- According to the famous International Genealogical Index this English locational surname is recorded in the most extraordinary range of spellings. These apparently include Errington, Harrington, Haryngton, Harenden, Herrendin, Herringden, Herrington, Hearnden, Hearndon, and others. Well almost anything is possible with the origin of surnames but we do not believe that most of these spelllings are directly associated. Errington is from a lost medieval place on the River Erring in Northumberland, Harrington, which includes Haryngton and probably Herrendin and Herringden is from Harrington, villages in Cumberland, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire. The others we think come from another "lost" village somewhere in the south of England. The name probably means "valley corner" from the pre 7th century "hyrne - denu". Lost village surnames are not uncommon, and it is estimated that at least three thousand British Isles surnames originate from this source. As to why there are so many with more being found almost daily was due to a combination of factors including changes in agricultural practices reducing the need for labour, the draining of the low lands of East Anglia and the West Country, urbanisation, and coastal erosion which continues to take villages. Locational names were originally given as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently produced several variations on the original spelling of the name. Examples of early recordings include Alce Hearneden at St Olave Hart Street, on October 28th 1617, and Thomas Hearnden at St Andrews Holborn, on September 7th 1828, both in the city of London.
Surnames reference. 2013.
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