Hervay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hervay came to England with the ancestors of the Hervay family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. It comes from the Breton personal name Aeruiu or Haerviu. It is composed of the elements haer, which means battle or carnage, and vy, which means worthy. The name was commonly introduced to England in its Gallic form Hervé.[1]

"This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Harvey.' This great personal name had not become so rare in the 12th and 13th centuries that it could escape surnominal honours. On the contrary, it is still found as a fairly familiar personal name up to the beginning of the 14th century. " [2]

Hervey or Hervaeus (d. 1131), was "bishop successively of Bangor and Ely, of Breton race, was a royal clerk, high in favour with William Rufus and confessor to Henry I. " [3]

Early Origins of the Hervay family

The surname Hervay was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form of the name, Herveus, was first used. Herueu de berruarius was also listed in Suffolk at that time. [4]

Herueide Caster was recorded in Lincolnshire 1157-1163. Later in Suffolk, Willelmus filius Hervici was listed in the Feet of Fines of 1242 and William Hervi, Herevi was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1196. William Hervy was found in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1232 and later, Richard Herfu was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed early spellings of the name as both a personal name and a surname: Harvey Dunnyng and Warin Hervi in Cambridgeshire; Robert filius Hervei in Lincolnshire; and Herveus le Gos, in Lincolnshire. [2]

"As a family designation it appears in England in the XII. cent. Osbert de Hervey is styled, in the register of St. Edmundsbury, the son of Hervey. From him according to the Peerage sprang the Herveys, ennobled in England and Ireland, and also (in all probability, from the resemblance of their arms) the De Hervi's and Hervies of Aberdeenshire and other parts of Scotland." [5]

Distribution of the surname throughout Britain is most interesting. "Well distributed over England south of a line drawn from Hull to Chester. North of that line its frequency abruptly ceases. It is best represented in Essex, Hants, and Kent, and then in Corwall, Devon, Staffordshire, Notts, Norfolk, and Suffolk. Its preference for the coast counties, especially those in the south - east of England from Kent to Norfolk, is to be remarked." [6]

Early History of the Hervay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hervay research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1578, 1657, 1616, 1578, 1657, 1586, 1660, 1624, 1629, 1601, 1673, 1642, 1601, 1611, 1616, 1680, 1661, 1679, 1540 and are included under the topic Early Hervay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hervay Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Harvey, Hervey, Hervie, Harvie and others.

Early Notables of the Hervay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Harvey (1578-1657), an English physician, first to describe in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart; Sir William Hervey (1586-1660), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1629; Edmund Harvey or Hervey (c.1601-1673), an English soldier and member of Parliament during the English Civil War, who sat as a commissioner at the Trial of King Charles I and helped...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hervay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Hervay family to Ireland

Some of the Hervay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 107 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 Hervay family

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Hervay name or one of its variants: William Harvey settled in New England in 1630; Nicholas Hervey settled in Maryland in 1634; Alexander Harvie settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Harview settled in Virginia in 1635.



  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.


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