Gaelic Name: Mac Eanruig (Henry's Son)
Our ancestors in Glencoe are as old a family as any clan in the Highlands. Through them, we claim descent from Eanruig Mor Mac Righ Neachtan -- Big Henry, son of King Nectan -- who came to Kinlochleven in 1011. 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 MacHendry. The chiefship passed as a result to his daughter's marriage into Clan Donald. Her son, Iain, established the MacHendrys as the hereditary pipers for the MacDonalds of Glencoe. At the time of the Glencoe Massacre, the Hendersons were the bodyguard and pipers for the Chief at Glencoe.
When Henry Gunn decided to separate himself from the constant fighting with the Keiths in the mid-15th century, the Hendersons emerged in Caithness. Although Henry was said to be the progenitor of this branch, earlier records of the name were found in Caithness before the Norman Conquest in 1066.
By the 16th century, we find that Henryson had acquired a section of the border country in Upper Liddesdale. Although the Hendersons were recorded as living in the Middle Marches during this period, little of significance is known about this branch.
Robert Henderson was a Burgess of Edinburgh who acquired the lands of Fordell in the latter part of the 15th Century. It was James Henderson, who became Lord Advocate of Scotland in 1494, for whom the lands of Fordell were erected into a barony in 1511. These Hendersons were staunch supporters of their King and fought and died in his service.
One of the more famous members of this branch was Alexander Henderson (1583 - 1646) who is regarded as the greatest leader of the Reformation in Scotland after Knox. One of the most respected Presbyterian leaders, he is largely responsible for drafting the National Covenant in 1638.
Contact Clan Henderson Society: Atlantic Region
Clan Henderson Contact for United States Residents