Harcourd History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Harcourd is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Harcourd family lived in Oxfordshire. Their name, however, refers not to this location, but to the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066: one of two towns, Harcourt, in Calvados, Normandy, or Harcourt in Eure, Normandy.

Early Origins of the Harcourd family

The surname Harcourd was first found in Oxfordshire. Errand de Harcourt who claimed descent from Bernard the Dane, who was granted the Lordship of Harcourt from Rollo of Normandy in 876 commanded the Archers of Vel de Ruel in the Conqueror's army. Rather than staying with his fellow countrymen in the newly conquered country, he returned to Normandy shortly after William's coronation. His younger Robert who had also accompanied him on the Conquest remained. Robert's son, William de Harcourt, a strong supporter of Henry I., commanded the troops that defeated the Earl of Mellentin in 1123. In return for his noble efforts, he received many more lands in England. [1] This was the beginning of one of the most noble families in England that would quickly rise to the status of the House of Harcourt from which Simon, Lord Harcourt would become Lord Chancellor temp. Queen Anne. Over in the parish of Wyrardisbury in Buckinghamshire, a more recent member of the family holds a piece of history. "Within its limits is Magna Charta island, a small islet in the Thames, on which King John, at the instance of the barons, is said by some to have signed the celebrated charter of English liberty; it is the property of G. Simon Harcourt, Esq., of Ankerwycke House, in the parish." [2]

Important Dates for the Harcourd family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harcourd research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1714 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Harcourd History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harcourd Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Harcourt, Harcutt, Harker, Harkett and others.

Early Notables of the Harcourd family (pre 1700)

Another 28 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harcourd Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harcourd family

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Harcourd or a variant listed above: John Harcourt, who arrived in Jamaica in 1684; Edward Harcourt, who arrived in Texas in 1836; and Mary Harcourt, who settled in New England in 1773.

Citations

  1. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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