Harvay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Harvay reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Harvay family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name Harvay is based on the Breton personal name Aeruiu or Haerviu. It is composed of the elements haer, which means battle or carnage, and vy, which means worthy. The name was commonly introduced to England in its Gallic form Hervé.[1]

"This surname is derived from the name of an ancestor. 'the son of Harvey.' This great personal name had not become so rare in the 12th and 13th centuries that it could escape surnominal honours. On the contrary, it is still found as a fairly familiar personal name up to the beginning of the 14th century. " [2]

Hervey or Hervaeus (d. 1131), was "bishop successively of Bangor and Ely, of Breton race, was a royal clerk, high in favour with William Rufus and confessor to Henry I. " [3]

Early Origins of the Harvay family

The surname Harvay was first found in the Domesday Book of 1086 where the Latin form of the name, Herveus, was first used. Herueu de berruarius was also listed in Suffolk at that time. [4]

Herueide Caster was recorded in Lincolnshire 1157-1163. Later in Suffolk, Willelmus filius Hervici was listed in the Feet of Fines of 1242 and William Hervi, Herevi was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls of 1196. William Hervy was found in the Feet of Fines for Essex in 1232 and later, Richard Herfu was found in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed early spellings of the name as both a personal name and a surname: Harvey Dunnyng and Warin Hervi in Cambridgeshire; Robert filius Hervei in Lincolnshire; and Herveus le Gos, in Lincolnshire. [2]

"As a family designation it appears in England in the XII. cent. Osbert de Hervey is styled, in the register of St. Edmundsbury, the son of Hervey. From him according to the Peerage sprang the Herveys, ennobled in England and Ireland, and also (in all probability, from the resemblance of their arms) the De Hervi's and Hervies of Aberdeenshire and other parts of Scotland." [5]

Distribution of the surname throughout Britain is most interesting. "Well distributed over England south of a line drawn from Hull to Chester. North of that line its frequency abruptly ceases. It is best represented in Essex, Hants, and Kent, and then in Corwall, Devon, Staffordshire, Notts, Norfolk, and Suffolk. Its preference for the coast counties, especially those in the south - east of England from Kent to Norfolk, is to be remarked." [6]

Early History of the Harvay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harvay research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1200, 1578, 1657, 1616, 1578, 1657, 1586, 1660, 1624, 1629, 1601, 1673, 1642, 1601, 1611, 1616, 1680, 1661, 1679, 1540 and are included under the topic Early Harvay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harvay Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Harvay are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Harvay include Harvey, Hervey, Hervie, Harvie and others.

Early Notables of the Harvay family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Harvey (1578-1657), an English physician, first to describe in detail the systemic circulation and properties of blood being pumped to the body by the heart; Sir William Hervey (1586-1660), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1624 and 1629; Edmund Harvey or Hervey (c.1601-1673), an English soldier and member of Parliament during the English Civil War, who sat as a commissioner at the Trial of King Charles I and helped...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harvay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harvay family to Ireland

Some of the Harvay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harvay migration to the United States +

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Harvay, or a variant listed above:

Harvay Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Harvay, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [7]


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  5. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ 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)


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