Sunday, January 5, 2020

Clues and Family of Asa Henson

When I began this post, I intended to focus on one incredible and typical pioneer woman of the westward movement, Emmeline Elkins Henson Harding.

Emmelin Elkins Henson
Emmeline Elkins Henson Harding 1839-1914
In fact, the more I investigate the families of those Uncles, Aunts and Cousins who left behind my ancestors who remained on the East Coast, the more I come to the realization that WE won the West. As a large portion of my ancestry seems to have migrated from Southside Virginia to this section of North Carolina or from one of the eastern North Carolinas after originating in East/Central Virginia, I can say I'm mostly Virginian and actually, if I could claim one ancestral Hometown, it would be Jamestown. I have a large makeup of Jamestown settlers in my dna with British origina.

These British/Virginian/ Carolinians would then, in the advent of the 1800's, as southern and western lands would open up from war or treaty, uproot and take off. Some would stay behind, usually daughters who married landed genty or even widows and orphans who didn't have the wherewithall to migrate, or the oldest sons who inherited the family farm and bought out their younger siblings who sought to create their own camelot somewhere in the idealic south or west.

Early on, they went to Tennesee and Alabama. Some, who arrived here in the 1750's to 1790's, would even move into the Northern counties of South Carolina and then push on to Georgia after that. Some of the Georgians would move on to Alabama meeting reuniting with family there. The Tennesee group would usually move on to Mississippi or Missourit. After that, the destination for all seemed to be Arkansas or Texas. There was a big movement here, even as the 20th century crept near, for the migration from North Carolina to Arkansas. What was it about the wild Ozarks that drew Stanly, Montgomery and Anson County, NC citizens?

One story I've been chasing for over a decade now was concerning an Uncle, brother of my 3rd Great Grandmother, who took off to Arkansas about 1862, ostensibly to escape the Civil War with his wife, his son, who had not enlisted for duty, his son's wife and two small children, his daughter and her husband, who had already been enlisted in the Confederate Army and recorded as a deserter in the records, and at least two of his nephews. Two grandchildren were born there, in Arkansas, a boy to his son and a girl to his daughter. His widow would escape tragedy and death in Arkansas and return to her Stanly County roots with only her daughter and 4 small grandchildren in tow. Her husband, her son and his wife, her son-in-law and both nephews would perish in Arkansas. Her daughter remarried and stayed local, as did the 4 grandchildren. I've poured over books and stories on the tragedies that came with the mix of Confederate and Union forces in Arkansas, like two different colors of paint in one bucket that wouldn't mix. The atrocities at Fort Smith, the exploits of the Bushwhakers and Guerilla's, the murderous actions of so-called Homeguard. But that is another story for another day.

The more I wrote, the more the post became about Asa Henson and not his wife Emmaline.

I even began a separate post about his surprising death and the person who caused it, but the trail came up cold and the indivual elusive and left with a story with no end. That research is yet to come. So this post concerns Asa Henson and those connected to him, including his second wife, Emaline aka "Emily".

'Emily' was also key in solving one piece of a puzzle in the Axom Turner family tree.

The above is the marriage bond for William P. Turner and Mary Caroline Proctor.

William P. Turner was the son of Axom and Patience Turner from Anson County, NC and the Grandson of my ancester James Turner of Anson County, NC. The family had migrated to Sumter County, Alabama in the 1830's.

Mary Caroline Proctor was the daughter of John Proctor and his yet unknown first wife and the granddaughter of Ira Proctor the first and his wife Rebecca. They also had lived in Anson County, NC on Goulds Fork and migrated to Perry County, Alabama. 

The marriage took place in Sumter County, Alabama on August 23, 1853.
The Security was one William D. Henson. The name Henson in this family is also sometimes seen as Hinson.

Name:Asa Hinson
Birth Year:abt 1801
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Gaston, Sumter, Alabama, USA
Family Number:916
Household Members:
Asa Hinson49
Penelope Hinson57
William D Hinson29

In the 1850 census, this William D. Henson is a 29 year old man living in the home of one Asa Henson and his wife, Penelope. William D Henson was the son of this couple. Note that Penny is in general the nickname for Penelope and that Penelope is 8 years the senior to her husband. 

