Harner History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many Irish surnames can be traced back to their Gaelic forms. The name Harner originally appeared in Gaelic as O hEachthigheirn or O hEachthigheirna, made up of the words "each" meaning "steed," and "thighearna," meaning "lord." This was first Anglicized O'Hagherin, which was later changed to O'Aherne before the prefix was eventually dropped. [1]

Early Origins of the Harner family

The surname Harner was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat as a Dalcassian sept from before the year 1000. However, with the disruptions of the Strongbow Invasion of 1172, they migrated southward to counties Cork and Waterford. In Waterford the name is predominantly Hearn and Hearne.

Early History of the Harner family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harner research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1420, 1566, 1754, 1769, 1797, and 1806 are included under the topic Early Harner History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harner Spelling Variations

One explanation for the many variations is that scribes and church officials frequently spelled the name as it sounded: an imprecise method at best. Understandably then, various spellings of the surname Harner were found in the many archives researched. These included O'Aherne, O'Ahern, Hearne, O'Heffron, Haveran, Hayveren and many more.

Early Notables of the Harner family (pre 1700)

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


United States Harner migration to the United States +

Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name Harner:

Harner Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Roger Harner, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [2]
Harner Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Daniel Harner, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1743 [2]

Canada Harner migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harner Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Frederick Harner, who arrived in Canada in 1831

Contemporary Notables of the name Harner (post 1700) +

  • Michael James Harner (1929-2018), American anthropologist, educator and author who founded The Foundation for Shamanic Studies
  • Henry E. Harner (b. 1907), American Democrat politician, Secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1956; Candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate 15th District, 1956 [3]
  • Carol O. Harner, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from California 15th District, 1974, 1986, 1988 [3]
  • C. M. Harner, American politician, Mayor of Xenia, Ohio, 1954 [3]
  • Harner Selvidge, American inductee into the Soaring Hall of Fame in 1976


The Harner 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: Per ardua surgo
Motto Translation: I rise through difficulties.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 16) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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