When I began this post, I intended to focus on one incredible and typical pioneer woman of the westward movement, Emmeline Elkins Henson Harding.
|Emmeline Elkins Henson Harding 1839-1914|
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.
|Birth Year:||abt 1801|
|Home in 1850:||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama, USA|
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.
|Marriage Date:||4 Jan 1823|
|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.
|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.
|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.
|1||Male||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||1||Male||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||26||Female||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||11||Male||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||4||Male||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||27||Male||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||30||Female||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama|
|View Record||6||Female||Black||Asa Hinson||Gaston,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.
|Birth Year:||abt 1793|
|Home in 1850:||Gaston, Sumter, Alabama, USA|
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
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.
|Birth Year:||abt 1839|
|Home in 1850:||Black Bluff, Sumter, Alabama, USA|
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 Henson from ancestry.com 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.
|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.
|Birth Year:||abt 1802|
|Home in 1850:||Leon, Leon, Texas, USA|
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:
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.
|Birth Year:||abt 1804|
|Birth Place:||North Carolina|
|Home in 1860:||Northern Division, Choctaw, Alabama|
|Real Estate Value:||2500|
|Personal Estate Value:||11500|
|Cannot Read, Write:||Y|
|Age in 1870:||30|
|Birth Year:||abt 1840|
|Home in 1870:||Ward 1, Caddo, Louisiana|
|Inferred Children:||Elizabeth Henson|
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?
|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|
|Age in 1870:||65|
|Birth Year:||abt 1805|
|Home in 1870:||Jackson, Clarke, Alabama|
|Male Citizen over 21:||Y|
|Inferred Spouse:||Elizabeth Hinson|