Genealogical & Family History of Northern, NY
Pages 556-563

William Richard Cutter, A. M.
Editorial Supervisor

Online Edition by Holice, Deb & Pam


HENDERSON. The Henderson family are of Scotch-Irish origin, and several of the name came to Boston with those Protestant Irishmen who settled at Colerain, Massachusetts, about 1740. John Henderson's name is found among the proprietors, who signed the petition for the first town meeting of Colerain, dated January 27, 1741-42, in the fourteenth year of the reign of King George, the second.

(II) Edward, son of John Henderson was born in 1745, and he used to say that the only thing he could remember of his father was that he sat on his lap when he was dressed in soldier's clothes, just before he went o off into the Indian War and was killed. When Edward was about five year sold his mother died, and the family became scattered: Edward was bound out to a Mr. Sweeney, and his sister Jennet married Daniel Clyde. Edward Henderson grew up sturdy, brave, adventurous, and possessing the peculiar characteristics of the race from which he sprang. Before the Revolutionary War he was engaged in the fur trade; starting in the early spring in a flat boat loaded with goods and supplies at Albany the traders went up the Hudson to Cohoes, and carrying round those falls, literally pushed their boats with poles up the Mohawk to a point near Rome, where there was a short carry over to Wood Creek, thence down that stream through Oneida Lake and the Oswego River into Lake Ontario, and up through that lake round Niagara Falls, on the Detroit. 

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It took all summer to make the journey, a trip which can now be made in twelve hours., After trading there with the Indians during the winter, the next summer was spent in the return. Edward Henderson was among the patriots at the breaking-out of the Revolutionary War and we find him at Bennington, and his name on the roster of Captain Samuel Robinson' company in General Stark's army. A great-grandson, Hiram T. Henderson, of Himrods, Yates County, New York, now owns the powder horn the hero carried in the Bennington battle, with the inscription carved thereon "Edward Henderson, his horn, 1775." The adjutant-general of Vermont, writes that the name Edward Henderson appears nine times in the records of Revolutionary soldiers of that state, and it also appears several times in the New York records; at one time he was a lieutenant of militia; he is on the lit of Revolutionary pensioners. Shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War, Edward Henderson came to new York, and stopped for a short time near Schenectady, but in 1792 pushed on and settled in the town of Norway in the then wilderness of northern Herkimer County. Avoiding the valley lands for feat of the ague, he bought a farm on the hills of about two hundred acres, covered with forest. Here he built a log house, and reared his family. He was thrifty and industrious, and took a leading position in the new community.

Edward Henderson married Mary, born in 1744, daughter of Joseph Mathias, who when a boy was one of the defenders of the famous siege of Londonderry in Ireland. They had six children, two of whom died in infancy, and the others were: 1. Jennet, born June 3, 1776, died October, 1848. She taught the first school in the town of Norway; she married John Sherwood; they removed to Urbana, Steuben County, Ohio; they reared a large family; some of her descendants still reside at Hammondsport, New York; one granddaughter, Mrs. Carcene Dildine, bears the family name Jennette. 2. Hugh, born February 5, 1779, died about 1810; he removed to Watertown, new York, and was sheriff of Jefferson county in 1808; he was a candidate for congress, and died during the canvas; he left one daughter Eliza, who married a Mr. Woodruff. 3. John Mathias, see forward. 4. Daniel Clyde, born December 8, 1784, died May 30, 1860. The father of these children died in 1811, aged sixty-six; his wife died in 1826; they are buried in Norway.

