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Surname Harriman - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'H'

Harriman: What does the surname Harriman mean?

The surname Harriman is likely of Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the personal name Harryman. The name is made up of two elements "Harry," a diminutive form of the name Henry, and "man." Henry is a very popular personal name of Germanic origin meaning "home-ruler" or "ruler of the household." So, Harriman could mean "Harry's man" or "servant of Harry."

The origins of the name point to the period following the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal names were gradually replaced by Norman ones. This surname has several variant forms, including Harryman, Herryman, and Harriman, among others. It first appears in written records in the 13th century in Yorkshire. Over the centuries, bearers of the surname migrated to different areas, within Britain and abroad, resulting in the worldwide distribution of the surname today.

As with many surnames, the precise meaning of Harriman may not be confirmed, since surnames had various sources, could undergo changes over centuries, and their beginnings are frequently lost in the mists of time.

Harriman: Where does the name Harriman come from?

The surname Harriman is of Anglo-Saxon origin, believed to have emerged from ancient England. It is a patronymic name formed from a medieval variant of the personal name Harry, a diminutive form of Henry, and the suffix "-man" meaning 'son of'. Thus, Harriman translates to 'son of Harry'. Over time, the surname has evolved into various spellings such as Harryman, Herryman, Hariman, and more.

Today, the surname Harriman is predominantly found in the United States due to historic British migration. Several individuals with the surname have emerged as distinguished figures in America, such as E. H. Harriman and W. Averell Harriman, contributing to the popularity and prevalence of the name. It may also be reasonably common in England due to its origin, but overall it is quite a rare surname in most parts of the world.

Variations of the surname Harriman

The surname Harriman originates from a personal name popular among Nordic invaders of England. This personal name consists of elements meaning "army" and "man". There are several variants, alternative spellings, and surnames of the same origin for Harriman. These include: Hariman, Herriman, Harryman, Heriman, Herryman, Harrimann, and Herremann.

There are also several surnames that sound similar to Harriman but may not necessarily be of the same origin, such as Herrmann, Harmann, Harrington, Hartman, Hermon, and Harman.

It should be noted that surname origins can be complex and sometimes, names sounding similar or sharing spelling components may not actually be identical in origins due to various factors such as migration, translation variations, phonetic spelling, cultural influences, and more. Always keep this in mind while researching or tracing the history and origins of surnames.

Famous people with the name Harriman

  • W. Averell Harriman: An influential businessman and politician, Averell Harriman served as the Secretary of Commerce under President Harry S. Truman and later as Governor of New York.
  • Pamela Harriman: The wife of W. Averell Harriman, Pamela was a political activist, diplomat and philanthropist. She served as the United States Ambassador to France from 1993-1997.
  • E. Roland Harriman: The younger brother of W. Averell Harriman, E. Roland was a successful banker and financier. He co-founded the investment firm Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.
  • Edward Henry Harriman: Father of W. Averell and E. Roland Harriman, Edward was a business magnate and railroad executive, best known for taking control of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1897.
  • Mary Williamson Harriman: The mother of W. Averell and E. Roland Harriman, Mary was a philanthropist and founder of The Junior League.
  • Oliver Harriman: A businessman and philanthropist from the 19th century. He was known for his significant impact in the financial sector, particularly in banking and insurance.
  • J. Borden Harriman: A prominent banker in New York during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Job Harriman: An American lawyer and politician, he was the Socialist Labor Party’s nominee for U.S. Vice President in 1900.

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