100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- no headaches!
An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Origins Available: English-Alt, English
The family name Harris dates back to the beginnings of the Norman culture in Britain - the Norman Conquest of 1066. Originally, Harris was a name given to a person who was the son of the ruler of the property upon which he lived. Initially, le Herisse, the name came to England with the Norman Conquest, and is of Old French derivation. Another derivation, which is probably more common shows that the name is a version of the Old English given name Harry.  Although both derivations are valid time has confused them and historians now disagree on which is appropriate in a given situation.
The surname Harris was first found in Normandy, where Hericius and his brothers were in 1022 prohibited by King Robert of France from making inroads of on the estates of a neighbouring abbey. "Henricus was father of Ancelin de Beaumont who in 1086 held a barony in Nottinghamshire. Ivo Fitz-Herice or De Heriz, his son was Viscount of Nottinghamshire before 1130."  His sons quickly spread through Britain as seen by Robert Fitz-Herice who was mentioned in a charter of Barberie Abbey, executed by Henry II; Josceline Fitz-Herice mentioned in Huntingdonshire in 1156; and William who held two fees in Nottinghamshire and four in Lincolnshire in 1165. Humphrey Hairez was listed in Berkshire in 1158. William Herez held an estate in Wiltshire in the 13the century and later one of his descendants held estates in Salisbury in 1469 and was ancestor of the Earls of Malmsbury who also have three herrisons on their arms.  " Harris and Heris are armorially identified, each bearing three herissons (hedgehogs) in allusion to the name."  "Wootton Hall [in Wooton, Northamptonshire], the seat of W. Harris, Esq., stands elevated, and commands extensive prospects: the grounds are surrounded with thriving plantations." 
Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Harris were recorded, including Harris, Harries, Harrys, Harryss, Haries, Haris, Hairis and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harris research. Another 317 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1600, 1483, 1399, 1581, 1658, 1588, 1658, 1680, 1596, 1649, 1628, 1644, 1650, 1686, 1671, 1685, 1631, 1677, 1661, 1677, 1666, 1719 and are included under the topic Early Harris History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 313 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Harris family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 121 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.
The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Harris arrived in North America very early:
Harris Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Adria Harris, who arrived in Virginia in 1621
- Lt. Harris who settled in Virginia in 1623
- Lieutenant Harris, who landed in Virginia in 1623
- Dorothe Harris, who landed in Virginia in 1623
- Elizabeth Harris settled in Salem, Massachusetts in 1630
Harris Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Ann Harris settled in Maryland in 1737
- Alexander Harris, who landed in America in 1764
- Edward Harris, who arrived in Kentucky in 1773
Harris Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Dennis Harris, who arrived in New York, NY in 1844
- Abraham Harris, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1846
- David Harris, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847
- Dan Harris, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1850
- B Harris, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
Harris Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Anna E Harris, who arrived in Colorado in 1903
Harris Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mrs. Elizabeth Harris U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswickc. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River
- Mr. James Harris U.E. who settled in Belle Vue, Beaver Harbour, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. John Harris U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River
- Mr. Massy Harris U.E. from Rhode Island, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 passenger aboard the Union Transport he served in the New Jersey Volunteers
- Mr. Thomas Harris U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 was a passenger aboard "Cyrus" on August 21, 1783 from New York to Saint John River
Harris Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Alanson Harris, who landed in Canada in 1828
- Mrs. Harris, aged 56, a lady, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Sarah" from Bristol
- Edward Harris, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
- Mary Harris, aged 23, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the brig "Charity" from Kinsale
- Nancy Harris, aged 24, arrived in St. John aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
Harris Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- John Harris, English convict from Gloucester, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Robert Harris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Thomas Harris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- William Harris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Almorah" on April 1817, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Joseph Harris, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
Harris Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- W Harris landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1839
- Abram Harris landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
- Luke Harris landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840
- R T Harris landed in Auckland, New Zealand in 1840
- Abraham Harris, aged 29, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
- Steve Harris (1963-2016), American professional NBA basketball player
- Chris Harris (1948-2015), American politician and lawyer, Member of the Texas Senate (2005-2013)
- Carroll Wayne Harris (1938-2015), American Hall of Fame CFL football player
- Earl L. Harris (1941-2015), American politician, Democratic member of the Indiana House of Representatives (1982-2015)
- Mr. Dwight Carlton Harris, American 1st Class Passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking by escaping in life boat believed to be 22
- Bob Lee Harris (1922-2014), American actor, and the father of Ed Harris
- Mrs. Irene Harris, (née Wallach), aged 35, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping in life boat D
- Mr. Henry Birkhardt Harris (d. 1912), aged 45, American First Class passenger from New York City, New York who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
- Julia Ann "Julie" Harris (1925-2013), American five-time Tony Award, three-time Emmy Award and a Grammy Award winning stage, screen, and television actress, 1994 recipient of the National Medal of Arts
- James H. Harris (1828-1898), African-American Union Army soldier during the American Civil War, recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Chaffin's Farm
- Families of Elisha, Joseph and Woodruff Harris of Chenango County, New York and Geauga and Portage Counties, Ohio by Gale Ion Harris.
- Harris Index: A Biographical of Over 4500 American Descendants of Edward Harris and Flora Douglas of Scotland, 1730-1983 by Calsita V. Leonard.
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: Ubique patriam reminisci
Motto Translation: Everywhere to remember one's country.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ 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)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
- 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).
- 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.
- Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
- Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
- Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
- Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
- Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
The Harris Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Harris 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 27 April 2016 at 11:14.
100% Satisfaction Guarantee
- no headaches!