(III) John Mathias, second son of Edward Henderson, was born June 27, 1782, died November 29, 1857. He was one of the early graduates of the Fairfield Medical College and went to Jefferson County, new York, to practice his profession. After serving as a surgeon at Sacketts Harbor during the War of 1812, he removed to Willoughby, Ohio, in 1814, and later to Elkhorn, Wisconsin, where he practiced medicine with his son,

Dr. Samuel Henderson, until his death. By his first wife, Rebecca Wirt, he had one son, Samuel W., who died May 6, 1857, a few months before his father. By his second wife, Samantha Hine, he had one daughter, Rebecca, who married L. Tubbs, of Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Rebecca Tubbs died in 1908, leaving five children: 1. Henry H. 2. Frank W. 3. Eva S. 4. Willis J. 5. Edward H. By his third wife, Hattie Finlay, who was a widow with one daughter, Mary, he had two daughters, Jeanette and Virginia H., and one son, Edward. Dr. John M. Henderson was a man of strong character and a skillful physician. The death of his son Samuel W., was a great shock to the father and both will long be remembered in Elkhorn. Samuel W. left three sons: 1. John M., who enlisted in the Union Army in 1863 and lived after the war in Elkhorn, died several years ago, leaving one daughter, Cora and three sons, 1. Eugene, who lives in Tacoma, 2, Brick, 3. John M., who lives in Janesville, Wisconsin; Edward G. married and had two children, Catherine and wells,; Edward G., died at Evanston, Illinois, June 30, 1909. Samuel W. Jr., lives in Delavin, Wisconsin.

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(IV) Jeanette Henderson, daughter of John Mathias Henderson, married Chipman Holbey, who served in the War of the Rebellion in the Nineteenth Wisconsin Regiment, was taken prisoner at the battle before Richmond and confined at Libby Prison. He was six feet seven inches in height; his widow Jeanette resides with her daughter, Mrs. Harle, in Boise City, Idaho; her children are: 1. Claribelle M. Harle. 2. Amelia Jeanette Mitchell. 3. Hetty Maude Holley. 4. Bertha F. Elder, wife of Robert H. Elder, assistant district attorney of Kings County, New York, and Robert D. Holley. Virginia H. Henderson, daughter of John Mathias Henderson, is unmarried and reside with her sister, Mrs. Bunker, at Elkhorn, Wisconsin. Mary Findlay, step-daughter of Dr. John Mathias Henderson, married Hiram S. bunker, of Elkhorn and lived for many years in Chicago. They had two children: Findlay s., married a Miss Swift, and died in 1877, aged Twenty-seven, leaving one daughter, and Frank Davis, married Harry H. Hallett, of Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Halletts live in Chicago, and have two children; Louis B. and Harold B. Hallett.

Edward Henderson, son of Dr. John Mathias Henderson, was born July 24, 1844. He served with distinction throughout the war in the Union Army. He married a Miss Swan and lived some time in Mississippi; came to Chicago and practiced medicine; went on an exploring expedition for a mining company to Honduras, Central America, and died there at Minas De Ora, October 8, 1897.

Daniel Coyle Henderson, son of Edward Henderson, married Margaret Carpenter in 1804. She came from Rhode Island, but was of the Rehoboth, Massachusetts, family, and her line is give in "The Carpenter Memorial" by Amos Carpenter, as follows: 1st. John Carpenter, 1803; and Richard, born 1335, 3d, John S. town clerk of London, 4th, John, born 1410, 5th, William Of Homme, born in 1440; 6th, James; 7th, John; 8th, William , born 1520, 9th, William, born 1549, 10th, William, born 1576, came to America with son William in the ship "Bevis" and went back to England; 11th, William, born 1605, came over with his father, in ship "Bevis" in 1638 and settled at Rehoboth, Massachusetts; 12th, Samuel, born 1644, married Sarah Readaway; 13th, Solomon, born 1677, married Elizabeth Tifft; 14th, Daniel, born 1712, married Renewed Smith; 15th, Daniel, born 1744, married Ruth Cornell; 16th, Daniel, born 1764, married Susan Champlain; 17th, Margaret, born 1776, married Daniel C. Henderson. Daniel c. Henderson was a captain and adjutant and was with his regiment at Sackett's Harbor in the War of 1812 and after wards became a colonel of militia. He served his town for many years as school commissioner, justice of the peace and supervisor, and was member of assembly from Herkimer county in 1827; his mother lived with him after the death of her husband on the homestead farm at Norway and died in 1826. She is said to have been a woman of great intellectual ability, an earnest Episcopalian; has left a marked impression on her family, and has ever been held in high esteem by her descendants. Daniel C. was for a long time a vestryman of Grace Episcopal church at Noirway, amember of old "Sprig" Loge of Masons, and a life-long Democrat. Late in life he sold the farm and moved into Norway village, where he died May 30, 1860; his wife Margaret died December 31, 1861. They are buried at Norway.

