Patrick Hennessee

Male (1720-1730) - 1795

Personal Information    |    Media    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Patrick Hennessee 
    Born (1720-1730)  Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Military 3 Jul 1754 
    Military 1755 
    Military 1758  [2
    Residence 1761  New London, Campbell County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Military 10 Oct 1774 
    Residence 1781  Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Died 1795  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Buried 25 Oct 1795  Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    Probate 0Oct 1796  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Military Revolutionary War Patriot  [3
    Person ID I14  The Hennessee Family
    Last Modified 28 Apr 2021 

    Father (Thomas Henesy),   b. (1650-1658), Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. (Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother (Catherine LNU),   b. (1650-1660), Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. (Maryland) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married (Ireland) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F9347  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Alice "Ailsey" LNU,   b. (ABT 1735), (Virginia) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1800, (Burke County) North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married (Virginia) Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence (Family) 1790  Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
     1. James Hennessee,   b. 1766, Burke County, North Carolina Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. February 1851, Warren County, Tennessee Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years)
     2. (Samuel Hennessee),   b. (~1770), (Burke County, North Carolina) Find all individuals with events at this location
     3. John Hennessee,   b. ~1775, (Burke County, North Carolina) Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1843  (Age ~ 67 years)
     4. (Frances Hennessee),   b. (Burke County, North Carolina) Find all individuals with events at this location
     5. (Peter Hennessee),   b. (Virginia) Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. FNU Hennessee,   b. (Burke County, North Carolina) Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. FNU Hennessee,   b. (Burke County, North Carolina) Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified 24 Sep 2021 
    Family ID F6  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - (1720-1730) - Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1761 - New London, Campbell County, Virginia Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1781 - Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence (Family) - 1790 - Burke County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1795 - Burke County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 25 Oct 1795 - Tryon, Polk County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsProbate - 0Oct 1796 - Burke County, North Carolina Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - - (Virginia) Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Documents
    Hennessee Family of Burke County, North Carolina
    Hennessee Family of Burke County, North Carolina

    In the spirit of both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I send you early holiday well wishes and gift along with a request for your cooperation in preserving and sharing our Hennessee Heritage.

    Recently discovered was the 1791 customer accounts book of The Morganton Store, "the only store for miles around." The accounts book includes records of store purchases by our Burke County pioneer ancestors Patrick and Ailsey Henesy, and their teenage son John.

    The discovery led Burke Historical Society to plans for a book about store customers and their families.

    Responding to an invitation from the society, I undertook a chapter, Hennessee Family of Burke County, and now I gladly share current progress with you.

    Unapologetic "Indian giver" that I am, I also seek any other data including names and distinctions that should also be included in the final draft, and I welcome your identifying any text errors and also your appraisal of my text conclusions.

    In addition, I encourage you to share the text with your descendants, siblings, cousins, and to solicit their appraisals.

    Please address text appraisals, suggested text changes, family updates, etc to me at or to Mail Box 511, 1244 Arbor Road, Winston-Salem, NC 27104.

    You may also reach me via phone at 336 725 5968, or I would welcome your visit at Arbor Acres Retirement Community in Winston-Salem.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation with Hennessee data and best wishes to you and yours for a Hearty Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Sincerely and Cordially,

    August 13, 2013

    Nick Hennessee
    Mail 511, 1244 Arbor Road
    Winston-Salem, NC 27104
    Line 336 725 5968 Cell 336 784 3685
    Some Incarnations of 'Patrick Hennessee'
    Some Incarnations of "Patrick Hennessee"

  • Notes 
    • From: Nick Hennessee
      To: David Hennessee
      Subject: Re: Check-in
      Date: Thursday, March 12, 1998 12:32 PM


      Here is what I have on Patrick I in the Revolution. Emmett White found his name (with spelling only close to Hennessee) in "NC Rev Army Accts, Vol III, BKG-16 (Haun, Part V)." Emmett said he has yet to extract from the source the data that he will use in his Volume III. I encouraged him to add to his data before he shares with us at our reunion April 19.

      My source is the November 1997 issue of the "Journal of Burke County Historical Society" and a section, "Revolutionary War Soldiers of Burke County, NC." Pages 8-13 are a "Roster of 500 Participants with Service Documentation." The roster has 325 names with sketches in Dr. White’s first two volumes, Revolutionary War Soldiers of Western North Carolina : Burke County, NC. The remaining 175 names are eligible to be sketches in Vol. III.

      Southern Historical Press, Greenville, SC published the first two volumes. The sketches are of "partisans of the American Revolution, including Loyalists, who resided in, served in, or later moved to Burke County." Among those with sketches in Vol. I are the Kincaids, James, John Sr. and Robert. Also Thomas Sumter and Charles McDowell. Vol. II includes William Sumter.

      Dr. White’s explanatory note for "NC Rev Army Accts" reads: "Revolutionary Army Auditors’ Accounts. Since payments due both soldiers and civilians were spotty during the Revolution, vouchers were often given, or no remuneration at all. Boards of auditors were set up in each of the Military-judicial districts of NC. The records of the accounts are extant and, in many cases, establish proof of service. The auditors were to settle all Revolutionary claims by direct payments. Land warrants were issued to Continental Line veterans (in Tennessee Military District). Printed versions of these accounts are available from Weynette Parks Haun of Durham (243 Argonne Drive, 27704-1423)."

