Recorded in many spellings as shown below, this very interesting surname is usually English, but may also be Irish, although the origins are the same. It is almost certainly for most nameholders topographical, and would have originally described someone who lived in a house or cottage in a nook or corner of land, or a bend in a river. If so the derivation is from the Old English word 'hyrne', or the later Middle English 'herne'. There is a quotation from the famous medieval writer Geoffrey Chaucer which refers to - 'Lurking in hernes, and in lanes blinde'.
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