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Harris Genealogy and Harris Family History Information

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About the Harris surname

Harris This ancient surname is English, Scottish and Irish, and is recorded in many spellings including Harry, Harrie, Harrhy, Harris, Harries, and Harriss. However spelt, all derive from the 11th century personal name Harry, itself a nickname form of Henry. "Henry", which originates from the pre 7th century Frankish name "Henn- ric", meaning "home-rule", was first introduced into Britain at the Norman Conquest of England, in 1066, and is recorded in the famous register known as the Domesday Book, in the year 1086. Over the next four centuries the name in all its spellings became very popular in England, although in Scotland the usual spelling is Harrison. The eight English kings called officially Henry, were all referred to as Hal or Harry. Early examples of the "Harry" surname recordings taken from authentic medieval charters, and showing the surname development, include Nicholas Herri, in the 1327 Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire, and William Harrys, in the Eynsham Cartulary of Oxford, in the year 1406. Later recordings include those of Walter Harris (1647 - 1732), a court physician to King Charles 11, and later William and Queen Mary, 1689 - 1694. The first recorded spelling of the family name is believed to be that of John Harry, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls" of the county of Buckinghamshire. This was during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.