There are several possible originations for this famous name. It could be from the Olde Norse - Viking pre 8th Century, 'Haraldr' or the Anglo-Saxon 'Herold' or the Olde English, 'Hereward' or the French 'Heraut'. The latter is the most probable, being introduced by the Normans after the 1066 invasion, and meaning 'The Herald' an important job description, every noble and every Mayor, Town and City, having the official Herald. As a consequence, there are many alternative spellings of this ancient name including, Herald, Heraud, Herold, Herod, Herrald, Herrod Herrold, Horod and Horrod.None have any connection with the infamous Biblical King at the time of Christ. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Herode, which was dated 1279, in the Northumberland Assizes, during the reign of King Edward 1, known as the Hammer of the Scots, 1272 - 1307. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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