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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) Gu. a tree growing out of the base or. Crest—A beech tree ppr.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Hensley Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Hensley Surname Name Meaning, Origin, Etymology, & History
This popular Anglo-Saxon last name developed as a habitational name denoting a person who was from either of two places in Devon, England: a) Hensley in East Worlington, derived from the Old English personal name Heamun, with the terminating leah, meaning “woodland clearing” or b) Hensleigh in Tiverton, derived from the Old English word hengest, meaning “stallion”, with the terminating leah. It was associated with a village submanor called Hensleigh. A second theory is that the name is a smelling variant of the surname Hemsley (a name with a similar etymology, a habitational name for a person from two places in North Yorkshire called Helmsey, one near Rievaulx Abbey and one named Upper Helmsley). A third theory is that Hensley is an English surname denoting a person who lived by wild birds, or a person who dwelled in woods populated by moorhens.

The family lived in the Seele Manor called Hensleigh House. Welto De Hensleigh was master of the house in 1350 AD. The name was first recorded in England as Hengstege in 1228 AD, Henxeleg in 1270 AD, and Hensleigh in 1350 AD.

The book The Hensleigh Family of Webmury, published in 1991 asserts the name came from France to Cornwall, England and Devonshire, England. The book states “Edward Hensleigh (1630-1684) is the first verifiable ancestor of the Hensleigh family. He was born in Wembury, County Cornwall which is along the border County Devon. He married Elizabeth Pennye and they were the parents of at least three children. The Hensleigh family married into the Prideaux family in the early 1800s. John Hensleigh (1829-1899) appears to have been the first Hensleigh to come to America”.

Last Name Spelling Variants
Spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Hensly, Hinsley, Hennsley, Henesley, Henseley, Hinsly, Henslie, Hensleigh, Henslee, and Henslea.

Distribution
The last name Hensley ranks 618th popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following four states: Kentucky (91st), Tennessee (120th), West Virginia (189th), and Indiana (231st).

The surname Hensley frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (13,423rd), Scotland (28,735th), Wales (25,982nd), and Ireland (29,687th). In England, it ranks highest in county Norfolk. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Aberdeenshire.

The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world:  Canada (33,015th), New Zealand (7,088th), Australia (5,907th), and South Africa (29,540th).

Hensley Family Tree & Hensley Genealogy

Hensley from Hensley, Norfolk, England
John Henslee was born in England between 1433-1493 AD. He married Margaret, daughter of Richard Chirchester and Margaret Keynes, and a son named Edward I. Edward Hensley I was born in Norfolk, England c. 1510 AD. He married Margaret Hewyshe, and had a son with her named Edward II. Edward Hensley II was born in Hensley, Norfolk, England c. 1530 AD. He married Elizabeth Maynor and had a son with her, also named Edward. This son Edward III was born in England c. 1563. He has a son named William. William Hensley was born in Hensley, Norfolk, England in 1583. In 1604, he married Mary Elliot in Devon. He had the following issue: James, Patrick, John, Robert, and William. He came to colonial America, where he passed away in the Colony of Virginia in 1654. One of his sons, James Hensley was born in Tiverton, Devon, England in 1605. In 1621, he married Sarah Lyttle in Virginia, and had three sons with her as follows: John, Robert, and James II. His three sons are discussed as follows:
1) John Hensley was born in Northampton, Virginia c. 1635.  He married Mary Louise Essix and had a son with her named Samuel Thomas Hensley. Samuel T. was born in 1683. He married twice: Mary Richardson and Elizabeth Waller. He had the following issue: Samuel Thomas, Joseph, Edward, William, Minney, and George.
2) Robert Hensley was born in Northampton, Virginia c. 1638. He had a son Samuel Thomas Hensley as well. Samuel was born in St. George Parish, Spotsylvania County, Virginia in 1664. He married a woman named Elizabeth.
3) James Hensley II was born in Northampton, Virginia c. 1642. In 1682, he married Susanna Newcomb and had the following issue with her: Susanna, Elizabeth, William, Whitman, Benjamin, Henrico, and William. His son William was born in 1700 and had a son named Mackfield Henslee. His other son, Benjamin Henrico Hensley, was born in Orange County, VA in 1694. In 1730, he married Martha Ann Ellis, and had the following issue with her: John Samuel, Charles, William Samuel, Whitman, Benjamin Ellis, Molly, Martha Ann, Robert Ellis, Hickman, John, Larkin, Lewis, and Henry Harry

