Fanny Helen Henshaw

                                                   ┌── Chaney Gatewood Henshawc1799-1837 
                       ┌── Thomas Elmore Henshaw ──┤
                       │    1836-1893              │
                       │                           └── Mary Helen "Polly" Motley
                       │                               c1801-1867 
Fanny Helen Henshaw ───┤
B: c1863               │
D: 1881                │
                       └── Sarah Ella Tod
Fanny Helen Henshaw     [ID 15551] Click here to switch to Ahnentafel view: Ahnentafel View

Born about 1863, Virginia.1  

Fanny Helen Henshaw died May 21 1881, Halifax County, Virginia; age 18.2  

Fanny's obituary was saved in the Henshaw family bible:2

Died, suddenly, of congestion of the brain, in Halifax county, May 21st, 1881, Miss FANNY HELEN HENSHAW, aged eighteen years.  

Eulogy of the dead has become so common and so indiscriminate that merited praise fails to be appreciated, except by the friends of the departed.  The loss and distress occasioned by death are so frequently exaggerated, too, that the mention of them, in an obituary notice, generally makes but little impression.  But in both these directions strong language may truthfully be employed in reference to the subject of this notice.  

Miss Fanny Helen Henshaw was a young lady of much more than ordinary attractiveness of person, manners and character.  With a bright mind, which had been sedulously cultivated by studious habits from childhood, she acquired knowledge readily and thoroughly.  She bore off from Bowling Green Female Seminary, of which she was a full graduate, its highest honors, and she brought away, what was better still, the admiration and love both of teachers and pupils.  Shortly after leaving school she commenced teaching in a private family in Halifax county, and there as elsewhere she soon won the confidene [sic] and affection of all who became acquainted with her.  And there, too, alas! - the hand of death reached her, away from home and loved ones, though receiving every attention which thoughtful kindness and tender affection could suggest.  

While Miss Henshaw's fond parents, devoted sister, and loving relatives and friends felt a natural pride in her intelligence and accomplishments, yet her qualities of heart bound her to them by the warmest and strongest ties.  She was modest, retiring, gentle, amiable, and warmly affectionate; while her natural excellences were illuminated by the halo of true religion.  For some years she had been a member of Upper King & Queen church, and from the commencement of her Christian life she had grown "in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," ripening early for the glory of heaven.  Though "her sun had gone down while it was yet day," it shines with undimmed radiance in the eternal world.  

The death of such a girl would have been an unspeakable loss to devoted parents and loving relatives and friends, under any circumstances; but the blow was rendered far more crushing by the fact that her family knew nothing of her sickness till they heard her dead body was on its way to her home.  

May they whose hearts are overwhelmed within them, by this calamity, be led to the Rock that is higher than they, and may the "God of all comfort" [p]our the oil of consolation into the wounded bosom.

(photo)Photo: Fanny Helen Henshaw obituary Chaney Gatewood Henshaw family bible, page 4 2


  1. 1870 census, Little Plymouth P.O., Newtown Township, King and Queen County, Virginia; roll M593-1657, page 430, line #15, dwelling #264, family #275.
  2. Henshaw family Bible record, 1826-1893; Library of Virginia, Bible Records:

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