Of their children, Dryden was born October 15, 1805; Nathaniel s., June 2, 1807; Hugh, June 27, 1809; Mary Ann, May 15, 1812; John D., December 13, 1814; Juliet, December 25, 1824; Sarah, May 14, 1828.

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Dryden taught school and practiced surveying, became a carpenter and builder, married Maria Coe, of Norway, and removed to Hammondsport, New York; there he lived many years, was a vestryman in the Episcopal Church, a leading Democrat, held many town offices, was member of assembly from Steuben County in 1853, and died in 1879, leaving three children: Frances, Minerva, and Nathaniel S.; Frances married Judge Goodspeed in November, 1867, one of the circuit judges of Illinois, and resided at Joliet. He died in 1897, his widow still lives at Joliet. Minerva married George Benham, who was a soldier in the Civil War and died while in the service; one daughter, Jennie, died when almost nineteen, unmarried, and one son Harry Benham, lives at Joliet. Minerva died at Joliet in 1904; Nathaniel S., born in 1848, lives in Seattle, Washington. He married Dora Hepner in 1882 and they have two children: Augustine born in 1885, and Frances, born in 1890.

Nathaniel S., second son of Daniel C. Henderson, was born in Norway, June 2, 18078; married Angeline Ayres, February 12, 1835; Angeline was the daughter of Stephen and Roxana (Snow) Ayres, of Fairfield, New York, and was born August 29, 1811; Captain John Ayres, a resident of Ipswich, Massachusetts, from 1648 to 1672, married Susannah, daughter of Mark and Johanna Symonds; Mark was born in England in 1584, died at Ipswich, 1659. Captain John Ayres was killed by the Indians at Brookfield, Massachusetts, August 3, 1675, and left a large family. His third son Samuel, married Abigail, daughter of William Fellows, April 16, 1677. Jabez, their sixth child, was born December 27, 1690, and married Rebecca, born October 12, 1694, daughter of Henry Kimball, of Newbury, Massachusetts, December 8, 1718. Tradition has it that this Rebecca, when an infant, was found after an Indian raid, scalped and thrown among the dead, but still living. They moved from Rowley to Brookfield, Massachusetts. Their seventh son, Jabez, was born April 26, 1737, at New Braintree, Massachusetts, married 1766, Persis, daughter of Antipas Stewart, and removed to Salisbury, Herkimer County, in 1792. He was a soldier in the French-Indian and Revolutionary Wars and was a member of Captain Whipple's company of Massachusetts militia. He built the first frame house in the town of Salisbury, which was still standing near Burrill's Corners, in 1910. He died in 1824 and his widow died in 1833; they are buried in Manheim. Their third son, Stephen, was born at New Braintree, Massachusetts, February 16, 1770, married Roxana Snow, of Chesterfield, New Hampshire, December 8, 1795. Roxana was descended from Richard Snow, of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, who settled at Woburn, Massachusetts, and died November 11, 1711; his son, John, died November 25, 1706; his son, Zerubbabel, was born at Woburn, July 19, 1672, married Jemima Cutler and died November 20, 1733. Their son, John, was born at Woburn, March 30, 1706; his son, Warren, born at Southboro, Massachusetts, February 12, 1734, married October 25, 1759, at Lancaster, Massachusetts, Amy Harvey, had one son Pliny, and several daughters; lived at Chesterfield, New Hampshire. When Roxana Snow married Stephen Ayres in 1795 and left her father's house in Chesterfield to take the then long journey on horseback to her new home in Herkimer County, New York, her mother mourned for her as for one going to the ends of the earth. Several of the descendants of Warren Snow reside at Brattlesboro, Vermont, which is just across the Connecticut River from the old town of Chesterfield.

