William Henshaw

 1. William Henshall  m Margerie Gyll 
 2.. Thomas Henshall (?-c1631) m - Kendrick 
 3... William Henshawe (c1608-1644) m Katherine Houghton (1615-1651)
 4.... Joshua Henshawe (1643-1717) m Elizabeth Sumner (?-1728)
 5..... Joshua Henshaw (1672-1747) m Mary Hay Webster (1672-1747)
 6...... Daniel Henshaw (1701-1781) m Elizabeth Allen Bass (1703-1774)
 7....... William Henshaw (1735-1820)
          +Ruth Sargeant (1743-1769)
 8........  Sarah Henshaw (1762-1839) 1,2,3,4
 8........  Elizabeth Henshaw (1764-1827) 1,2,4
 8........  William Henshaw, Jr. (1767-1772) 1,2,4,5
          +Phebe Swan (1753-1808)
 8........  Ruth Henshaw (1772-1846) 1,2,4,6
 8........  Joseph Henshaw (1774-1855) 1,2,3,4,7
 8........  Phebe Henshaw (1777-1815) 1,2,3,4,8
 8........  William Henshaw (1780-1862) 1,2,4,9
 8........  Daniel Henshaw (1782-1863) 1,2,4,5
 8........  Katherine Henshaw (1784-1806) 1,2,4,5
 8........  Lucinda Henshaw (1786-1870) 1,2,3,4,5
 8........  Horatio Gates Henshaw (1788-1860) 1,2,4,6
 8........  Benjamin Henshaw (1793-1795) 1,2
 8........  Almira Henshaw (1796-1831) 1,2,10
William Henshaw     [ID 04564] Click here to switch to Ancestror Tree view: Tree View

William Henshaw1,2,11,12 [William Hinshaw13].

Born Oct 20 1735, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.2,6,12,14,15  

William's childhood was spent in Boston, in a house built by his father Daniel Henshaw, on land bought of his father-in-law Joseph Bass Esq.  The acknowledgement of deed for this land was taken by "Samuel Adams (senior Justice of Peace) the 12th day of March A.D. 1734&5".  His house was situated on the east side of what was long called Raineford's Lane.  It was then considered a handsome house, of two stories, with a hipped roof, the chambers under it being lighted with lantern windows.  The fireplaces of the front rooms were adorned with pictured tiles.  The front-door opened from the south side into a yard handsomely paved with pebble stones.  South of this was a large garden, the ground beyond this enclosure extended to the water, with "a small house, the distill house, and a cooper's shop thereon".16  

After removal of its owner 1748, it was rented until his decease, when it was sold by those inheriting it.16  

He married Ruth Sargeant1,2,13,17 [Ruth Sergeant13], Feb 4 17621,2,13,17, Massachusetts1,2,13,17.  Ruth, daughter of Jonathan Sargent & Deborah Richardson, was born Jan 24 1743.2,18  

Ruth died Jan 1 1769, Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts.2,19  

He then married Phebe Swan, Sep 12 1771.1,2,17  Phebe, daughter of Dudley Wade + Beulah Swan, was born Jan 12 1753.2,6,9  

William served under General Amherst in 1759 and was stationed at Fort Edward and Crown Point.6  In 1774 he was a member of the Provincial Congress which voted to enroll twelve thousand minute men.3  William commanded a regiment of Minute Men raised in Worcester County.3  In 1775 he was an assistant to General Gates during the Siege of Boston, and participated in the Battle of Long Island, August 1776.6  He was also in the battles of White Plains, Trenton and Princeton.3  The term Minutemen was coined by Leicester's Col. William Henshaw, who said, "we must have companies of men ready to march on a minute's notice".20  

He left the army in February, 1777 and returned to his farm in Leicaster, Massachusetts, where he was a prominent civic leader and justice of the peace.6  

William wrote a letter to George Washington in 1775, which is archived at the American Antiquarian Society, Manuscripts Department, Worcester, Mass.6  

Phebe died Nov 5 1808.2,6,9  

William Henshaw died Feb 20 18206,15 [Feb 21 18202,21], Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts6,15; buried Mount Zion Cemetery, Worcester Road (Route 12), Webster, Worcester County, Massachusetts6,15.

(photo)Photo: William Henshaw

(photo)Photo: William Henshaw's Lt. Colonel commission, signed by John Hancock

(photo)Photo: Ruth Sargeant death record Town records of Leicester, Massachusetts 19

(photo)Photo: William Henshaw family birth records Leicester, Worcester County, Massachusetts 4


  1. Contribution from Tom Henshaw.
  2. "History of the Henshaw Family", a handwritten manuscript identified as a copy of a letter written August 16, 1829 by Daniel Henshaw of Boston (probably #4588 to Joshua Henshaw Hayward of Boston (probably a son or grandson of Sarah Henshaw Hayward); part of the manuscript collection titled "Henshaw family Papers, 1757-1892" archived at the American Antiquarian Society, Manuscripts Department, 185 Salisbury Street, Worcester, MA 01609-1634.
  3. Lineage Books of the Charter Members of the National Society of the
    Daughters of the American Revolution (www.ancestry.com).
  4. Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988; http://www.ancestry.com.
  5. Henshaw genealogical chart, author unknown; Contributed by Donald Craig Henshaw.
  6. Library of Congress, National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections (NUCMC), http://lcweb.loc.gov/z3950/rliname.html
  7. Contribution from John Quinn ().
  8. "Genealogy of the Denny family in England and America", Denny, Christopher Columbus; Leicester, Massachusettes, 1886.
  9. Lineage Books of the Charter Members of the National Society of the
    Daughters of the American Revolution, Vol. 16, pg 300.
  10. Contribution from Lizbet119 () citing:
    Henshaw family bible archived at the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  11. Contribution from David G. White () citing:
    "Ancestry of the Henshaws", by Olive White Murry, Sept. 1, 1928.
  12. "Boston Births from A.D. 1700 to A.D. 1800", Boston Registry Dept.,
    Rockwell & Churchill, 1894, Boston, MA (www.ancestry.com).
  13. "Massachusetts Marriages to 1800", pg. 60 (www.ancestry.com).
  14. Contribution from David G. White () citing:
    "Ancestry of the Henshaws", by Olive White Murry, Sept. 1, 1928;
    DAR application letter for Marion Warren.
  15. Manuscripts relating to William Henshaw, archived at the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, MA, including a handwritten family lineage.
  16. Contribution from David G. White () citing:
    An unsigned and undated family note.
  17. Contribution from David G. White ().
  18. "Genealogy of the Sargeant family : descendents of William, of Malden, Mass.", 1858, by Aaron Sargent; http://www.ancestry.com.
  19. Massachusetts, Town Records, 1620-1988; http://www.ancestry.com.
  20. Worcester Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, Massachusetts), Apr 19 2000;
    Massachusetts newspaper articles, courtesy of Marcia Payne via NewsBank InfoWeb ().
  21. Posting Jun 3 2016 by "WFlem72706" to the NYCLINTO and QUEBEC-RESEARCH RootsWeb email lists.

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