Growing up, my Dad had always talked about his ancestor being in the Revolutionary War. This was my Great-great-great-great grandfather Richardson Hensley of Spotsylvania County, Virginia. He was born there in 1746 to George Hensley and Sarah Richardson, both also born in Virginia.
Richardson was the first of many to carry that name. One of his six sons was also named Richardson, as was his son, and his son, too. I am descended from all. The last Richardson (also known as Richard) died of typhoid fever in 1859, 5 months before his daughter, Naomi - my great-grandmother, was born.
The original Richardson and his wife, Winnifred Berryman were pioneers. They set out for the West after the Revolution. Richardson had a land grant in Kentucky for his brother William's service in the war and moved his family there.
After a while, his feet began to itch and the Hensley family pulled up stakes, moving deeper into Kentucky to Shelby County. Winnifred died 22 Mar 1796, but Richardson pushed onward to Washington County, Indiana. Richardson died here in 1823 and is buried in the Sharon Baptist Church Cemetery, near Salem, Washington Co., Indiana.
Through my Hensley roots, I am related to several well-known people:
Paul V. McNutt, 33rd Governor of Indiana (3rd cousin, once removed)
Virginia Patterson Hensley Cline Dick, better known as Patsy Cline (8th cousin, once removed)
Cindy Lou Hensley McCain, wife of Senator John S. McCain (R-AZ) (8th cousin)
Ashley Tyler Judd Franchetti (6th cousin, twice removed)
Richardson Hensley was not my only Patriot ancestor. Francis Kittridge, born 1728, of Massachusetts was a doctor in the Revolution; Thomas Sturgeon, born 1731, of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania also served his country; and James Cully, born 1740-1760, of Virginia was an officer in the Revolutionary War. I'm sure there are others, I just can't remember at this point. These were all on my Dad's side of the family.
My Mom's side were mostly Quakers (Society of Friends) and Brethern. According to Wikipedia, "The Religious Society of Friends has been categorized as one of the peace churches, alongside the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites and Amish, because of all of these churches' emphasis on Christian pacifism."
My cousin Stanley Aultz' research into our Aultz roots found two Aultz brothers came to Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania in the early 1700s from Drusweiler, Palatinate, Bavaria. They were both fined at least once for not attending muster at the beginning of the Revolution. They must have figured this was a war between English speaking folk, having nothing to do with themselves.
All in all, I am very proud of my heritage! There were those that fought for our freedoms, including our freedom of religion. Please read that again: freedom OF religion, NOT freedom FROM religion.
Our country had better wake up soon and stop giving in to a few malcontents who are ruling what is done and said regarding religion. Whatever happened to majority rule!?! If they don't like it, they can always go back to the country they came from, where I'm sure they would have it so much worse!
Our ancestors came to America to escape being like Europe, etc.! If you like Europe, Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. so much, stop trying to change America and go there! I'm sure those countries will appreciate you.
If this attitude offends you, I'm really not sorry, because that's how I feel. I'm a patriot and will defend my country to the end!
Happy 4th of July!!!