Erdman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Erdman is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It is a name for someone who worked as a guardian of cattle or sheep. The surname Erdman is derived from the Old English word hierdeman, which means herdman.

Early Origins of the Erdman family

The surname Erdman was first found in Norfolk, where Osbert Hirdam was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1166. A few years later, Simon le Hyrdeman was found inthe Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1181 and John le Herdman, Walter Herdman were found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [1]

The Herder variant is very rare but in this case, Nicholas le Herder was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327; and John Hurder was listed in Somerset in 1333. The name is derived from the Middle English word "herden, hurdern," literally meaning "to take care of, to tend," from the word "herdman." [1]

Early History of the Erdman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Erdman research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1273, 1268, 1272, 1307, 1524, 1762 and are included under the topic Early Erdman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Erdman Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Erdman are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Erdman include: Herdman, Herdsman, Hurdman, Heardman, Herder, Hearden, Herden, Hirdman and many more.

Early Notables of the Erdman family (pre 1700)

Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Erdman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Erdman family to Ireland

Some of the Erdman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 108 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Erdman migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Erdman or a variant listed above:

Erdman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jacob Erdman, aged 19, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [2]
  • Johan Jacob Erdman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1732 [2]
  • Joh Erdman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 [2]
  • Joh Justus Erdman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1737 [2]
  • John Erdman, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Erdman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carl Fred Erdman, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1803 [2]
  • George Erdman, who settled in Philadelphia in 1858
  • William Erdman went to Philadelphia, in 1867
  • Adolph Erdman, who arrived in California in 1878 [2]
  • Henry Erdman, who arrived in Arkansas in 1897 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Erdman (post 1700) +

  • Jean Erdman (1916-2020), American dancer and choreographer of modern dance
  • John Richard Erdman (1925-2019), American actor who appeared in more than 160 films, television and theater productions between 1944 and 2017
  • Charles Rosenberry Erdman Jr. (1897-1984), American Republican Party politician, Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee (1958–1961)
  • Ellis E. "Woody" Erdman (1926-1997), American sportscaster, television producer, and businessman, Chairman of Trans-National Communications
  • Paul Emil Erdman (1932-2007), Canadian-born, American leading business and financial writer
  • Richard Erdman (b. 1925), American film and television actor and director
  • Walter C. Erdman, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Dakota, 1980
  • Rufus T. Erdman, American Democrat politician, Postmaster at Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1885-89
  • Richard C. Erdman, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 74th District, 2012
  • Jacob Erdman (1801-1867), American Democrat politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Legislature; U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 6th District, 1845-47
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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