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Heron are a Scottish kin-group and family who do not have a chief recognised by the Lord Lyon and are therefore considered an armigerous clan.


This family has an origin in Kirkcudbrightshire in the south-west of Scotland. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 403</ref> It is an English surname which migrated into Scotland during the eleventh century. <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 141</ref> It may have started life as a nickname for man with long legs, reminding someone of the bird, the heron.<ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 141</ref><ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 403</ref> There are also similar surnames of English and Irish origin.

Middle Ages

Walterous de hayroun was clerk to William the Lion from around 1178 to 1180. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 403</ref> Robert Heyrun was recorded in the Borders during the late 13th century. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 141</ref> Roger Heron is recorded in Berwickshire a century later.<ref>Dorward, Surnames, 141</ref>

Sixteenth Century

The Herons were among the Borders riding clans crushed by James IV after 1603.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 403</ref> The family had their lands consolidated into the barony of Heron in Kerroughtree.

Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries

Robert Heron (b.1764) studied at the University of Edinburgh and wrote many books, including a memoir of Robert Burns. He was also frequently imprisoned for debt.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 403</ref>

Patrick Heron was MP for Kirkudbright and married Lady Elizabeth Cochrane, daughter of the Earl of Dundonald. They daughter, Mary became the heiress and married Sir John Maxwell of Springkell. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 403</ref>