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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Harmon is one of the oldest family names to come from the Anglo-Saxon tribes of 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]

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The surname Harmon 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 were 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] Haremere Hall near Etchingham, East Sussex was home to this branch since the 12th century. By the 1600s 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. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Thomas Herman and Ricardus Harman as residing there at that time. [3]

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Harmon has undergone many spelling variations, including Harman, Harmon and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harmon research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1101, 1621, 1646, 1640, 1646, 1440 and 1535 are included under the topic Early Harmon History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harmon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Harmon family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Harmon were among those contributors:

Harmon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Harmon settled in Virginia in 1637
  • Wm Harmon, who landed in Virginia in 1648
  • George Harmon, who landed in Maryland in 1651
  • Absalom Harmon, who arrived in Maryland in 1653
  • Elk Harmon, who arrived in Virginia in 1654


Harmon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Isabella Harmon, who arrived in Virginia in 1705
  • Henry Harmon, who arrived in Virginia in 1713
  • Hance Peter Harmon, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Barbara Harmon, aged 8, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733
  • Dewald Harmon, aged 13, landed in Pennsylvania in 1733


Harmon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Philip Harmon, who arrived in New York, NY in 1818
  • Thomas Harmon, who arrived in Maryland in 1824
  • Peter H Harmon, who landed in Charleston, South Carolina in 1824
  • Jacob Harmon, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Cynthia Harmon, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851


Harmon Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Miss Harmon landed in Nelson, New Zealand in 1842 aboard the ship Indus

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  • William E. Harmon (1862-1928), American real-estate developer and philanthropist, founder of The Harmon Foundation in 1922, known for The William E. Harmon Foundation Award for Distinguished Achievement Among Negroes created in 1926
  • James B. Harmon, American aircraft designer of The Harmon Mister America, a 1970s American single-seat light sports aircraft
  • Lieutenant-General Millard Fillmore Jr. Harmon (1888-1945), American Deputy Commanding General for Administration & Logistics, 20th Air Force (1944-1945)
  • Lieutenant-General Hubert Reilly Harmon (1892-1957), American Superintendent of the US Air Force Academy (1954-1956)
  • Major-General Ernest Nason Harmon (1894-1974), American Deputy Commander in Chief Army Ground Forces (1947-1948)
  • Thomas Dudley "Tom" Harmon (1919-1990), American college football player, winner of the Heisman Trophy, father of Mark Harom
  • Sergeant Roy W Harmon (1915-1944), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Thomas Mark Harmon (b. 1951), American football player and two-time Primetime Emmy and four-time Golden Globe nominated actor, probably best known for his role as Leroy Jethro Gibbs in television show NCIS
  • Eugene Claude Harmon Sr. (1916-1989), American golfer
  • Angela Michelle Harmon Sehorn (b. 1972), American fashion model and television/film actress

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  • Clara Harmon Bradshaw: Her American Ancestors and Her Descendants by Mary Frances Bradshaw Dittrich.
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  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)

Other References

  1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  8. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Harmon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harmon Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 29 March 2016 at 07:57.

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