Family name origins & meanings
- English (chiefly Northumbria) : occupational name for a tender of animals, normally a cowherd or shepherd, from Middle English herde + man ‘man’. The surname is also found in Ireland, where it dates back to around the 14th century.
- Scottish : status name from Old English hīredman ‘retainer’, denoting a member of a lord’s household and followers, the hīred.
- German (Herdmann) : occupational name for a tender of animals (see Herder).