The new home in Herkimer County was very modest, but Stephen Ayres was a man of force, a land surveyor and had plenty of work at fair pay for those times; $2.50 per day was large money then, and he soon became the owner of a fine farm in Fairfield, which is now owned by a great-grandson, Charles R. LaRue, Esq., attorney-at-law, of New York City. 

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Stephen Ayres became the trusted adviser of all his neighbors, the arbitrator of all differences; he surveyed their lands, drew their deeds and mortgages, made their wills, and settled their estates. He held many important town and county offices, and was member of assembly from Herkimer County in 1830. He died in 1850 and his widow in 1852; they are buried at Salisbury.

Nathaniel S. Henderson and wife lived for a time after their marriage at Prospect, Oneida County, but removed to a farm in Norway, Herkimer County, in 1840. He was a prosperous farmer, an active and influential Democrat, and was often the candidate of his party for public service; he served his town several terms as supervisor; ran for the assembly several times, leading a forlorn hope, as his party was then in the minority; was a delegate to many conventions, county and State, was on the War committee of his town during the Civil War, removed to Himrods, Yates County, in 1867, and died there march 13, 1869. His widow died at Herkimer, February 11, 1888. Nathaniel S. and Angeline Henderson were the parents of five sons: two died in infancy and one, Daniel C., died when fourteen months old. Hiram timothy, son of Nathaniel S. Henderson, was born May 6, 1844, was educated in the district schools, at Fairfield Academy and Poughkeepsie Business College, and taught several terms. He married Mary Smith, of Norway, June 11, 1867; he removed with his father to Yates County, where he became a vineyardist. He is a man of extensive reading and wide information. His wife died in 1892, leaving two children: Mary Leora, born March 2, 1872, and Harvey Nathaniel, born November 14, 1878; Mary Leora married Dr. Charles M. Van Dyke, of Himrods, June 17, 1896. Dr. Van Dyke is one of the leading physicians of Yates County. They have three children: 1. Charlena, born July 13, 1898. 2. Mary Elizabeth, born June 28, 1900. 3. Malcolm, born July 18, 1907. Hiram T. Henderson married (second) Ellen M. Folts, at Ilion, June 7, 1899, and they still reside at Himrods, New York.

Harvey N., son of Hiram T. Henderson, was educated at Penn Yan, Cazenovia Academy, and Syracuse University. During senior year at the university he was captain of the baseball and football teams; was admitted to the bar in 1903 and entered upon the practice of the law in Syracuse, where he has remained. He was married to Marion Reynolds, April 28, 1909.

John Dryden, son of Nathaniel S. Henderson, was educated at the district school and prepared for college at Fairfield Academy, where he graduated with the valedictory in 1863. He joined the sophomore class at Hamilton College in September, 1865, and was graduated in July, 1868. He took the "Head Prize" which is given for the best oration on some subject connected with the life and career of Alexander Hamilton, the subject that year being "Alexander Hamilton as a Political Prophet." He also took the first mathematical prize in junior year and a Phi Beta Kappa key. He was a D. K. E. while in college and has never lost interest in his college or college fraternity, having been for many years president of the incorporated Tau Chapter of Hamilton College. After graduation he came to Herkimer in December, 1868, and studied law in the office of Samuel and Judge Robert Earl, and was admitted to the bar in April, 1869. He opened an office for himself in Herkimer in 1870, but on account of ill health spent the year 1871 in the vineyards at Himrods, and returned to Herkimer in March, 1872, where he has since remained. He had a literary taste and has written considerable, both of prose and poetry; he was the poet at the Philorhetorian reunion at Fairfield in 1884 and also in 1894; was the poet at the Norway Centennial Celebration in 1887 and the Herkimer village Centennial in August, 1908. He has published one book, "The Village Charter," which went through several editions; was the orator on the field at Antietam at the unveiling of the monument to the Thirty-fourth Regiment, New York State Volunteers, September 17, 1902; delivered an address before the Johnstown Historical Society in 1904, and has written several valuable papers and addresses for the Herkimer County Historical Society, which have been published in the transactions of the society.

