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Surname Harney - Meaning and Origin

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Harney: What does the surname Harney mean?

The last name Harney is derived from the Old Irish name Ó hAirmheadhaigh, which is composed of two parts: the prefix Ó, meaning "grandson" or "descendant," and the personal name Airmheadhaigh, derived from the phrase "vassal of the law." It is believed that this phrase is closely related to the Irish Gaelic phrase “Eirmheacht”, which means “power of an assembly”.

The Harney surname is found predominantly in counties Cork, Kerry and Tipperary in Ireland and throughout the United States, particularly in the states of New Jersey and New York. In the United States, the Harney family is associated with the Irish community in New York and New Jersey, which originated with the large wave of Irish immigration during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The surname is also believed to be derived from a place name in Ireland, derived from the Anglicized version of the Gaelic phrase “O hEonach,” which means “bank or ridge of the wild oats.”

Overall, the surname Harney is associated with honour, strength and heritage, two very important traits of the Irish identity. In the United States, the Harney family is known for its staunch commitment to its Irish heritage and traditions, as well as its dedication to defending the rights and safety of immigrants and their families.

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Harney: Where does the name Harney come from?

The last name Harney is primarily an Irish surname, and can be found throughout the world as a result of Irish immigration. It is most common in Ireland, the United States, Canada and Australia.

In Ireland today, the last name Harney remains most common in counties Cork and Limerick, two of the original six (southwest) counties of Munster Province. Documented references to this surname in Ireland date back to the 1100s. In the United States, the 2010 Census documented a total of 5,932 Harneys living in every state throughout the United States. Some of the most prominent areas of the country in which this surname is found include Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts. Similarly, in Canada, the most popular provinces were Ontario and British Columbia. Australia boasts slightly fewer Harney families, mainly concentrated in New South Wales and Queensland.

The Harney surname is rarely found in non-Irish countries. However, some Harneys have relocated to countries such as India, Thailand, and Nepal.

Variations of the surname Harney

The Harney surname has several variants, spellings, and related surnames. Harney has an Irish origin and usually originates from the Gaelic O' h-Amhnaigh, which translates to 'descendant of Amhnach', referring to an ancestor from the family's ancient lineage.

Variants of the Harney surname include O'Harney, O'Harney, Harnee, Hearney, and Hearny. Spellings of Harney could include Herbney, Herne, Hearney, and Harney. Related surnames for Harney are Herbne, Harnee, Hearny, Herne, and Hearny.

Harney can also be an Americanized version of the German surname Herberich or Haffner, which may have derived from the Old German name "Heribrant" (meaning strong or brave army). Similarly, Harney may also be an Americanization of the Polish surname Hawryluk, which derived from the old Slavic personal name "Khavril" (meaning strength or courage).

Finally, Harney may be related to the surname Heron, having its roots in France, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. Heron is believed to come from the old French name "Heron" and is thought to be derived from the old French Herun or Herron meaning "cross"; it may also have derived from the Anglo-Norman personal name Haring, which is derived from Germanic Harin, meaning 'army leader'.

Famous people with the name Harney

  • Steve Harney: Real estate speaker and educator with a successful real estate coaching program. He is best known for his book, “Kwipped”, and his popular podcast, “Real Estate Unplugged”.
  • Sinead O'Harney: Irish singer and songwriter, she is best known for her 1990 hit single, “Nothing Compares 2 U”.
  • William Harney: A prominent American military leader who served in the Seminole Wars, the Mexican–American War, and the Black Hawk War.
  • Pat Harney: Actor and dubbing artist who starred in the original 1966 “Star Trek” episode “The Naked Time”.
  • Kevin Harney: Pastor and author of several bestselling Christian books, including “Organic Outreach for Ordinary People” and “Organic Community”.
  • Don Harney: Canadian fiddle-player and instructor, best known for being the namesake of the popular traditional folk dance, the “Don Harney Waltz”.
  • Jim Harney: Former professional soccer player, who played for teams including Bath City, Bathurst puma, and Auckland City.
  • Peter Harney: Emmy-winning American television producer and director, who has worked on shows such as “Dallas”, “Wheel of Fortune”, and “The Voice”.
  • Mike Harney: Professional skateboarder from Florida, who is well-known in the skateboarding community for his innovative tricks and signature clothing line.
  • Dan Harney: Award-winning documentary filmmaker and associate professor of documentary filmmaking at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.

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