Early Settlers of
Their Descendants...Their Stories...Their Achievements
Lifting the Mists of History on Their Way of Life
By: Ethelene Dyer Jones
Family Name in Early Union County History
When the special census of 1834 was taken, only one Henson family appeared, that of Joseph Henson, Senior, with Joseph himself and his wife in the household.
Proceeding to the next census in 1840, three households of Hensons were in Union. In the Charles Henson household were two male children, three female children, and Charles and his wife. In the Joseph Henson household were eight male children, four female children and Joseph and his wife. In the Joseph Henson, Sr. household, the same as noted from 1834, the residents had increased to five male children, eight female children, and the mother and father. With such an increase in Joseph, Sr.’s household, we wonder how this accounting could have come about in just six years. Maybe the 1850 census will reveal some answers, or perhaps we can find other clues from family history stories that will add light to these early Henson settlers to the county.
By 1850, the first census with children in households listed by names rather than just an age bracket, we discover Hensons in eight enumerated households, with the number of persons by that name totaling thirty-three, but Daniel Henson, age 19, seems to have been counted twice, first with his own family, and again in the household of M. C. Wilson and his wife, Mary Wilson and their three small children, William, Martha and Eliza Wilson. (Could Daniel and Mary Wilson have been brother and sister and he was visiting them—or working on M. C. Wilson’s farm—when the census-taker called?). A listing, besides that of the Wilsons, in which Hensons were enumerated in 1850 was as follows:
(#65) Allen Henson, 56, and his wife, Elizabeth, 56, with children Edy, 18, Elizabeth, 14, Daniel, 19, and George, 21—all born in North Carolina. Allen Henson’s occupation was listed as cooper—or barrel-maker.
(#466) Archibald Henson, age 74, was born in Virginia. Evidently his wife was not living in 1850. Listed in his household are children Charity, 30 and Ages, 18, both born in North Carolina, and Edmund, age 10 (a young child for a 74-year old man; could he have been a grandchild?), born in Tennessee.
(#471) Charles Henson, age 65, his wife Sally, 64, and one child still at home, Charles. All three were born in South Carolina.
(#475) Eli Henson, age 39, and his wife, Elizabeth, age 29, both born in North Carolina, and their three small children, James 7, Archibald, 5, and Jacob, 1, all born in Georgia. In this household was Jacob Ledford, age 20. (Could he have been a brother to Elizabeth Henson?)
(#548) William Henson, age 26, born in Georgia, his wife, Mary Ann, age 26, born in South Carolina, and a young Joseph Henson, Jr., age 20, born in Georgia. (Could he have been a brother to William, and a son of Joseph Henson, Sr., who was in the 1834 Union census?)
(#549) Joseph Henson, Sr. age 44, born in South Carolina. No wife is listed, but an elderly Rebecca Henson, age 90, no doubt Joseph, Sr.’s mother, also born in SC was in the household, along with children Alsa (a female), 17, Rebecca, 15, John, 12, and Jonathan, 10, all born in Georgia.
(#1047) Henson, James, age 28, his wife, Catherine, age 24, both born in North Carolina, and one child, William, age 1.
For more information about early settlers with Henson surname, we turn to early marriage records and find these who were married in Union County from 1832 to 1850. Some of these relate back to the additional households of Hensons added between the 1840 and 1850 census:
Rebecca Henson married Preston Starrett on 16 February 1839 (by Jesse Reid, JP)
Lovina Henson married Henry Nichols on 24 December 1840 (by Daniel Mathis, JIF)
Henry Henson married Mariah Woods on 25 July 1841 (by David Kenny, JP)
Joseph Henson married Sarah N. Warlex on 12 May 1842 (by Rev. Elisha Hedden, MG)
Mary Henson married Thomas Henson on 22 July 1845 (by John Patterson, JP)
Martha Henson married William Daniel on 10 December 1845 (by Charles Crumley, JP)
James Henson married Catherine Battbey (? sp.) on 13 May 1847 (by W. A. Brown, JP)
T. P. Henson married S. Mahoney on 8 October 1847 (by Benjamin Casteel, JP)
W. C. Henson married Polly Ann Hood on 23 April 1848 (by Charles Crumley, JP)
Loyd Henson married Milly Harkins on 13 March 1850 (by M. L. Burch, JP)
If you are a Henson, or a descendant from a Henson of those listed as settlers in Union up to 1850, or related to those in the nine Henson couples married in Union by 1850, then you can claim your heritage back to these hardy pioneers. A Henson cemetery was established in the Owltown District of Union County. At the time the Union County Cemetery Book was compiled in 1990, eight graves were marked just by field stones with no discernible identification, while twenty-two of the graves had inscribed headstones. The earliest marked grave was that of an infant of J. I. Henson who was born and died October 15, 1875. Probably some of the field stones marked earlier graves prior to that one of 1875. The name gravestone identifying the one born earliest to be buried in the Henson Cemetery is that of James M. Henson (1822-1906). Joseph Henson, Sr., first Henson settler in Union County, must have been buried with only an unmarked field stone at his grave. In my search of all Henson burials listed in the cemetery book, I did not find his name or a date that would identify him.
An early Henson School once operated in Choestoe District. My Uncle Herschel Dyer, and later his son, Otis Dyer, taught at that school.
c2010 by Ethelene Dyer Jones; published Sept. 16, 2010 in The Union Sentinel, Blairsville, GA. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
[Ethelene Dyer Jones is a retired educator, freelance writer, poet, and historian. She may be reached at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 478-453-8751; or mail 1708 Cedarwood Road, Milledgeville, GA 31061-2411.]