* need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

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BillH
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need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 23 Mar 2018 18:23

I was wondering if anyone might be able to shed any light on a brick wall I have. I've been trying to figure out who in England my Henshaw family is connected to. Since a lot of folks that use Family Historian live in England and probably have access to information that I don't have access to, I was hoping someone might be able to help.

I've been able to track my Henshaw family in America back to a gentleman named Nicholas Henshaw who was married in Philadelphia on 3 Nov 1726 to Rebeckah Smith. His name was written in many ways in the early records, Henshaw, Handshaw, Hinshaw, Hanshaw, Hancher, Handcher, etc. Later he and his descendants for the most part seem to have settled on Henshaw. I took a Y-DNA test and through matches on Family Tree DNA have verified that I am directly descended from Nicholas.

From what I've been able to gather, it appears that he descended from someone in England. I've been looking for this connection to England for over 20 years as have others here in the USA. So far we have not been able to make a definitive link. An autosomal DNA test that I took indicates that I have about 12% England/Ireland/Scotland DNA. Since almost all of my other ancestors are Norwegian or German, this has to be coming from my Henshaw lineage which seems to verify that Nicholas was probably from England.

The only Nicholas Henshaw born before 1726 that I've been able to find in any immigration type records is a Nicholas Henshaw/Hanshaw that came to America in 1720/21 on a convict Ship "Gilbert" that was captained by Darby Lux. It left England on 27 Oct 1720 and arrived in Maryland in May 1721. Nicholas Henshaw is listed as being 25 years old. This would make him a possibility to be the one married in Philadelphia in 1726.

This is likely the same person as the Nicholas Henshaw that committed an act of robbery in Kennington, Surrey and was convicted and sentenced to transportation in London in 1720. I'm not sure of the exact date, but I have a England Treasury document dated 21 Sep 1720 which talks about his conviction, but I don't know English law so am uncertain if this was when he was convicted or if it is after the fact.

I have looked for someone named Nicholas Henshaw that would have been born in England c. 1695 to see if I could figure out where this convicted person came from. The only one I can find is a Nickolas Henshaw who was baptized at St Mary and St Nicholas Church in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England on 31 Aug 1695. I've not been able to figure out what happened to this Nickolas Henshaw or any of his family so I haven't been able to determine if he was the one convicted in 1720 or if he ever came to America.

I have been unable to find any other Nicholas Henshaw that came to America either. A gg aunt of mine in the late 1800's tried to tie us into English royalty which was a very popular thing to do in the USA at that time. She suggesting we were descended from a Henshaw family in Boston, Massachusetts which was descended from two sons of Sir Thomas Henshaw and Katherine Houghton. Thomas was a member of Parliament in opposition to the tyranny of King Charles I. He died fighting in the English Civil War along with his father-in-law Sir Evans Houghton, in the storming of Liverpool in 1644. Their sons Daniel and Joshua were left in the care of Peter Ambrose. According to the will of Sir Thomas Henshaw, his property was to go to his sons, then to Peter Ambrose in the event of their passing. The property included Wavertree Hall and Toxteth Park. Peter Ambrose claimed he sent Daniel and Joshua Henshaw to school in London where they died of the plague, however; he actually sent them to the American Colonies under the care of Reverend Richard Mather, in Dorchester Massachusetts, in a ploy to steal their inheritance.

The problem with this story is that the person my gg aunt tried to connect us to was never married and never had any children (at least none were mentioned in his will) so that we don't appear to actually be descended from either of those two brothers.

So, that is a lot of information. I was hoping someone might be able to help break down my brick wall or even help with cracking open a brick or two.

Where in England does Nicholas Henshaw come from? What happened to the Nickolas Henshaw baptized in Spalding, Lincolnshire? Could he be the Nicholas Henshaw convicted in London? Did any Nicholas Henshaw in that time frame come to America other than the convict? Any help or suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

Thanks!
Last edited by BillH on 23 Mar 2018 19:32, edited 1 time in total.

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BillH
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 23 Mar 2018 18:45

One thing I forgot to mention. My Y-DNA test shows that I am related to a person named John Inshaw who lives in Canada. He has traced his family back to a John Inshaw who was born 16 Jun 1740 in Yorkshire, England. That family ended up settling for the most part in Birmingham, Warwickshire. He has not been able to link his family to anyone name Henshaw and I've not been able to link my family to anyone named Inshaw.