      If you need more, let me know

      Best regards,


      At 11:34 AM 3/11/98 -0500, you wrote:

      Dear Cuz - Thanks for e-mailing the letter re Patrick I and Emmet White. Keep in touch and best regards to Betty...

      Sincerely yours...

      David Hennessee
      626 Biscayne Drive
      West Palm Beach,FL 33401

      16 Sep 2009:

      This census is from Microcopy No. T-498 Roll 2

      "Hensy, Patrick, 1,1,1,0,3"

      1790 Census North Carolina
      Burke County Morgan District

      1 of 1st # free white males 16 year upwards and head of families (Patrick)
      1 of 2nd # free white males under 16 years (Ailsey)
      1 of 3rd # free white females and head of families (John)
      0 of 4th # all other free persons (no other children)
      3 of 5th # slaves (unnamed)

      * [8]
    • more...

      "Kegley's Virginia Frontier: The Beginning of the Southwest - The Roanoke of Colonial Days: 1740-1783", by F. B. Kegley, p. 322: "New London in Bedford (County, Virginia) became a new western frontier town. Lots were laid off in 1761 and a good percentage of the purchasers came from the up country. The original owners were Col. Wm. Callaway...Patrick Henacie.
      Besides a sufficient number of stores there was an Academy of learning in operation as early as 1765."

      It is not known at this point whether Patrick had siblings. Given the average size of families in the 18th century if would seem likely that he did. There are several Hennessees appearing in census records and tax rolls during the late 18th century in and around the Virginia and North Carolina areas, i.e., David and Sarah appear in the Wilmington District (eastern North Carolina) well before 1800.

      "Thomas" is another Hennessee name rife in Colonial Virginia history and appears frequently during Patrick's early lifetime. If we consider the fact that there are several traditional forenames in our family, i.e., Patrick, James, David, John, Alexander and Thomas, to name but a few, Patrick's first son, John had a David, James' middle name was David, etc. It is likely that the aforementioned were brothers to Patrick. Other children of Patrick may have been Alexander and Richard, who both appear the 1800 Burke County, NC census. Reference my work titled, "Unlinked Hennessees".

      View document:

      "Burke County, North Carolina, Land Records and More Important Miscellaneous Records: 1751-1809", Vol.III, p. 103;

      "John and Mary Ballew vs. Hensey, Oct.15. Affid. of sd. Ballews: In 1780 he was at Patrick Henesys on Catawba River and saw a field of mares, and Henesy said his sons in law sent them, and later saw a similar mare delivered to Mr. Wm. Heartgrove."

      ...interesting passage in the fact that it implies Patrick had daughters. If he did, we have yet no knowledge of them...DAH*

      In 1761, Patrick shows ownership of a Land Grant in Bedford County, Virginia (see document). Later in 1774-1775, court records list many purchases for Patrick around the Catawba River. Also refer to "Petition of North Carolina Congress", 1775; many signatories: i.e., "David Crockett" and "Patrick Hennesey".

      More content:

      Patrick's will was proven October 25, 1795, in Tryon,Polk Co., NC. Will has been lost...Nita Shepherd

      Hamilton Mortimer Hennessee cited that his great-grandfather was from Ireland as was reported in his Civil War Veteran Interview...

      View his questionnaire:

      *Posted By: Nita Shepherd
      Subject: Patrick Hennessee, 1700's, Va. & N. C.
      Post Date: November 03, 1998 at 11:26:08
      Message URL:
      Forum: Virginia Genealogy Forum
      Forum URL:

      Need parentage and names of children of Patrick Hennessee who owned lot 31 in Bedford, Va., who left Va., settling in western N. C., whose will was probated in N. C. but whose will cannot be located, even in the N. C. Archives at Raleigh. His father may have been Thomas who fought in the French & Indian War. Patrick had sons James & John, possibly Peter who had schooling in Bedford, Va., and at least two daughters, names of daughters and sons-in-law not known.

      ...Nita was one of the earliest HENNESSEE researchers and a joy to work with. We spent many happy hours conjecturing early Hennessee heritage. Nita passed away 6 May 2003...

      * [1]
    • more...

      Received via E-mail Dec. 23, 1999, information on Patrick Hennessy, from Jim Hamlin:

      "Nita, here is some info from Bedford County Court orders:

      25 May 1763 Youile & Co vs Henicie. Charles Pattison represented Youile & Co and stated he had sold a Negro for the debt, but more was owed and Patrick Henicie's estate was in disrepute (Bedford Co., Va. OB 3 1763 - 71 pg 36). "Gar" was used after Pattison's name.

