Hird History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Hird dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from a member of the family who worked as a herdsman. The surname Hird is derived from the Old English word herde, which in turn comes from the Old English word heird, which means herd. [1]

Early Origins of the Hird family

The surname Hird was first found in Shropshire where Thomas Hord was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1221. Years later, Reginald le Herd was found in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243 and Richard le Hurde was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 include: Robert le Hirde, Suffolk; Richard le Herde, Cambridgeshire; and David le Hyrde, Norfolk. [1]

One entry was found in Somerset in early times, that of William le Hurde, 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Alanus Hyrd; Nicholans Hyrd; and Johannes Hird as all holding lands there at that time. [1]

"An old family of Hird once resided at Woodhouse Grove, Rawdon, in the West Riding [of Yorkshire]." [4]

Moving further north to Scotland, Hird was the Scottish pronunciation of 'herd', a herdsman. [5] Early records show "W. dictus Hyrd was actomatus (attorney) of Bernard, abbot of Aberbrothoc in 1328. John Hird was a tenant of the Douglas in Louchurde in 1376." [5]

Early History of the Hird family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hird research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1610, 1619, 1627, 1511, 1605, 1626, 1512, 1588, 1512, 1529, 1532, 1534, 1546, 1720, 1808, 1720, 1732, 1810 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Hird History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hird Spelling Variations

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 Hird has undergone many spelling variations, including Herd, Heard, Hird, Hurd and others.

Early Notables of the Hird family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: John Herd (1512?-1588), English historian, born about 1512 'in that part of Surrey which adjoins the city of London.' After being educated at Eton, he was admitted a scholar of King's College, Cambridge, on 16 August 1529, and a fellow on 17 August 1532. He proceeded B.A. in 1534, and commenced M.A. in...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hird Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hird Ranking

In the United States, the name Hird is the 16,136th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]


United States Hird migration to the United States +

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 Hird were among those contributors:

Hird Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Hird, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1799 [7]

Australia Hird migration to Australia +

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

Hird Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Hird, English convict who was convicted in North Riding, Yorkshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 20th January 1836, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hird (post 1700) +

  • Dame Thora Hird DBE (1911-2003), English actress, perhaps best known for her roles in the sitcoms Meet the Wife (1963-66), In Loving Memory (1979-86), Hallelujah! (1983-1984), and Last of the Summer Wine (1986-2003)
  • Harold James Hird (b. 1942), Australian politician, Member of the ACT Legislative Assembly (1995-2001) and the ACT House of Assembly (1975-1986)
  • Allan Hird Jr., (b. 1946), Australian rules footballer, father of James Hird
  • Allan Hird Sr., (1918-2007), Australian rules footballer, grandfather of James Hird

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William Hird, British Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and survived the sinking [9]


The Hird 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: Recte et sapienter
Motto Translation: Rightly and wisely.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. 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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elphinstone
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html


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