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Herdsman Name Study

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Location: [unknown]
Surname/tag: Herdsman
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Please contact the project leader Susie O'Neil or post a comment at the foot of the page. If you have any questions, just ask. Thanks!


This is a One Name Study to collect together in one place everything about the Herdsman surname and possibly the variants of that name. The study begins in the 1800s in Yorkshire, England but will eventually spread out to other parts of the world.

Task List

I have compiled a list of all people listed on England census records with a surname spelled "Herdsman" using an exact surname search at Ancestry.com. Numbers are as follows:

  • 1841 - 27
  • 1851 - 49
  • 1861 - 74
  • 1871 - 97
  • 1881 - 85
  • 1891 - 67
  • 1901 - 75
  • 1911 - 80
  • 1939 - 42

Total - 611 instances of this surname spelled "Herdsman". There may be other Herdsmans on the census but with incorrect spellings or mis-transcriptions

Findings -- It appears that some with this spelling turn out to be typos of the Herdman family of Cumberland and Northumberland. Those who are consistently Herdsman are all from around Hull/Beverley in Yorkshire or trace their lineage back there. I have not yet connected all the Herdsmans to each other, but it appears to be a much less common name than I thought it would be. Further back, in the 1700s, the name is often spelled Heardsman or Hurdsman. There also appear to be a large number with this surname in Jamaica and a few from Ireland.

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