Mr. Henderson has always taken an active interest in politics, and has many times been a candidate of the Democratic Party for office, but being ina district largely Republican has generally been unsuccessful. He was president of Herkimer Village in 1876, and again in 1883, was candidate for district attorney of Herkimer County in 1873, was elected member of assembly in 1889 and served with distinction in that body, had a place on the committee on education and the judiciary committee, was the author of the bill compelling public school houses to be equipped with fire escapes, and took a leading part in many of the discussions of the season. He was defeated by a small majority in 1890, and in 891 he ran for state senator against Hon. John. E. Smith in the Otsegp-Madison and Herkimer district and was defeated; in 1893 was a candidate on the Democratic state ticket for delegate to the constitutional convention, and in 1894 ran against Hon. James s. Sherwood for congress in the Oneida-Herkimer district, and in 1901 ran for county judge of Herkimer county against Hon, Irving R. Devendorf. Mr. Henderson was made a Mason during his senior year in college, and has taken thirty-two degrees. He was a member of Lodge No. 423 at Herkimer. He was senior warden and treasurer of Christ (Episcopal) church, Herkimer, and has been a member of the vestry nearly forty years. He frequently represented his parish in the diocesan convention, was one of the committee on canons, and a provisional delegate to the general convention of the church. He served as trustee of the Herkimer emergency Hospital for several years and also as trustee of the Ilion Hospital. Has been trustee of the Herkimer Free Library and chairman of the book committee, and treasurer of the Herkimer County Historical Society since the organization of those bodies; has practiced law in he state and United States courts, and has been executor of many estates.

John D. Henderson married Frances L., daughter of David and Sarah (Tillinghast) DuBois, at Norway, August 20, 1874. Mrs. Henderson was born December 22, 1847, being a direct descendant of Louis DeBois, the Walloon, who settled at New Paltz, Ulster County, New York,; the lines being: Louis, born 1626; Jacob, born 1661; Barnet, born 1693 of Pittsgrove, New Jersey; David, a soldier of the Revolution in New Jersey militia; Jacob, born December 1763, married Mary Moore, and came to Norway, Herkimer County, about 1799, died January 2, 1844; David, born June 11, 1797, married Sarah Tillinghast, December 30, 1829; was warden of Grace Church, Norway, served his town as justice of the peace, postmaster and supervisor, and died July 2, 1880; Mrs. Henderson's mother, Sarah Tillinghast, was a descendant of Elder Pardon Tillinghast and Lydia Tabor, and their son, Phillip, born October, 1668, married Martha Holmes, 1682, died May 14, 1732; their son, John, born April 14, 1696, died December 4, 1775; his son, Pardon,; his son, Stutely, who married Hannah Hopkins; and their son, Pardon, born February 3, 1771, married Anna Crandall, and died at Norway, August, 1854; their daughter, Sarah (Mrs. DuBois), was born in 1806, died in 1884. Her daughter, Mrs. Henderson, inherits from her mother a willingness to work for others, and a desire to serve the afflicted in all walks of life; she has always been active in charitable and church matters, is deeply interested in The Old Ladies' Home at Mohawk, is a member of the Progressive (Ladies) Club of Herkimer, and the General Nicholas Herkimer chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, and her house is famous for hospitality and good cheer. Their children are: 1. Edward DuBois, born November 27, 1877, died February, 1878. 2. Nellie Frances, born September 29, 1879. 3. John DuBois, born April 11, 1887.

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Nellie Frances Henderson prepared for college at Herkimer, and was graduated from Smith College, Massachusetts, in 1902; she has devoted much attention to china painting and her work as an artist takes high rank. She married Dewey J. Carter, of New York, September 19, 1906; Mr. Carter was born at Greene, Chenango County, new York, in January, 1880, where he prepared for college, and after teaching in the district schools entered Hamilton College in 1900. He was a D. K. E., graduating with distinction in 1904 and immediately became a reporter on the New York Sun; he continued at journalism a little over a year, and then entered the Brooklyn office of the Mortgage Title Company, where he still has a responsible position. Mr. and Mrs. Carter reside in Brooklyn, New York.

