Trying to Untangle the House of Hendricks, Rowan County, NC, 1700s

Before I traveled down the Roland branch of the family tree, I last shared information about the family of Jacob Hendricks and Frina (Fanny) Roland, who left Rowan County, North Carolina for Kentucky in the late 1700s.

There are two more generations of Hendricks to share, that of John and his father, James, who was an elder in the Brethren Church and an unordained minister.

James Hendricks, who left York County, Pennsylvania when he was granted land in Frederick County, Maryland in 1755, lived in places that have some helpful records to piece together his movements and that of his family.

However, given the repetition of the same names, sorting out the various Hendricks men is not an easy task and I know there are online errors in dates.

First, James Hendricks’ year of birth is unknown. As he was granted land in 1755, it is safe to assume that he was over the age of 21 and then born no later than 1734. We can take his birth year back even further by looking at his son John’s family.  As John’s son, Jacob, was born 11 November 1768, likely in Frederick County, Maryland, John would have been perhaps about 25 at the time and born c1743.

If James was also about 25 when his son was born (John and Jacob were older children of each of their respective parents), then his birth year could be as early as, say, 1718.

Today, I’d like to share tidbits I’ve gleaned from the tax records, 1790 census and court minutes in Rowan County, North Carolina.

First, we have the tax lists. Rowan County has some very early lists dating to 1758. However, they are incomplete and spotty in terms of the years covered. The following Hendricks men were found on them:

1767? (very faded)Peter Hendricks with 157 acres of land

1783 – Petition from Henry Hendricks, asking for tax exemption due to age and infirmity. One of the signers was David Hendricks.

The lists for 1782 and 1783 are mixed together and not all are dated, but in this grouping are:

1782/83James Hendricks, 56 acres, 41 horses and 16 cattle and Peter Hendricks, 12 acres

1784-1786William Hendricks, David Hendricks Sr., David Hendricks Jr., Henry Hendricks

1788 – John Hendricks, in Capt. Abbott’s Company, insolvent, no land, one poll

Lists are then missing until the 1790s and no Hendricks were found on them.

Next, the court minutes for Rowan County are intact. It would have been more helpful if the clerk had written out estate sales reports and inventories, as clerks in other counties have done, but at least I found some names.

I will go more in depth about James Hendricks’ children when he has his own post. In order to prove that there was more than one instance of men with the same name, here is a piece of proof. In 1789, James’s five sons – Daniel, Peter and John, along with William and Henry, who had a guardian – asked the court to equitably divide their father’s various tracts of land. Whether or not he had surviving daughters is unknown.

Let’s assume that the sons are listed in birth order. It’s also important to know that James Hendricks married twice and the two younger sons are by Christianna (?Roland).

Since William and Henry are under 21 (and the estate was settled in 1791 – maybe when the youngest son reached legal age?), let’s estimate their birth years as 1768 and 1770.

Daniel, Peter and John were most likely born in the 1740s.

Court minutes also include approvals for the estate administrations of Phillip Hendricks in November 1787 and that of David Hendricks in 1788. It is noted that David’s wife was Margaret and his orphan, Henry, had his mother named as his guardian in November 1788.

Finally, the 1790 census has ELEVEN Hendricks households in 1790. All have one male over 16, so the families are all fairly young.

I’ve highlighted James’s possible sons in the census list below.

His son, John, had one adult son in 1790 – another John.

One observation I made about the 1790 census is that Abraham, Frederick and Isaac are not names I’ve come across in ANY Hendricks families. It’s certainly not impossible that they belong, but as Hendricks isn’t an uncommon name, I tend to think that these three might be a different family.

Source: Ancestry


Daniel, 4 males under 16, 6 females
James, 3 males under 16, 3 females
Peter, 1 male under 16, 4 females
Daniel, 4 males under 16, 5 females
John, 1 male under 16, 3 females
David, 2 males under 16, 2 females
John, 1 males under 16, 3 females
Abraham, only one male over 16
Frederick, 1 male under 16, 3 females
Isaac, 0 males under 16, 3 females
Phillip, 2 males under 16, 1 female

These three resources prove that there were adult Hendricks men besides James who were early in Rowan County – Henry, who asked for his tax exemption in 1783. David was likely his son, since he was the only one on of the signers who was a Hendricks. With age and infirmity cited, I would think that Henry was at least 60 years old and probably older.

There was Peter Hendricks, taxed in 1782, William and another David (Senior?), taxed 1784-86, possibly another Henry if the 1783 request was granted, plus insolvent John Hendricks in 1788.

Phillip Hendricks’ 1787 estate administration throws yet another man into the mix. One of the two Davids died in 1788, the one who married Margaret and had a son Henry, who was a minor.

Look at the repetition of given names!

Since we know that Daniel, Peter and John all survived their father, the remaining names in 1790 – James, Daniel, David and Phillip – are likely children of Daniel and Peter because John’s sons named Daniel and Phillip were born in the 1770s and still at home in 1790.

What we don’t know are the names of any sons of Henry who was elderly in 1783 or if Phillip who died in 1787 was married and/or had children or if David who died in 1788 had sons older than Henry who were of legal age.

Land records for Rowan County are extant, but unfortunately very few of them name relationships or state how the grantor obtained the land being sold.

With this overview, we will next look at the family of John Hendricks, father of Jacob Hendricks who married Frina Roland.




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