Hearsay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hearsay is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hearsay family lived in D'Hercé or D'Héricy, in the Mayenne region of France. [1]

Early Origins of the Hearsay family

The surname Hearsay was first found in Nottinghamshire, where Ivo Fitz Hercie was Viscount of Nottingham before 1130. Hugue d'Hericy, the first ancestor of this name, was recorded as "Companion in Arms of the Conqueror" at the Battle of Hastings in the Battle Abbey Rolls, establishing one of the oldest and most distinguished North Country families. [2]

Another source notes that Pillerton Hercy in Warwickshire was named from Hugh de Hercy, to whom it was granted by King John. [1]

"Gilbert de Waseville possessed Nether Pillerton in Richard I.'s time, and by committing a felony forfeited his whole estate, which the King bestowed upon Hugh de Hercy and left John his son and heir in ward of Thomas Basset in 13 John. From which John descended John de Hercy who is 7 Edward I. held this manor. " [1]

As a forename, Urse d'Abetot ( fl. 1086), was Sheriff of Worcestershire and derived his name from St. Jean d'Abbetot, near Tancarville. "He appears in 'Domesday' as a tenant-in-chief in the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, and Warwick, being also styled in it 'Urso de Wirecestre' from his office as Sheriff of Worcestershire. " [3]

Further to the south in the parish of Ruan Major, Cornwall, we found this interesting note about the family: "the manor of Erisey is partly in this parish and partly in Grade; and Erisey House is so situated as to have part of its buildings in each of these parishes. The manor house, which was the seat of the Eriseys for many generations, was rebuilt about the year 1620. This has for some considerable time been occupied by a farmer. The family of Erisey became extinct in the male line, about the year 1722; when this property passed in marriage with an heiress to Colonel John West." [4]

Early History of the Hearsay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hearsay research. Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1135, 1216, 1272, 1273, 1597, 1598, 1600, 1765, 1305, 1316, 1391, 1341, 1499, 1570, 1532, 1533, 1543, 1544, 1548, 1549, 1539, 1553, 1547, 1500 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Hearsay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hearsay Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hercy, Herci, Hearsey, Hearse, Hersee, Hersey, Hershey, Herse, Hershee, Hershie and many more.

Early Notables of the Hearsay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Malveysin de Hercy, Constable of the Honour of Tykhill, who became Baron of Grove during the 13th century. Sir Hugh de Hercy and Thomas Malet were Members of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1305 as was Sir Hugh de Hercy and Lawrence Chaworth in 1316. Later, Sir Thomas Hercy and Sir Robert Cockfield were Members of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1391. Hugo de Hercy was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests in 1341...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hearsay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hearsay family

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Hearsay or a variant listed above: Richard Hersey, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; Christian Hershee to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1743; David Herse to Barbados in 1745; David Hersey to Nova Scotia in 1763.



  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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