Harwich History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The history of the name Harwich begins with the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from the Old Danish and Old Swedish name Erik and the Old Norse name Eiríkr. Many Scandinavian personal names were left in the British Isles as a legacy of the Viking raids which plagued the coastal regions of Britain from the 8th to 10th centuries, and many of these eventually became Anglo-Saxon surnames.

Early Origins of the Harwich family

The surname Harwich was first found in Leicestershire. The name was listed as Eiric, Eric, and Erish in the Domesday Book of 1086. [1] John Eirich was the first listing of the family in Leicestershire in 1211. [2]

"There is a tradition that the most ancient family of the Ericks derive lineage from Erick the Forester, a great commander, who raised an army to oppose the invasion of William the Conqueror, by whom he was vanquished, but afterwards employed to command that prince's forces, and in old age retired to his house in Leicestershire, where his family hath continued ever since." [3]

Early History of the Harwich family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harwich research. Another 97 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1450, 1557, 1753, 1591, 1674, 1591, 1592, 1694, 1600, 1667, 1600, 1658, 1695, 1685, 1686, 1600, 1667 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Harwich History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harwich Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Harwich has been recorded under many different variations, including Herrick, Herricke and others.

Early Notables of the Harwich family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Robert Herrick (1591-1674), and English poet, the fourth son of Nicholas Herrick, a goldsmith in Cheapside, by his wife Julian Stone who was baptised at the church of St. Vedast, Foster Lane, on 24 August 1591. He who wrote over 2,500 poems. His father, who came of an ancient Leicestershire family of Heyricks or Eyrickes, died in November 1592 of injuries caused by a fall from an upper window of his house. It was suspected that the fall was not accidental. [4] Thomas Heyrick (d. 1694), English poet and divine, son of Thomas Heyrick...
Another 187 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harwich Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Harwich family to Ireland

Some of the Harwich family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Harwich migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Harwich or a variant listed above:

Harwich Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Harwich, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [5]


The Harwich 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: Virtus omnia nobilitat
Motto Translation: Virtue ennobles all things.


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  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)


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