Surname Hersey - Meaning and Origin
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Hersey: What does the surname Hersey mean?
The surname Hersey is of Anglo-Saxon origin and derived from a personal name that was popular during the Middle Ages - Horsa. Horsa means "horse" in Old English. This name was borne by Horsa, a semi-legendary 5th-century figure in Kent, who along with his brother Hengist, led the Angle, Saxon, and Jute invasions of Britain. Therefore, the surname Hersey might denote "descendant or son of Horsa". It is a patronymic surname, which are derived from the forename of an ancestor.
Some sources also suggest that Hersey may be locational, originating from a place called Hersey in Derbyshire, East Midlands, England. The name of this place in turn may have derived from Old English words “herse” (a type of harrow) and “eg” (island), thereby indicating a patch of land that was heavily harrowed.
Ultimately, the interpretation of the surname Hersey can vary and could also possibly have other origins and meanings in different cultures and languages.
Hersey: Where does the name Hersey come from?
The surname Hersey, of Anglo-Saxon origin, traces back to medieval England. Specifically, it's believed to come from the village of Hersey in Devon. The name might have been used to identify individuals who migrated from Hersey to other areas. The term is derived from the Old English elements "herg," meaning "army," and "eg," meaning "island," "low-lying land," or "water meadow." Suggestive of a geographic marker, the name might have referred to a feature in the village, possibly a meadow used as a gathering spot for the army.
In contemporary times, the surname Hersey is not exceedingly common. It can be found in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and to a lesser extent in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries with a history of British settlement. In the U.S, it was made particularly famous by the author John Hersey, known for his novel "Hiroshima." Despite this, the surname Hersey remains relatively rare. Thus, it doesn't have a high frequency rate in many particular regions.
Variations of the surname Hersey
The surname Hersey is thought to originate from a geographical location, specifically from the village of Hersey in Devon, England. Given the evolution of language and handwriting over centuries, various spellings, variants, and related surnames have emerged over time.
Alternate spellings of Hersey include Hearsey, Hersee, Hearseye, Hercey, Hersy and Hershey. The variation particularly popular in the United States is Hershey, made well-known by Milton S. Hershey, founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company.
Compound surnames including Hersey have also been recorded, such as de Hersey, which likely indicates a family history directly stemming from the village of Hersey.
Although definitive links cannot always be established, surnames that could share a common origin due to phonetic similarities or regional proximity within England include Horsley, Horssey, Hursey, and Horsey. These names might be associated due to the interchangeability of the "r" and "s" sounds in early linguistic translations and transcriptions.
Admittedly, the complex evolution of surnames means that these variants may also have other, unrelated derivations. Historical records and genealogical research are key to determining the specific roots and branches of a family with the Hersey surname.
Famous people with the name Hersey
- John Hersey: American Writer and Pulitzer Prize Winner
- Robert Hersey: politician in Washington State
- Meghan Hersey: Golden Globe nominated actress
- R. Blake Hersey: Canadian journalist and author
- Charles Hersey Jr.- Olympic gold medalist in diving
- C. J. Hersey: American baseball player
- Lynn Hersey: journalist
- Mark Hersey: musician and composer
- Stephanie Hersey: figure skater
- Mary Hersey: former teacher and senator in Michigan
- John Hersey Jr.: playwright
- Harry Hersey: sculptor
- Cook Hersey: businessman
- Benjamin Hersey: former soldier and member of the US Congress
- Sarah Hersey: nurse and healthcare advocate
- Arthur Hersey: former Montego Bay mayor
- Winnifred Hersey: artist and writing teacher
- Gil Alban Hersey: conductor and composer
- Ron Hersey: prominent investigative journalist
- Marcy Hersey: tennis player