Herbertson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Herbertson family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Herbertson came from the Germanic personal name Herbert. It is also an Old French given name derived from the Old German name Hariberct or Her(e)bert. This Germanic name contains the elements harja which means army and berhta, which means bright. The name was first borne by St. Herbert or Herebert (d. 687), who was an early "hermit, resided on the island in Derwentwater which still bears his name. He was a disciple and close friend of St. Cuthbert, to whom he paid an annual visit for spiritual advice. The two friends both died on 20 March 687, Herebert suffering much from sickness before his death." [1]

"The noble Herberts descend from Herbert, Count of Vemandois, who came hither with the Conqueror, and was chamberlain to William Rufus. Collins says: 'the genealogists deduce the family from Herbert, a natural son of King Henry I., but I think it more evident that Henry Fitz-Herbert, chamberlain to the said king, was ancestor to all of the name of Herbert.' " [2]

Early Origins of the Herbertson family

The surname Herbertson was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin forms of the name, Herbertus and Hereberd were recorded. [3]

Herbertus capellanus was listed in Suffolk in 1148-1156. William Herebert was the first listing not in Latin in Dorset in 1206. Richard Herbert, Herebert, Herberd was found in the Assize Rolls for Worcester in 1221 and Johannes Herberti was found in Norfolk in 1230. [4]

In Scotland, "about the year 1200 Herbert filius Herberti de Camera granted a half carucate in Dunipace to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth. One or other of these Herberts most probably gave name to Herbertshire near Denny, Stirlingshire. Herbert, third abbot of Selkirk, was bishop of Glasgow, 1147-1164." [5]

Herbert of Bosham ( fl. 1162-1186), was an early English biographer, "has told us himself that he was born at the place whence he took his name, Bosham, or, as he spells it, Boseham, in Sussex. " [1]

Early History of the Herbertson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Herbertson research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1230, 1468, 1423, 1469, 1550, 1617, 1595, 1673, 1572, 1655, 1598, 1667, 1593, 1663, 1606, 1682, 1621, 1646, 1640, 1644, 1625, 1659, 1646, 1659, 1691, 1626, 1696, 1648, 1716, 1685, 1687, 1689, 1690, 1593, 1587, 1583, 1756, 1821, 1840, 1901, 1866, 1880 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Herbertson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Herbertson Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Herbertson are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Herbertson include Herbert, Herbit, Herbutt and others.

Early Notables of the Herbertson family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (c. 1423-1469), known as "Black William", was the son of William ap Thomas, founder of Raglan Castle; Sir John Herbert (1550-1617), Welsh lawyer and diplomat, Secretary of State under Elizabeth I and James I; Sir Henry Herbert (1595-1673), Master of the Revels to both King Charles I and King Charles II; Sir Richard Herbert; William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis (1572-1655) was a Welsh politician; Percy Herbert, 2nd Baron Powis (1598-1667), an English writer and politician; George Herbert (1593-1663), an English ( Welsh born) poet and academic, who became...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Herbertson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Herbertson family to Ireland

Some of the Herbertson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 191 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Herbertson migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Herbertson, or a variant listed above:

Herbertson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Herbertson, who arrived in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1768
Herbertson Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • M. Herbertson, aged 32, originally from Airdrie, arrived in New York in 1907 aboard the ship "Caledonia" from Glasgow, Scotland [6]
  • Frances Herbertson, aged 38, originally from Newcastle on Tyne, England, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Cedric" from Liverpool, England [7]
  • Adam G. Herbertson, aged 46, arrived in New York in 1921 aboard the ship "Canto" from Antilla, Cuba [8]
  • John L. Herbertson, aged 48, originally from Glasgow, Scotland, arrived in New York, N.Y. in 1923 aboard the ship "Leviathan" from Southampton, England [9]
  • Franklin Herbertson, aged 21, originally from St. Philip, Barbados, arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Voltaire" from Barbados, British West Indies [10]

Canada Herbertson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Herbertson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Robert Herbertson, who settled in Ontario in 1817

New Zealand Herbertson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Herbertson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Ann Herbertson, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Jura" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd September 1858 [11]
  • J. Herbertson, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Tornado" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 26th September 1859 [12]

Contemporary Notables of the name Herbertson (post 1700) +

  • Andrew John Herbertson FRSE FRGS FRMS (1865-1915), Scottish geographer, Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society in 1892, Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1896, eponym of the Herbertson Glacier, Antarctica
  • Samuel Herbertson (1889-1915), Scottish footballer who played in the Scottish League for Ayr United (1913-1914), killed in action at Gallipoli on 12 July 1915
  • Robert Herbertson (1852-1940), Australian politician, Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Port Curtis (1904-1909)
  • Lt. Andrew Hunter Herbertson (b. 1917), Scottish soldier killed at Arras in the First World War in May 1917, son of Andrew John Herbertson


The Herbertson 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: Constantia et Fortitudine
Motto Translation: By constancy and fortitude.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXFL-L2C : 6 December 2014), M. Herbertson, 15 Apr 1907; citing departure port Glasgow, arrival port New York, ship name Caledonia, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  7. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6N9-2PY : 6 December 2014), Frances Herbertson, 24 Oct 1921; citing departure port Liverpool, arrival port New York, ship name Cedric, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J6JK-V3K : 6 December 2014), Adam G. Herbertson, 16 Jul 1921; citing departure port Antilla, Cuba, arrival port New York, ship name Canto, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  9. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JN7K-4YW : 6 December 2014), John L. Herbertson, 03 Nov 1923; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, N.Y., ship name Leviathan, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  10. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JNZH-J2P : 6 December 2014), Franklin Herbertson, 09 Feb 1924; citing departure port Barbados, British West Indies, arrival port New York, ship name Voltaire, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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