What is the origin of the last name Henderson?

The last name Henderson is of Scottish origin, derived from the patronymic form of the medieval given name “Hendry” or “Henry.” The name "Hendry" itself stems from the Old Germanic personal name "Heimric," which combines the elements "heim," meaning home or estate, and "ric," meaning ruler or king. Over time, the name Henderson has become a common Scottish surname, particularly in the Lowlands.

Countries of origin for the last name Henderson

The last name Henderson has a rich and interesting history, with connections to both Scotland and Ireland. Derived from the given name Henry, it is a patronymic surname, indicating descent from an ancestor named Henry. The name Henry itself is of Germanic origin, derived from the Old High German name Haimric, meaning “home ruler” or “ruler of the household.”

The surname Henderson is most commonly found in English-speaking countries, particularly in Scotland and the United States. Scotland has a strong association with the name, with many individuals of Scottish descent bearing the surname. In fact, Henderson is one of the most common surnames in Scotland, where it has been in use for centuries. The popularity of the name in Scotland can be attributed to the prevalence of the given name Henry and the strong influence of the Henderson clan.

The Henderson clan, one of the oldest and most powerful clans in Scotland, has played a significant role in shaping the history and culture of the region. The clan is associated with the historical region of Liddesdale in the Scottish Borders and has a long history of military prowess and loyalty. The name Henderson is closely tied to the clan, as individuals who belonged to the Henderson clan often adopted the clan name as their surname.

The migration of people with the last name Henderson to the United States can be traced back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when many Scottish and Irish immigrants sought better opportunities in the “New World.” The influx of immigrants contributed to the spread of the surname across the United States, particularly in areas with large Scottish and Irish communities.

Etymologically speaking, the last name Henderson can be broken down further to reveal its elements. “Hen” is a diminutive form of Henry, indicating a sense of endearment or familiarity. “Der” means “of” or “from,” connecting the surname to a specific individual or family. “Son” denotes lineage or descent, highlighting the patronymic nature of the name. Therefore, the surname Henderson can be understood as “son of Henry” or “descendant of Henry.”

Overall, the last name Henderson holds significant historical and cultural value, connecting individuals to their Scottish and Irish roots. The prevalence of the name in Scotland, as well as its widespread use in the United States, reflects the enduring popularity and influence of the given name Henry. The surname’s connection to the Henderson clan further contributes to its significance, highlighting the ancestral ties and shared heritage of those who bear the name. While the specific details of each individual’s family history may vary, the name Henderson serves as a tangible link to the past, inspiring a sense of pride and identity for many.

Interesting facts about the last name Henderson

  • The surname Henderson is of Scottish origin.
  • The name originated from the son of Henry or son of Henri.
  • The name Henderson is derived from the Old Norse personal name Héðinn, meaning “heathen” or “different.”
  • Henderson is a patronymic surname, indicating that it was originally used to identify the descendants of a specific ancestor.
  • The Henderson surname is relatively common in Scotland and can be found throughout the world due to Scottish emigration.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Henderson include American astronomer Jane Henderson, American artist Keith Henderson, and British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith (née Dina Asher).
  • The Henderson tartan is a popular tartan design associated with the surname.
  • The name Henderson is often associated with qualities such as strength, determination, and independence.
  • There are multiple variations of the surname Henderson, including MacKendrick, Henryson, and MacHendry.
  • The Henderson Clan motto is “Sola Virtus Nobilitat,” which translates to “Virtue alone ennobles.”

Name Rank


There are around 218393 people with the last name Henderson in the US

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