A fact this clip doesn't show, it that listed right above the Hinson family is the family of Patience Turner and her children. Her son, William P. Turner is the groom in the bond that William D. Hinson was security for. 

It appears that William D. Hinson may have been just standing security for a neighbor. But a closer look appears that was not the case. If you will notice in the above census record, Asa Hinson was born in North Carolina. 

Name:Asa Hinson
Marriage Date:4 Jan 1823
Marriage Place:Perry,Alabama
Spouse:Jenny Proctor
FHL Film Number:1290271

By the 1820's, Asa Hinson was in Perry County, Alabama, where he married Penny Proctor. It was incorrectly transcribed "Jenny", but a look at the actual document shows Penny. Penny is a nickname for Penelope. Recall, William P. Turner, the Hinsons' neighbor, had married Mary Caroline Proctor.
Mary Caroline Proctor was the daughter of John Proctor, who had died about 1843.

A Synopsis of Asa Henson in Alabama:

Having married Penny Proctor in 1823 in Perry County, Alabama, Asa shows up there in the 1830 and 1840 census. 

Name:Asa Henson
[Asa Hurson] 
Home in 1830 (City, County, State):Perry, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - Under 5:2 William D and John W.
Free White Persons - Males - 20 thru 29:1 Asa
Free White Persons - Females - 10 thru 14:2 Martha and Mourning Proctor. Penelope's daughters by her first marriage
Free White Persons - Females - 30 thru 39:1 Penelope
Free White Persons - Under 20:4
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:6
Total - All Persons (Free White, Slaves, Free Colored):6

He first shows up in Alabama in the 1830 census of Perry County, Alabama. He is a young man in his 20's, while his probable wife is a little older in her 30's. There are 2 young girls and two little boys in the home. 

Name:Asa Hinson
Home in 1840 (City, County, State):Perry, Alabama
Free White Persons - Males - 5 thru 9:1 ? Unknown. A young son who died?
Free White Persons - Males - 10 thru 14:1 William D. Henson
Free White Persons - Males - 40 thru 49:1 Asa 
Free White Persons - Females - 5 thru 9:1 ? A daughter who died as the others are married at this point. 
Free White Persons - Females - 40 thru 49:1 Penelope
Persons Employed in Manufacture and Trade:1
Free White Persons - Under 20:3
Free White Persons - 20 thru 49:2
Total Free White Persons:5
Total All Persons - Free White, Free Colored, Slaves:5

By 1840, both Asa and Penny are shown in their 40's with 2 boys and 1 little girl in the house. 

1MaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record1MaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record26FemaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record11MaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record4MaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record27MaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record30FemaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston, Sumter, Alabama
View Record6FemaleBlackAsa HinsonGaston,Sumter, Alabama

Between 1840 and 1850, when Asa Henson moved from Perry County, Alabama to Sumter County, he acquired 7 slaves, 3 adults and 4 children. 

In 1850, Asa Henson, his wife Penelope, and their son, William D. Henson (or Hinson), are recorded just under the family of Patience Turner, widow of Axom Turner, my GGGGreat Uncle. Two sons of Axom and Patience Turner would marry two Proctor sisters, daughters of John Proctor who died in 1843, wife unknown. Penelope, or Penny Hinson was Penelope Proctor in the 1820 census and is named in the Probate papers of Rebecca Proctor in 1818. Her two oldest children, both daughters,  were Proctors. Asa and Penny's son, William D. Henson, was the bondsman for the marriage of William P. Turner and wife, Mary Caroline Proctor. There was a family connection. 

Name:Penelope Hinson
Birth Year:abt 1793
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Gaston, Sumter, Alabama, USA
Family Number:916
Household Members:
Asa Hinson49
Penelope Hinson57
William D Hinson29

Asa Henson also appears in an 1831 Quitclaim deed in Anson County, NC with Benjamin Holmes, Moses Holmes, Solomon Lee and David Lee, transfering their interest in a tract of land which was the portion of land deeded to John Holmes and wife, Nancy Proctor Holmes as heirs of Ira Proctor, Nancy Proctor Holmes's father to Abner Proctor, brother of Nancy and also brother of John Proctor afore mentioned. 

