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.
Dr. John William Philp Henderson of Fordell was recognized by the Lord Lyon in 1985 as Chief of the Baronial House of Henderson of Fordell and as Chief of the Name and Arms of Henderson. Although a direct descendant of Sir John Henderson, 5th of Fordell, Dr. John did not inherit the baronetcy because the title had died out in 1839. He is the first chief of the clan in 150 years and has served as a rallying force in the development of Clan Henderson Societies in Australia, the United States and Canada.
Dr. John Henderson's great-grandfather emigrated to Australia in 1839. His descendants included not only the Chief but also Sir Neville Henderson, one of Queensland's most respected and well- loved knights.
Dr. John was born in south western Queensland on a sheep-raising property. He eventually moved to Toowoomba where he became a doctor of medicine and has maintained his practice.
Always active in family events, as Chief he has been a regular participant in Scottish events in Australia. He has met American clan members who were visiting Australia and maintains an active correspondence with kith and kin around the world.
The Chief and his wife, Gwen, are the parents of five children -- Margaret Lyn, Alistair, the Younger of Fordell, Ann, Dugald, and Lachlan -- and ten grandchildren. All of the children have University degrees and are involved in their field throughout Australia and the world.
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.
Today, under the leadership of an elected President, the eleven regional commissioners are gathering the clan throughout North America. In 1991, there was an International Gathering of the clans at the Stone Mountain Games. The Chief, Dr. John William Philp Henderson of Fordell and his wife Gwen were honoured guests. In addition, Alistair Henderson, Younger of Fordell, and his family were present. Alistair is a Chieftain of Clan Henderson. At that event, the Chief appointed Claude Henderson to be the High Commissioner for North America and a Chieftain of Clan Henderson.
From Brochure: Clan Henderson Society
Contact Clan Henderson Society: Atlantic Region
Clan Henderson Contact for United States Residents