Scotland to Virginia…

The history of Fordell Farm begins long ago in ancient Scotland...

In 1747, John Henderson, recently emigrated from Scotland, purchased 520 acres of land from William Beverly. Beverly had received 118,000 acres of prime Shenandoah Valley land from King George IV of England, and he wasted no time in converting it to English pound notes. This area, in and around Staunton, Virginia, is known today as the Beverly Manor district.

Settling in Virginia….

John Henderson built a cabin on the farm in 1747 which still exists today. The cabin is inside the Henderson family home, which has been added to over the 270 years that have passed. By 1767, John sold the farm to his nephew, Joseph Henderson. The family thrived for many years and in 1883, a Henderson daughter married a Crafton man. Their son, Charles Crafton acquired 24 acres of the original Henderson farm and from 1902 to 1904 built the house at the present Fordell Farm. The farm passed through several hands after the Craftons, and in October 2005, the Finks were blessed to purchase it.

Ancient Roots…

The history of Fordell Farm begins long ago in ancient Scotland. The Henderson family line can be traced back to Inverkeithing, Scotland around 1360 when Thomas Henderson was born. His great-great grandson was born in 1450 and became Sir James Henderson 1st of Fordell. James was killed, fighting the English army, along with a large percentage of Scottish nobility in 1513 at the Battle of Flodden Field. Fortunately, he had fathered his children prior to this time. Fordell castle still stands and has become a private home.

Nine generations of “sirs” and a few more battle deaths later, James Henderson and his brothers moved to Augusta County Virginia around 1747. James’ brother John is the aforementioned John Henderson. James’ son Joseph is the nephew who purchased the farm in 1767.

Joseph’s grandson was also named Joseph. He and his son Samuel moved to what is now West Virginia sometime in the 1840s while his brother Robertus stayed on to inherit the farm. Robertus’ family line still owns what is left of the original farm today.

Coming home…

Here comes the surprise.  Shortly after moving in, Randy and Allison were researching the history of their new home. They noticed that Mr. Crafton had married a Henderson daughter.  Since Allison was born a Henderson, they were a little curious and did some research of Mrs. Crafton’s family line.  Lo and behold she was descended from the same line that Allison and her family are descended from.

A branch of the Henderson family had moved west, flourished there and eventually Allison Henderson was born. That’s right, Allison and her family now live on part of the farm that her great-great-great-great-great-grandfather once owned. And none of this was known to the Finks until months after they moved onto the farm. God is good!

So it seemed only fitting to name the farm in honor of the ancient Henderson family home, Fordell.  Welcome to Fordell Farm!

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