Harnois History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harnois was spawned by the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture that ruled a majority of Britain. It comes 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 Harnois family

The surname Harnois 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 Harnois family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harnois 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 Harnois History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harnois Spelling Variations

Harnois has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Harnois have been found, including Anniss, Anness, Arness, Annison, Arnison, Annes, Ennis and many more.

Early Notables of the Harnois 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 Harnois Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harnois World Ranking

In the United States, the name Harnois is the 17,745th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5] However, in Quebec, Canada, the name Harnois is ranked the 866th most popular surname. [6] And in France, the name Harnois is the 7,427th popular surname with an estimated 1,000 - 1,500 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Harnois family to Ireland

Some of the Harnois 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.

Migration of the Harnois family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Harnoiss to arrive on North American shores: William Annis, who settled in Virginia in 1639; Thomas Anniss, aged 23, who settled there in 1683; as well as William Arness, who arrived at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1685..


Contemporary Notables of the name Harnois (post 1700) +

  • Frederick Louis Harnois (1872-1921), American architect and co-founder of Boal and Harnois, an architectural firm active from 1901 until 1907 in Colorado
  • Elisabeth Rose Harnois (b. 1979), American actress, best known for her role as Morgan Brody in the CBS police drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
  • Marlène Olivia Harnois (b. 1986), Canadian-born, French three-time gold and four-time bronze medalist taekwondo athlete


  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. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ https://statistique.quebec.ca/fr/document/noms-de-famille-au-quebec/tableau/les-1-000-premiers-noms-de-famille-selon-le-rang-quebec
  7. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/


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