Select Henderson Miscellany



Here are some Henderson stories and accounts over the years:

The Hendersons of Glencoe


Our ancestors in Glencoe are as old as any clan in the Highlands.  Through them we claim descent from Eanruig Mor Mac Righ Neachtan - Big Henry, son of King Noctan, the king of the Picts in 710 - who settled the southern shore of Loch Leven.   Although it would be difficult to pinpoint when the MacEanruig chiefs first held the land embracing Glencoe, they held the chiefship there for three centuries before King Robert the Bruce granted lordship of Glencoe to Angus of the Isles for his support at Bannockburn in 1314.

The last Henderson cheif at Glencoe was Dugald MacEanruig.  The chiefship passed as a result of his daughter's marriage into clan Donald.  Ian, her son and progenitor to the MacIans, established the MacEanruigs as the hereditary pipers for the MacDonalds of Glencoe.  At the time of the massacre, our Gaelic-speaking ancestors were the bodyguards to the chief of Glencoe.  


Magnus Henderson of the Shetlands

Magnus Henryson or Henderson of Buness, styled eldest son of his father:
in a sasine dated January 30, 1627
had a charter to him and Katherine Neven, his spouse, of 8 merks land in Burrafirth from David, son to John Swannieson, petitioner of Windhouse, September 1, 1633
and of 23 merks land in Cunningsetter from Peter Nisbetson, son to James Nisbetson, December 26, 1627
and from Alexander Douglas of Spymie, commissioner for the Earldom, he had a charter of his 69 merks, 2 ures land in Uist, 51 in Yell, and 17 in Fetlar, August 10, 1664.

He married Kathleen Neven and had issue:
- Ninian, his heir
- William of Gloup
- John of Pettister
- Gilbert of Midgarth
- and Janet who married William Craigie, merchant of Lerwick.

He is also said to have had issue:
- Ursula, who married John Craigie
- Barbara, who married Magnus Norie
- and Nans and Sara.


The Longcase Clock by Thomas Henderson

The clock is made from four differnt types of wood, oak, walnut, ebony, and sycamore.  Thomas Henderson made this clock.  He was born in Scarborough in 1712.  His father Robert was also a clockmaker.  Thomas moved to Hull to set up his own clock making business in Silver Street.  We don't know when the business was established.  It closed down in 1767 when William Pridgin took over the workshop in Silver Street. Thomas returned to Scarborough.


John Henderson of Fife and Virginia


In 1902 Dr. Joseph Lyon Miller published a small book, Ancestry and Descendants of Lieut. John Henderson.  He reproduced in this book a handwritten inscription from an old book in his possession dated 1707.

"William Henderson
born Apr 30, 1676
died Aug 1, 1737, aged 61
Margaret Henderson
born March 1, 1760
died December 15, 1739, aged 59
William Henderson gent and Margaret Bruce married Feb 7, 1705
John son, born Feb 9, 1706
James son, born Jan 17, 1708
Bruce son, born May 10, 1710, died Sept 1719
Samuel son, born Nov 28, 1713

John Henderson, died May 1 1766, aged 60
Samuel Henderson, died Jan 19, 1782

This record set down from the memory of James Henderson, now aged 75."


The Captain William Henderson who married Margaret Bruce was apparently the son of Sir William Henderson, the second baronet of Fordell.


Alexander Henderson in Virginia

Alexander Henderson, an enterprising young man from the land of the Scots, was enticed by the stories of the opportunities of land and wealth in the Americas and sought to make his way in the wilds of Virginia. 1737 was the year of his epic voyage as well as the beginning of his family's legacy in America.

He became a wealthy merchant, member of the House of Burgesses, and member of the Compact Committee.  He was a friend, neighbor, and political supporter of George Washington.  Both were members and vestrymen of the Pohick church in Fairfax, Virginia, where they occupied adjacent pews.  George Washington recorded in his diary his attendance at the marriage of his friend Alexander Henderson and Miss Sarah (Sally) Moore.  The friends were to meet on numerous other social occasions.


Ben Henderson and the Runaway Slaves

At dawn one morning in the mid-1840's, Ben Henderson of Jacksonville began preparing to deliver some cradles to Springfield.  Henderson, a black man, was a former slave who paid his master $250 for his freedom before settling in Jacksonville.  But before Henderson had loaded his wagon, two runaway slaves - a man and a woman - came to his home and asked for help on their journey to freedom.  A bounty of $1,000 had been offered for the man.

Henderson put some hay in the bottom of his wagon and had the couple lie in it.  He spread a wagon cover over them, then put some more hay and his cradles on top.  During the day Henderson drove around the Springfield city square, shopping and talking to people before taking the slaves to the home of a Springfield area man who could help them continue their journey to freedom.

No one ever suspected Henderson was risking his own freedom by breaking federal and state laws against harboring or assisting runaway slaves.  His role was documented by Jacksonville author John Wolcott Carter in The Underground Railway, a story of abolitionist activity in the area.


The Henderson Plantation in Louisiana


The year is 1853 and slavery is alive and well on the Hendersons' cotton plantation in Louisiana.  Mr. Henderson rules his plantation like a lord, keeping a close watch over more than one hundred slaves.   Mrs. Henderson oversees the daily operations of the home and looks after the children.

Daddy Major and his family are among the most prominent slaves on the plantation.  Daddy major is the chief driver, one of the highest positions a plantation slave can hold, and his wife Rosena is the Hendersons' cook.

Experience life on a southern plantation - impressively recreated through detailed photographs, illustrations, and diagrams - and follow the Hendersons and the Majors through a typical day in their closely connected yet srkingly contrasted lives.


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