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Origins Available: Dutch, English


The Herring name was originally an Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who made a living by catching or selling herring. Early examples of the surname Herring come from the Old French word hareng, while later examples come from the Old English word hering, which was originally derived from the Old English words hæring and hering; these words all mean herring. Occupational names such as Herring frequently were derived from the principal object associated with the activity of the original bearer, such as tools or products. These types of occupational surnames are called metonymic surnames.

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The surname Herring was first found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Herring has undergone many spelling variations, including Herring, Herrin, Hering and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Herring research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1166, 1190, 1450, 1750, 1628, 1704, 1693, 1757, 1747 and 1757 are included under the topic Early Herring History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Herring Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Herring were among those contributors:

Herring Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Joseph Herring settled in Barbados in 1635
  • Jo Herring, aged 28, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • John Herring settled in Virginia in 1642
  • Jon Herring, who arrived in Virginia in 1642
  • Bartholomew Herring, who landed in Maryland in 1647
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Herring Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hen Herring, who arrived in Virginia in 1700
  • Edward Herring, who landed in Virginia in 1712
  • John Geo Herring, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Ludwig Herring, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1754
  • Ludwick Herring, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1760
  • ...

Herring Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Herring, who arrived in America in 1810
  • Catharine Herring, aged 69, arrived in Massachusetts in 1813
  • Thomas Herring, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1835
  • Francis Herring, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1840
  • Honora Victorine Herring, who landed in New York, NY in 1841
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Herring Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Herring, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • John Herring, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Giles Head Herring arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
  • John Morris Herring arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
  • Louisa Herring arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
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  • Harold Moreland "Hal" Herring (1924-2014), American football player and coach
  • Conyers Herring (1914-2009), American physicist and co-winner of the 1984/85 Wolf Prize in Physics
  • George A. Herring, American politician, Representative from Pennsylvania 18th District, 1920
  • Erastus C. Herring, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 9th District, 1894
  • E. I. Herring, American Republican politician, Member of Colorado State House of Representatives, 1950
  • Clyde LaVerne Herring (1879-1945), American Democrat politician, Member of Democratic National Committee from Iowa, 1924-28; Governor of Iowa, 1933-37; Defeated, 1920; U.S. Senator from Iowa, 1937-43; Defeated, 1922, 1942
  • Charniele L. Herring, American Democrat politician, Elected Virginia State House of Delegates 46th District 2011
  • Charles F. Herring, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas, 1951-55
  • Charles Herring, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Texas, 1964; Member, Rules Committee, 2008
  • George M. Herring, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 5th District, 1855-57
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  • A Dutch Family in the Middle Colonies, 1660-1800 by Firth Haring Fabend.
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
    2. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
    3. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
    5. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
    10. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
    11. ...

    The Herring Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Herring Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

    This page was last modified on 13 April 2016 at 10:17.

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