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Surname Harms - Meaning and Origin

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Imprinting Footprints on Genetic Sands: My tryst with iGENEA

Discovering hidden annals of history through an iGENEA DNA test proved to be an edifying and emotional journey. Unraveling the complex web of ancestral geographic roots and embracing the attached diversities transformed my understanding of my surname and familial connections.

S. Harms

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Harms: What does the surname Harms mean?

The last name Harms is of German origin, derived from the old German personal name Harm. The German word “harms” was originally a name referring to a courageous and resolute person or a person of tremendous strength. Over time, it developed into a surname used by families across Germany.

The German surname Harms is also believed to have derived from the German word “Harmen”, which means a brave man or warrior. It is believed to have borne by people who carried out public or military duties. In some cases, the surname could have also been given to individuals who then passed it down to their family members and descendants.

The surname Harms has evolved over the years and today stands for bravery, courage, and strength. It is a name that invokes the same sense of courage and bravery that it did centuries ago when it was first used in Germany. Harms is an enduring and meaningful name that continues to be used by families across Germany.

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Harms: Where does the name Harms come from?

The last name Harms is most commonly found in northern Europe and North America. In Germanic countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium, it is especially widespread. According to the data collected by Forebears, which uses population records to track family names, the surname Harms is among the top 500 most common surnames in Germany, with over 73,000 people bearing it. Similarly, in the Netherlands, it ranks at 261 on the list of most frequent last names, with almost 15,000 people recognized as Harms.

In the United States, the Harms family name has a slightly smaller presence, according to US Census data. It is ranked at 6,140, with over 18,500 people identified as Harms. Canada also has a significant population of Harms, one that increases as more immigrants settle in the country. According to the 2011 Canadian Census, almost 2,400 people have this family name.

Harms is also a relatively common surname in several other countries, such as Australia, Austria, New Zealand, and South Africa. This shows that the last name Harms is widespread across the globe, a testament to the descendants of the original Germanic Harms family.

Variations of the surname Harms

The surname Harms has many variants, spellings, and surnames of the same origin. The most common variants, spellings, and surnames with the same origin as Harms include:


















Also, in other regions, the surname Harms can be written as:






The surname Harms originated from the medieval Germanic personal name Harim, and it is an occupational name which means "armourer". It was one of the popular names in the sixteenth century, and the people with this surname were mostly craftsmen who made swords, armour, and other weapons. This name also became popular among people living in Holland and the united states of America. Additionally, the German army used to have a rank called Hauptman or Harmsenator which could be a source of the surname.

The name Harms is very popular in Europe, especially In Germany, Holland, and Scandinavian countries. It is currently ranked as the 17,057th most popular surname in the world and the 13,632nd most common in Germany.

Famous people with the name Harms

  • Adalbert Harms: German World War I fighter pilot and recipient of the Pour le Merite (also known as the Blue Max).
  • Amelia Harms: Member of the German Bundestag.
  • August Harms: German botanist and entomologist.
  • Bruce Harms: Executive visual effects producer for several television series and movies.
  • Carsten Harms: German footballer.
  • Egbert Harms: Dutch policeman and football goalkeeper.
  • John Harms: Australian sports journalist and radio presenter.
  • Karl Harms: German WWI fighter pilot.
  • Klaus Harms: German theologian, historian and essayist.
  • Markus Harms: German professional basketball coach.
  • Matt Harms: American artist and designer.
  • Monica Harms: Dutch swimmer who represented Netherlands at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
  • William Harms: American comic book writer.
  • William T. Harms: American writer and author of several children's books.

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