Harding History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

A Viking family in ancient Scotland was the first to use the name Harding. It was a name for a hard working or arduous person, deriving its origin from name the Old French word hearding, which meant hard. [1]

"The Hardings in Anglo-Saxon Heardingas, in Old Norse Haddingjar-were celebrated as an illustrious and heroic race. The late Lord Hardinge claimed to be descended from a Danish family settled near Derby. The Domesday forms are Harding, Hardingus, Hardinc and Filius Harding. The soft sound given to the G, when the E final is employed, seems to be a modern affectation, quite unworthy of this sturdy old race." [2]

Early Origins of the Harding family

The surname Harding was first found in Bristol, where the first record of the family was Harding of Bristol (c.1048-1125), Sheriff Reeve of Bristol. He was the son of Eadnoth the Constable (died 1068), an Anglo-Saxon thane who served as steward to Edward the Confessor and Harold II. One of the Harding of Bristol's sons was Robert Fitzharding (c. 1095-1170), 1st feudal Baron of Berkeley, Gloucestershire, an Anglo-Saxon nobleman who was granted the feudal barony of Berkeley in Gloucestershire and was ancestor of the Berkeley family of Berkeley Castle.

Harding or St. Stephen (d. 1134), was Abbot of Citeaux and was born of parents of good position at Sherborne in Dorsetshire, probably early in the second half of the eleventh century, and received his education in the monastery of his native place. "A desire to travel and to increase his learning took him first to Scotland and then to Paris. " [3]

John Hardyng (1378-1465?), was an early chronicler, born, according to his own account, in 1378, belonged to a northern family. "He was admitted at the age of twelve into the household of Sir Henry Percy (Hotspur), eldest son of Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. From an early period Hardyng busied himself in investigations into the feudal relations of the English and Scottish crowns, and during the reign of Henry V visited Scotland with a view to procuring official documents to prove the subservience from the earliest times of Scotland to England. " [3]

An investigation of early rolls revealed Hugh Harding in Cambridgeshire; and Nicol Harding in Oxfordshire in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273.

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included Johannes Hardyng; and Thomas Hardyng, 1379. [4]

Early History of the Harding family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harding research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1048, 1125, 1134, 1378, 1465, 1415, 1516, 1572, 1593, 1658, 1601, 1658, 1648, 1610, 1622, 1648, 1641, 1618, 1634, 1638 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Harding History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harding Spelling Variations

Medieval scribes most often spelled names by the way they sounded. spelling variations, are thus, very common in records dating from that time. Over the years, Harding has been spelled Harding, Hardinge and others.

Early Notables of the Harding family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the Clan from early times was Thomas Harding (1516-1572), an English Roman Catholic priest and controversialist, born at Beckington, Somersetshire. [3] Richard Hardinge (c.1593-1658), was a Groom to the Bedchamber to the then Prince of Wales; George Harding, 8th Baron Berkeley (1601-1658), was an English nobleman; and Thomas Harding, was a 16th century English religious dissident. Thomas Harding (d. 1648), was an English historian...
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harding Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harding family to Ireland

Some of the Harding family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 40 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harding migration to the United States +

The Scottish settlers spread out along the fertile land of the east coast of what would become the United States and Canada. They and many of their children went on to play important roles in the forging of the great nations of the United States and Canada. That heritage has been recovered by many in this century through Clan societies and other Scottish historical organizations. Archival documents indicate that members of the Harding family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Harding Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Christopher Harding, who arrived in Virginia in 1622 [5]
  • Richard Harding, who arrived in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1623 [5]
  • Robert Harding who sailed to Boston Massachusetts in 1630. He was a Freeman and Captain of Artillery
  • Eliz Harding, aged 12, who landed in America in 1635 [5]
  • Elizabeth Harding, aged 12, who landed in New England in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harding Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Conrad Harding, who landed in New York, NY in 1743 [5]
  • James Harding, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1745 [5]
  • Philip Harding, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1765 [5]
Harding Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Richard B Harding, who arrived in America in 1801 [5]
  • William Harding, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]
  • Charles Harding, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1811 [5]
  • William Harding, born in Bedford, England, an alleged deserter from the Battle of Waterloo, settled in Collins Cove in the 19th century
  • Richard W Harding, aged 24, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1823 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Harding migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harding Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Michel Harding, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Lt. Israel Harding U.E. (b. 733) born in Warwick, Rhode Island, USA from Connecticut, USA who settled in Horton, Kings County, Nova Scotia c. 1783 arrived aboard the ship "Symmetry" from Long Island with wife Sarah Harris and 7 children, one son died at sea [6]
  • Mr. Jasper Harding U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]
  • Mr. William Harding U.E. (b. 1745) who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 he died in 1818 [6]
  • Mr. George Harding U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [6]
Harding Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Mary Harding, aged 11 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rose" departing 19th April 1847 from Liverpool, England; the ship arrived on 1st July 1847 but she died on board [7]
  • George Harding from Lancashire, England, settled in Burnt Islands, Newfoundland in 1858 [8]

Australia Harding migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Harding Settlers in Australia in the 18th Century
Harding Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Harding, (b. 1788), aged 27, British convict who was convicted in Rio de Janiero, Brazil for life, transported aboard the "Baring" in April 1815, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [10]
  • John Harding, English convict from Buckinghamshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • William Harding, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on July 29th, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [11]
  • Stephen Harding, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia [12]
  • Mr. William Harding who was convicted in Middlesex, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 24th March 1828, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [13]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Harding migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Harding Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John Harding, who landed in Ahuriri, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Birman
  • John Harding, aged 21, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Emma Harding, aged 20, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • William Harding, aged 38, a bootmaker, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • Mary Harding, aged 35, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Martha Ridgway" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Harding (post 1700) +

  • Warren Gamaliel Harding (1865-1923), American politician, 29th President of the United States (1921-1923)
  • George M. Harding (1827-1910), American architect
  • Fuller Harding (1915-2010), Kentucky attorney and state representative
  • Florence Harding (1860-1924), First Lady of the US
  • Vincent Gordon Harding (1931-2014), African-American historian and speech writer for Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Brigadier-General Horace Harding (1896-1991), American Commanding Officer Artillery, 40th Division (1951-1952) [14]
  • Major-General Edwin Forrest Harding (1886-1970), American Commanding General Antilles Department (1944-1945) [15]
  • Chester Harding (1792-1866), American portrait painter
  • Lavere "Buster" Harding (1912-1965), Canadian-born, American jazz pianist
  • Benjamin F. Harding (1823-1899), American politician, United States Senator from the state of Oregon
  • ... (Another 13 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Hood
  • Mr. William Harding (b. 1917), English Stoker 1st Class serving for the Royal Navy from Tadcaster, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
  • Mr. John S Harding (b. 1923), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Portsmouth, Hampshire, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. H K Harding, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [17]
HMS Royal Oak
  • William Edwin Harding, British Warrant Shipwright with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [18]
RMS Titanic
  • Mr. A. Harding (d. 1912), aged 20, English Assistant Pantry Steward from Swaythling, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking [19]


  1. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York, Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 79)
  8. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 30th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/Britannia
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/baring
  11. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1823 with 151 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1823
  12. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  13. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 5th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  14. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 9) Horace Harding. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Harding/Horace/USA.html
  15. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, March 9) Edwin Harding. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Harding/Edwin_Forrest/USA.html
  16. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  17. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  18. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  19. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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