Harless History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancient roots of the Harless family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Harless comes from when the family lived in Harley, a place-name found in Shropshire and in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The place-name is derived from the Old English words hare, which meant hare or rabbit, and leah, which meant forest clearing. The name as a whole meant "clearing with lots of rabbits." The original bearers of the name lived near or in such a clearing.
Early Origins of the Harless family
The surname Harless was first found in Shropshire where "it appears that Edward and Hernulf, living in the first half of the twelfth century, were lords of Harley, and the ancestors of the race who were afterwards denominated therefrom. Sixth in descent from William de Harley living in 1231 was Sir Robert de Harley." 
"In an ancient leiger book of the abbey of Pershore, in Worcestershire is a commemoration of a noble warrior of this name, who commanding an army under Ethelred, king of England, in his wars against Sweyn, king of Denmark, gave the Danes a great defeat near that town, about the year 1013." 
" Before the Conquest, Sir John de Harley was possessed of Harley Castle and lordship." The same, or another, Sir John de Harley accompanied the expedition to the Holy Land in 1098." 
By the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, the name was scattered throughout Britain: Henry de Herley in Berkshire; and Clemens de Herleghe in Somerset. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists Matilda Herlay and Willelmus Herlay. 
Further north in Scotland, listings of the family were found in Fife and Clackmannanshire. 
Early History of the Harless family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harless research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1098, 1782, 1319, 1354, 1558, 1549, 1579, 1656, 1624, 1700, 1664, 1735, 1703, 1735, 1695, 1698, 1661, 1724, 1600, 1643, 1600, 1623, 1579 and 1656 are included under the topic Early Harless History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Harless Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Harless has appeared include Harley, Hurley, Harrily and others.
Early Notables of the Harless family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include William Hurley (known works 1319-1354), King's Master Carpenter for King Edward III; John Harley (died 1558), an English Bishop of Hereford; John Harley, High Sheriff of Herefordshire in 1549; Sir Robert Harley (1579-1656), an English statesman who served as Master of the Mint for Charles I; Sir Edward Harley KB (1624-1700), an English Parliamentarian, Governor of Dunkirk, born at Brampton Bryan, Herefordshire; and his son, Edward Harley (1664-1735), of Eywood, Titley, Herefordshire, Auditor of the Imprests (1703-1735)...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harless Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Harless family to Ireland
Some of the Harless family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Harless migration to the United States +
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Harless arrived in North America very early:
Harless Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Adam Harless, who arrived in New York, NY in 1850 
- Adolph Harless, who landed in New York, NY in 1850 
Contemporary Notables of the name Harless (post 1700) +
- James Howard "Buck" Harless (1919-2014), American coal and timber operator and noted philanthropist
- William G. Harless (b. 1933), American educational theorist
- Bud Harless (1924-2007), American NASCAR Grand National Series driver
- Richard Fielding Harless (1905-1970), American politician, U.S. Representative from Arizona
- Richard H. Harless, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arizona 1st District, 1960 
- Richard Fielding Harless (1905-1970), American Democrat politician, Maricopa County Attorney, 1939-42; U.S. Representative from Arizona at-large, 1943-49 ; Candidate in primary for Governor of Arizona, 1948 
- Patricia Harless, American Republican politician, Member of Texas State House of Representatives 126th District; Elected 2006, 2008, 2010; Elected unopposed 2012 
- James I. Harless (b. 1911), American Democrat politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Wyoming County, 1941-42 
- James H. Harless, American Republican politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1976 
- James Harless, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 2000 
- ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The Harless 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: Virtute et fide
Motto Translation: By valour and faith.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html