      25 May 1763 Alice* Henicie allowed 3 days in Matlock v Walker (Bedford Co. Va OB 3 1763 - 71 pg 37).

      Later he was in Burke Co., NC.:

      April 1784 Charles Ballow vs Patrick Henesy re horses. Deferred to court to be held 3rd Monday in July 1784. John and wife Mary were subpoenaed, with Wm Welch, John Harper, and Esther McMullin (NC Archives Series CRO 14.325.2 Box: Civil Action. Folder: 1784 (#2).

      Margaret Hawkins was summoned to give testimony for Patrick Henesy at the January 1784 court (1784 #1).

      April 1785 Patrick Henesy made oath that William Dalton, a material witness was sick and unable to appear in court (1785 #2). The suit was continued. In July 1785, Henesy swore that Dalton was summoned, but did not appear and he (Henesy) cannot come safely to trial (1785 #2).

      Came across Patrick while researching Ballew family who were also in Bedford & then Burke Co., N. C. The Ballews were from Goochland, Albemarle, and Amherst Counties. Have not seen Patrick there, though.

      Not much, but all I have. Hope it helps some. Jim Hamlin"

      * First and only record of Ailsey's Christian name being cited as "Alice".


      Bedford County Militia, 1758 (part 2)

      Submitted by Gwen Hurst

      Transcribed from: Hening, William Waller

      1820 The Statutes at Large; Being A Collection Of All The Laws Of Virginia, From The First Session Of The Legislature In The Year 1619. Volume VII. Franklin Press, Richmond, Virginia.

      "...Patrick Hensey (¹0.5.0 each) ...five shillings"

      More content:

      A conclusion: Apparently, Patrick went to Bedford Co.,VA before 1758 and was there through 1763

      * [1, 9]
    • More Content:





      Patrick Hennessee (c.1735-1796), the Patriarch of his family in America, had several land grants in Burke County, North Carolina during the era of the Revolutionary War. Patrick settled on them and raised a family, which has over 3,700 descendants.

      This paper is in two parts. Part I: Summarizes the settlement problems and grant difficulties existing in rebellious colonial North Carolina before and just after the Mecklenburg Declaration. It gives a glimpse into this time of terrible turmoil during the period when Patrick was making entries for land grants. Then, his land grant data are presented in tabular form. Part II: Describes the grants and highlights new insight and significant knowledge about Patrick and his family from the grants and collateral data.

      The work is an extension of research about Hennessee land grants by Fred and Carl Hennessee and others. It is dedicated to Nita Hennessee-Houk Shepard and her brother Dr. Albert Hennessee Houk, both children of Dr. E. A. Hennessee of Glen Alpine, North Carolina. Late in her life, Nita (my aunt) "discovered" a need for knowledge of her "roots". She then spent twenty years of inquiry in the noble search. Her work -- is an inspiration to all!

      For comments, please contact Gene Hennessee at (937) 864-7047.


      (Author's note: The first computerized compilations of survey maps of Patrick's and his neighbors' grants are featured in the article. The mapping is part of research in progress concerning Burke County by Dr. Robert McNeely. Earlier work had been initiated by the Burke County Genealogical Society.)



      The history of Royal land grants in colonial North Carolina is one of failure for many reasons.

      In 1578, Queen Elizabeth I of England granted a large territory in America, including present North Carolina, to Sir Gilbert. Following his unsuccessful venture in colonization, the Queen granted the territory to Sir Raleigh in 1584. He was not successful either. So, the territory was next granted in 1606 to the Virginia Company. However, this grant was revoked in 1629. At that time, King Charles I granted a large region south of Virginia to Sir Heath. Failure in colonization happened again.

      Finally in 1663, Charles II granted large separate tracts of this region to eight loyal supporters of his restoration. Most of these proprietors' colonization efforts were failures. So, these tracts were returned to the Crown. An exception was made for the grant, which eventually became known as the Granville District, in the northern part of the Royal Province of North Carolina.

      The district was bounded on the north by the North Carolina-Virginia border and on the south by an east-west survey line designated the "Granville Line". The line was just to the south of the "old" Burke County. Patrick's grants were located entirely in the Granville District. However due to (perhaps because of "creative") surveying, there was often confusion about the location of the line between Granville and the Crown lands bordering Burke County. Burke County was formed from Rowan County in 1777. At that time, Burke County contained all or part of 16 future counties including present Burke County.


      In 1752, at the invitation of Lord Granville, Bishop August Spangenburg became one of the early explorers of Burke area. His purpose was to assess the suitability of several locations for a Moravian settlement there. The Bishop recorded the first written description of the area. He noted in the Burke area many buffalo, deer, and hunters including white ones, but not settlements.

      Others described the area as part of a "hunting ground" between the Cherokees and the Catawba Indians. The Bishop also claimed that "…the forest had been ruined by the Indians who are accustom to setting fire to large tracts to drive deer to a given spot [in order to easily kill them] and that keeps the trees from growing." (This was very likely to have been the case on the home grant of Patrick Hennessee based on the salient features of his grant area.)

