Show ContentsHarrower History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The founding heritage of the Harrower family is in the Anglo-Saxon culture that once dominated in Britain. The name Harrower comes from when one of the family worked as 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 Harrower family

The surname Harrower 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 Harrower family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harrower 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 Harrower History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harrower Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Harrower has been spelled many different ways, including Harrower, Harower, Harewere and others.

Early Notables of the Harrower family (pre 1700)

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


United States Harrower migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Harrowers to arrive in North America:

Harrower Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Harrower, who landed in Virginia in 1774 [4]
  • Andrew Harrower, who arrived in Virginia in 1776 [4]

New Zealand Harrower migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Harrower Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Laurence Harrower, Scottish settler from Edinburgh travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Storm Cloud" arriving in Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 27th April 1860 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harrower (post 1700) +

  • W. H. Harrower, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Oklahoma, 1952 [6]
  • Mrs. Norman Harrower, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Connecticut, 1964 [6]
  • Gabriel T. Harrower, American politician, Member of New York State Senate 27th District, 1872-73 [6]
  • Peter Henry Harrower, Canadian corporate executive
  • David Harrower (b. 1966), Scottish playwright
  • George Alexander Harrower, Canadian physics educator who served with the RCAF from 1943-45


  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. ^ 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)
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 19) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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