It is evident immediately that the surname "Hendrickson" is a patronymic derived from the proper name "Hendrick", which is, of course, cognate with the more familiar English name "Henry" or French name "Henri".1 Within this context, Hendrick is of Germanic origin and consists of two elements "haim" or "heim" meaning "home" and "ric" meaning "power" or "ruler".2 (Obviously, Henry and Hendrick are also cognate with the common German masculine name "Heinrich".) Accordingly, Henry may be regarded as equivalent in meaning to the Latin term "pater familias" or more colloquially, "head of the home" or something similar. Indeed, Henry has been the name of eight ruling English kings, the last of which was the infamous Henry VIII.Source Notes and Citations:
Nevertheless, in the colonial period, the name Hendrickson was prevalent among the Dutch colonists of Nieuw-Nederland (New Netherland), which, of course, was later taken by the British and renamed "New York" in honor of the king's brother, the Duke of York (later King James II, who, ironically, lost his throne to the Dutch stadtholder, Prince William III of Orange-Nassau (Willem III van Oranje), who then ruling jointly with his wife, Mary II, became William III of England). Within this context, surnames were not commonly used by Dutch settlers in Nieuw-Nederland until after the seventeenth century. Accordingly, this makes it difficult to identify later individuals with any particular early immigrant, especially if a family adopted a surname from a Dutch patronymic formed by adding "sen" (or "son" in English) to a proper name such as "Hendrick". Even so, the name "Hendrickson" appears in the earliest church records of Nieuw Amsterdam, Breuckelen, and Midwoudt, viz., New Amsterdam (later New York), Brooklyn, and Midwood (presently a neighborhood within Brooklyn), .
1. Patrick Hanks (ed.), Oxford Dictionary of American Family Names, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, periodically updated.
"1. Americanized spelling of Dutch Hendriksen.
2. Scottish and English: patronymic from Hendrick."
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"1. English and French: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements haim, heim 'home' + ric 'power', 'ruler', introduced to England by the Normans in the form Henri. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of the personal name were equally popular throughout Europe (German Heinrich, French Henri, Italian Enrico and Arrigo, Czech Jindrich, etc.). As an American family name, the English form Henry has absorbed patronymics and many other derivatives of this ancient name in continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.) In the period in which the majority of English surnames were formed, a common English vernacular form of the name was Harry, hence the surnames Harris (southern) and Harrison (northern). Official documents of the period normally used the Latinized form Henricus. In medieval times, English Henry absorbed an originally distinct Old English personal name that had hagan 'hawthorn'."
"2. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hInnéirghe 'descendant of Innéirghe', a byname based on éirghe 'arising'.
3. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Éinrí or Mac Einri, patronymics from the personal names Éinrí, Einri, Irish forms of Henry. It is also found as a variant of McEnery.
4. Jewish (American): Americanized form of various like-sounding Ashkenazic Jewish names."
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3. Morris P. Ferris (comp.), Notes on the Messenger and Hendrickson Families and Descendants of John S. Messenger and Ruth Rhodes and of Abraham H. Hendrickson and Elizabeth Ludlam, privately published, 1916: pg. 6.
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