Harrian History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harrian is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a person who made a living by catching or selling herring. Early examples of the surname Harrian 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.

However, one very reputable source claims origin of the name disagrees. "There can be no doubt about the parentage of our Herrings. It will be observed that the prefix 'le' is never found in these early records, suggesting that the surname is not (at least in the majority of cases) a nickname taken from the fish. They are generally found inland also." [1]

And another reputable source agrees. "This name may be the same as Hering, from some locality compounded of ing, a meadow. Hornsey, Middlesex, from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century was called in public records Haringee, Haringhee, or Haringay, signifying the meadow of hares." [2]

Early Origins of the Harrian family

The surname Harrian was first found in many counties throughout ancient Britain. By example, the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed John Hareng, Bedfordshire; Alan Haring, Cambridgeshire; Nigel Haring, Canterbury; Robert Henn, Cambridgeshire; and Roger Hering, Oxfordshire and all holding lands at that time. [1]

Further to the north in Scotland, "Adam Hereng' witnessed a charter by William the Lion to the Priory of Coldingham. Petronilla, daughter of Adam Harang of Meinichoch (Minnigaff), granted to the church of Melrose part of the lands of Bortwic in the parish of Roberton in the reign of Alexander II. An account of the domestic tragedy which nearly brought the family of Herring to ruin in 1371 is described in the Memorie of the Somervills, I, p. 118-121. The tragedy occurred at Gilmerton Grange near Edinbergh. Gilbert Heryng witnessed a charter of the Haigh of Scuny in Fife, 1395, and John Hering, dominus de Glasclune, was present at perambulation of the marches of Kirknes and Louchor in the same year. " [3]

Early History of the Harrian family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harrian research. Another 197 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1190, 1450, 1453, 1457, 1479, 1483, 1491, 1508, 1574, 1750, 1628, 1704, 1693, 1757, 1747, 1757, 1628, 1585, 1589, 1599, 1582, 1644, 1693, 1757 and 1693 are included under the topic Early Harrian History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harrian Spelling Variations

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 Harrian include Herring, Herrin, Hering and others.

Early Notables of the Harrian family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Henry Herringman (1628-1704), a prominent London bookseller and publisher; he was the first publisher of the works of John Dryden; and Thomas Herring (1693-1757), Archbishop of Canterbury from 1747 to 1757. Francis Herring (d. 1628), was an English physician, a native of Nottinghamshire who was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge (B.A. 1585, M.A. 1589). On 3 July 1599, being then a doctor of medicine of Cambridge of two...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harrian Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harrian family

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 Harrian were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Christopher Hering arrived in Philadelphia in 1783 along with George and Jacob; Joseph Herring settled in Barbados in 1635; Simon Herring settled in Virginia in 1663.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  3. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)


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