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History of the Harrison Name



The Harrison Name: The Anglo-Saxon name Harrison comes from the personal name Henry. The personal name Henry arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066, when William the Conqueror won the Battle of Hastings, killing King Harold, the last Saxon King of England. It is of Germanic origin, and arrived with the wave of immigration that followed King William into England from continental Europe. The surname Harrison is derived from a diminutive form of the name, Harry. The name means "the son of Henry." Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Harrison were recorded, including Harrison, Harrison, Harieson and others. First found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The name Harrison in Ireland is either derived from settlers who arrived from England and Scotland in the early seventeenth century or from a number of native Gaelic Septs. The Sept O'hEarchaidh which was more usually anglicized as Harrihy and the O'hEarchadha Sept, more usually anglicized to Horohoe, both used Harrison as their Anglo equivalent.

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English, Irish and Scottish families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Harrison family emigrate to North America: Harmon Harrison settled in Virginia in 1607; 13 years before the "Mayflower," along with Easter Harrison in 1684; Edward in 1654; Elizabeth in 1650; Francis in 1643.



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