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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish

Where did the Irish Harney family come from? What is the Irish Harney family crest and coat of arms? When did the Harney family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Harney family history?

The Gaelic name used by the Harney family in ancient Ireland was O hAthairne, which is possibly derived from the word athardha, which means paternal.


Individual scribes in the Ireland during the Middle Ages would often record a person's name various ways. How the name was recorded depended on what that particular scribe believed the proper spelling for the name pronounced to him was. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origin of the Harney family name include Harney, Hartney, O'Harney, Hartney, Harnedy, Harnet, Harnett, Hartnet, Hartnett, Haherny and many more.

First found in county Connacht (Irish: Connachta, (land of the) descendants of Conn), where they held a family seat from very ancient times.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harney research. Another 149 words(11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harney History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Harney Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Harney:

Harney Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Rkhard Harney, aged 38, landed in Virginia in 1635

Harney Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Joseph Harney settled in Maryland in 1772
  • Thomas Harney, who arrived in America in 1798

Harney Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Rebecca Harney, aged 48, landed in Massachusetts in 1812
  • Michael Harney settled in Boston in 1823
  • Mathew, James, John, Thomas Harney, all arrived in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1840
  • Col. Harney, aged 40, arrived in Key West, Fla in 1840
  • William Harney, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1840


  • William Selby Harney (1800-1889), American general, Revolutionary war patriot, eponym of Fort Harney, Oregon
  • Benjamin Robertson "Ben" Harney (1872-1938), American songwriter, entertainer, and pioneer of ragtime music
  • Ben Harney, American actor and dancer, active in his career 1972 to 1985
  • Corinna Harney (b. 1972), American model and actress
  • George Edward Harney (1840-1924), American architect
  • John Milton Harney (1789-1825), American poet
  • Paul Harney (b. 1929), American PGA professional golfer
  • Susan Harney (b. 1946), American actress
  • Mary Harney (b. 1953), Irish politician
  • George Julian Harney (1817-1897), English political activist, journalist, and Chartist leader



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Harney Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms
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  1. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
  2. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  5. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  6. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  7. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  8. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  9. Grehan, Ida. Dictionary of Irish Family Names. Boulder: Roberts Rinehart, 1997. Print. (ISBN 1-57098-137-X).
  10. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  11. ...

The Harney Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harney Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 15 January 2014 at 09:20.

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