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Henshaw / Hancher of Frederick Co, VA, IN, PA, OH, and Iowa

Posted: 1122614704000
Classification: Query
Surnames: Hancher, Henshaw
I haven’t done Henshaw / Hancher work in years (it’s my ex-mother-in-law’s family), but I thought that I would see if anyone was working on “my” Nicholas Henshaw / Hancher. Last fall I was in Winchester, VA for a wedding. I had forgotten how beautiful the library was!

This Nicholas was the son of John and Sarah Caudy. I know that when I was actively researching this family – pre Internet – there were some folks who thought that they were descended from the other Nicholas (William) when they were in fact descended from John and Sarah. As I recall, one of these ladies had a statue erected for “her” ancestor William Henshaw and had been admitted to the DAR based on bad lineage.

Fortunately I had access to a wealth of 19th century correspondence and Bible information.

Nicholas (after 1765 – circa 1842 Hancock Co, IN) married Mary ? (circa 1768 – after 1850 Hancock Co, IN) about 1787 probably in Frederick Co, VA. Per a paper found in an Anderson Family Bible labeled “Age Paper” the following are their children:
William, 7/27/1788
James 11/14/1791
Hannah 5/27/1794 married William Bowie
Nicholas 8/24/1796
Mary 3/24/1799 married Seth Thomas Clark
Ellis 11/1/1802 died young
Abner 3/14/1805 married Lucy Sarah Ann Martin and Mary Ann Donahue
Hiram Perry 3/1/1808 married Dorothy Jane Saunders, Sarah Anderson, and Malinda _____ Miner
Jacob 1/9/1811 married Hannah Chapman

Abner, Hiram, and Jacob all moved to IN and lived in Hancock and then Madison Counties.

In 1837 Nicholas and Mary received a letter in Greenfield, Hancock Co, IN from Seth Thomas Clark informing them that their daughter Mary was dead. The salutation was "Dear Mother and Father."

Most of the letters were to Hiram Perry and his children. It is amazing how they kept in contact with distant cousins over so many years. Letters were from VA, WVA, OH, PA, and Iowa. Great granddaughters of Nicholas’s brother William (Arie, Rebecca, and Rachel Henshaw) wrote letters to Hiram Perry’s sons, Hiram Perry, Jr and Archie. They talked about meeting up at Church camps in the summer and begged the boys to come and visit them. It took me forever to figure out how all of these people were related as they just addressed each other as uncle or cousin. Often the letters were full of gossip and it helped to figure out where these Henshaw / Hanchers had gone.

I have no explanation as to why the name became Hancher for some of the family. Grandpa Ross Hancher (Hiram Perry, Hiram Perry, Nicholas, John) was alive when I started this. He was certain that the Henshaws were the ones who were mistaken! He said that he could see how THEY had made the mistake. It had never occurred to him that the letters from Hanchers and Henshaws were often from the descendants of brothers. As a former Postmaster, he treasured the letters as the only thing that he had from his family.

Hope that this helps someone.

Marcia McClure
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
jphilips0377 958642929000 
jphilips0377 958643027000 
John Philips 997390482000 
JanHinshaw 997566076000 
John C. Philips 997625482000 
Terry Hall 1025050094000 
John C. Philips 1025099216000 
MarciaMcClure 1122614704000 
David Smith 1073876353000 
JenniferMarti... 1139518999000 
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