This interesting English name is topographical for someone residing in a nook or corner of land, or a bend in a river, from the Old English 'hyrne' and Middle English 'herne'. 'Lurking in hernes, and in lanes blinde'. Chaucer Herne in Kent and Hirn in Hampshire are examples of such descriptive placenames. As 'hern' is the Middle English for Heron, there is a possibility that the name was used as a nickname for a person resembling in some way the bird. The dialectal variants of this name include Hearne, Hurn, Hurne, Hern, Herne, Heron. On December 6th 1579, Alice, daughter of Edward Hearne, was christened at St. Martin Ludgate's, Alice Hearne married William Harneyman, on July 23rd 1584, at Allhallows, London Wall, and on December 7th 1590, Anne Hearne, married Thomas Shininge at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gunnora de la Hurn, which was dated 1279, Curia Rolls Hampshire, during the reign of King Edward 1, 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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