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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The age-old Pictish-Scottish family name Henderson is derived from the personal name Hendry, which is a chiefly Scottish derivative of the name Henry. There were two main branches of the Henderson family, one at Glencoe, in the lower Highlands, and one at Caithness, in the extreme north of Scotland.

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The surname Henderson was first found in Caithness, Glencoe, the Shetland Islands, Liddlesdale, and Fordell. One origin claims the Henderson family descend from Great Henry, son of King Nechtan, who was also the progenitor of the MacDonalds of Glencoe. However, the branch of the Henderson 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.

In the Middle ages, spelling and translation were not yet regulated by any general rules. spelling variations in names were common even among members of one family unit. Henderson has appeared Henderson, Henreyson, Henryson, MacKendrick and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henderson research. Another 399 words (28 lines of text) covering the years 1692, 1511, 1494, 1494, 1583, 1646, 1638, 1460, 1500, 1865 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Henderson History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 147 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Henderson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Henderson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 249 words (18 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Faced by this persecution and the generally unstable political climate of those days, many Scots chose to leave their homeland for Ireland, Australia, and North America in search of greater opportunity and freedom. The colonies across the Atlantic were the most popular choice, but a passage there was neither cheap nor easily suffered. Passengers arrived sick and poor, but those who made it intact often found land and more tolerant societies in which to live. These brave settlers formed the backbone of the burgeoning nations of Canada and the United States. It is only this century that the ancestors of these families have begun to recover their collective identity through the patriotic highland games and Clan societies that have sprung up throughout North America. Research into early immigration and passenger lists revealed many immigrants bearing the name Henderson:

Henderson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Alex Henderson, who came to Virginia in 1650
  • Alex Henderson, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • Gilbert Henderson, who arrived in Virginia in 1652
  • Henrick Henderson, who landed in Virginia in 1657
  • Patrick Henderson, who arrived in Maryland in 1663


Henderson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Charles Henderson, who was banished to Virginia in 1716
  • Hugh Henderson, who arrived in New England in 1729
  • Anna Henderson, who landed in New York in 1739
  • Don Henderson, who arrived in Boston in 1766
  • Colin Henderson, who settled in Virginia in 1773


Henderson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jacob Henderson, who landed in America in 1800
  • Prudence Henderson, aged 13, arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Elenor Henderson, aged 18, landed in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Ann Henderson, aged 8, arrived in New Castle or Philadelphia in 1804
  • Archibald Henderson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1805


Henderson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Hamilton McKennie Henderson, who arrived in Alabama in 1917

Henderson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Nathaniel Henderson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749-1752
  • Emanl Henderson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Margt Henderson, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Mr. Caleb Henderson U.E. who settled in Home District [York County], Ontario c. 1784
  • Mr. David Henderson U.E. who settled in Elizabeth Town [Elizabethtown], Leeds County, Ontario c. 1784


Henderson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Charlotte Henderson, aged 13, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Henry Henderson, aged 24, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Ann Jane Henderson, aged 22, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Isabella Henderson, aged 18, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Nancy" in 1834
  • Thomas Henderson, aged 20, a farmer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1838 aboard the brig "Susan Maria Brooke" from Donegal


Henderson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Agnes Henderson arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836
  • Edward Henry George Henderson arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Canton" in 1838
  • George Henderson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince George" in 1838
  • William Henderson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Robertson" in 1839
  • Katherine Henderson arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Anna Robertson" in 1839


Henderson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • David Henderson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Henderson landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
  • William Henderson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
  • Thomas Maxwell Henderson, aged 29, a blacksmith, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840
  • Catherine Henderson, aged 32, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "London" in 1840


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  • William Randall "Bill" Henderson (1926-2016), American jazz singer and actor
  • David Lee Henderson (1958-2015), nicknamed "Hendu", an American Major League Baseball player who played from 1981 to 1994, World Series Champion (1989)
  • Worth Dewey Henderson (1898-1996), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from North Carolina, 1932 (alternate), 1940, 1944 (alternate)
  • Yandell Henderson, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Connecticut 3rd District, 1912, 1914
  • William T. Henderson, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Alabama, 1924
  • William R. Henderson, American politician, Mayor of Plant City, Florida, 1989-91
  • William H. Henderson, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 9th District, 1916, 1920, 1922
  • William G. Henderson, American politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1879; U.S. Collector of Customs, 1881
  • William F. E. Henderson, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Bennettsville, South Carolina, 1866-67
  • William F. Henderson, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from North Carolina 5th District, 1874

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  • The Olden Days by LaVerne Hutchens Bish.
  • The Joh Family; Plus Allied Lines of Runkle, Humbert, Wade, Henderson by Crystal Pauline Randel Walters.
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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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Henderson Clan Badge
Henderson Clan Badge

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A clan is a social group made up of a number of distinct branch-families that actually descended from, or accepted themselves as descendants of, a common ancestor. The word clan means simply children. The idea of the clan as a community is necessarily based around this idea of heredity and is most often ruled according to a patriarchal structure. For instance, the clan chief represented the hereditary "parent" of the entire clan. The most prominent example of this form of society is the Scottish Clan system...

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Septs of the Distinguished Name Henderson
Hedderson, Henderson, Henreyson, Henryson and more.

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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Moody David. Scottish Family History. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1994. Print. (ISBN 0806312688).
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  7. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Bloxham, Ben. Key to Parochial Registers of Scotland From Earliest Times Through 1854 2nd edition. Provo, UT: Stevenson's Genealogical Center, 1979. Print.
  9. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  10. Fairbairn,. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Henderson Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Henderson 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 21 April 2016 at 10:44.

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