      According to E. Phifer Burke: History of a North Carolina County, 1977, "Spangenburg chose his fourth tract, 6,000 acres beginning seven or eight miles above the mouth of Middle Creek because the land between the mouth of the river [was] already taken up". (This is of special interest because some of the later Hennessee grants were in this "taken up area".)


      In 1753, the Crown's legislators established Rowan County. At once, Granville land promoters began selling the "cheap" land in the Burke County area, then a part of Rowan County. They sold to speculators, immigrants just off the boats in port cities, settlers who had been "late" in other areas, and to those who had settled on marginal farmland elsewhere. Phifer, in his history emphasizes the promoter's appeal to the "pinched" settlers in the northeast. They found many in Pennsylvania eager to buy in North Carolina because land prices in Pennsylvania were very high. Other colonies contributing significant number of pioneers, settlers, and speculators to Burke County were Virginia, Maryland, and the North and South Carolina coast cities according to Burke County Heritage, 1981, Volume 1, published for the Burke County Historical Society. (Both books are highly recommended by the writer as 'the' sources of information about Burke County.)

      Many settlers did not acquire formal title to the land. They were "squatters" who "tried-it-out" or "avoided-the-taxes". Some eventually sought grants for the land; others just moved "on" or "back". However, the migration into the Burke area certainly did not really begin until after the French and Indian War in 1754-1763. During this period, several forts were built along the Indian frontier areas in the Appalachian Mountains, including Burke County for defense. Fear of the Cherokees caused many frontier families to "go-back". Many had died "at the hands of the Cherokees" or from diseases. In fact, Phifer writes, "Between 1756 and 1759, taxable persons in the fairly large Rowan County (which at that time included Burke) diminished from over 1,500 to fewer than 800."


      In 1771, a military force of the North Carolina Regulators engaged Royalists near Greensboro. This was the first overt action in the Colonies against the British. More significantly, in 1775, the North Carolina General Assembly in Charlotte passed the Mecklenburg Declaration proclaiming independence from the Crown. So, this Colony was the first colony to formally declare "freedom" from Royal English rule. (Patrick lived during an exciting time in history!)

      North Carolina's Assembly declared all previous Royal derived land grants void in 1777. To be valid, all the Crown and Granville grants and all new land entries were required to be entered in a new procedure with new records. Having just become a county in 1777, Burke County commissioned Joseph MacDowell as entry taker and Christopher Beekman as surveyor for North Carolina grants in Burke County. Patrick's land transactions were with them.


      There are no known records of Crown/Granville land grants to Hennessees in old Burke County. The date Patrick entered North Carolina is as yet unknown. This writer believes it's most likely that Patrick Hennessee could have been among the early hunters/squatters that did not make any land entries. Apparently, many early pioneers did not apply for grants in the Burke area.

      I speculate that Pat had disdain for the Granville rights derived from the Crown and preferred not to pay "rent" or the taxes required by them. Or possibly he was one of the many whose land entries were lost by the inefficient and very corrupt Granville system. Another possibility is corrupt Crown officials, who supposedly "unknowingly" sold land in the Granville District, never properly recorded the grants.


      There were at least 13 land entries granted by North Carolina to Patrick (b c1735-d 1796) and other Hennessees. Of these, at least four were to Patrick and are listed in Table I. The grants are located on or near the Catawba River about three miles north east of Morganton. Pat's home place, grant #226, was on the south bank of the Catawba River. Other grants in Burke County were taken by James (1766-1851), Patrick's older son; and John (before 1775-1844), the younger son; and Patrick's grandson, Patrick (II) (c.1793-1845) the son of John. The final grant was to R. J. Hennessee (1845-1902), a descendent of Patrick II. Discussions of these other grants and their ramification are beyond the scope of this paper.


      In Part II, Patrick's and his neighbors' land grants are presented in map form. A summary description of his neighbors follows this. Then, comes a brief but "grim" account of the regional war waged by the Cherokee Indians. The local war in the Catawba valley was during the period when Patrick was probably "squatting" on the land for which he was to make a land entry. Next, his wise selections of a home site and other land grants are described. Finally, Patrick's family and progeny beginning are summarized.



      Patrick Hennessee, the Patriarch of his family with over 3,700 descendants, had several North Carolina land grants in Burke County during the Revolutionary War. Part I of this paper in the previous issue of the Journal contains a concise history of the Royal grants issues, settlement problems, and background for Pat's grants. It also cataloged the Hennessee grants. Part II, given below, highlights significant insight and knowledge about Patrick from the grants correlated with the latest genealogical and other data sources.


      (In the final draft of this paper) Patrick's land grants listed in Table I are presented in map form in Figure 1. The location of his grants listed in Table I and other grants can readily be determined from Figure 1. This map is from "Burkemap." It is the work of Dr. Robert L. McNeely. His pioneer ancestors had several grants in Burke County. For copies of the Hennessee grants and survey descriptions, see Carl Hennessee's enhanced packet of grant data. These maps, data, and additional grant information are available at the Burke County Library and partially available at the State Archives.

