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

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

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.


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.

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]


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.


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


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.


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


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.

Other References

  1. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. 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).
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  9. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  10. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. 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 20 January 2015 at 14:24.

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