Where did the English Harrison family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? When did the Harrison family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
The rich and ancient history of the Harrison family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It 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 Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Harrison were recorded, including Harrison, Harryson, Harieson and others.
First found in Lancashire where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English 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 that came from England 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.
Motto Translated: He conquers who endures.
Suggested Readings for the name Harrison
* The Venturers: The Hampton, Harrison, and Earle Families of Virginia, South Carolina, and Texas by Virginia G. Meynard.
Some noteworthy people of the name Harrison
* Albertis Sydney Harrison Jr. (1907-1995), American politician, governor of Virginia from 1962-1966
* Thomas Alexander Harrison (1853-1930), award winning American painter
* Wallace Kirkman Harrison (1895-1981), American architect, who designed the UN headquarters and the Lincoln Center
* William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), American General, Ninth President of the United States in 1841
* George Harrison (1943-2001), English musician, singer, and songwriter, member of the Beatles 1962-1970.
* Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison (1775-1864), first lady, married to William Henry Harrison, who died after one month in office. Her son Benjamin would become the 22nd president of the USA