H is for …

Pub sign, The Harp, Albrighton, near Wolverhampton, via Geograph, copyright Jaggery, creative commons.

From: Reaney, P H, (ed. Wilson, R M), 1997, Oxford Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd ed., OUP, Oxford, unless otherwise stated.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Joshua Hampson, born about 1809, Wigan, Lancashire.

Henry Hampson, 1740, Register of Freedom of City of York. Son of Hamo or Hamon(d).


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: William Harper, husband of Sara, who was born 1773, Bilston, Staffordshire.

A person who plays the harp.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Martha Harris, born about 1695, wife of Jeremiah Medlicott of Medlicott, Shropshire.

Reaney relates this to Henry / Harry. Some authorities suggest Harris is Welsh, taking the tradition of adding “s” to a patronym, and, given the Shropshire connection this seems most likely; that is son of Harry. If the name represents a place it could be Harris in the Outer Hebrides, but this seems unlikely in this case.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Aaron Hart, born about 1797, Measham, Derbyshire.

It seems the origin of this name is lost in the mists of time. Reaney cites a number of people with names of Old English origin, for example heorot and Middle English hert, but it seems the meaning is unchanged. In modern English usage, hart is a an old name for a red deer stag. The white hart was the emblem of Richard II, king of England 1377-1399, and is commemorated in many public house names.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: Robert Harvey, born about 1776, Longdon-by-Lichfield, Staffordshire.

It appears this name arrived with the Norman conquest in 1066. From Old French hervé, Old Breton aeruiu, battle-worthy.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: George Hassall, born about 1821, Shropshire.

A person from Hassall, Cheshire.


Earliest in Andrew’s Kindred: William Haywood, born about 1823, Priors Marston, Warwickshire.

A person from Haywood, Herefordshire, Nottinghamshire, Shropshire or Staffordshire, or Heywood, Lancashire or Wiltshire, or numerous minor places.  There are numerous woodlands named Hay Wood up and down the country.

More aitches to come …

2 thoughts on “H is for …

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