It would appear that sometime before 1740 either someone named Henshaw changed their name to Inshaw or vice versa.

Anyone have any information that might link together the Inshaw and Henshaw families?

Thanks!
Last edited by BillH on 27 Mar 2018 23:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Tony Jones
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by Tony Jones » 24 Mar 2018 07:27

Have you seen the entry on Find A Grave: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/14591907?

It looks like Spalding Nicholas died age 81 in West Virginia. It's from somebody's research, with some references, but obviously I've not checked the details
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 24 Mar 2018 15:49

Hi Tony,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes I've seen that and have made contact with the "owner" of that memorial on Find A Grave. She has made the assumption that the Nickolas born in Spalding was the same one that was convicted in London, transported on the convict ship Gilbert, married in Philadelphia, and ended up in Virginia. That all matches what I mentioned above in my first post in this thread.

The thing is that there is absolutely no proof that any of that is true. It is all conjecture based on the fact that the dates line up pretty well. What I was hoping to get was some more info that might prove what actually happened to the Nickolas born in Spalding or where the Nicholas convicted in London went or where the Nicholas transported on the Gilbert actually came from.

I really would like to find out who my family in England are!

Thanks

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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by LornaCraig » 24 Mar 2018 18:34

I see from the details of the robbery that Nicholas Henshaw was one of two people convicted, the other being Thomas Metterick. It’s likely that if one of them was transported they both were. Is there any record of Thomas Metterick arriving in America on the same convict ship? If so it’s almost certain that the Nicholas who committed the robbery was the Nicholas who arrived on the convict ship. Of course that’s only one little link in the trail.
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BillH
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 24 Mar 2018 20:58

Hi Lorna,

Thanks for the reply. I had thought about that as well, but of course Thomas is not on either the passenger list at sailing or the landing list at arrival in America. I just figured that he either found a way to get out of it or he was sent on another ship. As I understand it at that time there were a lot of ships of convicts being sent to America.

That would have been too easy! :)

Thanks!

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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by Gowermick » 25 Mar 2018 06:36

Bill,
Silly question, but have you tried loading your dna results and Family Tree on to GEDMatch.com ? This is a great site for comparing dna. It not only compares your dna and finds matches with others in its database, but it also tells you on which chromosome etc the matches occur. Other sites such as AncestryDNA are ok in finding matches, but don’t explain why it thinks they match.
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Tony Jones
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by Tony Jones » 25 Mar 2018 09:58

I assume you're also tied into the Hinshaw family research, who are covering similar ground?

http://www.rawbw.com/~hinshaw/nicholas2.htm
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BillH
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 25 Mar 2018 18:22

@Mike

Thanks for the reply. I've not done gedmatch. I have done Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, and Ysearch.org. So far all but one of the matches are with folks descended from my known ancestor Nicholas Henshaw who was married in Philadelphia and moved to Virginia. The only other match I have which ties in with my Henshaw's is John Inshaw who I mentioned in my earlier posting. If I could somehow figure out how the Inshaw's and Henshaw's are connected, that would be a big help. Family Tree DNA has good tools for figuring out where you match up as well, but it is too far over my head to really understand. I guess I should give gedmatch a try, might get some new matches to review anyway. Thanks!

@Tony

Thanks for the reply. I do know about that site and have been in contact with the site owner and some of the folks that have put together the research on Nicholas. Their research lays out the same possibilities that I mentioned earlier, but again they have no proof. I am still trying to find that proof as I'm sure they are as well. Unfortunately the site owner quit updating his site about 5 years ago because it was taking up too much time and was too hard for him to keep up to date. Thanks!

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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by Valkrider » 25 Mar 2018 18:48

Bill

I have had more success with my DNA on MyHeritage. You can download your test results from FTDNA and upload them direct to MyHeritage.

Take a look at https://www.myheritage.com/dna/upload you don't need a MyHeritage paid account a free one will do.

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BillH
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Re: need help finding Nicholas Henshaw

Post by BillH » 25 Mar 2018 22:42

Colin,

I'll have to add this to my list. Thanks for the suggestion. I thought I would have to have a paid account.

Thanks!

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