Herring Family History
Herring Name Meaning
English, Scottish, Dutch, and German: metonymic occupational name for a herring fisher or for a seller of the fish, Middle English hering, Dutch haring, Middle High German hærinc. In some cases it may have been a nickname in the sense of a trifle, something of little value, a meaning which is found in medieval phrases and proverbial expressions such as ‘to like neither herring nor barrel’, i.e. not to like something at all. German: habitational name from Herringen in Westphalia. Dutch: from a personal name, a derivative of a Germanic compound name with the first element hari, heri ‘army’. Jewish (Ashkenazic): variant spelling of Hering.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press