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Clan Heron

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Title: Clan Heron  
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Subject: History of England, Heron (disambiguation), Scottish clans, Clan Hannay, Taylor sept
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Clan Heron

Motto Par Valeur, meaning By Bravery in Latin
Region Galloway
District Lowland
Heron has no chief, and is an armigerous clan
Historic seat Heron, Kirkcudbrightshire

The Clan Heron was one of the lesser Border riding Clans, fierce people who practised raiding and cattle rustling along the Anglo-Scottish border. [1] They claim descent from the Herons of Chipchase Castle in Northumberland, in The English Middle-march. In a survey made of the Border in 1522, it was reported that: "Chipchase was the most convenient house for the keeper of Tynedale" and the Herons were descried as "A hot tempered race, regularly in trouble with the authorities".[2] It is also known that they had a feud with the Clan Tate. Many Herons were transported to Ireland during the Ulster Plantation, and therefore contributed to the birth of the Ulster-Scots (or Scots-Irish) people.

The name Heron probably originated from the name "de Hairun" or the name "de Harum" and was also used as a nickname for people of a tall, thin stature and the name can be of either Anglo-Saxon or Norman origin.

The Herons held many positions of power in the North of England, for example, the 13th Century William Heron. William Heron was the keeper of Bamburgh Castle in 1248, the keeper of Scarborough Castle in 1255 and the Sheriff of Northumberland between 1246 and 1247. Chipchase Castle in the English Middle-march was held by the Heron family for almost 300 years.

Like other Border families, many Herons were transported to The Ulster plantation during James's "pacification" of the Borders.


  1. ^ The Book of Ulster Surnames by Robert Bell
  2. ^ Information on the Herons of Chipchase
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