Descendants of William Lee Henderson and Eleanor Ann Selina Shelby
From the unpublished book written by Vivian Anderson Castleberry
Henderson Connections

John Elam Henderson

Rebecca Henderson

Murray Elam Anderson

William Clarence Anderson

The text is transcribed as follows:

A Family Register
John Henderson and Ann Sample were married Apr 5 1804
Their first child

Betsey [Middle initial is either a T, I, or J] was born Sept 1st 1805   Dep Aug 1807[?]
Robert Z Henderson was born Oct 26th 1806    Married Apr 25th 1832
William L Henderson was born Jan 4th 1808    Married Apr 26th 1838
James M Henderson was born Apr 4th 1809   Married Oct 13th 1836
John E Henderson was born Nov. 9th [or 7th?] 1810    Married Dec 4th 1834
Jemima N Henderson was born Apr 5th 1812    Married Dec 4th 1838
McKnitt A Henderson was born July 14th 1813
Isabella E Henderson was born Dec. 22nd 1814    Married Dec 21st 1837
Ann A Henderson was born Mar 3rd 1816

Wrought by Isabella E Henderson at Hopewell Female Academy Oct 18th 1836 Mrs Williamson


1984 Genealogical Journal Article

An article and photocopy of the sampler were printed in this quarterly journal: Southwest Oklahoma Genealogical Society, The Tree Tracers, Lawton, Oklahoma, Summer 1984, Vol. 8, No. 4, p.19.

Submitted by Roserma H. Arnold, Lawton, OK

In generations past girls first learned to sew samplers and many have been preserved. They can contain valuable biographical information and dates, as well as being an artistic family keepsake. The Smithsonian Institute has a collection of early American samplers and there are guide books on these and others found in museums across the country.

The HENDERSON/SAMPLE Family Sampler was found in 1983 by my nephew Dr. James Hensley and his wife Georgia (now living in Shawnee, OK) when they were on a genealogy search in Alabama. Mr. John Porter of Selma, Alabama shared the copy with them. The location of the sampler, if it still exists, is unknown to me. As the sampler states, it was “Wrought by Isabella E. HENDERSON [Hopewell] Female Academy Oct 18th 1836 Mrs Williamson. The earliest date is the marriage date of 1804.

John and Ann (SAMPLE) HENDERSON were my g.g.grandparents and they are buried in Hopewell Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Mecklenburg Co. NC. William L. (Lee) and Eleanor Selena (SHELBY) HENDERSON were my g.grandparents and they are buried in Lindale, Smith County, Texas. John E. HENDERSON married Abigail BRADLEY and one of their children, Margaret, married Uriah B. DOBBINS. Margaret died in childbirth. Uriah DOBBINS then married Mrs. Mary A. HENDERSON (McGAHEY), who was my grandmother.

Where They Went

By Kerin

Of the family members listed on the sampler, only the parents, Ann Sample Henderson (died 1830) and John Lee Henderson (died 1842) have gravestones at Hopewell Cemetery in North Carolina. Their children:

Betsey—died 1807 at age 1, no gravestone found.
Robert Z.—married Abigail Sample and migrated to McNairy County, Tennessee, between 1850 and 1860.
William Lee—the subject of our story. Married Eleanor Ann Selina Shelby and migrated to Perry County, Alabama between 1851 and 1852 and owned land near today's Heiberger. Migrated to Lindale, Smith County, Texas, in 1879.
James M.—married Mary Hunter and migrated to Madison County, Tennessee, sometime between 1836 and 1850. (Madison County, at that time, adjoined McNairy County, where his brother Robert Z. Henderson settled. A town named Henderson is in the same vicinity.)
John Elam—married Abigail Smith Bradley and migrated to Perry County, Alabama, between 1850 and 1853. Owned land near his brother William Lee near today's Heiberger. Died Apr. 4, 1879, a few months before some of his children and family members made the trek to Texas in Nov. 1879.
Jemima Narcissus—married Milton Alexander and stayed in the general area. Records list them near Stony Point and Statesville, North Carolina, 30–40 miles northwest of Hopewell Church.
McKnitt A.—married Catherine Herron and stayed in Mecklenburg County.
Isabella Elizabeth—married Lorenzo Porter and migrated to Perry County, Alabama between 1850 and 1860, then 30–40 miles south to the Summerfield area near Selma, Dallas County, Alabama.
Ann Amanda—married James Madison Shelby (Eleanor’s brother) and migrated to Perry County, Alabama between 1850 and 1860. Migrated to Smith County, Texas, before 1870 (at least 10 years prior to her brothers’ migration).

(Source: 1850–1880 Census Records and records, with the help of

Double Hendersons

Interestingly, Vivian Anderson Castleberry descends from two of the brothers listed on the sampler: William Lee and John Elam.

Vivian’s parents, Jessie and Clarence, were from towns 40 miles apart (Lindale and Larue), and they never met or knew of each other until adulthood. According to Vivian, they realized they might have a common ancestor but didn’t know how far back. It wasn’t until a few years ago, thanks to online digital records, that we learned they were actually third cousins!

Vivian Anderson Castleberry

William Lee Henderson

Joseph Asmon Henderson

John Lee Henderson

Jessie Lee Henderson

John Lee Henderson and Ann Sample

Henderson Sampler

By Kerin

Sampler and journal article were tucked into the Henderson book, but I supplied the rest of the information.

William Lee Henderson’s sister, Isabella E. Henderson, embroidered a family sampler when she was a student at Hopewell Female Academy near Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, North Carolina. It lists their parents and siblings.

Our family only has a photocopy of a photo of this sampler. The last we knew (in the 1980s), the original was owned by direct descendants of Isabella E. Henderson in Selma, Alabama.

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