MacHarday History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The MacHarday family finds its ancestral home among the rugged mountains and sea-swept Hebrides islands of Scotland's west coast. In that area, once known as the kingdom of Dalriada, MacHarday evolved as a nickname for a brave person. This surname is a nickname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. The surname MacHarday comes from the Old French and Old English word hardi, which means brave. 
Another source claims that the name was originally Norman as the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae lists Roger, Hunfrid, Robert and Nicholas Hardi in Normandy, 1180-1195. 
Early Origins of the MacHarday family
The surname MacHarday was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland, now divided into the Council Areas of North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, and the City of Glasgow.
"The home county of the MacHardies is the Highlands of Aberdeenshire and the immediate neighborhood north and south, but with some few unimportant exceptions they did not own land on Deeside. They were, however, numerous and influential. The Strathdon branch counted themselves of the Clan Chattan and followed Macintosh as their chief. Dr. Macbain suggested that the name came from Pictish Gartnaigh, pronounced Gratney, a well-known name of old in Mar. (There was an earl of Mar called Gartney or Gratney about 1300.) He thinks it was developed to MacCardney or MacCarday, and ultimately before 1587 to MacHardy." 
Further to the south in England, the root of the name was more often than not found. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Thomas Hardi (with no place of origin) and later, Thomas Hardy was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. 
"We learn from the Hundredorum Rolls that six centuries ago, Hardi or Hardy was also an east country name, occurring then in the counties of Norfolk, Bedfordshire, Cambridge, Huntingdonshire, etc. " 
Over in Ireland, "the ubiquitous English surname Hardy in Ireland often conceals an ancient Gaelic Irish name MacGiolla Deacair. Deacair is the Irish word for hard. The early Anglicized form of this name was Macgilledogher. This is now obsolete and in the absence of a reliable pedigree, or at least of a well established family tradition, it is not possible to distinguish between Hardys of English and Hardys of Irish origin. " 
The famous English novelist and poet Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), hailed from Stinsford, Dorset, England where his father Thomas Hardy (1811-1892) worked as a stonemason and local builder.
Early History of the MacHarday family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacHarday research. Another 259 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1560, 1633, 1676, 1696, 1505, 1529, 1519, 1566, 1633, 1643, 1586, 1613, 1643, 1618, 1670, 1618, 1636, 1691, 1666, 1732, 1606, 1667, 1682, 1666, 1680, 1744, 1666, 1732, 1651, 1705, 1606, 1667, 1797 and are included under the topic Early MacHarday History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacHarday Spelling Variations
In the Middle Ages, the translation between Gaelic and English was not a highly developed process. Spelling was not yet standardized, and so, an enormous number of spelling variations appear in records of early Scottish names. MacHarday has appeared as Hardy, Hardie, Hardey, MacHardy and others.
Early Notables of the MacHarday family (pre 1700)
Notable amongst the family at this time was Nathaniel Hardy (1618-1670), Dean of Rochester, son of Anthony Hardy of London, born in the Old Bailey, 14 Sept. 1618, and was baptised in the church of St. Martin's, Ludgate. 
Samuel Hardy (1636-1691), English nonconformist minister, born at Frampton, Dorsetshire. 
Sir Thomas Hardy (1666-1732), English vice-admiral, grandson of John Le Hardy (1606-1667), solicitor-general of Jersey, son of John Le...
Another 66 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacHarday Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacHarday family to Ireland
Some of the MacHarday family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 110 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacHarday family
Ancestors of many of the Dalriadan families who crossed the Atlantic still live along the east coast of the United States and Canada. Some Scottish settlers arrived in Canada during the American War of Independence as United Empire Loyalists, while others stayed south to fight for a new nation. The descendants of Scottish settlers in both countries began to rediscover their heritage in the 19th and 20th centuries through Clan societies and highland games. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name MacHarday or a variant listed above: Elizabeth Hardey settled in Rappahannock Virginia in 1725; Robert Hardey settled in Maryland in 1774; John Hardy settled in Salem in 1630; Thomas Hardy settled in Virginia in 1642.
- Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
- Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print