Show ContentsHerdman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Herdman is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a guardian of cattle or sheep. The surname Herdman is derived from the Old English word hierdeman, which means herdman.

Early Origins of the Herdman family

The surname Herdman was first found in Norfolk, where Osbert Hirdam was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1166. A few years later, Simon le Hyrdeman was found in the Pipe Rolls of Kent in 1181 and John le Herdman, Walter Herdman were found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [1]

The Herder variant is very rare but in this case, Nicholas le Herder was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327; and John Hurder was listed in Somerset in 1333. The name is derived from the Middle English word "herden," or "hurdern," literally meaning "to take care of, to tend," from the word "herdman." [1]

Early History of the Herdman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Herdman research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1273, 1268, 1272, 1307, 1524, 1762 and are included under the topic Early Herdman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Herdman Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Herdman are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Herdman include Herdman, Herdsman, Hurdman, Heardman, Herder, Hearden, Herden, Hirdman and many more.

Early Notables of the Herdman family (pre 1700)

Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Herdman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Herdman family to Ireland

Some of the Herdman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 108 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Herdman family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Herdman or a variant listed above: Lawrence Herder,who settled in Newfoundland in 1706; John Erdman who sailed to Philadelphia in 1737; G. Herder in Texas in 1836; Philip Hearden to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1851.

Contemporary Notables of the name Herdman (post 1700) +

  • Priscilla Herdman (b. 1948), American folk singer
  • William Gawin Herdman (1805-1882), English artist and author, born on 13 March 1805 at Liverpool, where his father was a corn merchant [2]
  • Joshua Herdman (b. 1987), English actor known for his roles in the Harry Potter films
  • John Mark Ambrose Herdman CBE LVO (1932-2015), Scottish-born, British diplomat, Governor of the British Virgin Islands (1986-1991), Deputy Governor of Bermuda (1983-1986), Acting Governor of Bermuda in 1983
  • Alexander Lawrence Herdman (1869-1953), New Zealand politician, Attorney-General, Minister of Justice, and Minister of Police
  • William Abbott Herdman (1858-1924), prominent Scottish marine biologist and zoologist

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook