Surname Harvey - Meaning and Origin
all surnames with 'H'
Harvey: What does the surname Harvey mean?
The surname Harvey is of Norman origin and was introduced to Britain following the Norman Conquest in 1066. It derives from the Breton personal name Aeruiu or Haerviu, composed of the elements 'haer' meaning 'battle' and 'vy' meaning 'worthy', giving it the overall interpretation of 'worthy of battle' or 'battle worthy'. This was a common type of compound name in the pre-7th century 'Dark Age'. The name has had various transformations over time due to local dialects and illiteracy, appearing in different forms such as Hervé, Hervey, Harvie, and more.
The surname Harvey first gained popularity in the county of Cheshire, England, where the Harveys held a family seat after the Norman Conquest. Over time, the name spread across England, Ireland and Scotland and later into the colonies of America, Australia, New Zealand, and others.
Historically, it has been carried by many notable people, such as the renowned British astronomer William Harvey who discovered the circulation of the blood. Today, it remains a popular surname worldwide. The Harvey family motto 'Recte faciendo securus' fittingly translates to 'While acting right, feel safe'.
Harvey: Where does the name Harvey come from?
The surname Harvey has both French and Celtic origins. It is derived from the Old Breton personal name "Huiarnviu" and the Old French personal name "Hervé," both of which are composed of the elements "haer," meaning battle, strife or carnage, and "vy," meaning worthy. It was popularly associated with St. Hervé, a 6th-century Breton saint who was a popular figure in medieval Europe. As the Normans advanced into Britain, they brought the first name Hervé with them, which evolved into Harvey over time.
The surname Harvey is common among English-speaking countries today, especially in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States. In the UK, it is particularly prevalent in the East Anglia region. Despite its European roots, Harvey is also a common surname among African-Americans in the United States.
Variations of the surname Harvey
The surname Harvey is quite common and has several variants and possible origins. It is mostly English, Breton and Irish in origin. Some researchers suggest that it may have come from the Breton personal name 'Aeruiu' or 'Haerviu', which means "blazing". In England, it is derived from the Old French 'Hui', which might have been introduced after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The name is composed of elements 'h' meaning battle or carnage and 'gari', meaning spear.
Variants of the surname Harvey include Harvie, Harvy, Hervie, Hervy, Hervey, Harvie, Hervey. Other spelling variations are Harviegh, Harveigh, and Harvee. Some Scottish variations include MacHarrie and MacHarry, meaning son of Harry.
The Cambro-Norman version of this name became Hui and it was this form which then migrated to Brittany, France, and then arrived again in England post 1066 AD during the Norman invasion. It became Harvie and Hervey in these regions.
In Ireland, Harvey may have been adopted as an anglicised form of the Gaelic Ó hAirmheadhaigh, meaning descendant of Aimheadhagh (meaning 'long-armed'). Certain Irish variations include O'Harvey, Airmheadhaigh, and Harnett.
Remember, the actual variations and origins can be more complex due to regional dialects and spelling inconsistencies during historical record keeping.
Famous people with the name Harvey
- Steve Harvey: Renowned American comedian, television host, radio personality, actor, and author.
- William Harvey: Famous English physician who made major contributions to anatomy and physiology, especially by discovering the circulation of the blood.
- Laurence Harvey: Acclaimed British actor, famous for films like 'Room at the Top' and 'The Manchurian Candidate'.
- PJ Harvey: English musician and singer-songwriter.
- Paul Harvey: American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks.
- Brian Harvey: English musician with pop band 'East 17'.
- Dominic Harvey: Popular New Zealand radio DJ.
- Tyler Harvey: Professional basketball player.
- James Harvey: American professional basketball player.
- Mick Harvey: Australian musician, a long-term member of the rock band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.
- Alex Harvey: Scottish rock and roll recording artist.
- Doug Harvey: Well-known Major League Baseball umpire.
- Rebecca Harvey: English ceramic artist.
- Matthew Harvey: Associate Justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
- John Harvey: British author of crime fiction.
- Don Harvey: American film and television actor.
- Anthony Harvey: British filmmaker.
- Jake Harvey: Renowned British Sculptor.
- Jane Harvey: Popular jazz singer.
- Herbie Harvey: former Football player.