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Surname Harnaß - Meaning and Origin

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Harnaß: What does the surname Harnaß mean?

The last name Harnaß is an old Germanic surname of German, Dutch, and Swiss origin. The literal meaning of the name is “harness”, which is a device used to control a horse's gait. Historically, the name may have been given to those who worked as horse-keepers or blacksmiths who specialized in making equipment for horses, such as saddles, reins, and stirrups. The family coat of arms for the Harnaß family features a knight in a horseman’s harness, which is fitting with this interpretation of the name.

The first record of the Harnaß family name dates back to the 15th century in Germany, when they were known to live in the Nuremberg area. Other records indicate that the surname has been present in Switzerland since the 1550s, and records of the name can be found in Dutch records as far back as the 16th century. It is likely that the surname has been present in various forms in multiple countries since at least the medieval period.

Today, the surname is still found in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany as well as the United States, where descendants of the surname have immigrated. As of 2020, the surname is ranked 4,517th most common surname in the United States. It’s estimated that there are approximately 3,303 people with the last name living in the US.

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Harnaß: Where does the name Harnaß come from?

The last name Harnaß is most commonly found in Germany today, particularly in the northern and central parts of the country. It is a fairly uncommon name in the United States due to its German origin. It is possible to find some people with the last name in the US and Canada, but the numbers are small.

In Germany, Harnaß is quite widespread, with the numbers of people with the surname reaching into the thousands. The most Harnaß family members are to be found primarily in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, and Lower Saxony.

The history of the Harnaß surname goes back a few centuries. Records indicate that the word Harnaß is derived from the Old German word ‘Harnes’, meaning ‘stubborn’ or ‘headstrong’. It is believed that the word was used to refer to people of a certain character trait since the 1940s.

In addition to the name Harnaß, other variations, such as ‘Harnasch’, ‘Hernasch’, ‘Harnisch’, ‘Hernisch’, ‘Harness’, and ‘Harnessch’, can also be found. These spelling variations may have developed as people moved to other areas or spelling changed over time.

It is not currently known where the original Harnaß family originated from, but it is likely to be in the northern part of Germany. It is also possible that the family may have had some connection to the Netherlands. It is uncertain, however, whether the family had any connection to the Netherlands before their arrival in Germany.

Variations of the surname Harnaß

The surname Harnaß is a German word meaning "harness." It is an occupational surname for a person who made or repaired harnesses, and the spelling of the surname reflects its origin:

• Harness

• Harnesser

• Harnass

• Harnasser

• Herneß

• Herness

Harnaß is an uncommon, but not rare, surname. It is found mainly in Germany and Austria. In the United States, there are families of German origin with the surname Harnaß, especially families from New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Variants of the Harnaß surname are Harness, Harnesser, Harnass or Harnasser, Herneß, and Herness. These surnames all have the same origin, but can have a regional or linguistic variant.

An example of a regional variant is the English spelling of Harness or Herness, while Harnasser or Herneß would be common in Germany or Austria. Additionally, due to language mixing in regions where multiple languages are spoken, at times a surname associated with an occupation might change in importance over time. For example, the Harness surname could be derived from German origins, while Harnesser could be derived from French or English origins.

In close relation to the Harnaß surname are the surnames Harnisch and Harnischt. These German surnames both translate to “armour” or “armor” which relates to Harnaß in that it is also associated with metalworking such as forging and repairing metal parts such as those used in horse equipment.

The Harnaß surname is unique in its association with horse harnesses and the old German language, however it has multiple spellings and regional variations. All these related surnames point to the same origin and would have been used in the same areas historically.

Famous people with the name Harnaß

  • Reinhold Harnaß: former president of the German Handball Federation from 1988 to 2000
  • Johannes Harnaß: German politician of the Left Party (Die Linke) and former member of the Bundestag
  • Herbert Harnaß: German actor
  • Michael Harnaß: German actor
  • Christina Harnaß: German actress
  • René Harnaß: German actor
  • Sylvie Harnaß: German media artist
  • Sophie Harnaß: German curler and Olympic gold medalist
  • Franziska Harnaß: German athlete
  • Lou Harnaß-Schickhauser German cyclist

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