As he was known within his family. Fred was the eldest of J.F.Herring senior's three sons. Although he certainly assisted his father when the Herring's were living at Six Mile Bottom between 1830 and 1833, he did not accompany the rest of the family when they moved to London. It can be assumed that he did not wish to remain an assistant to his father and was keen to make his own way as an artist. This he successfully did throughout a long and productive life spent entirely in the Newmarket area.
Both his style and subject matter were much influenced by his father, and their both having the same initials has in the past led to some confusion in attribution. Many of junior's best work has frequently been given to his father. At the start of his career he signed his work J. Fred Herring or J.F. Herring junr, but once working on his own he reverted to J.F. Herring. Although the tonality of his work is far removed from that of his father, as early as 1836 the early Herring was adding senr to his signature. This presumably was to stop his son's work being passed off as his own, though there is no evidence that this was ever the case. It would appear that the rift between father and son was never healed, as there is no mention whatsoever of Fred in J.F. Herring senr's very detailed will.