Saturday, December 9, 2017

Surname Saturday ~ HENDERSON of Saco, Maine and Salem, Massachusetts


In the late 1600s the early Maine settlers were in conflict with the Native people of the seacoast, and there were many massacres that killed people on both sides.  Large numbers of settlements were completely abandoned.  Many of these settlers fled to Salem and Marblehead, Massachusetts.  Some historians believe that the traumas experienced by many of these people, especially the children, may have led to the witch hysteria.

Peter Henderson (about 1649 – after 1700), my 9th great grandfather, was a fisherman from Saco, Maine. He married his probable brother’s step-daughter, Abigail Bully in 1670 in Saco (now Biddeford Poole, Maine).  The John Henderson who married Ellen Booth, the widow of Nicholas Bully is considered to be his brother or close kin.   In 1671 Peter was granted 12 acres of land next to John’s property.

Peter first appeared in the Salem records around 1677, after the first massacres in Maine.  In Salem Peter Henderson was known as a Master Mariner and “Fisher Captain”.  In 1683 he paid taxes in Salem and appeared in a lawsuit against Robert Bray, Sr., and Richard Bale “for abusive carriages on board to the master. Bale was fined and ordered to be whipped.”   Also in 1683 Peter Henderson’s ship “ketch, Sara, was chased ashore by pirates at Funchal [Madeira].  There was another incident with pirates in 1697 concerning Henderson’s ketch, Margaret.

Two of Peter’s sons, Peter and Benjamin, married two Beadle sisters, Elizabeth and Abigail.  See my BEADLE genealogy at this link:   I descend from the daughter, Abigail Henderson (1676 – 1737), my 8th great grandmother, who married Jonathan Glover in 1699.  Abigail and Jonathan Glover were the grandparents of Major General John Glover (1732 – 1797) of Marblehead, the Revolutionary War hero.  Click this link for my GLOVER genealogy:

Some HENDERSON resources:

History of Saco and Biddeford, by George Folsom, 1830

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, by Sybil Noyes, Charles Thornton Libby and Walter Goodwin Davis, 1928-1939

“The Henderson Family of Salem” by G. Andrews Moriarty, Jr., Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume 48 (1912), page 328. 

My HENDERSON genealogy: 

Generation 1:  Peter Henderson, born about 1649, died after 27 September 1700 in Salem, Massachusetts; married on 29 December 1670 in Salem to Abigail Bully, daughter of Nicholas Bully and Eleanor Booth.  She was born 1 February 1655 in Saco, Maine.  Five children.

Generation 2:  Abigail Henderson, born October 1676 in Salem, died 29 April 1737 in Salem; married on 31 March 1699 in Salem to Jonathan Glover, son of John Glover and Mary Guppy. He was born 13 April 1677 in Salem and died March 1736.  Six children

Generation 3: Jonathan Glover m. Tabitha Bacon
Generation 4: Daniel Glover m. Hannah Jillings.
Generation 5: Tabitha Glover m. Thomas Homan
Generation 6: Betsey Jillings Homan m. Jabez TREAdwell
Generation 7:  Eliza Ann Treadwell m. Abijah Hitchings
Generation 8:  Abijah Franklin Hithcings m. Hannah Eliza Lewis
Generation 9:  Gertrude Maria
Generation 10:  Gertrude Matilda Hitchings m. Stanley Elmer


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Surname Saturday ~ HENDERSON of Saco, Maine and Salem, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted December 9, 2017, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Are any of these Hendersons related to Thomas Henderson of Thomaston, Maine (circa 1700-1755)?

    1. Dear "Unknown", I don't know about Thomas Henderson of Thomaston, Maine. I haven't carried this family forward enough generations to know the answer. Perhaps another descendant will see this post and be able to make a "cousin connection" for you?