An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The ancestors of the Harker family brought their name to England in the wave of migration after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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.
The surname Harker 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.  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." 
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Harker were recorded, including Harcourt, Harcutt, Harker, Harkett and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harker research. Another 195 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1714 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Harker History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 41 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Harker arrived in North America very early:
Harker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Harker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Harker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Harker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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: Le bon temps viendra
Motto Translation: The prosperous time will come.
The Harker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harker 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 8 March 2016 at 10:33.