Harkness History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first people to use the name Harkness were a family of Strathclyde- Britons who lived in the Scottish/English Borderlands. The name comes from when someone lived in Dumfries. Some believe that the surname Harkness is derived from the Old English words here, which means army, and næss, which means headland or cape.

Early Origins of the Harkness family

The surname Harkness was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Harkness family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harkness research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harkness History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harkness Spelling Variations

Surnames that evolved in Scotland in the Middle Ages often appear under many spelling variations. These are due to the practice of spelling according to sound in the era before dictionaries had standardized the English language. Harkness has appeared as Harkness, Harkniss, Harckness, Hackness, Herkness and many more.

Early Notables of the Harkness family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Harkness Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harkness family to Ireland

Some of the Harkness family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 63 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harkness migration to the United States +

The North American colonies beckoned, with their ample land and opportunity as their freedom from the persecution suffered by so many Clan families back home. Many Scots even fought against England in the American War of Independence to gain this freedom. Recently, clan societies have allowed the ancestors of these brave Scottish settlers to rediscover their familial roots. Among them:

Harkness Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Adam Harkness, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1730 [1]
  • Thomas Harkness, who arrived in New England in 1733 [1]
  • John Harkness, who landed in New York in 1797 [1]
Harkness Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Harkness, aged 12, who landed in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • Jane Harkness, aged 36, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • James Harkness and his wife and six children settled in New York State in 1803
  • Abigail Harkness, aged 8, who arrived in New York in 1803 [1]
  • Margaret Harkness, aged 10, who arrived in New York, NY in 1803 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Harkness migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harkness Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Eliz Harkness, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Walter Harkness, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
Harkness Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Harkness, aged 28, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Prudence" in 1838
  • Miss. Jane Harkness, aged 1 who was emigrating through Grosse Isle Quarantine Station, Quebec aboard the ship "Rosalinda" departing 22nd June 1847 from Belfast, Ireland; the ship arrived on 7th August 1847 but she died on board [2]

Australia Harkness migration to Australia +

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

Harkness Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Harkness, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Lady Lilford" in 1839 [3]
  • William Harkness, Scottish convict from Glasgow, who was transported aboard the "Adelaide" on April 16, 1855, settling in Western Australia [4]

New Zealand Harkness 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:

Harkness Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • W Harkness, who landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842
  • Mr. John Harkness, (b. 1806), aged 36, British farmer travelling from London and Plymouth aboard the ship "Thomas Sparks" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1843, the ship stuck rocks of the coast of Cape of Good Hope delaying her landing by 2 months [5]
  • Mr. William Harkness, (b. 1812), aged 30, British farmer travelling from London and Plymouth aboard the ship "Thomas Sparks" arriving in Wellington, New Zealand on 31st January 1843, the ship stuck rocks of the coast of Cape of Good Hope delaying her landing by 2 months [5]
  • Mr. Harkness, British settler travelling from London, UK aboard the ship "Bosworth" arriving in Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand on 24th November 1857 [6]
  • Mr. Henry Harkness, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Harkness (post 1700) +

  • Georgia Elma Harkness (1891-1974), American Christian theologian in the Methodist tradition
  • Deborah Harkness (b. 1965), American scholar, novelist and wine enthusiast, best known for her The New York Times best selling novel A Discovery of Witches which begins a trilogy
  • Daniel M. Harkness (1822-1896), American early investor in Standard Oil
  • Charles William Harkness (1860-1916), American philanthropist and heir, son of Stephen V. Harkness
  • Stephen Vanderburgh Harkness (1818-1888), American businessman who was a silent partner with John D. Rockefeller, Sr. in the founding of Standard Oil
  • Anna Maria Harkness (1837-1926), née Richardson, an American philanthropist, wife of Stephen Vanderburgh Harkness
  • Charles William Harkness (1860-1916), the son of Stephen V. Harkness, eponym of Harkness Tower, Yale University
  • Lamon Vanderburgh Harkness (1839-1915), American businessman and a partner in Standard Oil, Standardbred horse breeder
  • Stephen Vanderburgh Harkness (1818-1888), American businessman who was a silent partner with oil titan John D. Rockefeller, Sr. in the founding of Standard Oil
  • Harvey Willson "H.W." Harkness (1821-1901), American mycologist and natural historian
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Flight TWA 800
  • Mr. Eric W. Harkness (1973-1996), from Columbus, Ohio, USA, American off-duty TWA employee flying aboard flight TWA 800 from J.F.K. Airport, New York to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Rome when the plane crashed after takeoff ; he died in the crash [7]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. William Harkness, British Engine Room Artificer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [8]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. William Herbert Harkness, English Assistant Purser from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat 15 [9]


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) LADY LILFORD 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839LadyLilford.htm
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 17) Adelaide voyage to Western Australia, Australia in 1855 with 261 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/adelaide/1855
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ The Washington Post Passenger List TWA Flight 800. (Retrieved 2018, February 15th). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/national/longterm/twa800/list01.htm
  8. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  9. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


Houseofnames.com on Facebook
Shipping
Fastest Delivery Possible

Digital Products on Checkout, all other products filled in 1 business day

Money Back
Money Back Guarantee

Yes, all products 100% Guaranteed

Support
BBB A+ Rating

The Best Rating possible

Payment
Secure Online Payment

Entire site uses SSL / Secure Certificate