Harson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harson is rooted in the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It was originally a name for someone who worked as a guardian of cattle or sheep. The surname Harson is derived from the Old English word hierde, which means herd, and the patronymic suffix -son. Thus, the name Harson literally means "son of the herdsman." [1]

Early Origins of the Harson family

The surname Harson was first found in Lancashire, on the west coast near Lythom-St. Annes, where they were associated with Furness Abbey. They were a prominent family here from very early times.

In Essex, Robert Herdesman was listed at Colchester in 1367. [2]

Early History of the Harson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harson research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1597, 1621, 1660, 1685, 1651 and 1649 are included under the topic Early Harson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harson Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Harson are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Harson include Herdson, Hirdson, Heardson, Hurdson, Herson and others.

Early Notables of the Harson family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Henry Herdson (fl. 1651), English writer on mnemonics, probably received part of his education at Cambridge, as he terms that university his 'dearest mother.' He styled himself professor of the art of memory by public authority in the University of Cambridge. Afterwards he taught his art in London at the...
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harson migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Harson or a variant listed above:

Harson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Walter Harson, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 [3]
  • Robert Harson, who landed in Maryland in 1671 [3]
Harson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Harson, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [3]

Canada Harson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Harson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Felix Harson U.E. who settled in Fredericksburgh [Greater Napanee], Ontario c. 1784 [4]


  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)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X


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