      PATRICK'S NEIGHBORS (1771-1810)

      The location of Pat's and his neighbors' grants are shown in Figure 1. There are several rewarding "clues-about Pat" that have been derived or confirmed from grantees' names and collateral information. The clues are rewarding in knowledge about the early Hennessees. For example, near Pat's home:
      --To the south, was a grant to Charles McDowell, of military fame.
      --To the north, across the Catawba, was Patrick's grant, which "changed hands" and became the home of Col. John Suddreth (his sister married Patrick(II), the grandson of Patrick, the Patriarch); and also, Thomas Wilcher (his daughter married James).
      --To the east, John Ballew*, whose affidavit, indicated Patrick Hennessee, his neighbor, had at least two married daughters (Burke County: Land and Misc. Records 1771-1809, Volume III, Page 103); and also, Abraham Harshaw, alleged loyalist, indicted by the State of North Carolina in 1782.
      --To the west, John Hughes, selected as justice of the County Court.

      Did Pat travel to Burke with any of them? From where? When? etc, Hopefully, more will be learned by future research into these and other clues from the past about Patrick of North Carolina. (Note: *In 2005, Peggy Hennessee and her husband Ralph Ballew were living near Patrick Hennessee's grant on the north side of the Catawba River.)


      One of Patrick's North Carolina land grants was entry # 185. It was located on the south bank of the Catawba River. (Note this is his west grant on the river in Figure 1). This early entry indicates several characteristics of Pat. Apparently, he was quick to adapt to change (and the War for Independence and the new freedom of North Carolina from English rule were major changes).

      In 1776, the situation of Pat and his family on the south bank of the Catawba River bank was grim. Now, threats on their lives from the Cherokees had always existed. But during that summer, the Cherokees boldly struck the Burke area in force. Down the Catawba and then to the east of Morganton, the Cherokees savagely destroyed and dealt death to those not in the forts or strong houses.

      Later that year, a large joint colonial military action on the western frontier of North and South Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia devastated the Cherokees. Most of their large villages and crops were destroyed and the Cherokees scattered. The following year 1777, as Burke became a county, North Carolina even placed a bounty of 15 pounds for each prisoner and 10 pounds for each scalp. Finally, the Cherokee by treaty ceded all claims to land east of the Blue Ridge. (The above is a condensed summary of the area's history from Heritage of Burke, 2001, Volume I, Article 1 and Volume II, Article 53.) Patrick and his family probably were relieved at this new freedom from fear of the Cherokee tomahawk. So following the military action, the entry rush for land grants began!

      Pat acted and made several entries! A land entry required an oath of allegiance to North Carolina, not the king. (No Tories Need Apply!)The decision to make early land entries beginning in 1778 certainly highlights the confidence he had that the Colonies would win the War. At that time, the threat in Burke County from the Tories and the British was yet to come.


      Again, consider Patrick's homeland grant on the south bank of the Catawba River below the mouth of Hunting Creek (It is his west grant on the river shown in Fgure 1). As he probably lived there at the time, most likely, he was the first to place an entry for the parcel. However, the description of the grant indicates Pat was probably not the first to have been there. The land survey description noted an "Allen's Bottom". This probably indicated that somebody had previously been there. A search of available Burke County records, in that time frame, provided no additional information about Allens. He was possibly a hunter who quartered there and moved on west. Less likely, he was killed by the Indians, was frightened, or was "worked out" and had moved back to "civilization" or "followed a hope" for better land elsewhere. (However in 1771, there is record of a John Allen who signed a petition to form a county west of Rowan County).

      For that period, the location of Pat's home on the south bank of the Catawba River, near his river bank grant to the east, was a very desirable one. Consider the advantages of the location. There were easily defended high sites for a cabin and other buildings. They could readily be built using logs from trees located thereon or from the flat ridge to the south. (The cabin site has probably been identified.) The relatively flat bottom, next to the river, appears better for corn than the steep slope rising to higher level ground, which was probably treed. However, this slope and ridge top most likely supplied wood for poles, fences, and fireplaces from an uphill location. The hunting technique of "burning-over" used by the Indians most likely had cleared the bottom. The method was typically used during their hunting in the region.

      The easy access to the river and the adjacent streams made the location ideal for canoe and raft travel. The main north-south road passing through the property had a rocky ford on the river to his grant on the north bank. The ridge road to the south connected with the main east-west wagon road. While to the north, the road was to Fort Defiance and other east-west roads.


      Another example of Patrick's wise selection of property was his only grant on the north bank of the Catawba River. It had outstanding development potential with some low bank frontage and a ford for the 'south-to-north' road that passed through both the north bank grant and his grant on the opposite bank.

      As noted in Table I above, Entry #1015 (or #22 from Phifer) was between Middle Creek (now the John's River) and Lower Creek. Both of these were hardy waterways with banks that could readily support grain and lumber mills. Timber was available or could be "floated" to the mill from more than one direction or transported by road. This valuable property was acquired by Col. John Suddreth as his home place. He developed the potential of the property by building mills there. The Colonel was a master investor, land speculator, horse breeder, and had other enterprises. For example, he, with the Hennessees, initiated a ferry operation near the Catawba River ford by their homesteads. According to Phifer, …"the ferry was still operating in 1846 and probably in 1861."

