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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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The surname Hensley was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held a family seat at Furse in that shire.

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Hensley has been recorded under many different variations, including Hensley, Hensleigh, Henslie, Henslea, Ensley, Ensleigh, Ensly and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hensley research. Another 245 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1455, 1487, 1510, and 1600 are included under the topic Early Hensley History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Hensley Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Hensley or a variant listed above:

Hensley Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Jone Hensley who arrived in Virginia in 1702
  • Jone Hensley, who landed in Virginia in 1702
  • William Hensley who settled in Jamaica in 1774

Hensley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Samuel J Hensley, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • Thomas Hensley, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851

Hensley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Charles Hensley arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • John Hensley arrived in Glenelg Roads aboard the ship "Pestonjee Bomanjee" in 1838
  • William Hensley arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Gratitude" in 1848

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  • Jonathan L. "Jon" Hensley (1983-2015), American radio personality and artist manager
  • Jimmy Hensley (b. 1945), American former NASCAR driver
  • James Willis "Jim" Hensley (1920-2000), American businessman, founder of Hensley & Co. in 1955 which grew to be one of the largest Anheuser-Busch beer distributorships, father of Cindy Hensley McCain and the father-in-law of John McCain
  • George Went Hensley (1880-1955), American Pentecostal minister
  • Richard Earl "Dick" Hensley (b. 1927), former American football end who played from 1949 to 1953
  • Clayton Allen Hensley (b. 1979), American former professional baseball pitcher who played from 2005 to 2012
  • Pamela Hensley (b. 1950), American actress, best known for playing Princess Ardala in Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (1979-1981) and as C.J. Parsons in the television series Matt Houston (1982-1985)
  • John Carter Hensley (b. 1977), American actor, known for his roles in Peoples, Fifty Pills, Teeth, and Shutter
  • Walter Lewis Hensley (1871-1946), American Democrat politician, St. Francois County Prosecuting Attorney, 1898-1902; U.S. Representative from Missouri 13th District, 1911-19
  • William L. Hensley (b. 1941), American Democrat politician, Member of Alaska State House of Representatives, 1966; Member of Alaska State Senate, 1970; Member of Democratic National Committee from Alaska, 1984

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  • The Hensleigh (also Hensley) Family of Wembury: Thirty-Nine Generation, A Thousand Year History and Genealogy Follows the Family From France to Cornwall and Devonshire in England, and On to America and New Zealand by Edith Pease.
  • Hensley Family Records, and Allied Families of Other Spellings, Like Henley, Henlee, Hendly, etc., Revolutionary Period, War 1812, and Indian Wars. also Indian Land Chains by Annie Walker Burns.
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  1. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  4. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  9. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Hensley Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hensley Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 January 2016 at 18:51.

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