Hersey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hersey was brought to England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Hersey family lived in D'Hercé or D'Héricy, in the Mayenne region of France. [1]

Early Origins of the Hersey family

The surname Hersey 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 Hersey family

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

Hersey Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hercy, Herci, Hearsey, Hearse, Hersee, Hersey, Hershey, Herse, Hershee, Hershie and many more.

Early Notables of the Hersey 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 Hersey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hersey Ranking

In the United States, the name Hersey is the 5,490th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [5]


United States Hersey migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Hersey or a variant listed above:

Hersey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Hersey, who sailed to Virginia in 1635
  • Richard Hersey, aged 22, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • William Hersey, who landed in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1635 [6]
Hersey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Ezekl Hersey, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1764
Hersey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Hersey to Boston in 1849
  • William Hersey, who settled in San Francisco, California in 1852

Canada Hersey migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hersey Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • David Hersey, who settled in Nova Scotia in 1763

Australia Hersey migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hersey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Hersey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [7]
  • Ann Hersey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [7]
  • Caroline Hersey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [7]
  • Emma Hersey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [7]
  • Louisa Hersey, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [7]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Hersey 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:

Hersey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Hersey, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Gertrude" in 1863 [8]
  • Mr. James Hersey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gertrude" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 9th February 1863 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hersey (post 1700) +

  • Samuel F. Hersey (1812-1875), American politician from the U.S. state of Maine
  • John Hersey (1914-1993), Pulitzer Prize winning American author
  • Ira G. Hersey (1858-1943), American politician from the U.S. state of Maine
  • David Hersey (b. 1939), American lighting designer, recipient of three Tony Awards for Best Lighting Design and a Laurence Olivier Award for Lighting Design in 1996
  • Ira Greenlief Hersey (1858-1943), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Governor of Maine, 1886; Member of Maine State House of Representatives, 1909-12; Member of Maine State Senate, 1913-16 [10]
  • H. Hersey, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972 [10]
  • F. L. Hersey, American politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Cabell County, 1907 [10]
  • Earl Hersey, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Michigan State House of Representatives 27th District, 1978 [10]
  • Dorothy H. Hersey, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1972 [10]
  • Charles H. Hersey, American politician, Member of New Hampshire State Senate 13th District, 1887-88 [10]
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SOMERSETSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Somersetshire.htm
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 12th December 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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