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

Origins Available: Dutch, English

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

The Herring name was originally an Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who made a living by catching or selling herring. Early examples of the surname Herring come from the Old French word hareng, while later examples come from the Old English word hering, which was originally derived from the Old English words hæring and hering; these words all mean herring. Occupational names such as Herring frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

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Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Herring has undergone many spelling variations, including Herring, Herrin, Hering and others.

First found in Oxfordshire 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 Herring research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1190, 1450, 1750, 1628, 1704, 1693, 1757, 1747 and 1757 are included under the topic Early Herring History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Herring Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Herring were among those contributors:

Herring Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Joseph Herring settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Herring, aged 28, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • John Herring settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Jon Herring, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • Bartholomew Herring, who landed in Maryland in 1647


Herring Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Hen Herring, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Edward Herring, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • John Geo Herring, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Ludwig Herring, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Ludwick Herring, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760


Herring Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Herring, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Catharine Herring, aged 69, arrived in Massachusetts in 1813
  • Thomas Herring, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Francis Herring, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1840
  • Honora Victorine Herring, who landed in New York, NY in 1841


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  • Augustus Moore Herring (1867-1926), American aviation pioneer
  • Lieutenant Rufus Geddie Herring (1921-1996), United States Naval Reserve officer awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Conyers Herring (1914-2009), American physicist and co-winner of the 1984/85 Wolf Prize in Physics
  • Major Alfred Cecil Herring VC (1888-1966), English Army officer awarded the Victoria Cross
  • Lieutenant General Sir Edmund Francis Herring KCMG, KBE, DSO, MC, KStJ, ED, QC (1892-1962), Australian Army officer during the Second World War, Lieutenant governor of Victoria, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Robert Herring (1903-1975), Scottish writer and poet
  • Percy Theodore Herring (1872-1967), British physician and physiologist
  • Horace Edgar Herring (1884-1962), former New Zealand Member of Parliament
  • Lieutenant-General Sir Edmund Frederick Herring (1892-1982), Australian General Officer Commanding I Australian Corps (New Guinea) from 1943 to 1944


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  • A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800 by Firth Haring Fabend.
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  1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  5. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  6. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Herring Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Herring 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 5 September 2013 at 13:33.

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