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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, German

Where did the English Heard family come from? What is the English Heard family crest and coat of arms? When did the Heard family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Heard family history?

Heard is a name that was formed by the Anglo-Saxon society of old Britain. The name was thought to have been used for someone who once worked as a herdsman. The surname Heard is derived from the Old English word herde, which in turn comes from the Old English word heird, which means herd.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Heard include Herd, Heard, Hird, Hurd and others.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heard research. Another 313 words(22 lines of text) covering the year 1273 is included under the topic Early Heard History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Heard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Heard were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Heard Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Heard settled in Maine in 1620
  • Thornas Heard, who arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623
  • Luke Heard settled in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Thomas Heard, who landed in New England in 1631
  • Luke Heard, who landed in Newbury, Massachusetts in 1639


Heard Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • George Heard, who landed in Virginia in 1713

Heard Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Carl Heard, aged 32, landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848
  • Daniel Heard, aged 23, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848

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  • George Heard, American Political Scientist
  • William Wright Heard (1853-1926), American politician, Democratic Governor of Louisiana from 1900 to 1904
  • Garfield "Gar" Heard (b. 1948), retired American professional basketball player and coach
  • Floyd Wayne Heard (b. 1966), retired American track and field sprinter
  • William Henry Heard (b. 1930), American malacologist, and an authority on freshwater mollusks
  • John Mark Heard (1951-1992), American record producer, folk-rock singer, and songwriter
  • Amber Laura Heard (b. 1986), American actress and model
  • John Heard Jr. (b. 1945), American actor
  • Jerry M. Heard (b. 1947), American professional golfer
  • Augustine Heard (1785-1868), American entrepreneur, businessman and trader

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  • Miscellaneous Collections of Heards by Harold Heard.
  • Miscellaneous Heards, Addend.
  • by Harold Heard, Southern Heard Famili.
  • by Harold Heard.
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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Recte et sapienter
Motto Translation: Rightly and wisely.

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  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  11. ...

The Heard Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Heard Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 6 June 2013 at 10:29.

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