I would discover that Asa and Penelope would have 2 sons, William D Hinson and a second one, John W. Hinson, who was just a little bit older than William. He would marry twice, first to Mary Elizabeth Lee, a daughter of Daniel Lee and Elizabeth Stevens Lee, a granddaughter of Richard Lee, who I will look into a little more later on. Like a ball of yarn looping around to make a sweater, these families from Anson to Alabama intertwined in numerous ways. John W. Hinson's second wife was named interestingly enough, Chaste Helen Nobles, and as far as I can tell, was not related. 

Asa Henson
Emmelin Elkins
Spouse Gender
Marriage Date
24 Dec 1857
Marriage Place
Performed By
J. P.
Surety/Perf. Name
J. J. Sheid
Household Members
NameAsa Henson
NameEmmelin Elkins

Penelope would pass away before 1857, because that is the year Asa would marry Emeline Elkins. 

Emeline was the 7th of 11 children born to William Elkins and wife, Martha Wisdom. she was born in Marengo County, Alabama and her people, like many of the settlers in this part of Alabama, had originated in North Carolina and Virginia, but refreshingly not part of the Anson clan. 

Name:Emiline Elkins
Birth Year:abt 1839
Home in 1850:Black Bluff, Sumter, Alabama, USA
Family Number:789
Household Members:
William Elkins47
Martha Elkins41
Mary Elkins20
Washington Elkins19
Amanda Elkins17
Martha Elkins15
Francis M Elkins13
Emiline Elkins11
William Elkins8
Andrew J Elkins5
Thomas J Elkins2
Sarah Elkins0
Samuel Elkins21

The Elkins would move to neighboring Sumter County, Alabama, where the Turners had settled. Her oldest brother was named Samuel W. Elkins and Emeline would seem to have a particularly close bond with him. But, back to Asa Henson

Above is a portion of the wedding bond of Penny Holmes Proctor and Asa Henson. The bondsman was Joseph Henson. As the fact of William D Henson serving as bondsman for William P. Turner and Mary Caroline Proctor would open up a huge door for me on the Proctor family and it's relations, so did the fact of Joseph Henson surving as bondsman for Asa and Penelope open up a door for me on the Henson family. 

Joseph Henson was a very colorful character and a very integral part of the settlement of Texas. There's quite a bit of information on him, and I won't go into it a great deal, but just attempt to stick to the facts more than the story. 

Joseph T. Henson
Joseph Henson from shared by multiple users

Joseph Henson, himself, stated in pension records, that he was born on July 16, 1801 in Montgomery County, North Carolina. At this time, Stanly County was a part of Montgomery County. The Hensons were closely connected to, and involved with, the families of Northern Anson and Union County along the Rocky River. It is my belief that they likely belonged to the family of Henson/Hinsons that settled along the Rocky River below the present day town of Oakboro in Stanly County. That would place them directly across this small river from the Holmes, Proctor and Lee families. 

Joseph Henson stood as bondsman for Asa Henson and Penelope "Penny" Holmes Proctor, widow of Ira Proctor Jr. in 1823. On January 22, 1829, he married Mary "Polly" Thomas, born in Georgia, in Marengo County, Alabama. 

Name:Joseph Henson
Land Office:Demopolis
Document Number:274
Total Acres:40.13
Canceled Document:No
Issue Date:22 Sep 1835
Mineral Rights Reserved:No
Metes and Bounds:No
Statutory Reference:3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names:No
Act or Treaty:April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names:No
Entry Classification:Sale-Cash Entries
Land Description:1 NWSE ST STEPHENS No 16N 2E

Joseph patented land in Alabama at Demopolis in 1835, the same office as the Turners, Proctors and Holmes's. Shortly after, Joseph and family would follow their Thomas relatives across the Sabine River into what was then called "Tejas" and a part of Mexico. There, Joseph Henson would join Sam Houston's volunteer army for a streach of several months for which he was paid $34 in 1837.

He recieved a Bounty Grant, seen above, in 1840, for 320 acres for his service under Houston. Joseph claimed 135 acres of his military bounty grant in Nagodoches County in 1838 and shortly after, another 185 acres in Angelina County.  An 1840 census of the Republic of Texas shows him with 320 acres of land and a heard of 55 cattle. 

Name:Joseph Hinson
[Joseph Henson] 
Birth Year:abt 1802
Birthplace:North Carolina
Home in 1850:Leon, Leon, Texas, USA
Family Number:178
Household Members:
Joseph Hinson48
Mary Hinson38
Phoebe A Hinson18
Mary Hinson16
William Hinson12
John Hinson11
Joseph Hinson9
Julia Hinson8
Asa Hinson6
Andrew Hinson2

The 1850 census finds Joseph Henson and his family in Leon County, Texas, the same county that Abner Proctor would settle in. If you will notice, he has a 6 year old son named "Asa". 

Before 1860, Joseph would become one of the pioneer settlers and one of the most influential persons of a town called "Jacksboro" in Jack County, Texas. Jack County was formed in 1856 from Cooke County, named for two early Texas heros in the Mexican War. Here he would stay, and here he would die, but his life and existence there was anything but quiet. 

On September 14, 1865, Joseph Henson was appointed Sheriff of Jack's County by Govenor A. J. Hamiton. His appearance in court was often and just as often on both sides of the law. Histories of these Texas volunteers of Sam Houston tell of many buckskin wearing, hard-drinking, fighting and shooting, tough-as-nails pioneer men. Joseph Henson was one of them and more. 

Joseph and his older sons participated in musters during the Civil War era. His son Asa, served as a Scout in the 1868-1869 Kiowa, Comanche and Cheyenne campaign. 

In 1869, Joseph Henson, now slowed by age and gravity, was in the field and heard two gunshots coming from the area of his homestead. Upon arriving he saw his wife, the now elderly Polly, and she cried to him that she had been shot. There he also saw his son Joseph Jr. , who was also wounded, but not mortally. A soldier faced him and Joseph Jr. was able by that time to arm himself and returned fire upon the soldier, shooting him 3 or 4 times, once in the back, but from the testimony of Joseph, Sr., it was due to the "spin" caused by the impact of a previous shot, causing Junior to fire upon the man as his body turned from the impact. Due in large part from the testimony of his elderly and well repected father, Joseph Jr. was cleared of the murder of the soldier. Whatever the details of the soldiers presence upon the Henson farm were, or the origins of the despute, the fact that he had shot a defenseless older woman sealed his fate and colored the mood of the trial. The harm of women and children in this area was taken seriously and no matter the dispute among men, was severely frowned upon. 

Joseph Henson died on April 5, 1887 at the age of 85, and was buried in Jacksboro. His wife Polly would survive him by 10 years and would die in 1897. 

Joseph Henson and Mary "Polly Thomas Henson were the parents of  8 children:
1832-1861  Phoebe
1833-1873 Margaret
1836-1888 William S. 
1837-1878 John A. 
1841-1900 Joseph T. 
1842-1861 Julia Etta
1846-1925 Asa Lewis
1848-1931 Andrew Jackson

There's a history online of Joseph Henson and names who the writer believes his parents to be. I have not included that story or whom the parents are believed to because that is someone elses research and their theory, which is primarily speculative. 

It is my belief, due to the fact that Joseph Henson served as bondman for the marriage of Asa Henson and Penny Holmes Proctor, that they were very close in age, about a year and a half apart, that they orignated in the same place and migrated to the same place, and that Joseph Henson named a son "Asa", which is not as commonplace as William, James or John, that Josephe and Asa were more likely brothers. 

The history and theory of the other writer that I just mentioned does not include Asa as a member of this family. But they also declare that Joseph, although living, and another possible brother, were not mentioned in the will of this prospective father. They also suggest the theory that Joseph was acturally born the son of another member of the family, probably being a nephew by blood, and could have been raised with this family, which is a possibility. Perhaps Joseph and Asa being close in age, lost their parents as very small children and were taken in by an uncle. Maybe this other Henson not mentioned in the will was one of 3. 

I don't know, but I stand with the idea that Asa Henson and Joseph Henson were most likely brothers and they were very similar in character as well. 

