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Scottish: apparently a habitational name from an unidentified place (perhaps in the area of Annandale, with which the surname is connected in early records), probably so called from the Old English personal name Hereca (a derivative of the various compound names with the first element here ‘army’) + Old English næss ‘headland’, ‘cape’. The surname is also established in northern Ireland, where it was taken in the 17th century by settlers from Dumfriesshire.