      Between the two families, there were three marriages within a generation and there were more interesting happenings. But that is another story.


      The name(s) of Patrick's wife (wives) has yet to be confirmed. Some say that she was a McDowell. Their two sons, James and John, assured the Hennessee posterity. In addition, there were at least two married daughters with little more being known at this time. Patrick's date of birth is essentially undocumented. He died ca 1796 (his will has not been "found" but is said to have been "proven" then).

      James, the elder son, married Sally Wilcher. After Sally died, James married Jane McGee of Tennessee. He had a total of at least 14 children. John, the younger son, remained on his grant in Burke County. He had at least two wives and probably four children. From these two families, Patrick has at least 3,700 descendants without consideration of the children of his daughters. (The best compilation of the descendants is David Hennessee's Hennessees in America, 1991, located in the Burke County Library). There are several informal family histories about the Hennessees that provide information about branches and families of Patrick's descendants. Proper judgement to resolve certain conflicts in these histories concerning Patrick's early life can not be made because the available evidence is inadequate at this time. The histories are mainly in possession of family members.


      As was customary and practical because of transportation limitation, marriages were often between neighbors. This was true for the Thomas Wilchers, with their grants on the north bank of the Catawba just to the west and adjacent to Patrick's north bank grant (see Figure 1). They were the parents of Sally, the bride of James. In 1804, the Wilchers sold 600 acres to William Walton, a trader who also trained servants, from Charleston, South Carolina. Then, the Wilchers "moved over the mountains" to Tennessee. James and his new family went with them to the less settled and "more promising land".

      More can be derived about James from the move. The wills of the early Tennessee Hennessees and Wilchers have given some insight into the situation at that time and their characteristics. The status of Thomas Wilcher in Tennessee is attested to as he held the first court for the area in which he lived at his home. It is hoped that future inquiries into Hennessee/Wilcher genealogical data may document more information about Patrick's family in North Carolina.


      John, Patrick's younger son, made an entry for a land grant on the north side of the Catwaba River in Burke. The grant was "one-land grant" north of Patrick's grant as shown in Figure 1. It is believed that John procured the land of the Alan Derryberry grant, which was between his grant and his father's grant. John acquired James' grant and his other land when James moved to Tennessee. The will of John is available.

      John's son, Patrick (II), also made entries for land grants adjacent to Patrick's homestead grant as shown in Figure 1. The Hennessees who today are located in Burke County, surrounding counties, and those originating in Burke County and moving elsewhere are mostly descendants from the John and Patrick (II) line.


      Hopefully, Patrick, the Patriarch of the Hennessee family in America, is now better known from the insight provided by this paper in terms of the turmoil from the War during his time, his decisions, land grants, family, and neighbors. However, there is much that is unknown and even difficult to speculate about Patrick.

      Patrick Hennessee was definitely on the banks of the Catawba River in Burke County, North Carolina. But from where did he come? Who was his wife? His daughters? His military service? His description? Personal characteristics? Etc, Etc?

      Again, hopefully, this paper has provided clues for leads to sources that will furnish some answers in the future.

      By Eugene L. Hennessee Jr.
      4237 West Enon Drive
      Enon, OH 45323
      (937) 864-7047 [10]
    • More content:

      The earliest Hennessee in America, as far as we know, landed in Maryland about 1690. He had guessed wrong at the Battle of the Boyne in the English Civil War. He had supported the ambitions of James II. He had fought at the Saarsfield brigade at the Battle of the Boyne in Ireland. And for his part in that, after James II lost his throne, the principal officers were exiled, including him. He was exiled and lived in Maryland. As far as we know he was a member of the Roman Catholic Church.

      He brought his wife to Maryland and had one son. And this son married in Virginia into a family by the name of Courtney who were members of the Episcopal Church. This son at,...this son had a son, who was killed at the Battle of Fort Necessity, in Washington's Company, in 1754 or 1755, I'm not sure which. He in turn left a boy seven years old. And this boy fought through the Revolution and then came down near Morganton and settled in Burke County.

      * [11, 12]
    • More...

      In the Bedford Militia in the 1750s were Thomas Hennesey and Patrick Henicie. In the French and Indian War, the Virginia Militia on the western frontier consisted mostly of the Bedford Militia. It was under command of celebrated land surveyor, map maker and college professor Colonel Joshua Fry, Major (later Colonel, General and President) George Washington and Captain (later Colonel) William Calloway, wealthy Bedford County merchant, land developer and manufacturer.

      Virginia records report that Thomas Hennesey survived the first battle of the war at Fort Necessity, PA, in 1754 and that Patrick Henicie received militia pay in 1758.

      A 1761 indenture evidences that Patrick paid "one pound, one shilling and six pence" to Colonel Calloway for a lot in New London. Four months later, Patrick sold it back at a good profit.

      In 1763, he and Alice were sued in Bedford Court for non-payment of debt.

      * [2]
    • more...

