Harman History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harman originated with the Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled Britain. It is derived from Herman or Hermannus. [1] The names are really the same; it was a common practice for scribes to record a given name in the Latin style, where us is the masculine suffix. The personal name meant warrior having derived from the Old French word hermant, or from the Old German words hariman or hereman, all of which meant "warrior." [1]

This name came to England in the wake of the Norman Conquest in 1066. However, not all of the family moved to England as Ralph, William, Richard and Hugh Herman were all listed in Normandy in 1180. [2]

Early Origins of the Harman family

The surname Harman was first found in Norfolk where Willelmus Harmannus, who was listed in 1208 in the St. Benet of Holme (1020-1240), is generally considered to be the first record of the name. Another branch was found in Sussex where William de Hermer was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of Sussex in 1207. Simone Haremere was listed in the Subsidy Rolls in Sussex in 1296, and later, William Harmere was listed in 1428. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had two listings using older spellings: Nicholas Herman in Suffolk; and Cecilia Hereman in Huntingdonshire.

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Thomas Herman and Ricardus Harman as residing there at that time. [3]

Haremere Hall near Etchingham, East Sussex was home to this branch since the 12th century. By the 1600's the hall had fallen from their hands and was held by James Temple, one of the judges at the trial of King Charles I. Today it is now a Grade I listed Jacobean building and is still held in private hands.

Early History of the Harman family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harman research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1101, 1549, 1535, 1440, 1535, 1567, 1480, 1547, 1621, 1646, 1640, 1646, 1673 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Harman History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harman 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 Harman has appeared include Harman, Harmon, Harriman, Herman, Hernon, Hermanson, Harnum and many more.

Early Notables of the Harman family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Horman (c. 1440-1535), headmaster at Eton and Winchester, best known for his Latin grammar textbook the Vulgaria. He was born at Salisbury, and educated partly at Winchester. [4] Thomas Harman ( fl. 1567), was an English writer on beggars, grandson of Henry Harman, clerk of the crown under Henry VII, who obtained about 1480 the estates of Ellam and Maystreet in Kent. Thomas's father, William Harman, added to these estates the manor of Mayton or Maxton in the same county. As his father's heir, Thomas inherited all this...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harman family to Ireland

Some of the Harman family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harman 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 Harman arrived in North America very early:

Harman Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Charles Harman who settled in Virginia in 1622
  • Charles Harman, who landed in Virginia in 1622 [5]
  • Francis Harman, who settled in New England in 1635
  • Ellis Harman, aged 18, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Ffrancis Harman, aged 43, who landed in America in 1635 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Chr Harman, who arrived in Virginia in 1703 [5]
  • Johan Harman, who arrived in New York in 1709 [5]
  • Bastiaan Harman, who arrived in New York in 1709 [5]
  • Thomas Harman, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • Bridgett Harman, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Harman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mariah Harman, aged 67, who landed in New York in 1802 [5]
  • Elizabeth Harman, aged 11, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807 [5]
  • Daniel Harman, aged 3, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1807 [5]
  • Bridget Harman, who landed in New York, NY in 1811 [5]
  • Alexander Harman, who landed in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1840 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Harman migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harman Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Jacob Harman, who arrived in Canada in 1829
  • John Harman, who landed in Esquimalt, British Columbia in 1862

Australia Harman migration to Australia +

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

Harman Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Ambrose Harman, English convict who was convicted in Wiltshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Bardaster" on 7th September 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Garritt Harman a farmer, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1837 [7]
  • Thomas Harman, aged Elizabeth, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [8]
  • Ann Harman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [8]
  • Henry Harman, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Harman 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:

Harman Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Harman, aged 34, a carpenter, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
  • Ann Harman, aged 34, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
  • Henry Harman, aged 13, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
  • Alfred James Harman, aged 12, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
  • Mary Harman, aged 9, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Indus" in 1843
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Harman (post 1700) +

  • Denham Harman (1916-2014), American biogerontologist, Professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, known as the "father of the free radical theory of aging"
  • Sidney Harman (1918-2011), American chairman of Harman International Industries, Inc, founder of Harman Kardon
  • James Harman (b. 1946), American blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter
  • Leon Weston "Pete" Harman (b. 1919), American businessman, co-founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Gilbert Harman (b. 1938), contemporary American philosopher
  • Jane Lakes Harman (b. 1945), Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives
  • Walter R. Harman, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Charlton N. Harman (b. 1915), American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Taylor County, 1969-70; Member of West Virginia State Senate 15th District, 1971-90 [9]
  • Charles C. Harman, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Graham, Virginia, 1883-85 [9]
  • C. Henry Harman, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1924; Candidate for U.S. Representative from Virginia 9th District, 1924 [9]
  • ... (Another 30 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Leslie Harman, British Able Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [10]
RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. John Harman, Irish Able-Bodied Seaman from Liverpool, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking [11]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bardaster
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1837. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1837Navarino.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SOMERSETSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Somersetshire.htm
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  10. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  11. ^ Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 10) . Retrieved from http://www.rmslusitania.info/lusitania-passenger-list/


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