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


The ancient roots of the Harrett family name are in the Anglo-Saxon culture. The name Harrett comes from when the family lived in Cheshire, where the family was found since the early Middle Ages.

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The surname Harrett was first found in Cheshire at Thornton, where the family was first listed in the 13th century. William Sherard who died in 1304 appears to be the first listing of the surname. [1] Another branch of the family was found at Stapleford in Leicestershire. This was home to Sir William Sherard, Lord Sherard, Baron of Leitrim created in 1627. His son, Bennet Sherard (1675-1732) would become the 1st Earl of Harborough. The church at Stapleford "was erected in 1783, by Robert, fourth Earl of Harborough and contains some fine monuments to the Sherard family, among which is one by Rysbrach, in memory of Bennet, the first earl." [2]

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Harrett has appeared include Sherard, Sherrard, Sherrat, Shirrard and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harrett research. Another 187 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1304, 1670, 1588, 1640, 1621, 1700, 1675, 1732, 1675, 1732, 1680, 1750, 1623, 1695, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Harrett History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 103 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harrett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Harrett family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Harrett arrived in North America very early:

Harrett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • Mathew Harrett, who arrived in Virginia in 1661

Harrett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Mary Harrett, aged 10, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1851

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  • Ruth V. Harrett, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for U.S. Representative from Michigan 14th District, 1958


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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: Hostis honori invidia
Motto Translation: Envy is an enemy to honour.

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Other References

  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  4. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  5. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. 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. 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.
  11. ...

The Harrett Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harrett 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 18 February 2016 at 15:54.

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