      December 31, 2015;

      Are you aware that the 1775 Joshua Frye & Peter Jefferson map of Virginia and northern North Carolina shows two surveys in North Carolina made for Moravian Bishop Spangenburg:

      (1) land for Salem, settled by the Moravians in the central Piedmont's Yadkin River watershed to begin metropolitan Winston-Salem in present Forsyth County, and

      (2) a western Piedmont tract east of present Morganton in the Piedmont's upper Catawba River watershed where pioneer settler Patrick Hennessee purchased in Burke County?

      * [13]
    • This first one I believe belongs to this Patrick based on some of the documents within it which have initials of some of his heirs: <>

      <> The dates you have and the dates on the record appears to be off though but as best as I can tell, that seems to be him. I couldn't swear to it though.

      end of message [14]
    • Sorry for so many emails but I seem to be on a roll lol. I found this 1781 military service pay voucher for Patrick Hennesy. It is from Salisbury, Rowan County, NC


      end of message [14]
    • Patrick Hennessee
      Born about 1725 in Irelandmap
      Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
      [sibling(s) unknown]
      Husband of Ailsey (Unknown) Hennessee — married 1763 in Burke Cty, North Carolinamap
      Descendants descendants
      Father of James Hennessee and John Hennessee
      Died about 1795 in North Carolinamap
      Profile manager: Allan Thomas private message [send private message]
      Profile last modified 19 Apr 2018 | Created 19 Dec 2015 | Last significant change: 19 Apr 2018
      04:07: Rose Edwards edited the Biography for Patrick Hennessee. [Thank Rose for this]
      This page has been accessed 509 times.

      Flag of Ireland.

      Patrick Hennessee was born in 1725 in Ireland. [2]He died in 1795 in North Carolina.[3]He served in the Revolutionary War from his enlistment in 1781 at Salisbury, Rowan, North Carolina, in the Continental Army.[4][5] He married Ailsey McDowell in 1763. [6] [7] [8]

      Proven Children

      John Hennessee, b. 1764, Sudderth Family Cemetery, Burke County, North Carolina d. 1844, North Carolina
      James Hennessee, b. 1766, Burke County, North Carolina , d. 03 Mar 1851, Warren County, Tennessee.


      ? Virginia's Colonial Soldiers By Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck, pg 208
      ? The Heritage Book of Burke County, NC" by The Burke County Historical Society, p. 329
      ? 1790 Census
      ? Burke County, North Carolina land records indicate Patrick was a plantation owner
      ? "Hennessee Family History" by D. A. Hennessee, p. 1

      Citing this record: 1790 Census does show Patrick Hensy in Burke County, NC with 1 free white male over 16, 1 free white male under 16, 1 free white female and 3 other persons with no details. I can only assume these were slaves as the family had slaves listed on other census records.

      Citing this record: "The Heritage Book of Burke County, NC" by The Burke County Historical Society, p. 329: "The Hennessee (O'hennessa, Hennesey, Hency) family is of Irish decent, a sect of the Colgon Clan of Ireland. They have been in Burke County, NC for at least 200 years, possibly longer. Patrick Hennessee, Sr. was the beginning of the family in Burke County.

      "Burke county, North Carolina, Land Records and more Important Miscellaneous Record: 1751-1809, Vol. III, p. 103: "John and Mary Ballew vs. Hensey, October 15, 1780. Affidavit of said Ballews: In 1780 he was at Patrick Henesy's on Catawba River and saw a field of mares, and Henesy said his sons in law sent them, and later saw a similar mare delivered to Mr. Wm. Heartgrove." Note: This implies Patrick had daughters.

      "In 1761, Patrick was granted ownership of a Land Grant in Bedford County, Virginia. Later in 1774-1775, records list many purchases for him around the Catawba River. Also the "Petition To North Carolina Congress" 1775; co-signatories are David Crockett & Patrick Hennesey." Note: This researcher finds the David Crockett in this document can not be the Davy Crockett as the popular title "King of the Wild Frontier" who represented Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives, served in the Texas Revolution, and died at the age of 49 at the Battle of the Alamo as this Davy Crockett was not born until 1786. It also could not be his father as his name was John.

      Citng this record:

      Burke County, North Carolina land records indicate Patrick was a plantation owner. Item Name Ref Date Reference

      70 Patrick II Hennessee Grant 5647 03 Oct 1831 Catawba River
      470 Patrick II Hennessee Grant 5615 26 Jan 1830 Catawba River S
      1173 John Hennessee Grant 2295 14 Jan 1794 Catawba River N
      20 Patrick Hennessee Grant 0267 02 Oct 1778 Catawba River S
      63 Patrick Hennessee Grant 2304 14 Jan 1794 Wards Branch
      67 Patrick Hennessee Grant 0226 28 Jan 1778 Catawba River S
      479 Patrick Hennessee Grant 0320 11 Dec 1778 Lower Creek Mouth

      Additional land entries for Burke County, North Carolina 1778-1779 Entry # Settler or Enterer Acres Description

