William "Tailor Billy" Henry
- Born: 5 Apr 1760, Scotland
- Marriage: Jane Wiley
- Died: 29 Apr 1833, New Hanover County, NC, at age 73
Upon the death of William "Tailor Billy" Henry in 1833, an obituary in a Wilmington, NC newspaper read: "...a native of Scotland, but for the past fifty years an inhabitant of this country."
According to handwritten entries in an old family document, William "Tailor Billy" Henry was born April 5, 1760 in Scotland, the son of Neal and Margaret. This document currently is owned by descendants of Tailor Billy's daughter, Hannah. (See details below under Confession of Faith)
C.A. Colvin, a nephew of Elizabeth, daughter of Tailor Billy's son, Neal, wrote a letter in 1911 in which he stated that "...William Henry came from New York just before or right after the Revolutionary War (1775-1785) and settled on a tract of land granted to him lying on the east side of the east prong of Colvin's Creek..." (William would be in his early 20's at this time).
Other records have indicated that William married Jenett "Jane" Wiley of Long Island, NY. This certainly hints that William came first to New York from Scotland and met his future wife while living there. To date, no immigration records have been found.
WILLIAM HENRY is found in the Colonial America Census Index for New Hanover county in 1767 and again in 1786, the latter in Upper Sound District. Tailor Billy is too young to be the first entry but could well be the one in 1786. William had a nickname, Tailor Billy, to distinguish him from others named William Henry who were living in New Hanover County in the same time period. Since William was a farmer, it seems plausible that his nickname derived from his father's trade as a tailor. Quite possibly William had apprenticed as a tailor back in Scotland.
The Confession of Faith Church of Scotland, a document handed down through the descendants of Hannah Henry has these entries written in ink:
William Henry, son of Neal Henry and Margaret, was born April 5, 1760. Jane Henry his wife was born March 5, 1767.
Neal Henry, son of Wm Henry and Jane Henry was born July 23, 1785.
John Henry was born Mary 23, 1790
Mary Henry was born January 7, 1792
Margaret Henry was born September 29, 1794
Catherine Henry was born August 21, 1796
Andrew was born January 22, 1798
Elizabeth was born July 1, 1799
William was born Mary 22, 1801
Nancy was born March 19, 1802
Hannah was born September 24, 1804
Tailor Billy married Jane Wiley. (Jane Wiley was born on 5 Mar 1767 and died in NC.)