Arlow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The lineage of the name Arlow begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes in Britain. It is a result of when they lived in Harlow, a parish, in the union of Epping, hundred of Harlow, S. division of the county of Essex. [1] The parish dates to pre-Conquest times when it was first recorded as Herlawe in 1045. [2] A few years later after the Norman Conquest, the parish was recorded as Herlaua in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] Literally the place name means "mound of hill associated with an army (perhaps Viking)," from the Old English words "here" + "Hlaw." [2]

Harlow-Hill is "a township, in the parish of Ovingham, union of Castle ward, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland," and has a similar origin, having derived from "a corruption of Hare-law, 'the hill or station of the army,'" [1] In this later case, this township dates back to 1242 when it was known as Hirlawe. [2]

Early Origins of the Arlow family

The surname Arlow was first found in Essex where Richard de Herlawe was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls listed Nicholas de Herlawe, Northamptonshire. [4]

While Essex is the generally accepted place of origin of the name, we did find an earlier entry at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Osbern de Herlaue in 1121. The same surname was also found in Hertfordshire in 1205, Thomas de Herlaue. Up to the north in Yorkshire, Walter de Harlow was listed there in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327 and in 1442, Thomas Harlowe was found in the Assize Rolls for London in 1442. [5]

The Harlaw variant was typical of Scotland and there, it was "of territorial or local origin from some place named Harlaw near the Border. There is a Harlaw Muir in Peeblesshire, and there appears to have been a Harlawbanks there also. A vill and lands of Hairlaw in Midlothian is recorded in 1565 (Retours). William de Harlau witnessed a charter in favor of the Abbey of Scone c. 1204-1241, and Richard de Harlau and William de Harlau were on an inquest held at the chapel of St. Katherine, Bavelay, near Edinburgh, in 1280. William de Harlau was on an assize at Berwick in 1296, and Matthew de Harlawe rendered homage in the same year." [6]

This noted author points toward a possible linkage the the Essex and Northumberland families with the variant Harle in Scotland: "probably derived his name from Kirkharle in Northumberland. The Harles of Kirkharle owned much property in Northumberland." [6] The reader should note the "Kirk" prefix for this last entry denotes "church" in Scottish Gaelic.

Early History of the Arlow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Arlow research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1599, 1601, 1795, 1647, 1566, 1528, 1604, 1609, 1741, 1689, 1690, 1692 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Arlow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Arlow Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Arlow has undergone many spelling variations, including Harlow, Harlowe and others.

Early Notables of the Arlow family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Harlowe (d. 1741), English Captain in the Navy who on 19 March 1689-1690 appointed to command the Smyrna Merchant, hired ship, and took post from that date. In the following year he commanded the Burford of 70 guns, in the grand fleet...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Arlow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Arlow family

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Arlow were among those contributors: John Harlow, who arrived in Virginia in 1619, before the "Mayflower"; Anthony Harlow settled in Virginia in 1623; Mary Harlow settled in Maryland in 1722.


Contemporary Notables of the name Arlow (post 1700) +

  • Jacob Arlow (1912-2004), American teacher, scholar, and clinician, former President of the American Psychoanalytic Association
  • Vyninka Arlow (b. 1974), Australian Olympic diver at the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Arlow Stout (1876-1957), American botanist
  • Arlow Dahl, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from North Dakota, 1944 [7]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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