Marriage bond of Asa Henson and Emmeline Elkins. 

On Christmas Eve, 1857, Asa Henson married Emaline Elkins in Sumter County, Alabama. It can be presumed that Penny died prior to this date. There marriage bond states, "G. W. Elkins, security. Consent of parent in writing, see affidavit." Emaline was a minor. 

Asa Henson, born September 5, 1799 was 23 when he married Penelope. He was 58 when he married Emaline. She was just 17, and her father consented. 


The Marion Times-Standard
Marion, Alabama
14 Apr 1886, Wed  •  Page 1

Born in Montgomery County, North Carolina, Asa Henson first shows up in the 1830 census of Perry County, Alabama, but we know he was there much sooner. He married first in 1823 in Perry and this article from the Marion-Times Standard states that he was a patron of a school built in 1824 by Thomas Billingslea. I know from previous research that Thomas Billingslea, also seen as Billingsley, S. H. Nelms and William Beard, were also from the Montgomery and Anson County, North Carolina area.Emlies parents were married in Marengo County, Alabama in 1825. Her father was from North Carolina, her mother from Virginia. First Asa Henson lived in Perry County, then Sumter. By 1860 he was in Choctaw County, Alabama. 
Name:Asa Henson
Birth Year:abt 1804
Birth Place:North Carolina
Home in 1860:Northern Division, Choctaw, Alabama
Post Office:Butler
Dwelling Number:64
Family Number:62
Real Estate Value:2500
Personal Estate Value:11500
Cannot Read, Write:Y
Household Members:
Asa Henson56
E Henson20
M E Henson2/12
John Holden18

In the 1860 census he was listed as a Planter with real estate worth $2500 and a personal estate worth $11,500. The family was living right next door to the Gray Allen family, another of the Anson County bunch and a member of the extended Lee family, whose property held the same values. John Holden was simply a young employee from a neighboring family, no relation that I can tell. 

Asa Hinson
Land Office
Document Number
Total Acres
Canceled Document
Issue Date
10 Apr 1837
Mineral Rights Reserved
Metes and Bounds
Statutory Reference
3 Stat. 566
Multiple Warantee Names
Act or Treaty
April 24, 1820
Multiple Patentee Names
Entry Classification
Sale-Cash Entries
Land Description

Asa's Homestead patent was in Perry County, Alabama.

Asa Henson
Other Event Date
28 Aug 1844
Other Event Location
Perry County
Roll #
Archive Collection #
Name Range
Justice of the Peace - Land Records

He sold a little over 75 acres of land in Perry in 1844. 1850 found him in Sumter and 1860 found him in Choctaw. Asa Henson was not a man of small means, nor was he an exceedingly wealthy man. Today's standards would deem him middle class as he afforded to educate his children well. He owned property, a substantial amount, but not exceedingly so. I've tried with no sucess to find out where he was or what he was doing around 1870. 
Name:Emily Henson
Age in 1870:30
Birth Year:abt 1840
Dwelling Number:298
Home in 1870:Ward 1, Caddo, Louisiana
Post Office:Shreveport
Inferred Children:Elizabeth Henson
Sarah Henson
Mary Henson
Household Members:
Emily Henson30
Elizabeth Henson10
Sarah Henson8
Mary Henson5
Emeline, his wife, is found living in Caddo Parrish, Lousiana, just two houses down from her brother Samuel. She and Asa now have 3 daughters, Haran Elizabeth, Sarah and Mary E Henson. Haran was an unusal name passed down through the Holmes and Lee families, although Emeline and, as far as I can tell, Asa, was neither. Did he name his oldest daughter in honor of his first wife Penny, a Holmes, who may have wanted to name her first daughter that, but only had 2 sons with Asa?I could not find Asa in Alabama, or Louisiana, or even Mississippi in 1870, which is the last place I had found him. Had he sent his wife and daughters to her brother, Samuel W. Elkins while he worked on business prospects? Had the couple, with their large age gap, "parted ways"? The one thing I do know is that Emeline was not a widow. Not yet.  

