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 chief 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
.  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


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
, 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 strikenly contrasted lives.





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