The surname Harvard is derived from the Old English personal name
"Hereweard," which is in turn made up of the elements "here," which meant army, and "weard," which meant "guard."
Early Origins of the Harvard family
The surname Harvard was first found in Herefordshire
where they held a family seat
as Lords of the Manor. The Saxon influence of English history diminished after the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The language of the courts was French for the next three centuries and the Norman ambience prevailed. But Saxon surnames survived and the family name was first referenced in the 13th century when they held estates in that shire.
Early History of the Harvard family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harvard research.Another 265 words (19 lines of text) covering the years 1510, 1600, 1140, 1159, 1442, 1545, 1431, 1455, 1487, 1607, 1638 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Harvard History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Harvard 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 Harvard family name include Havard, Harvard, Haverd, Harverd and others.
Early Notables of the Harvard family (pre 1700)
Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harvard Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Harvard family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, Canada, 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 Harvard surname or a spelling variation of the name include:
Harvard Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- John Harvard (1607-38), namesake of Harvard University, who emigrated to Massachusetts in 1637
- John Harvard, who landed in New England in 1637 CITATION[CLOSE]
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)
- Sarah Harvard, who settled in Virginia in 1668
Harvard Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- George Harvard, aged 31, who landed in America, in 1905
- Jack Sydney Harvard, aged 17, who landed in America from London, England, in 1912
- Robert W Harvard, aged 22, who settled in America from London, England, in 1912
- Lionel de Y. Harvard, aged 21, who emigrated to the United States from London, England, in 1914
- Gilmore Harvard, aged 50, who settled in America, in 1921
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Harvard (post 1700)
- John Harvard (1607-1638), English minister who emigrated to America in 1637, but died a year later of tuberculosis. He bequeathed Massachusetts Bay Colony's New College which was later renamed Harvard College in his honor
- John Harvard PC OM (1938-2016), Canadian journalist, politician 23rd Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba (2004-2009)