's and early 1800's.  

There must be some reason that there are THREE Solomon Hensleys in this area in the early 1800's.  

Also from Alice: > In Madison Co., NC, there were Foster and Hensley families that intermarried for years.  I believe that was where a Solomon Hensley was killed in a feud.  I know I have a paper account somewhere in my files.<  



 I copied information while in the Danville Library about Henry Hensley and descendents that says:  "Nancy Hensley, b. ca 1791, m. Jesse Lewis and lived in the Bull Creek and Foster's Creek area of what is now Madison Co., NC.  This Nancy Hensley is a daughter of Henry Hensley b. before 1755 and first appears with Capt. Benjamin Hensley, Benjamin Hensley Jr., James Hensley, Benjamin Hensley Sr. Hickman Hensley and Benjamin Hensley on the 1778 Henry County. Va tax list.

Madison County is very near Asheville, NC  It is the area outlined in pink below.


1 comment:

  1. Hi there. I am quite curious to know if you have found any further information about this connection. I am a Foster and am directly related to the Fosters from Pittsylvania County and still have relatives in the area. I am not sure that I am related to the specific person you have questions about as I have not gotten that far yet however I found your post very interesting. I actually have run into several road blocks regarding my line of Fosters therefore have a professional helping me out with them. I would be interested to know if you were able to find out more about your line though! I hope you did! If you would like to message me personally you can email me at Godsweetangel85@gmail.com

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