Heery History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Heery surname, of Norman ancestry, was a name given to a person who was long legged or of tall stature. The name Heery is derived from the Old English word heiroun, which meant heron.

Alternatively, the name originated in Heron, near Rouen in Normandy and some of the family arrived with William the Conqueror. "Tihel de Herioun was of Essex, 1086. [1] Odenel Heron, temp. William Rufus (third son of William the Conqueror), witnessed a charter in Durham. " [2]

Early Origins of the Heery family

The surname Heery was first found in Northumberland at Thornton, a township, in the parish of Norham, union of Berwick-upon-Tweed. "This place was the manor and residence of a family named Heron." [3]

"Sir John Hairun entered England with the Conqueror, and was possessed of Ford Castle, and a very good estate. There is a commune in the arrondissement of Rouen called Le Heron, but it does not appear whether this was the cradle of the race." [4]

"From this adventurer sprang the warlike race of Heron, so celebrated in Border feud and Border minstrelsy. In 1100, they possessed by grant from Henry I., the Barony of Heron in Northumberland, and in 1166, exactly a century after their Norman ancestor set foot in England, Jordan Hairun is named in the Liber niger Scuccarii, amongst the knights then enjoying great estates in the north. In the reign of henry III., the marriage of William Heriun, Governor of Bamborough Castle, with the daughter and heir of Odonel de Ford, transplanted the family to the lands of her inheritance and there - at Ford Castle - they continued in high repute for several generations, William Heron of Ford being summoned to parliament as a Baron in 1371. " [5]

Exploring the parish of Ford, Northumberland more we found this entry: "On the western side of the village is Ford Castle, erected in 1287 by Sir William Heron, and rebuilt by the late Lord Delaval; two towers, the remains of the former castle, are retained in the present structure. The castle was demolished by the Scots in 1385." [3]

Further to the north in Scotland, "the old family of Heron in the Stewertry claim descent from the Herons of Chipchase who appear in Northumberland in the eleventh century. " [6]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Ricardus Herun; Emma Herun; and Agnes Herun. [7]

We did find this interesting anecdote: "Sir William Heron, Sheriff of Northumberland 17 Hen. VIII., was the father of the beautiful Elizabeth, who detained James IV. at Ford, so as to give the Earl of Surrey time and opportunity for advancing towards the Borders with a large army: From its strong position, commanding the bridge over the river Till, the castle had been a constant bone of contention between the English and Scots; and was entirely demolished by the latter in 1385: but its most memorable capture was by King James in 1513, for it thus became for ever associated with 'the tale of Flodden, that is written in blood on every Scottish heart.'" [2]

Early History of the Heery family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heery research. Another 261 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1178, 1292, 1321, 1330, 1329, 1526, 1505, 1607, 1680, 1734, 1688, 1565, 1585, 1565, 1795, 1865 and are included under the topic Early Heery History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heery 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 Herron, Heron and others.

Early Notables of the Heery family (pre 1700)

Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heery Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Heery family to Ireland

Some of the Heery family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Heery migration to the United States +

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 Heery or a variant listed above:

Heery Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Heery, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1823 [8]


The Heery Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nil desperandum
Motto Translation: Never despairing.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ 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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