Note by Clayton Heathcock, 10 Nov 2011:
Some online histories assert that Richard Henderson of New Kent, later Hanover Co VA, was son of Thomas Henderson, and early Jamestown resident and that Richard married Polly Washer. These histories seem to be based largely on two accounts written in the early 1900s:
A 1915 Compilation published by John McCue:2166
Thos. Henderson, of Jamestown, Va., 1607, was born in Scotland, a son Richard, married Polly Washer, and lived in Hanover Co.
Samuel, one of several children (b 1700), married a little Welsh girl, Elizabeth Williams, aged about thirteen. He settled in Granville Co., N. C, and founded a very large and prominent branch of the family.
His son, bearing the same name, removed to Kentucky at an early day where he assisted in the rescue of Jemima Boone and Elizabeth Callaway from the Indians and on the following day (7, Aug. 1776) he and Elizabeth Callaway were married. Their daughter, Fanny, b 29, May 1777, was the first white child born in the State of Kentucky, of parents married in that State.
Another son of Samuel Henderson, Sr., was Judge Richard, who was appointed one of the two Associate Judges of North Carolina in 1768 by Gov. Tryon. Judge Henderson was President of the Transylvania Company, which, with Daniel Boone, Messrs. Hart and others, he organized. It was one of the greatest land companies ever in operation and comprised nearly the whole of Kentucky. Judge Henderson married Elizabeth Keeling, step-daughter of his kinsman, Judge Williams, and among his children were: Judge Leonard Henderson, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of N. C. ; John Lawson Henderson, Clerk of Supreme Court; Richard, and Archibald, great-grand father of Prof. Archibald Henderson, Ph. D., of the University of North Carolina . Gov. Alexander Martin of N. C. was of this family. Thomas Henderson was also the ancestor of the several generations of Nathaniel Hendersons, who removed to Alabama in 1818. A descendant,. Hon. Charles Henderson, is now the chief executive of that State.
A similar account is given in a family history published by Lucy Henderson Horton in 1922.579
As authority, Mrs. Horton cites a “manuscript written by Thomas Henderson of Mt. Penson, now in the hands of Thomas McCorry, attorney at law, Jackson, Tenn.” and also the McCue book cited above.
Like McCue, Mrs. Horton asserts that Thomas Henderson, who came to Jamestown in the initial settlement in 1607, moved from Jamestown to Blue Springs and that one of his sons, Richard Henderson, married Polly Washer, daughter of Ensign Washer. Richard and Polly are said to have had four sons--Edward, Samuel, Nathaniel and Leonard--and one daughter, who married a man by the name of Travillian, who moved to South Carolina.*
Neither the McCue nor the Horton account of Thomas Henderson names his wife. Both accounts are very almost certainly incorrect.2167
Robert Henderson's had at least two sons, Thomas and James. Thomas married Ursula Keeling and they had, at least five children: Edward, Thomas, Ursula, Samuel, and Richard. Incidentally, the Keelings were a large and prominent Virginia family, and there are several marriages between the Hendersons and Keelings down through the years. Thomas married a second time to a Sara Wilkerson in 1690, but we have no record of any offspring.
We descend through Richard. He left a Will in 1748 in Cumberland County, Virginia. It identifies daughters, Mary and Henrietta, and sons, James, Nathaniel and Samuel. James married Violet Lawson and they became the grandparents of that noble and illustrious General James Hinckey Henderson of the Army of the Republic of Texas and also the first General of the State of Texas when it joined the Union.