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

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

The Henshaw name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived in the settlement of Henshaw in Northumberland, or in the settlement of Henshaw in Prestbury, which is in the county of Cheshire. The surname Henshaw belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Henshaw has undergone many spelling variations, including Henshaw, Henshall, Henshawe and others.

First found in Cheshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henshaw research. Another 139 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1628, 1673, 1663, 1608, 1679, 1663, 1618 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Henshaw History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 73 words(5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henshaw Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Henshaw were among those contributors:

Henshaw Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Joshua Henshaw, who landed in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1652
  • Benj Henshaw, who landed in Virginia in 1662

Henshaw Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Henshaw settled in Maryland in 1742
  • Benjamin and John Henshaw settled in Boston in 1768

Henshaw Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Vivian Henshaw, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1831
  • John and Joseph Henshaw settled in Philadelphia in 1840
  • Mrs. Henshaw, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851

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  • David Henshaw (1791-1852), 14th United States Secretary of the Navy
  • Henry Wetherbee Henshaw (1850-1930), American ornithologist
  • Alex Henshaw MBE, (1912-2007), award winning and record setting famed English test pilot
  • Ernest Henshaw (1870-1950), Australian politician
  • Graham Henshaw (1936-2006), Botanist
  • John Henshaw (b. 1951), British actor
  • Jim Henshaw (b. 1949), Canadian actor
  • Melinda Henshaw (b. 1977), New Zealand yachtswoman who competed for New Zealand at the 2000 Summer Olympics


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  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  3. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  4. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Henshaw Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henshaw 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 3 March 2014 at 10:15.

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