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

Origins Available: English-Alt, English

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

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.

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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.

First found in Derbyshire where they had been granted lands by William the Conqueror for their assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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Harris Early History



This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harris research. Another 415 words(30 lines of text) covering the years 1080, 1600, 1483, 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.

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Harris Early Notables



Another 287 words(20 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harris Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Harris In Ireland



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.

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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


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  • 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
  • Brigadier-General Ray Guy Harris (1891-1971), American Commanding Officer Midwestern District (1942-1945)
  • Major-General John Augustus Harris (1890-1951), American Adjutant-General of Missouri (1945)

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  • 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.
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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: Ubique patriam reminisci
Motto Translation: Everywhere to remember one's country.

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  1. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  2. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

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 28 August 2015 at 14:43.

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