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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the Scottish Henryson family come from? What is the Scottish Henryson family crest and coat of arms? When did the Henryson family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Henryson family history?

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Henryson lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Henryson is derived from the personal name Hendry, which is a chiefly Scottish derivative of the name Henry. There were two main branches of the Henryson family, one at Glencoe, in the lower Highlands, and one at Caithness, in the extreme north of Scotland.

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The arts of spelling and translation were yet in their infancies when surnames began, so there are an enormous number of spelling variations of the names in early Scottish records. This is a particular problem with Scottish names because of the numerous times a name might have been loosely translated to English from Gaelic and back. Henryson has been spelled Henderson, Henreyson, Henryson, MacKendrick and many more.

First found in Caithness, Glencoe, the Shetland Islands, Liddlesdale, and Fordell. One origin claims the Henryson family descend from Great Henry, son of King Nechtan, who was also the progenitor of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. However, the branch of the Henryson to whom this story relates also claim to have settled in the Glencoe territory many years before the Maclains or MacDonalds arrived there. This is consistent with the theory that this family are a branch of the northern family who moved south and became attached to the MacDonalds. Generally noted as great fighters, they became bodyguards of the Chief of the MacDonalds. They were also the hereditary pipers of that Clan, sometimes referred to as the Maclains. Later, in about 1530, there emerged another section of the Henderson Clan in the Border country of Liddesdale but the connection between this group and the main Clan is somewhat tenuous. However, it is known that many of the Highland Clans were invited, coerced or transported, sometimes as a whole sometimes as a branch, to the border country to provide better defenses against English attacks along the Border.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henryson research. Another 255 words(18 lines of text) covering the years 1494, 1511, 1583, 1638, 1646, and 1692 are included under the topic Early Henryson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 66 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henryson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Henryson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 196 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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This oppression forced many Scots to leave their homelands. Most of these chose North America as their destination. Although the journey left many sick and poor, these immigrants were welcomed the hardy with great opportunity. Many of these settlers stood up for their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. More recently, Scots abroad have recovered much of their collective heritage through highland games and other patriotic functions and groups. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has located various settlers bearing the name Henryson: Alex Henderson, who came to Virginia in 1650; Adry Henderson, who arrived in Virginia in 1669; Francis and William Henderson, who arrived in Barbados in 1680.

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Sola virtus nobilitat
Motto Translation: Virtue alone ennobles.

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  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Adam, Frank. Clans Septs and Regiments of the Scottish Highlands 8th Edition. London: Bacon (G.W.) & Co, 1970. Print. (ISBN 10-0717945006).
  3. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  8. Martine, Roddy, Roderick Martine and Don Pottinger. Scottish Clan and Family Names Their Arms, Origins and Tartans. Edinburgh: Mainstream, 1992. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Henryson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henryson Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 27 October 2010 at 13:39.

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