Marriages of Hensleys
1) William Hinsley married Mary Simpson in Birmingham, Warwickshire, England in May 1742
2) John Hensley married Elizabeth Powell in Swansea, St. Mary, Glamorganshire, Wales in July 1768
3) Neally Hensley married George Nicholas in Guilford, North Carolina in March 1774
4) Samuel Hinsley married Ann Swan in Cheshire, England in May 1793

Early American and New World Settlers
Some of the earliest settlers in colonial America bearing this name include:
1) Robert Hensley came to Virginia in 1654
2) William Hinsly came to Virginia in 1675
3) John Hensley came in 1685
4) Edmund Hensley came to Maryland came in 1698
5) Thomas Hinsley came to Maryland in 1714
6) Jochaim Hensly came to Philadelphia in 1739
7) Benjamin Hensly came to Maryland in 1755
8) William Hensley, age 18, came to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1783

Several thousand members of the Hensley family came to the United States through Ellis Island, during the nineteenth century, including:
1) Harry Hensley came aboard the New York in 1893
2) Ann Hensley came from Ireland aboard the La Grange in 1846
3) Margaret Hensley came from Great Britain aboard the Devonshire in 1846
4) Richard Hensley came from Montreal aboard the Oceana in 1910
5) John Hensley came from Ireland aboard the Umbria in 1886
6) Elizabeth Hensley came from England aboard the Adriatic in 1885
7) Mary Hensley came from Ireland aboard the State of Indiana in 1875
8) Walter Hensley came from England aboard the Cornwall in 1874
9) Emanuel Henlsey came from England aboard the American Union in 1869
10) Henry Hensley came from England aboard the City of London in 1868
11) Arthur George came from London, England aboard the Imperator in 1914
12) Alenon Hensley came from Oxford, England

Some of the earliest settlers in Canada bearing this name include:
1) A Lieutenant (first name not known) Hensley came to Prince Edward Island in 1841 with his wife and ten children, one of whom was named Joseph
2) R. Hensley came to Prince Edward Island in 1850
3) Henry Hinsley, age 55, came to Ontario in 1871
4) Thomas Hinsley, age 70, came to Ontario in 1871
5) Joseph Hensly, age 66, came to Prince Edward Island in 1891

Some of the earliest settlers in Australia bearing this name include:
1) Charles and John Hensley came to Glenelg Roads aboard the Pestonjee Bomanjee in 1838
2) Charles Hensley, age 23, came to Victoria in 1855
3) Joseph Hensley, age 7, came to Victoria in 1855
4) George Hensley, age 13, came to Victoria in 1855
5) Robert Hensley, age 29, came to Victoria in 1858
6) John W. Hinsley, age 18, came to Victoria in 1880
7) Francis Hensley, age 22, came to Melbourne aboard the Sultana in 1854
8) Patrick Hensley, of Irish and/or Scottish heritage, age 41, came to Melbourne aboard the Boomerang in 1854

Some of the earliest settlers in New Zealand bearing this name include:
1) Charles Hensley of Worcestershire, England, a bricklayer by trade, came to Canterbury aboard the Wiltshire in 1877, along with wife Elizabeth
2) Emanuel Hensley of Worcestershire, England, a stone mason by trade, came to Canterbury aboard the Waimate in 1875, along with Emily, Elizabeth, Oliver, Mary, Rose, Jane, Priscilla, and Christopher
3) Hy J. Hinsley of Staffordshire, England, a porter by trade, came to Wellington aboard the Strathnaver in 1874

