UPDATE 3/15/2020 – Now that the General Assembly Session Records are available online and I can see this document more clearly and show it to others, I’m convinced it says HENBY, not HENLEY.
After carefully examining the original document which legalized my ancestor, Laban MORRIS’, name change, it appears that even though the transcribed version in the General Assembly Session Records, as well as in the North Carolina Genealogical Society Journal, says Laban HENLY to Laban MORRIS — it appears that it could actually be HENBY.
Now, it could be that it’s just a case of six-of-one, half-a-dozen of the other, as the two spellings seem to have been used interchangeably at times over the years — largely due to transcription errors. In fact, one HENLEY family from the Perquimans County area of North Carolina had offspring who were listed as both HENLEY and HENBY.
There were HENBY families living in Pitt, Dobbs and Wayne Counties, but I’ve not had the opportunity to fully exhaust available materials to glean much information on those individuals. I did pull a number of items from US GenWeb Archives, as well as some books I had, and posted them here.
Side note: There are estate records for a few HENLYs in Craven County — where Laban lived most of his life — but they are dated a full 30 years before Laban was born, and they are for HENLEYs/HENLYs who were from Perquimans County. Victor T. Jones, department head of the Kellenberger Room at New Bern – Craven County Public Library , said that they could possibly be from the Secretary of State papers that included wills prior to the 1770s back when the S of S office was in New Bern, or it’s also possible that the men also owned land in Craven County, which would necessitate their estates being filed in both places.
In case it’s helpful to anyone, here are the links for those Perquimans County HENBYs with Estate Records in Craven County:
- James Henby died sometime around 1752, as his estate papers are found in Craven County records. The administrator of the estate was his brother, Sylvanus.
- John Henby’s estate records (1753) are also found in Craven County, but under John HENLY. Also administered by Sylvanus.
- Joseph Henby’s estate records (1752) are also found in Craven County.
There are also records for Peter HENLY of Edenton (Chowan County) from 1758, but he was a court justice, and may be unconnected to the aforementioned HENLY/HENBY families.