Select Herrick Surname Genealogy

Herrick comes from the Old Norse name Eirikr, comprising the elements eir meeaning "mercy" and rik meaning "power."  The "H" got added later as the name was more and more used in England.  The name was first found in Leicestershire, which had been an area of intense Danish settlement, and with one family there. DNA analysis points to a single family origin.

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Select Herrick Ancestry

England.  Family lore relates the Herricks to Erick the Forester at the time of William the Conqueror. Herrick first surfaced as a name in Leicestershire in the 13th century when Henry Eyrick witnessed charters at Wigston Magna.  The Herricks remained in Wigston until the 20th century.  Other members of the family were recorded nearby, at Great Stretton in the 13th century and at Houghton–on-the-Hill two hundred years later. 

Thomas Herrick, son of Robert Herrick of Houghton, moved to Leicester where he was borough chamberlain in 1511.  His sons Nicholas and John both became mayors of Leicester, while Sir William Herrick - the youngest of the five sons - became a goldsmith in London and such a prominent figure that he was knighted in 1605 and granted estates at Beaumanor.  His cousin Robert Herrick, born in London, was the well-known poet.

The Herrick name did not start to appear in the neighboring counties of Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire until the 17th century.  The earliest reference in Lincolnshire was to John Herrick who in 1627 was baptized in Folkingham only twelve miles from the border with Leicestershire.  The strong presence of the name in Lincoln in the 1881 census must have come from later migration.

Ireland.  The Herrick name appeared in Ireland.   John Herrick, an ensign in Colonel Rainborough's regiment, came to Ireland in 1649.  He was said to be from a junior branch of the Herricks of Beaumanor and was granted lands at Ship-Pool near Innishannon in county Cork. 

By the time of Griffith's Valuations in the mid 19th century, Herricks were considerable landowners in the county.  The largest Herrick estate, comprising more than 3,000 acres, was that of Thomas Herrick of Ship-Pool castle.  This house stayed in the Herrick family until 1931.

There were Irish O'Harricks at one time in Donegal.   But this seems later to have come out later as Erck.

  Henry Herrick arrived in Salem, Massachusetts in 1629.  Early genealogists sought to link him with Sir William Herrick in London.  Jedediah Herrick in his 1846 book Herrick Genealogy Register thought so but had his doubts.

"I think Henry of Salem must have been the son of Sir William Herrick, although the evidence as we have it does not satisfy my mind."

Subsequent research has discounted this connection.

Henry Herrick married Editha Laskin shortly after his arrival in the Massachusetts Bay Colony and they had at least nine children.  Henry and Editha both died before the Salem witch trials of 1692, but several of their children and their grandchildren were directly caught up in it.  Herricks left Salem after this time and many settled in Connecticut and New York state.  Some Herricks later moved west to Ohio and Myron Herrick rose to become Governor of that state in 1904.

Herricks in America were generally more numerous than Herricks in England.   By looking at the country of origin, it can be seen that more Herricks came to America from Ireland than from England.  George Herrick, for instance, left his native Cork in 1873 at the tender age of ten for Freeport, Illinois where he married and settled down.   Irish Herricks were also early settlers in Oak Park, Illinois.  A descendant James B. Herrick was a physician credited with the first description of sickle-cell disease.

Select Herrick Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for further stories and accounts:

Select Herrick Names

Robert Herrick was a highly popular English poet of the 17th century.
Myron Herrick was Governor of Ohio in 1904. 

Select Herricks Today
  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous in Lincolnshire)
  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in California) 
  • 2,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

PS.  You might want to check out the surnames page on this website.  It covers surname genealogy in this and companion websites for more than 800 surnames.

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