Harriston History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the Harriston name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the personal name Henry. The personal name Henry arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings, killing King Harold, the last Saxon King of England. It is of Germanic origin, and arrived with the wave of immigration that followed King William into England from continental Europe. The surname Harriston is derived from a diminutive form of the name, Harry. The name means "the son of Henry."

One source has an interesting note: "This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Harry,' this being the English attempt at pronouncing the French Henri. Thus Harry is not a nickname, of Henry, but the English representative form. Hence our endless Harrisons, not Henrysons." [1]

Early Origins of the Harriston family

The surname Harriston was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Harriston family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harriston research. Another 124 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1590, 1669, 1640, 1669, 1579, 1656, 1583, 1655, 1621, 1640, 1606, 1660, 1685, 1713, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Harriston History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harriston Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Harriston family name include Harrison, Harryson, Harieson and others.

Early Notables of the Harriston family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir John Harrison (c. 1590-1669), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1640 and 1669, supporter of the Royalist side in the English Civil War; John Harrison (1579-1656), a prominent inhabitant of Leeds in Yorkshire, England, in the 16th and 17th century, variously as one of the early woollen cloth merchants...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harriston Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harriston family to Ireland

Some of the Harriston family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 80 words (6 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 Harriston family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Harriston surname or a spelling variation of the name include : Harmon Harrison settled in Virginia in 1607; 13 years before the "Mayflower," along with Easter Harrison in 1684; Edward in 1654; Elizabeth in 1650.



The Harriston Motto +

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: Vincit qui patitur
Motto Translation: He conquers who endures.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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