- This unusual and interesting name is topographical and denoted someone who lived by a bend in a river or in a recess in a hill or in a nook or corner of land. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century word "Lyrne", Middle English "herne", which means a geographical feature such as those above. It may also be a locational name, from either "Herne" in Kent or "Hirn" in Hampshire, both named with the Old English word and recorded as "Herne" in the Domesday Book of 1086. There are four spellings of the surname in the modern idiom, Hernaman, Herniman, Harniman and Horniman. One Richard Herniman was christened on the 24th June 1621, at Frodsham in Cheshire. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugo Herneman. which was dated 1428, in the Feudal Aids Records of Wiltshire. during the reign of King Henry VI, known as the Founder of Eton, 1422 - 1461. 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.
Surnames reference. 2013.