      22 Patrick HENNESSEE 150 N side of Catawba River from mouth of Lower Crk. to mouth of Middle Creek, both sides of river
      185 Patrick HENNESSEE 300 South side of Catawba River below mouth of Hunting Creek
      292 Patrick HENNESSEE 150 South side of Catawba River, joining William WAKEFIELD and Arthur LOCKHART's improvements

      Citing this record:

      "Hennessee Family History" by D. A. Hennessee, p. 1: " Patrick's will was proven October, 1796, in Tryon County, NC." Fact: Tryon ceased to exist as a county in 1799 when it was divided into Lincoln County and Rutherford County, which are just south of Burke County. Tryon did remain a town to present day and therefore this information may be difficult to prove. Hennessee Family History, D. A. Hennessee, (D. A. Hennessee ).

      Patrick Hennesy North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers Name Patrick Hennesy Event Type Military Service Event Date 1781 Event Place Salisbury, Rowan, North Carolina, United States Event Place (Original) Salisbury, , North Carolina, United States Gender Male

      Citing this Record:

      "North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers, 1779-1782," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 17 August 2017), Patrick Hennesy, 1781; citing Salisbury, Rowan, North Carolina, United States, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh.

      Citing this record:

      Patrick Samuel Hennessee. View Tree Sex Male Birth from 1720 to 1730 Ireland Birth from 1720 to 1730 Birth from 1720 to 1745 Burke Cty, NC Death 1796 Burke Cty, NC MARRIAGES (1) Spouse Ailsey McDowell Marriage 1763 NOTES (1) Patrick is AFN P659 F6 and Ailsey is AFN 1FBT DOG One LDS has Sally Welcher as his wife. Will recorded Oct 25, 1795 In Burke Cty, NC Ailsey may have been sister of Generals Charles and Joseph


      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "Pedigree Resource File," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 2017-08-17), entry for Patrick Samuel Hennessee, submitted by fbradley2737624. ANCESTRAL FILE Ancestral File Number 4902-J5S PEDIGREE RESOURCE FILE Person Count 1,294 Submission ID MM9R-937. (Editor's Note: Full & maiden names cited on this link are NOT proven)

      end of biography [15]
    • Hennessee

      o John 1722-1756 &1746 Catharine Moore 1713-
      o Patrick 1745-1796 &1763 Ailsey McDowell ca 1742-1800
      o John 1764-1844 &ca 1790 Elizabeth Sumpter
      o Elizabeth 1791-1865 &/1812 Tisdale Spencer 1792-/1870

      email sent March5th, 2019:

      Hello James.

      You reported on Geneanet:

      "o John 1722-1756 &1746 Catharine Moore 1713-

      o Patrick 1745-1796 &1763 Ailsey McDowell ca 1742-1800
      o John 1764-1844 &ca 1790 Elizabeth Sumpter
      o Elizabeth 1791-1865 &/1812 Tisdale Spencer 1792-/1870"

      I was delighted to find this registry. Can you please cite source material? I would like to investigate further. Please use my email address:

      Thnak you,

      David Hennessee

      end of email [16]

  • Sources 
    1. [S30] David A. Hennessee, HENNESSEE Researcher & Compiler, 626 Biscayne Drive,West Palm Beach,FL 33401, 561.832.6612, info@c.

    2. [S52013] "The Hennessee Family of Burke Count, North Carolina", by Nick Hennessee | August 13, 2013 |

    3. [S12695] "Patrick Hennesy, North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers, 1779-1782". "North Carolina Revolutionary Pay Vouchers, 177.

    4. [S31] Patrick Hennessee, Last Will & Testament, Burke County,NC Court Records, (Reliability: 3).

    5. [S32] "The Heritage of Burke County,NC",by The Burke County Historical Society,, p. 225.

    6. [S33] "Burke County,North Carolina - Surviving Will and Probate Abstracts:1777-1910", Abstract 252.

    7. [S6009] 1790 Census North Carolina, Burke County Morgan District.

    8. [S48586] Manassa Nixon "Nick" Hennessee, III (1930- | HENNESSEE Researcher & Historian |

    9. [S48588] Jim Hamlin | 23 Dec 1999.

    10. [S48587] Eugene L. "Gene" Hennessee, Jr. | HENNESSEE Researcher |.

    11. [S48585] William Wren Hennessee (1900-1966) | Testimony of 1966 | Abstracted by Keith Corwyn Hennessee | 19 Oct 1991 | Family Gr.

    12. [S1327] Keith Corwyn Hennessee | 19 Oct 1991 | Family Group Records & Personal Research |

    13. [S8807] Manassa Nixon "Nick" Hennessee, III (1930- ,HENNESSEE Researcher & Historian,, sends these commen.

    14. [S10967] Stefani Hennessee,, contributor, message received Sunday, March 2nd, 2017 and retrieved, recorde.

    15. [S12697] "Patrick Hennessee (abt. 1725 - abt. 1795)", Biography,, abstracted by David.

    16. [S13755] "Hennessee", James Box,, abstracted by David A. Hennessee, info.