There was at one time a Hendee Reunion Organization, Genealogy and History Committee based out of Portland, Michigan. The Historian/Secretary, (Lee W. Hendee) wrote a letter in 1959 to Cora Sand, daughter of Benjamin Glass and Emily Hendee requesting information and asking her if she would like to purchase a book. It is unknown whether Cora replied and no other correspondence has been found.
The story that has been passed down through the generations is that the original progenitor, Charles Hendee, first arrived here from France bringing along his young son, Samuel. Nothing is known of young Samuel's mother. But on August 30, 1836 Charles Hendee married Adeline Davis in Suffolk, Roxbury, Massachusetts. Family legend says that there was some land to be inherited in France as Charles's son, Samuel Charles Hendee (or Charles Samuel) was born at Hendee Hall in France. There was a coat of arms that was lost during WWI (see below). Family legend also has it that Charles' second wife brought a son to their marriage and she quickly changed his name to Charles Davis Hendee in case there were lands to be inherited. I'm not sure if this is true, partly because they were married in 1836 and they had a child born in 1837 who was named Charles Davis Hendee.
As I've been digging lately through the internet I am finding that the original stories about the Hendees are not entirely accurate. I believe that the stories may have originally been fairly truthful in that the Hendees were from France and very possibly of noble birth. But I think the story goes back many generations before our Charles. The Hendees fled from France at the time of the Huguenot persecution. I have just recently come in contact with a few people on the internet who have shared vast amounts of information with me and provided proof that we are definitely descended from these original Hendee ancestors. Click here for more information.
Cora Sand says that her great grandfather, Charles Hendee was a cabinetmaker. She also stated that her mother thought that Samuel may have been a Mason as she remembered aprons, plumes and black horses pulling the hearse at his funeral. Obviously, more research needs to be done. My aunt Mary and I traveled to Portland, Michigan in the hopes of finding some long-lost relatives there. Though we found the home of one of them, possibly a son of Lee Hendee they were not in. We left a message and they never responded.
I have a letter from Laura Edith Holliday (Sister Edith Constance) Convent of the Transfiguration, Glendale, Ohio and these are her notes:
Laura Edith's great-nephew was Frederic Holliday Mott and her grandmother was Laura Hendee. Hugh Keating McCorkle, Laura's sister Josephine's grandson inherited the family home and contents in Causerage (Cosseroga?) NY and moved them to home in Portland. Laura had uncle Homer Holliday. Hugh was 19 years old and prisoner of war in German camp when his grandmother died. Lawyer handled estate and no knowledge of where family crest went. It was 9" x 12" greyish blue and had lions on it she remembered. [Both Frederic and Hugh may both be alive.]
Charles Hendee and Adeline Davis had the following children:
Charles Davis Hendee born June 8, 1837 in Suffolk, Roxbury, MA
Rear Admiral George Ellsworth Hendee born June 30, 1841 in Suffolk, Roxbury, MA. Educated Public and Private schools, married Elsius Lewis April 21, 1870. Lived in Brooklyn, Massachusetts until his death on September 10, 1915. [Who's Who in America 1897-1942]
Mary Adaline Hendee born July 3, 1843 Suffolk, Roxbury, MA
Unknown Hendee born January 24, 1849 in Suffolk, Roxbury, MA (possibly Gwen Anne, she was supposed to be a sister to Samuel and he named one of his daughters after her).
Great link from Sharon with Hendee and Elderkin information: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mach/
I am also trying to find out more about the Hendee families.
My Grandmother was a Hendee. She is from Vermont. She was born
Her name is Laura May Hendee, married a Socia. Her fathers name
was John Walter Hendee of Grand Isle, Vermont. Do any of these
sound familar to you?
Another great website with Hendee info: http://www.sciencespot.net/duncan/Pages/famtree2.html
I just came across the publication of a new book on George M. Hendee who is being inducted into the United States Bicycling Hall of Fame this fall. He compiled an unbelievable string of undefeated victories in national high wheel bicycle races at the end to the 19th century. Training requirements led him to attach a motor to a bicycle so his coaches could keep up with him and this eventually led to his co-founding the "Indian Motocycle Company" [yes, the spelling is correct].
A Tribute to the Life and Careers of George Mallory Hendee. It begins with family, onto his bicycling career, motorcycle career and the Shriners Hospital, with sections about his overseas YMCA work during WWI, marriage, photos of his mansion and farm called Hilltop.
The book was written by his niece, June Hale Cook, who was very close to George Hendee and spent a lot of time with him at his home and farm as a child. George had no children of his own. June inherited many wonderful old pictures from George's life as well is interesting information on his Hendee ancestors and relatives.
You can order the book directly from the publisher via Internet at the following site:
Other sites of interest: