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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Soon after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, the name Harron was recognized on the island as a name for a person who was long legged or of tall stature. The name Harron is derived from the Old English word heiroun, which meant heron. As in this instance, nickname surnames often described strong traits or features of animals. In the pre-Christian era, many pagan gods and demigods were believed to be a mixture of animals and humans, such as the Greek god Pan who was the god of flocks and herds and was represented as a man with the legs, horns and ears of a goat. In the Middle Ages, anthropomorphic ideas, which attributed human qualities and form to gods or animals, were held about the characters of other living creatures. They were based on the creature's habits. Moreover, these associations were reflected in folk tales, mythology, and legends which portrayed animals behaving as humans


The surname Harron was first found in Northumberland at Thornton, a township, in the parish of Norham, union of Berwick-upon-Tweed. "This place was the manor and residence of a family named Heron." [1] And in the parish of Ford, Northumberland, another early family record was found. " On the western side of the village is Ford Castle, erected in 1287 by Sir William Heron, and rebuilt by the late Lord Delaval; two towers, the remains of the former castle, are retained in the present structure. The castle was demolished by the Scots in 1385." [1]

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Herron, Heron and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harron research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1795, 1865 and are included under the topic Early Harron History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harron Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Harron family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Harron or a variant listed above:

Harron Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Patricke Harron, who landed in America in 1652

Harron Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Owen Harron, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1872
  • W. R. Harron, aged 34, who emigrated to America, in 1893
  • Rachid Harron, aged 11, who emigrated to the United States, in 1895

Harron Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Thomas Harron, aged 18, who emigrated to the United States from Donegal, in 1905
  • Thos. Fairow Harron, aged 43, who landed in America, in 1905
  • Eliza Harron, aged 26, who settled in America from Donegal, in 1905
  • Ellen Harron, aged 24, who emigrated to the United States from Donegal, in 1907
  • Bella Harron, who landed in America, in 1907

Harron Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Lucindia Harron, aged 26, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1908
  • Hal Harron, aged 59, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1923
  • Halie Harron, aged 15, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1923


  • Marion Janet Harron (1903-1972), United States Tax Court judge
  • John Harron (1903-1939), American actor who appeared in 167 films between 1918 and 1940
  • Robert Emmett "Bobby" Harron (1893-1920), American silent film actor who acted in over 200 films, best known for his roles in the films The Birth of a Nation (1915) and Intolerance (1916)
  • Aloysius J. Harron, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940
  • Dawson Gascoigne Harron (1921-1988), English cricketer
  • Donald H. "Don" Harron OC, OOnt (1924-2015), Canadian comedian, actor, director, journalist, author and composer, probably best known for his Charlie Farquharson character
  • Maurice Harron (b. 1946), Northern Irish sculptor


The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Nil desperandum
Motto Translation: Never despairing.


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  3. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  8. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  9. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  10. Burke, John Bernard Ed. The Roll of Battle Abbey. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Harron Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harron 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 18 April 2016 at 15:08.

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