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

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

The name Henson has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived from the baptismal name for the son of Hans. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Henson include Hanson, Hansom and others.

First found in Yorkshire 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.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henson research. Another 300 words(21 lines of text) covering the year 1675 is included under the topic Early Henson History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Henson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Henson Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Phillipp Henson, aged 21, landed in Barbados in 1635
  • Rich Henson, who arrived in Virginia in 1656
  • John Henson, who landed in Maryland in 1661
  • Robert Henson, who arrived in Maryland in 1665

Henson Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Phillip Henson, who arrived in Virginia in 1703

Henson Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Christian Henson, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906
  • Elizabeth Henson, aged 13, arrived in New York, NY in 1852
  • Emma Henson, aged 5, arrived in New York, NY in 1852
  • Haddon Henson, aged 2, landed in New York, NY in 1852
  • Mary Henson, aged 19, landed in New York, NY in 1852


  • Jim Henson (1936-1990), American puppeteer, creator of the Muppets, posthumous recipient of the Courage of Conscience Award from The Peace Abbey and Disney Legends Award
  • Josiah Henson (1789-1883), famed fugitive American slave, founder of the Dawn Settlement
  • Matthew Henson (1866-1955), American explorer, member of the Robert Peary expedition in 1909
  • Jane Henson (1934-2013), American puppeteer, wife of puppeteer Jim Henson
  • John Paul Henson (1965-2014), American puppeteer best known for his association with The Muppets, son of Jim Henson
  • Leslie Henson (1891-1957), English comedian, actor, film producer
  • William Samuel Henson (1812-1888), English aviation engineer and inventor of the "Henson Aerial Steam Carriage" for which he received a patent in 1843
  • Gavin Henson (b. 1982), Welsh Rugby Union player
  • Bill Henson (b. 1955), Australian contemporary art photographer
  • Basil Henson (1918-1990), British actor, perhaps best known for his stage roles in Shakespeare productions


  • A Henson Family History in Early America and Their Revolutionary War Soldiers, 1725-18500 by A.L. Henson.
  • The Story of Philip G. Henson of Wayne County, Illinois by Beulah Reed May.

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  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  6. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  11. ...

The Henson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henson 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 30 September 2014 at 12:30.

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