Harker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Harker family

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. [2] 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." [3]

Early History of the Harker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harker research. Another 98 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1714, 1727, 1574, 1631, 1574, 1590, 1609, 1603, 1642, 1661, 1727, 1612, 1673, 1618, 1679 and 1618 are included under the topic Early Harker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harker Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Harker family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Field Marshall Harcourt; and Sir Simon Harcourt, who was Lord Chancellor of England during the reign of George the I (1714-1727). Robert Harcourt (1574?-1631), was an English traveller, born about 1574 at Ellenhall, Staffordshire, was the eldest son of Sir Walter Harcourt of that place and Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire. "He matriculated at Oxford as a gentleman-commoner of St. Alban Hall on 10 April 1590, and continued there about three years. On 23 March 1609, accompanied by his brother Michael and a company of adventurers, he sailed for Guiana. On 11 May he arrived in...
Another 156 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harker migration to the United States +

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
  • Anthony Harker, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1636 [4]
  • Willem Harker, aged 24, who arrived in New York in 1640 [4]
  • John Harker, who arrived in Virginia in 1665 [4]
Harker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Harker, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1834 [4]
  • Marg Harker, who landed in America in 1846 [4]
  • Lewis Harker, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1855 [4]

Australia Harker migration to Australia +

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

Harker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Edmund Harker, British convict who was convicted in Gloucester, Gloucestershire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Bussorah Merchant" on 1st October 1829, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [5]
  • Ann Harker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburghe" in 1838 [6]
  • Edmond Harker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburghe" in 1838 [6]
  • Elizabeth Harker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburghe" in 1838 [6]
  • Edward Harker, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Roxburghe" in 1838 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Harker 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:

Harker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Timothy Harker, aged 35, a miner, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Margaret E. Harker, aged 10, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Ambrose Harker, aged 7, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Mary Harker, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Reginald Harker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Crusader" in 1882
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Harker (post 1700) +

  • James "Wiley" Harker (1915-2007), American character actor
  • Albert “Al” Harker (1910-2006), American soccer player
  • Charles Garrison Harker (1837-1864), American brigadier general in the Union Army during the American Civil War
  • Walter J. Harker, American politician, Mayor of Sheridan, Wyoming, 1963-64 [7]
  • Mrs. M. B. Harker, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1916 [7]
  • Joseph Harker (d. 1860), American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Gloucester County, 1860 [7]
  • John P. Harker, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Camden County, 1856-57 [7]
  • Jackie Nugent Harker, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1972 [7]
  • Ira Harker, American politician, Supervisor of Northfield Township, Michigan, 1854-55 [7]
  • Daniel Harker, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Sussex County, 1806-07 [7]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Harker 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: Le bon temps viendra
Motto Translation: The prosperous time will come.


  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 10th November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bussorah-merchant
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The DUKE OF ROXBURGE. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1838DukeOfRoxburghe.htm
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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