Harlo History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harlo is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in Harlow, a parish, in the union of Epping, hundred of Harlow, S. division of the county of Essex. [1] The parish dates to pre-Conquest times when it was first recorded as Herlawe in 1045. [2] A few years later after the Norman Conquest, the parish was recorded as Herlaua in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] Literally the place name means "mound of hill associated with an army (perhaps Viking)," from the Old English words "here" + "Hlaw." [2]

Harlow-Hill is "a township, in the parish of Ovingham, union of Castle ward, E. division of Tindale ward, S. division of Northumberland," and has a similar origin, having derived from "a corruption of Hare-law, 'the hill or station of the army,'" [1] In this later case, this township dates back to 1242 when it was known as Hirlawe. [2]

Early Origins of the Harlo family

The surname Harlo was first found in Essex where Richard de Herlawe was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls listed Nicholas de Herlawe, Northamptonshire. [4]

While Essex is the generally accepted place of origin of the name, we did find an earlier entry at Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Osbern de Herlaue in 1121. The same surname was also found in Hertfordshire in 1205, Thomas de Herlaue. Up to the north in Yorkshire, Walter de Harlow was listed there in the Subsidy Rolls of 1327 and in 1442, Thomas Harlowe was found in the Assize Rolls for London in 1442. [5]

The Harlaw variant was typical of Scotland and there, it was "of territorial or local origin from some place named Harlaw near the Border. There is a Harlaw Muir in Peeblesshire, and there appears to have been a Harlawbanks there also. A vill and lands of Hairlaw in Midlothian is recorded in 1565 (Retours). William de Harlau witnessed a charter in favor of the Abbey of Scone c. 1204-1241, and Richard de Harlau and William de Harlau were on an inquest held at the chapel of St. Katherine, Bavelay, near Edinburgh, in 1280. William de Harlau was on an assize at Berwick in 1296, and Matthew de Harlawe rendered homage in the same year." [6]

This noted author points toward a possible linkage the the Essex and Northumberland families with the variant Harle in Scotland: "probably derived his name from Kirkharle in Northumberland. The Harles of Kirkharle owned much property in Northumberland." [6] The reader should note the "Kirk" prefix for this last entry denotes "church" in Scottish Gaelic.

Early History of the Harlo family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harlo research. Another 146 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1599, 1601, 1795, 1647, 1566, 1528, 1604, 1609, 1741, 1689, 1690, 1692 and 1741 are included under the topic Early Harlo History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harlo Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Harlo were recorded, including Harlow, Harlowe and others.

Early Notables of the Harlo family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Thomas Harlowe (d. 1741), English Captain in the Navy who on 19 March 1689-1690 appointed to command the Smyrna Merchant, hired ship, and took post from that date. In the following year he commanded the Burford of 70 guns, in the grand fleet...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harlo Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harlo family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Harlo family emigrate to North America: John Harlow, who arrived in Virginia in 1619, before the "Mayflower"; Anthony Harlow settled in Virginia in 1623; Mary Harlow settled in Maryland in 1722.


Contemporary Notables of the name Harlo (post 1700) +

  • Harlo E. Selby, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Illinois, 1912 [7]
  • Harlo B. Rigby, American politician, Mayor of Rexburg, Idaho, 1935-37 [8]
  • Harlo E. Herron (1898-1965), American politician, Mayor of Alpena, Michigan, 1954-60 [9]
  • Harlo Hakes, American Republican politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Steuben County 3rd District, 1856; Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 29th District, 1874 [10]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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)
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 24) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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