Herin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Norman culture that was established in England after the Conquest of 1066 produced the name of Herin. It was given to a person who was long legged or of tall stature. The name Herin 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 Herin family

The surname Herin 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]

And in the parish of Ford, Northumberland, another early family record was found. " 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. " [5]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 include: Ricardus Herun; Emma Herun; and Agnes Herun. [6]

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 Herin family

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

Herin Spelling Variations

Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Herron, Heron and others.

Early Notables of the Herin family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Herin family to Ireland

Some of the Herin 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.


New Zealand Herin 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:

Herin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Eva A. Herin, (b. 1865), aged 17, Cornish general servant departing on 13th December 1882 aboard the ship "Crusader" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 22nd March 1883 [7]


The Herin 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. ^ 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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  7. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf


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