Henderso History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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According to family lore, those of the Henderso surname descend from the Pictish prince Eanruig Mor mac Righ Nechtan (Big Henry the son of King Nechtan). His descendants were known as Clan Eanruig, or "family of Henry." However, it is most likely that they are descended from the Gunns of Caithness, a Norse Clan who were the vassals of the Sinclairs, the Jarls of Orkney.
Early Origins of the Henderso family
The surname Henderso was first found in Caithness, Glencoe, the Shetland Islands, Liddlesdale, and Fordell. One origin claims the Henderso family descend from Great Henry, son of King Nechtan, who was also the progenitor of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. However, the branch of the Henderso 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.
Early History of the Henderso family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henderso research. Another 200 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1692, 1511, 1494, 1494, 1583, 1646, 1638, 1430, 1506, 1460, 1500, 1420, 1430, 1510, 1590, 1510, 1638, 1600, 1606, 1865 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Henderso History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Henderso Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Henderson, Henreyson, Henryson, MacKendrick and many more.
Early Notables of the Henderso family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the Clan at this time was James Henderson, of the Fordell line, who became Lord Advocate of Scotland in 1494.
Perhaps the greatest Henderson of all was Alexander Henderson (c.1583-1646) of Fife, minister of Leuchars, who attended of St. Andrews University. In 1638, he drafted the National Covenant of Scotland, and is generally considered the "2nd founder," after Knox, of the Presbyterian church in Scotland.
Robert Henryson (1430?-1506?) was a poet who flourished in Scotland in the period c. 1460-1500. He was...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henderso Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Henderso family to Ireland
Some of the Henderso family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 129 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Henderso family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: 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.
Related Stories +
The Henderso Motto +
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.