Show ContentsHarte History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish name Harte was originally written in a Gaelic form as O'h-Airt, which connotes a descendant of Art. [1]

Specifically, the family claim descent through "Art Eanfhear, who is number 81 on the 'Line of Heremon," and son of the Monarch Conn of the Hundred Battles." He was at times called "The Solitary," as he was the only one of his father's sons that survived; his two brothers Conla Ruadh and Crionna, having been slain by their uncles. His grief was so strong that in some writings, he was referred to as "Art, the Melancholy." [2]

The name literally means "a bear, a stone; noble, great, generous; hardness." [3]

Early Origins of the Harte family

The surname Harte was first found in County Meath (Irish: An Mhí) anciently part of the kingdom of Brega, located in Eastern Ireland, in the province of Leinster, where they were of the southern Ui Neill. Before the Anglo-Norman invasion of the 12th century, their chiefs were known as the lords of Teffia.

Early History of the Harte family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harte research. Another 117 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harte History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harte Spelling Variations

People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Harte that are preserved in archival documents are Hart, O'Hart, Harte, MacArt, McArt, MacCart, McCart and many more.

Early Notables of the Harte family (pre 1700)

Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harte Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harte Ranking

In the United States, the name Harte is the 11,063rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

United States Harte migration to the United States +

Irish families left their homeland in astonishing numbers during the 19th century in search of a better life. Although individual reasons vary, most of these Irish families suffered from extreme poverty, lack of work opportunities, and exorbitant rents in their homeland. Many decided to travel to Australia or North America in the hopes of finding greater opportunities and land. The Irish immigrants that came to North America initially settled on the East Coast, often in major centers such as Boston or New York. But like the many other cultures to settle in North America, the Irish traveled to almost any region they felt held greater promise; as a result, many Irish with gold fever moved all the way out to the Pacific coast. Others before that time left for land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula, or the Maritimes as United Empire Loyalists, for many Irish did choose to side with the English during the American War of Independence. The earliest wave of Irish migration, however, occurred during the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Harte name:

Harte Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Harte, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [5]
  • Thomas Harte, who arrived in Virginia in 1642 [5]
  • Ann Harte, who landed in Virginia in 1661 [5]
  • Jane Harte, who arrived in Virginia in 1664 [5]
  • John Harte, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [5]
Harte Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Fredrich Harte, aged 26, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [5]
Harte Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Charles Harte, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1807 [5]
  • Charles J Harte, aged 27, who landed in Missouri in 1838 [5]
  • Fr Conr Harte, who arrived in America in 1845 [5]
  • Joh Fr Conr Harte, who landed in America in 1847 [5]
  • James Harte, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1869 [5]
Harte Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Henry Harte, who arrived in Arkansas in 1902 [5]

Australia Harte migration to Australia +

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

Harte Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Harte, aged 41, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Coromandel" [6]
  • Mary Harte, aged 23, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lady Macdonald" [7]

West Indies Harte migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Harte Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mary Harte, aged 18, who arrived in St Christopher in 1634 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Harte (post 1700) +

  • Robert Harte (1998-2009), American actor
  • Bret Harte (1836-1902), born Francis Brett Hart, an American author and poet, best remembered for his short fiction featuring miners, gamblers, and other romantic figures of the California Gold Rush
  • Bill Harte (b. 1971), US soccer player
  • Robert Sheldon Harte (1915-1940), American communist, assistant to Trotsky
  • Betty Harte (1882-1965), American actress in silent film era
  • Francis Bret Harte (1836-1902), American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California. In 1987 he appeared on a $5 U.S. Postage stamp, as part of the "Great Americans" Series of issues
  • Frank Harte (1933-2005), traditional Irish singer, song collector, architect and lecturer, born in Chapelizod, County Dublin
  • Ian Patrick Harte (b. 1977), Irish football agent and former professional footballer who played as a left back or midfielder
  • Paddy Harte (1931-2018), Irish Fine Gael politician, Teachta Dála (TD) for Donegal North-East for 36 years, Minister of State at the Department of Posts and Telegraphs (1981-1982)
  • John "Jack" Harte (1920-2015), Irish Labour Party Senator
  • ... (Another 6 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Harte 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: Fortis et fideliter
Motto Translation: Brave and faithful.

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, The Surnames of Ireland. Ireland: Irish Academic Press, sixth edition, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2366-3)
  2. O'Hart, John, Irish Pedigrees 5th Edition in 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0737-4)
  3. MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  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. South Australian Register Tuesday 9th January 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Coromandel 1855. Retrieved
  7. South Australian Register Monday 9th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lady Macdonald 1855. Retrieved
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