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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Harnish family come from? What is the English Harnish family crest and coat of arms? When did the Harnish family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Harnish family history?

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Harnish came from the personal name Agnes, which itself is derived from the Greek name Hagne, which means pure and holy. The name was also used in the Latin phrase Agnus Dei, which means lamb of God. The personal name Agnes was popularized by devotees, the early Christian martyr, Saint Agnes.


Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Harnish family name include Anniss, Anness, Arness, Annison, Arnison, Annes and many more.

First found in the English midlands county of Nottinghamshire from very ancient times, where the family name held vast estates and were an important contribution to the early life and times of the county. They are recorded in the Domesday Book as holding lands and manors. The Domesday Book was compiled by Duke William in the year 1086 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harnish research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1402 and 1384 are included under the topic Early Harnish History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harnish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Harnish family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 79 words(6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Harnish surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Harnish Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Samuel Harnish, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1766

Harnish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Mr. Harnish, aged 7, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • Mr. A. C. Harnish, aged 44, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Mrs. Harnish, aged 34, who emigrated to the United States, in 1892

Harnish Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • F.C. Harnish, aged 42, who settled in America, in 1907
  • Ora M. Harnish, aged 27, who landed in America, in 1912
  • Sarah J. Harnish, aged 57, who emigrated to America, in 1914
  • Howard Harnish, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Allen Harnish, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1922

Harnish Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Thomas Harnish, aged 23, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1917
  • Eva Harnish, aged 22, who emigrated to Halifax, NS, Canada, in 1923


  • Chandler Harnish (b. 1988), American college football quarterback
  • Richard A. Harnish, USGS hydrologist, eponym of Harnish Creek, Antarctica
  • Verne Harnish, American author, consultant and entrepreneur


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  1. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  2. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  3. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  4. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  5. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  8. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  9. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  11. ...

The Harnish Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harnish 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 10 July 2013 at 09:01.

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