Show ContentsHarrow History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harrow is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a harrower, a person who worked in the fields and was originally derived from the Old English harwen, which meant "to harrow." [1]

Harrowing a field is the process of breaking up the earth after plowing so that seeding may take place. In the Middle Ages, this was done with a wooden frame studded with spikes and disks dragged over the field by a team of oxen.

Early Origins of the Harrow family

The surname Harrow was first found in Essex where Geoffrey Haruer was recorded in 1255. From this earliest entry, we move to the Hundredorum Rolls of 1275, where Geoffrey le Harewere was listed in Norfolk. Later, Ralph le Harewere was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327, and John Harower was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [2]

Much further to the north in Scotland, Harrower was "a surname common to Fife and district. 'The first of this name is described as a Flemish gunner; it may be a form of Harmwijn.' William Harower or Herwart had a charter of the office of keeper of the king's muirc and cunningare in Crail in liferent in the reign of David II. Robert Harwar was burgess of Perth, 1440, and 'Sir' John Harwar who was vicar of Cortochquhay in 1452 may be the John Harwar, chaplain, mentioned in 1455." [3]

Early History of the Harrow family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harrow research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1465, 1506, 1512, 1524, 1536, 1603, 1561, 1700, 1561, 1535, 1698, 1519 and 1464 are included under the topic Early Harrow History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harrow Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Harrow include Harrower, Harower, Harewere and others.

Early Notables of the Harrow family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Harrow Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harrow Ranking

In the United States, the name Harrow is the 17,323rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Harrow migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Harrow were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Harrow Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Harrow, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [5]
  • Patricke Harrow, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1652 [5]
  • Charles Harrow, who arrived in Virginia in 1663 [5]
Harrow Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Hugh Harrow, who landed in Virginia in 1706 [5]
Harrow Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Harrow, aged 5, who landed in America from Great Britain, in 1895
Harrow Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Samuel Harrow, aged 41, who immigrated to the United States from Liverpool, in 1904
  • Thomas R. Harrow, aged 45, who immigrated to America from South Shields, England, in 1908
  • Alexander Harrow, aged 33, who immigrated to the United States from Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1908
  • Margaret Harrow, aged 39, who settled in America from Kilysth, Scotland, in 1909
  • Thomas Harrow, aged 28, who landed in America, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Harrow migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harrow Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • I. M. L. Harrow, aged 33, who immigrated to Milvearton, Canada, in 1905
  • John Harrow, aged 22, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1921
  • Helen Harrow, aged 28, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1921

Australia Harrow migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Harrow Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Harrow, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [6]
  • Mr. John Harrow, (b. 1808), aged 35, Irish house servant who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for receiving stolen goods, transported aboard the "Constant" on 9th May 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harrow (post 1700) +

  • William Harrow (1822-1872), American lawyer, Union general in the American Civil War
  • Nancy Harrow (b. 1930), American jazz singer
  • Daton Earl Harrow (1903-1983), American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Michigan State Board of Agriculture, 1953; Prohibition Candidate for Wayne State University Board of Governors, 1959. Free Methodist [8]
  • Jack Harrow (1888-1958), English footballer
  • Lisa Harrow (b. 1943), New Zealand actress
  • Andy Harrow (b. 1956), Scottish retired footballer

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from on Facebook