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Surname Harris - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'H'

Harris: What does the surname Harris mean?

The surname Harris is derived from the medieval English name "Harry." In its original form, it means "son of Harry." The name Harry, in turn, is a diminutive form of the name Henry, which was very popular in England during the medieval period. Henry is derived from the Germanic name 'Heimirich' which means 'home-ruler' or 'ruler of the household'. So, indirectly, the surname Harris could be said to mean 'son of the home ruler'. This surname originated as a patronymic name, meaning it was initially used to identify individuals by their fathers. In this case, someone named "John Harris" would have been John, the son of a man named Harry. Over time, as surnames became hereditary, the sonship implication became obsolete. Today, Harris is a common surname in English-speaking countries. Notably, several individuals with this surname have achieved fame in various fields including politics, arts, and sports.

Harris: Where does the name Harris come from?

The last name Harris is of English and Welsh origin, derived from the medieval English name "Harry." It was often used as a patronymic surname, denoting "son of Harry," with the "s" at the end a common feature of such names. The first recorded spelling of the family name, in its patronymic form, appears to be that of Richard Herries, which was dated around 1273 in the "Hundred Rolls of Shropshire."

This surname was also sometimes an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hAireachtaigh (the descendant of Aireachtach), a personal name from a diminutive of airech (noble, excellent). There had also been considerable immigration from Ireland to Wales in the past, hence the name may have been brought to England in that fashion. In Ireland, it was adopted as an Anglicized form of several Gaelic names.

Today, it is a common surname in English-speaking countries, predominantly in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. It is especially prevalent among African-American communities in the United States.

Variations of the surname Harris

The surname Harris is a popular surname with an English origin, believed to have derived from the personal name Henry or Harry. Its patronymic form means "son of Harry." Its spelling variations include Haris, Harries, Harriss, and Heres. Harris has also been Anglicized from Gaelic surnames O’hEarchadha and O’hir, O'her.

The surname Harris can also be found in Jewish (American) communities where it was adopted as an Americanized form of various Ashkenazic Jewish surnames like Herskowitz or Hershkovitz.

In Wales, you can also find people with Harris as a surname. But it tends to have a regional variance, for example: in south Wales, Harries is common, and in north Wales, Parry is the common form (Harry's son).

The Scottish and Irish communities have Harriss and Harrison as a widely used surname derived from Harris.

Other related surnames include Harrison and Harryman. These names all share the same lineage link to the name Henry, which means "home-ruler" or 'ruler of the household'. Many of these names have even been transformed into female versions such as Harrisson for daughters of Harry.

Famous people with the name Harris

  • Kamala Harris: U.S. Vice President and former Senator from California.
  • Neil Patrick Harris: American actor known for How I Met Your Mother.
  • Ed Harris: American actor and director, known for Apollo 13 and The Truman Show.
  • Emmylou Harris: Grammy-winning country singer and songwriter.
  • Richard Harris: Irish actor and singer known for Dumbledore in Harry Potter.
  • Calvin Harris: Scottish DJ, singer, songwriter and record producer.
  • Sam Harris: American author, philosopher, neuroscientist, and podcast host.
  • Rolf Harris: Australian entertainer convicted for sexual offenses.
  • James Harris: American football player.
  • Zinzi Clemmons Harris: American author and educator.
  • Major Harris: R&B singer, former member of The Delfonics.
  • Naomie Harris: British actress, known for Skyfall and Moonlight.
  • Joel Chandler Harris: American author, known for Uncle Remus tales.
  • Franco Harris: Former professional American football player.
  • Eric Harris: One of the perpetrators of the Columbine High School massacre.
  • Robert Harris: British author known for Fatherland.
  • Julie Harris: American actress, five-time Tony Award winner.
  • Dan Harris: American journalist for ABC News.
  • Ashley Harris: English professional footballer.
  • Harris J: British singer known for his Islamic-themed music.

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