It's wise to remember, this was just after the Civl War. Asa Henson was a plantation owner, with slaves. He was also a septuagenarian. Having lost his ablility to work his land, had it become unmanagible? Was he traveling to find new ways to support his young family? The 1866 tax list for Alabama states that he had a buggy and  According to the 1870 census, Choctaw County, Alabama had a population of 6872 blacks and 5802 whites. Was it a matter of safety, fear, or displacement?  

Asa Hensen(?)
Election District

Asa paid taxes for property both in Sumter and Choctaw Counties in 1866. He registered to vote in Choctaw County in 1867, so what had taken place between 1867 and 1870? It wasn't until I looked more closely at his only surviving son, Judge John W. Henson, that I figured it out. John W. Henson was the elder of the two sons of Penelope Holmes Proctor Henson and Asa Henson. He was born on January 5, 1829 in Perry County, Alabama. The 1850 census would find him at 22, working as a laborer in a mechanics shop in Choctaw County, Alabama. However, this would not remain his career. He was very well educated and would become a probate judge and sucessfull businessman, working as a wholesaler.  Not long after, he would marry his cousins's cousin, Mary E. Lee, daughter of Daniel Lee. Daniel Lee's brothers Solomon and David had both married Holmes sisters, Haran and Martha, sisters of John W. Henson's mother, Penelope. The 1860 census found the young family with their son, John S. Henson, age 4, in Choctaw County and John W. listed as a merchant. His wife would sadly die at the age of 27 after giving him 2 daughters, Lizzie and Mary. He would marry again to a beautiful widow named Chaste Helen Noble Scruggs, whom he may have met in court as he was a probate judge and she the executrix of her deceased husbands estate. 
Choctaw County News
Butler, Alabama
08 Oct 1879, Wed  •  Page 3

I was aware of the fact that John W. Henson had moved his business and his family to neighboring Clarke County, Alabama.
Image result for clarke county, alabama
Clarke and Choctaw border each other. John W. Henson's only son, John S. Henson, was as civic minded as his father, serving as Postmaster, Justice of the Peace and running for State Representative. It was after seeing an article listing John S. Henson as a Justice of the Peace along with a Mr. Stringer, that I figured out that I had been seeing Asa Henson in 1870 all along, I had just been ignoring him. 
The Clarke County Democrat
Grove Hill, Alabama
15 Nov 1883, Thu  •  Page 1
It occured to me that John W. Henson did not have a son named Asa. His only son was John S. Henson. The "Acey" Henson that married Mrs. Elizabeth Stringer was not John W. Henson's son, but his father, old Asa. 

Name:Acey Henson
Spouse:MRS Elizabeth Stringer
Marriage Date:20 Feb 1870
Performed By Title:M G
Performed by Name:A J Stringer
Source information:Jordan Dodd, Liahona Research
Asa and Emeline had parted ways. It took about 4 days of skimming court pages on Family Search to verify, they had a divorce. Asa had joined his son in Clarke County and Emeline her brother in Louisiana. 
Name:Asa Hinson
Age in 1870:65
Birth Year:abt 1805
Dwelling Number:1030
Home in 1870:Jackson, Clarke, Alabama
Post Office:Jackson
Male Citizen over 21:Y
Inferred Spouse:Elizabeth Hinson
Household Members:
Asa Hinson65
Elizabeth Hinson53

Asa had married someone closer to his own age. I found him and his third wife, Elizabeth, living in Clarke County, newly married, in 1870. They were living near a Jack Stringer, her stepson, and probably the Andrew Jackson Stringer that had performed their marriage, so most likely they were living on Elizabeth's dower. Elizabeth was the last wife of a William Stringer who died in 1862. He had been married a few times prior to his marriage to her and she had been married to a William Martin before him. I believe her maiden name to have been Howard. Asa fudged on his age a little bit, and of course, the state of birth was wrong, but I've seen that before, and there he was. 
Whether is was for work or business or to visit relatives, as there were Hensons there, I don't know. But Leake County is where the elderly Asa Henson would meet his demise.  
Jackson, Mississippi
17 Oct 1876, Tue  •  Page 3

Something tells me Asa had caused grief for someone besides Emmeline in Choctaw County.