Hersay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Hersay is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The Hersay family lived in D'Hercé or D'Héricy, in the Mayenne region of France. [1]

Early Origins of the Hersay family

The surname Hersay was first found in Nottinghamshire, where Ivo Fitz Hercie was Viscount of Nottingham before 1130. Hugue d'Hericy, the first ancestor of this name, was recorded as "Companion in Arms of the Conqueror" at the Battle of Hastings in the Battle Abbey Rolls, establishing one of the oldest and most distinguished North Country families. [2]

Another source notes that Pillerton Hercy in Warwickshire was named from Hugh de Hercy, to whom it was granted by King John. [1]

"Gilbert de Waseville possessed Nether Pillerton in Richard I.'s time, and by committing a felony forfeited his whole estate, which the King bestowed upon Hugh de Hercy and left John his son and heir in ward of Thomas Basset in 13 John. From which John descended John de Hercy who is 7 Edward I. held this manor. " [1]

As a forename, Urse d'Abetot ( fl. 1086), was Sheriff of Worcestershire and derived his name from St. Jean d'Abbetot, near Tancarville. "He appears in 'Domesday' as a tenant-in-chief in the counties of Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, and Warwick, being also styled in it 'Urso de Wirecestre' from his office as Sheriff of Worcestershire. " [3]

Further to the south in the parish of Ruan Major, Cornwall, we found this interesting note about the family: "the manor of Erisey is partly in this parish and partly in Grade; and Erisey House is so situated as to have part of its buildings in each of these parishes. The manor house, which was the seat of the Eriseys for many generations, was rebuilt about the year 1620. This has for some considerable time been occupied by a farmer. The family of Erisey became extinct in the male line, about the year 1722; when this property passed in marriage with an heiress to Colonel John West." [4]

Early History of the Hersay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hersay research. Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1135, 1216, 1272, 1273, 1597, 1598, 1600, 1765, 1305, 1316, 1391, 1341, 1499, 1570, 1532, 1533, 1543, 1544, 1548, 1549, 1539, 1553, 1547, 1500 and 1521 are included under the topic Early Hersay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hersay 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 Hercy, Herci, Hearsey, Hearse, Hersee, Hersey, Hershey, Herse, Hershee, Hershie and many more.

Early Notables of the Hersay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Malveysin de Hercy, Constable of the Honour of Tykhill, who became Baron of Grove during the 13th century. Sir Hugh de Hercy and Thomas Malet were Members of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1305 as was Sir Hugh de Hercy and Lawrence Chaworth in 1316. Later, Sir Thomas Hercy and Sir Robert Cockfield were Members of Parliament for Nottinghamshire in 1391. Hugo de Hercy was Sheriff of Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and the Royal Forests in 1341...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hersay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hersay family

Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Hersay or a variant listed above: Richard Hersey, who sailed to Virginia in 1635; Christian Hershee to Philadelphia, Pa. in 1743; David Herse to Barbados in 1745; David Hersey to Nova Scotia in 1763.



  1. ^ 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
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print


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