Notables
There are hundreds of notable people with the Hensley surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include:
1) Virginia Patterson Hensley (1932-1963), better known as Patsy Cline, was an American country singer who performed during the 1950s and 1960s, known for hits such as “Walkin’ After Midnight”, “I Fall to Pieces”, and “She’s Got You”, born in Winchester, Virginia
2) Clay Allen Hensley (1979) was a professional baseball pitcher who played for three teams in the MLB between 2005- 2018 (San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, and San Francisco Giants), born in Pearland, Texas
3) Richard Earl “Dick” Hensley (1927-2015) was a football player in the NFL from 1949-1953, having played for the New York Giants, Pittsburg Steelers, and Chicago Bears, born in Williamson, West Virginia
4) George Went Hensley (1881-1955) was an American Pentecostal minister,  born in Scott County, Virginia, who was known for popularizing the practice of snake handling
4) Joseph Hensley (1824-1894) who was the Premier of Price Edward Island, Canada in 1869 and ten went on to serve as an Associate Justice on the province’s Supreme Court for around 25 years
5) Joseph Louis “Joe” Hensley (1926-2007) was a lawyer, prosecutor, circuit court judge, and member of the Indiana General Assembly, born in Bloomington, Indiana
6) James Hensley (1945) is a former NASCAR driver, born in Hosepasture, Virginia, whose career spanned from 1972 to 2004, best known for being Rookie of the Year in 1992
7) Shuler Paul Hensley (1967) is an American singer and actor who was born in Atlanta, Georgia
8) Kenneth William David Hensley (1945) was an English singer-songwriter, musician, and producer, best known for his work with Uriah Heep in the 1970s, born in Plumstead, London, England
9) Cindy Lou Hensley McCain (1954) is the wife of former US Senator and Vietnam War hero John McCain, born in Phoenix, the daughter of James Hensley, an American businessman in the beer industry.

Grantees
1) HENSLEY, Richard, Capt. of the Pioneers at the siege of Kinsale in Munster against the invading Spaniards and rebellious Irish. Dublin, 25 April 1602, by Dan. Molyneux, Ulster K. of A. Harl. MS. 1441, fo. 9; Nichols’ Leic., 4th pt., 272, copy of grant in Brit. Mus.

Hensley America Civil War Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Hensley who served in the American Civil War, including the following:
1) Aaron Hensley, 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, Confederate
2) Allen Hensley, 16th Battalion, Tennessee Cavalry (Neal’s), Confederate
3) Armistead Hensley, 64th Regiment, North Carolina Infantry (Allen’s), Confederate
4) Benjamin Hensley, 34th Regiment, Virginia Infantry, Confederate
5) Byrd Hensley, 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry, Confederate
6) Covington Hensley, 3rd Battalion, Kentucky Mounted Rifles, Confederate
7) Bachus S. Hensley, 29th Regiment, North Carolina, Infantry, Confederate
8) Adoninam Hensley, 7th Regiment, Kentucky Infantry, Union
9) Ambrose Hensley, 8th Regiment, Missouri Cavalry, Union
10) Anderson Hensley, Ahl’s Battery, Delaware Heavy Artillery, Union
11) Christopher Hensley, 2nd Regiment, Illinois Light Artillery, Union, Illinois
12) Daniel P. Hensley, 38th Regiment, Iowa Infantry, Union, Iowa
13) Ashford L. Hensley, 178th Regiment, Ohio Infantry, Union
14) Barnett Hensley, 15th Regiment, US Reserve Corps, Missouri Home Guard, Union, Missouri

Hensley America Revolution Veterans
There were several soldiers with the last name Hensley who served in the Revolutionary War, including the following:
1) Corporal Lewis Hensley of Virginia
2) Private William Hensley of Virginia
3) Private Benjamin Hensley of Virginia
4) Private Lawrence Hensley of Virginia
5) Private Roger Hensley of Maryland
6) Private Alexander McHensley of Virginia
7) Private Charles Hensly of Virginia
8) Morgan Hinsley of Maryland
9) Lieutenant Daniel Hinsley of Massachusetts

Hensley Coat of Arms Meaning

See glossary for symbol meaning.

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