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Fitzherbert Family History
This surname is patronymic, in that it derives from the personal name of an ancestor. Its roots lie in the Old English name Herebeorht – 'here' (soldier) and 'beorht' (bright) – which therefore means bright soldier or army.
As a Christian name it was popular amongst the French nobility and was introduced to Britain after the Norman Conquest of 1066.
Fixed, hereditary surnames like Herbert became the norm in England by around 1400, while in Wales the adoption of such surnames gradually took place between the 16th and 19th centuries, depending on where in the country the family lived and on their social status.
Early bearers of this name included Gilbert Herebert or Hereberd of Cambridgeshire, and Richard fil. (son of) Herebert of Shropshire who were recorded on the 1273 Hundred Rolls; and Herbert, third abbot of Selkirk and bishop of Glasgow (1147—1164).
Early examples of the surname on Welsh parish registers date from the late 16th century in Montgomeryshire and the 17th century in Monmouthshire and Glamorganshire. From the 18th century onwards there also emerged a notable Herbert surname cluster in Cardiganshire.
- Herbert is the family surname of the Earls of Pembroke, a title that was bestowed upon William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke in 1468.
- Johnny Herbert (b. 1964), British racing driver. Born in Essex, England, he raced in Formula One for several different teams between 1989 and 2000.
A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames (1896) by Charles Wareing Endell Bardsley
An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names (1857) by William Arthur
The Surnames of Scotland (1946) by George Fraser Black (1866-1948)
Surnames of the United Kingdom (1912) by Henry Harrison
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