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Surname Henderson - Meaning and Origin

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Unraveling Historical Roots: A Glimpse into the Celtic Origins of the Surname 'Henderson' through an iGENEA DNA Test

A delve into my ancestry through an iGENEA DNA test has shone light on my surname Henderson's fascinating origins and historical links. The genealogical journey unearths ties to ancient Celtic tribes in Ireland and Scotland and the potential mixing of cultures during the Viking era.

W. Henderson

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Henderson: What does the surname Henderson mean?

The surname Henderson is of Scottish origin and primarily derived from patronymic, meaning that it references an ancestor. Specifically, the surname Henderson means "son of Henry" or "son of Hendry." The given name Henry originally comes from the Germanic name Heinrich, and it means "home ruler" or "ruler of the household." Therefore, this surname has a connotation of leadership or authority. It's also likely this named evolved from the Gaelic 'MacEanruig', where 'Mac' denotes 'son of' and 'Eanruig' is a derivative of Henry. Consequently, families with the surname Henderson might have been known as the offspring of someone named Henry or descendants from a family line with a strong domestic ruler. This surname is particularly common in Scotland, specifically in the region of Caithness in the far north east, but today, it's found all over the world due to migration.

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Henderson: Where does the name Henderson come from?

The surname Henderson is of Scottish origin that denotes the family legacy of "son of Henry". Henry means "home ruler", and thus Henderson somewhat equates to "son of the home ruler". It's believed to have been originated from Scotland and Ireland during the medieval period. Some spellings for the name include Henrison, MacKendrick, and McKendrick.

Today, the surname is quite common in several English-speaking countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand, and Scotland. As per US Census Bureau data, Henderson is ranked as the 101st most common surname in the United States. It also still holds substantial presence in Scotland, particularly within the regions of Caithness and Liddesdale. Therefore, the Henderson surname has largely dispersed from its Scottish roots, reaching different regions across the globe.

Variations of the surname Henderson

The surname Henderson is of Scottish origin and is derived from the name Henry. Consequently, it translates to "son of Henry." Variants of the surname could potentially include Hendryson, Hendersen, Hendry, and Hendrickson. These are based on adjustments to the base name Henry, such as Hendry, or modifications to the 'son' suffix, such as 'sen' or 'ckson'. Spelling variations may occur due to regional accents and phonetic spelling in historical records.

Surname variants specific to different regions may also occur. For example, in Dutch or German cultures, the name Hendriksen or Heinrichsen which also mean "Henry's son" could be considered variations.

Often surnames evolve over time based on geographical relocation and cultural assimilation, so it's also possible to find the same surname spelled slightly (or significantly) differently. For instance, in Spanish, the equivalent could be Enriquez or Hernandez, derived from Enrique, the Spanish version of Henry.

Other related surnames include Henrickson, Henriksen and Hennesson which keep the root name 'Henry’'. However, it's essential not to confuse the surname Henderson with the patronymic surnames derived from the name "Anders/Andrew" like Anderson or Andersen.

Famous people with the name Henderson

  • Ella Henderson: British singer-songwriter who gained fame on UK's "The X Factor."
  • Florence Henderson: Actress best known for her role as Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch."
  • Skitch Henderson: Conductor of NBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Pops.
  • Rickey Henderson: Former professional baseball player.
  • Martin Henderson: Actor in films such as "The Ring" and TV series "Grey's Anatomy."
  • Logan Henderson: Actor and member of the boy band Big Time Rush.
  • Jordan Henderson: English professional footballer.
  • Arthur Henderson: British Labour politician and Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
  • Billy Henderson: Original member of American band The Spinners.
  • Dan Henderson: Retired mixed martial artist.
  • Fletcher Henderson: Influential African American musician, bandleader, and arranger.
  • Patrick Henderson: A former American football player.
  • David N. Henderson: a Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives from North Carolina.
  • Thomas Henderson: another former professional football player.
  • Sara Henderson: Australian author known for "From Strength to Strength."
  • William J. Henderson: A former US Postmaster General.
  • Brooke Henderson: Canadian professional golfer.
  • Leon Henderson: Former administrator of the Office of Price Administration during World War II.

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