Harris / Family History
The ancient origin of the name Harris was found in the irishsurnames.com archives. Harris is a baptismal name meaning 'son of Harry'. Variants include Harries, Harisson and Harrison. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Reginald Herryerson who was recorded in the Ancient book 'The History of Norfolk', in the fourteenth century. Laurence Harryson was a native of Scotland who had letters of denization in England in the year 1497. Many of the Kings of England were popularly known as Harry. The practice of styling them Henry is quite modern. The name Harris in Ireland is often of immigrant origin having been introduced into Ulster Province during the seventeenth century. The native Gaelic O'hEarchadha Sept of County Mayo sometimes anglicized their name as Harris as well as the more usual Horohoe.The Harris family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Harris descendants.