John DuBois Henderson attended the public school in his native town, where he was prepared for college, and in 1904 entered Hamilton College, graduating with honor in 1908. In college Mr. Henderson became much interested in athletics and was the manager of the college track team. He is a member of the D. K. E. fraternity and was highly esteemed by his college mates. After his graduation he entered the Horrock's Desk Manufacturing Company, of Herkimer, remaining for a short time, but having a leaning to the profession of law, he in 1909 entered the Albany Law School, where he remained until upon the death of his father, Hon, John Dryden Henderson, May 31, 1910, he was called to succeed him in the general insurance business established in 1873. Mr. Henderson is a member of the Masonic fraternity, being affiliated with Herkimer Lodge, No. 423, Free and Accepted Masons. He is a member of the Little Falls Country Club, the Masonic Club of Herkimer, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church of Herkimer, and the Church Club. He still continues his law studies.

Hugh Henderson, third son of Daniel C. Henderson, studied law with Hon, John Feeter at Little Falls, and removed to Joliet, Illinois, about 1836. He married Helen Myers, 1837, and their children were: !. Margaret, born 1839. 2. Daniel C., born 1845. 3. James, born 1848. 4. John D., born 1850. His daughter married Hugh Kelly and lives in Lyons, Michigan. Daniel C., married Rose Woodruff, 1880; followed journalism at Joliet, was connected with different papers of that city, and died 1899. They have one daughter, Dorothy, born, 1890. James married Kate C. Alpine, who was for a long time superintendent of the public schools of Joliet and librarian of the city library; she died in 1907; her husband survives her. John D. married Cora -----------, of Lyons, Michigan, in 1884; they have one son, Lyon, who is married, and has one son.

John D., fourth son of Daniel C. Henderson, married Helen Johnson in 1848; lived for a time at Newport, New York, where he took an active interest in all public questions and although not a lawyer had quite a practice injustices court; removed to Wilmington, Illinois, in 1849; served as deputy sheriff of Will County; supervisor of Wilmington township, Mary of Wilmington, member of the constitutional convention, and was engaged in mercantile business until his death in 1894. His daughter, Helen, is the wife of Dr. Watson H. Curtis, and resides at Wilmington. His daughter, Mary, married Charles Bushnell Garnsey, of Joliet, in 1867. Mr. Garnsey practiced law at Joliet for many years, was county judge of Will County from 1884 until 1890, and was circuit judge from 1903 until his death in 1905. They have two sons: John Henderson Garnsey, born 1868, and Charles B. Garnsey, born 1872. John H. Garnsey is a leading lawyer of Joliet, Illinois, and Charles B. Garnsey is a machinist, of the same city. John H. Garnsey married, 1897, Cornelis Louise, daughter of Truman Arnold and Hannah E. (Caton) Mason, granddaughter of Captain Arnold Mason, of New Hartford, Oneida County, New York, and they have one child, Charles Truman, born 1898. Charles B. Garnsey, married, 1899, Sibyl Mary Sims, daughter of George H. and Anna (Clark) Van Pelt, of Chicago, and they have two children, Charles B., born 1901, and Georgia, born 1904.

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Mary Ann, daughter of Daniel C. Henderson, married Henry Tillinghast, of Norway, who was member of assembly from Herkimer County in 1865, and died in 1869; after her husband's death she removed to Detroit, and died there in 1890, leaving two daughters: Sarah, wife of Rev. Wilbur R. Tillinghast, of Detroit, and Angeline E. Foster, of Palmer, Nebraska; Sarah died in 1899; Angeline E. is living with her son, David W. Foster, at Palmer, Nebraska.

Juliet, daughter of Daniel C. Henderson, married Charles K. Johnson and removed to Friendship, Alleghany County, where she died about 1896, leaving three children: Daniel H., Mary and Julia.

Sarah, daughter of Daniel C. Henderson, married James W. Bragg, and lived at Norway, N. Y., where she died about 1865, leaving two children: Helen and Horace, who still live in Norway, Herkimer County, New York.


Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1910

This book is owned by Pam Rietsch and is a part of the Mardos Memorial Library

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