Hearse History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hearse is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Hearse family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Hearse family lived in D'Hercé or D'Héricy, in the Mayenne region of France. [1]

Early Origins of the Hearse family

The surname Hearse 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 Hearse family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hearse 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 Hearse History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hearse Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Hercy, Herci, Hearsey, Hearse, Hersee, Hersey, Hershey, Herse, Hershee, Hershie and many more.

Early Notables of the Hearse 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 Hearse Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hearse migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Hearse or a variant listed above:

Hearse Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Anne Hearse, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [5]
  • John Hearse to Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766


  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
  5. ^ 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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