McHardy History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first families to use the name McHardy lived in ancient Scotland in the kingdom of Dalriada. The name was then used 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 McHardy comes from the Old French and Old English word hardi, which means brave. [1]

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. [2]

Early Origins of the McHardy family

The surname McHardy 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.

Further to the south in England, 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. [3]

"We learn from the Hundred Rolls that six centuries ago, Hardi or Hardy was also an east country name, occurring then in the counties of Norfolk, Beds, Cambridge, Hunts, etc. " [4]

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. " [5]

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.

Important Dates for the McHardy family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our McHardy research. Another 188 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1505, 1529, 1519, 1566, 1633, 1643, 1586, 1613, 1643, 1797 and are included under the topic Early McHardy History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

McHardy Spelling Variations

In various documents McHardy has been spelled Since medieval scribes still spelled according to sound, records from that era contain an enormous number of spelling variations. Hardy, Hardie, Hardey, MacHardy and others.

Early Notables of the McHardy family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early McHardy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the McHardy family to Ireland

Some of the McHardy 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.

McHardy migration to the United States

Many who arrived from Scotland settled along the east coast of North America in communities that would go on to become the backbones of the young nations of the United States and Canada. In the American War of Independence, many settlers who remained loyal to England went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Their descendants later began to recover the lost Scottish heritage through events such as the highland games that dot North America in the summer months. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the McHardy family emigrate to North America:

McHardy Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Alexander McHardy, who arrived in Savanna(h), Georgia in 1826 [6]

McHardy migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

McHardy Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John McHardy, aged 18, a baker, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arab" in 1841
  • Mr. Alexander McHardy, Scottish settler from Leith travelling from Leith aboard the ship 'Melbourne' arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 18th March 1861 [7]
  • Mr. Alexander Mchardy, (b. 1832), aged 29, Scottish ploughman, from Aberdeenshire travelling from Bristol aboard the ship "Rhea Sylvia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 2nd May 1861 [8]
  • Mr. George McHardy, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Paria" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 6th January 1866 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name McHardy (post 1700)

  • Peter McHardy, American politician, Mayor of Hibbing, Minnesota, 1905 [9]
  • Iain William Thomson Duff McHardy (1913-2000), Scottish eminent Anglican priest, Dean of Moray, Ross and Caithness (1977-1980)
  • Emmet Charles McHardy (1904-1933), New Zealand catholic missionary
  • Major-General Alexander Anderson McHardy DSO (1868-1958), British first Colony Commissioner of the Boy Scout Association, Hong Kong Branch in 1914 and 1915
  • Todd McHardy (b. 1977), former Australian rules footballer who played for Melbourne Football Club from 1995 to 1997
  • John McHardy Mauldin, American politician, Mayor of Greenville, South Carolina, 1933-37 [10]


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  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)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Supplement to Irish Families. Baltimore: Genealogical Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  9. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 7) . Retrieved from
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