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HENSLEY Family History

The surname means Dweller in the wood frequented by wild birds.

A habitational name from either of two places in Devon: Hensley in East Worlington, which is named with the Old English personal name Heahmund + Old English leah ‘(woodland) clearing’. 

It could also be a habitational name for Hensleigh in Tiverton, named from Old English hengest meaning ‘stallion’, or Old English personal name Hengest + leah. 

Possibly a variant of Hemsley.

Early bearers of the surname include: John de Henselay, 1297 in Subsidy Rolls (Yorks); Henry Hensleigh, 1662–4 in Hearth Tax (Dorset).

Mr. Emanuel Hensley, (b. 1835) was an English stone mason from Worcester. At aged 40, he travelled from London aboard the ship "Waimate" arriving in Port Chalmers, New Zealand on 4th December 1875.

In 1891 Census, there were 627 occurrences of the surname in England and Wales.

In 1881 Census, the surname was widespread, especially in Middlesex, Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset. In Gloucestershire, it was recorded as a top county for the surname with 37 occurrences. 

In 1881, Stone Mason, Farmer and Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Hensley. The most common Hensley occupation in the UK was Stone Mason. A less common occupation was Shipwright.

Kenneth William David Hensley (b. 1945), English keyboard player, guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer best known for his work with Uriah Heep during the 1970s. 

1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Worcestershire

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain


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Ophelia Jas Price

I would like to trace my heritage back to either Ireland or England. However, i have been told we are Irish on the Hensley side. My Grandmother was Opal Marie Price born Hensley. Her Father , my Great Grandad was Granville Hensley. Would appreciate any information. Thank You.

Laura Easter

Laura Easter, I can trace back to William Hensley on my mother’s side, b. 1583 d. 1684. Would love to go back further if anyone has info on his father!


Patsy Cline. Cline was born Virginia Patterson Hensley in Winchester Memorial Hospital, located in Winchester, Virginia.

ROY Hensley

At this time all I know is my grand father is from Mars Hill, North Carolina, USA, early 1900's His name was Roy Garald Hensley.


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