The Irish surname of HARGADAN was a baptismal name meaning 'the servant of Hardy'. The name is rendered in Gaelic as O'hArgadain, and has three anglicized forms in use today. Hargadan is the more usual in County Sligo and Hardiman in County Galway. Harman is used in Connacht and east Leinster. In the 16th century both O'Hardegan and O'Hargedan were in use. The prefix 'O' which was discarded in the period of Gaelic and Catholic depression, has not been resumed to any extent. Early records of the name mention HEARDMANN (without surname) who was documented in 1185 in County Yorkshire, and William Hardiman was recorded during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Radulfus Hardyman of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. A later instance of the name mentions John Hardyman who was buried at St. Michael, Cornhill, London in the year 1575. Ireland is one of the earliest sources of the development of patronymic names in northern Europe. Irish Clan or bynames can be traced back to the 4th century B.C. and Mac (son of) and O (grandson or ancestor of) evolved from this base, the original literal meaning of which has been lost due to the absence of written records and linguistic ambivalences which subtly but inexorably became adopted through usage. Genealogists and lexographers accept that the patronymic base does not refer to a location, quite the contrary. The use of the prefix 'Bally' (town of) attaching to the base name, identifying the location. The base root was also adopted by people residing in the demographic area without a common ancestor. These groups called 'Septs' were specially prevalent in Ireland. The first Normans arrived in Ireland in the 12th and 13th centuries to form an alliance with the King of Leinster. Under Elizabeth I in the 16th century, settlers from England established themselves around Dublin, then under English control and Presbyterian Scots emigrated to Ulster, introducing English and Scottish roots. In 1608 the name occurs among the principal gentry of County Carlow. The 'census' of 1659 records show several tituladoes in counties Kildare and Carlow.
In the Middle Ages heraldry came into use as a practical matter. It originated in the devices used to distinguish the armoured warriors in tournament and war, and was also placed on seals as marks of identity. As far as records show, true heraldry began in the middle of the 12th century, and appeared almost simultaneously in several countries of Western Europe.
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