Harbert History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harbert reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Harbert family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Harbert is based on the Germanic personal name Herbert. It is also an Old French given name derived from the Old German name Hariberct or Her(e)bert. This Germanic name contains the elements harja which means army and berhta, which means bright. The name was first borne by St. Herbert or Herebert (d. 687), who was an early "hermit, resided on the island in Derwentwater which still bears his name. He was a disciple and close friend of St. Cuthbert, to whom he paid an annual visit for spiritual advice. The two friends both died on 20 March 687, Herebert suffering much from sickness before his death." [1]

"The noble Herberts descend from Herbert, Count of Vemandois, who came hither with the Conqueror, and was chamberlain to William Rufus. Collins says: 'the genealogists deduce the family from Herbert, a natural son of King Henry I., but I think it more evident that Henry Fitz-Herbert, chamberlain to the said king, was ancestor to all of the name of Herbert.' " [2]

Early Origins of the Harbert family

The surname Harbert was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin forms of the name, Herbertus and Hereberd were recorded. [3]

Herbertus capellanus was listed in Suffolk in 1148-1156. William Herebert was the first listing not in Latin in Dorset in 1206. Richard Herbert, Herebert, Herberd was found in the Assize Rolls for Worcester in 1221 and Johannes Herberti was found in Norfolk in 1230. [4]

In Scotland, "about the year 1200 Herbert filius Herberti de Camera granted a half carucate in Dunipace to the Abbey of Cambuskenneth. One or other of these Herberts most probably gave name to Herbertshire near Denny, Stirlingshire. Herbert, third abbot of Selkirk, was bishop of Glasgow, 1147-1164." [5]

Herbert of Bosham ( fl. 1162-1186), was an early English biographer, "has told us himself that he was born at the place whence he took his name, Bosham, or, as he spells it, Boseham, in Sussex. " [1]

Early History of the Harbert family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harbert research. Another 106 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1230, 1468, 1423, 1469, 1550, 1617, 1595, 1673, 1572, 1655, 1598, 1667, 1593, 1663, 1606, 1682, 1621, 1646, 1640, 1644, 1625, 1659, 1646, 1659, 1691, 1626, 1696, 1648, 1716, 1685, 1687, 1689, 1690, 1593, 1587, 1583, 1756, 1821, 1840, 1901, 1866, 1880 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Harbert History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harbert Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Harbert has been recorded under many different variations, including Herbert, Herbit, Herbutt and others.

Early Notables of the Harbert family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (c. 1423-1469), known as "Black William", was the son of William ap Thomas, founder of Raglan Castle; Sir John Herbert (1550-1617), Welsh lawyer and diplomat, Secretary of State under Elizabeth I and James I; Sir Henry Herbert (1595-1673), Master of the Revels to both King Charles I and King Charles II; Sir Richard Herbert; William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis (1572-1655) was a Welsh politician; Percy Herbert, 2nd Baron Powis (1598-1667), an English writer and politician; George Herbert (1593-1663), an English ( Welsh born) poet and academic, who became...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harbert Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harbert family to Ireland

Some of the Harbert family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 191 words (14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harbert migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Harberts were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Harbert Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo Harbert, aged 23, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1635 [6]
  • to Harbert, aged 23, who landed in New England in 1635 [6]
  • Win Harbert, aged 15, who landed in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • William Harbert, aged 15, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • Tho Harbert, who landed in Virginia in 1651 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harbert Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Harbert, aged 41, who arrived in New York in 1812 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harbert (post 1700) +

  • Susan Harbert, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1996 [7]
  • Ralph L. Harbert, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1934, 1940 [7]
  • R. Dean Harbert, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from South Carolina, 1996, 2000 [7]
  • Perry Harbert, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1940 [7]
  • P. M. Harbert, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Tennessee, 1912 [7]
  • John W. Harbert, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from West Virginia, 1924, 1932 [7]
  • Fred L. Harbert, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1956 [7]
  • Edgar D. Harbert, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Harrison County, 1950 [7]
  • Belle van Dorn Harbert (b. 1860), American President of the International Congress of Farm Women
  • William Soesbe Harbert (1842-1919), American lawyer, judge, social activist, philanthropist
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Harbert Motto +

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: Constantia et Fortitudine
Motto Translation: By constancy and fortitude.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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