Show ContentsHarnish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

The name could have been an occupational name as one source notes it was "the old word for body-armour. Hence Lightharness, and the French Beauhamois, or 'fair harness.'' [2]

Early Origins of the Harnish family

The surname Harnish was first found in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 where the name was found as a forename and surname: Robert filius Harneis, Lincolnshire; John filius Hernici, Lincolnshire; Roger Herneys, Norfolk; John Harneys, Cambridgeshire; and Heme' de Stano, Suffolk. [3]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 included: Robert Arnys; Robertus Arnis; Johanna Ernys; and Robert Hernays. [3]

The name is a "well-known Lincolnshire surname to-day, and found there six centuries ago." [3]

Early History of the Harnish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harnish research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1402, 1384, 1790, 1869, 1790, 1804, 1883, 1804, 1825, 1827, 1828, 1829, 1832, 1834, 1850, 1854 and 1855 are included under the topic Early Harnish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harnish Spelling Variations

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, Ennis and many more.

Early Notables of the Harnish family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Dom João Anes (João Eanes), died 1402, bishop (since 1384), first archbishop of Lisbon; Annis of Nottingham. William Harness (1790-1869), was the author of a 'Life of Shakespeare,' born near Wickham in Hampshire on 14 March 1790, was son of John Harness, M.D., commissioner of transports, and elder brother of Sir Henry Drury Harness. [4] Sir Henry Drury Harness (1804-1883), the British general, colonel-commandant royal engineers, son of John Harness, Esq., M.D., Commissioner of the Transport Board, was born in 1804. Harness passed high out of the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1825, but...
Another 149 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harnish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harnish Ranking

In the United States, the name Harnish is the 11,534th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Harnish family to Ireland

Some of the Harnish family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 45 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 Harnish migration to the United States +

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 [6]
Harnish Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Harnish, aged 7, who immigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • Mr. A. C. Harnish, aged 44, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Mrs. Harnish, aged 34, who immigrated 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 immigrated to America, in 1914
  • Howard Harnish, aged 30, who landed in America, in 1921
  • Allen Harnish, aged 30, who immigrated to the United States, in 1922
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Harnish migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harnish Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Thomas Harnish, aged 23, who immigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1917
  • Eva Harnish, aged 22, who immigrated to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1923

Contemporary Notables of the name Harnish (post 1700) +

  • Verne Harnish, American author, consultant and entrepreneur
  • Richard A. Harnish, USGS hydrologist, eponym of Harnish Creek, Antarctica
  • Chandler Harnish (b. 1988), American college football quarterback
  • Lloyd A. Harnish, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1956, 1960; Presidential Elector for California, 1960 [7]
  • H. F. Harnish, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 7th District, 1923-24 [7]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 16) . Retrieved from on Facebook