McHarday History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Rugged coastal mountains and the windswept Hebrides islands were the home of the first family to use the name McHarday. It was originally given to 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 McHarday 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 McHarday family
The surname McHarday 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 McHarday family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McHarday 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 McHarday History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
McHarday Spelling Variations
Many spelling variations of McHarday have been recorded over the years, including Hardy, Hardie, Hardey, MacHardy and others.
Early Notables of the McHarday 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...
Migration of the McHarday family to Ireland
Some of the McHarday family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Migration of the McHarday family
Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to the Crown re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first McHardays to arrive on North American shores: 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.