Recorded in many spelling forms including Hearse, Hearsey, Hersee, Herce, Heers, and even Irce, this unusual surname is believed to be of French origin. If so it is locational from a place called "Herci", thought to have been in Normandy; although the actual place has not been positively identified, and as such was introduced into England after the Norman Invasion of 1066. Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. Spelling being at best erratic and local accents and dialects very thick, soon lead the the development of "sounds like" spellings. In this case there are many early recordings and examples taken from surviving rolls, charters and registers of the medival period and later include William Hiers who married Jane White at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on April 25th 1661, Hender Hearse, who was married at Sunbury on Thames on April 23rd 1663, Henry Hersee who married Ann Jackson on September 30th 1768 at St. James church, Westminster, and Richard Irce, whose daughter Catherine was christened at Holborn Lying in Hospital, on February 24th 1774. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Richard de Hercy. This was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls" of the county of Norfolk, during the reign of King Edward 1st, 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop," often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hearse — (h[ e]rs), n. [See {Herse}.] 1. A framework of wood or metal placed over the coffin or tomb of a deceased person, and covered with a pall; also, a temporary canopy bearing wax lights and set up in a church, under which the coffin was placed… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hearse — Hearse, v. t. To inclose in a hearse; to entomb. [Obs.] Would she were hearsed at my foot. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hearse — (h[ e]rs), n. [Etymol. uncertain.] A hind in the second year of its age. [Eng.] Wright. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Hearse — Allgemeine Informationen Genre(s) Melodic Death Metal, Death ’n’ Roll Gründung 2001 Website …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • hearse — [hə:s US hə:rs] n [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: herce frame for holding candles, farm tool for breaking up soil , from Latin hirpex] a large car used to carry a dead body in a ↑coffin at a funeral …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • hearse — [ hɜrs ] noun count a large car used for carrying a dead person in a COFFIN …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • hearse — (n.) c.1300 (late 13c. in Anglo Latin), flat framework for candles, hung over a coffin, from O.Fr. herce long rake, harrow, from M.L. hercia, from L. hirpicem (nom. hirpex) harrow, from Oscan hirpus wolf, supposedly in allusion to its teeth. Or… …   Etymology dictionary

  • hearse — ► NOUN ▪ a vehicle for conveying the coffin at a funeral. ORIGIN originally denoting a latticework canopy placed over the coffin of an important person in church: from Old French herce harrow, frame , from Latin hirpex rake …   English terms dictionary

  • hearse — [hʉrs] n. [ME herce < OFr, a harrow, grated portcullis < L hirpex, a large rake with iron teeth < dial (Sabine) irpus, wolf (hence, lit., wolf tooth device)] 1. an automobile or carriage, used in a funeral for carrying the corpse 2. a) a …   English World dictionary

  • Hearse — For the extreme metal band, see Hearse (band) A hearse is a funeral vehicle, a conveyance for the coffin from e.g. a church to a cemetery, a similar burial site, or a crematorium. In the funeral trade, they are often called funeral… …   Wikipedia

  • hearse — [hə:s] noun a vehicle for conveying the coffin at a funeral. Word History The modern meaning of the word hearse is far removed from that of its ancient roots. It derives ultimately from a word in an extinct language of southern Italy, signifying… …   English new terms dictionary

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