The Harvey Genealogist
The Harvey Genealogist
[The Harvey Genealogist Home]

The Origin of the

Distinquished Surname of Harvey 


The chronicles of England show the early records of the name Harvey to be derived from the Norman race. The name appears in England from about 1066 A.D., and its history is interwoven within the majestic tapestry which contains the history of Britain.

Professional researchers used such ancient manuscripts as the Domesday Book (compiled in 1086 by William the Conqueror), the Ragman Rolls, the Wace poem, the Honour Roll of the Battel Abbey, the Curia Regis, Pipe Rolls, the Falaise Roll, tax records, baptismals, family genealogies, and local parish and church records to establish that the first records of the name Harvey was found in Norfolk where they were seated from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Your name, Harvey, occurred in many references, but from time to time, spellings included Harvey, Hervey, Hervie, Harvie, and many others. Scribes recorded and spelled the name as it sounded. It wasn't unlikely that a person would be born with one spelling, married with another, and buried with a headstone which showed another spelling.

The Normans were commonly believed to be of French origin, but, more accurately, they were of Viking origin. The Vikings landed in the Orkneys and Northern Scotland about the year 910 A.d, under their King, Stirgud the Stout. Later, under their Earl, Thorfinn Rollo, they invaded France about 910 A.D. The French King, Charles the Simple, after Rollo laid siege to Paris, finally conceded defeat and granted northern France to Rollo. Duke William who invaded and defeated England in 1066, was descended from the first Duke Rollo of Normandy.

The surname Harvey emerged as a notable family name in the county of Norfolk and Cambridge where they were recorded as a family of great antiquity seated with Manors and estates in those shires. They were descended from Robert FitzHarvey from herve in Normandy, a Norman noble at Hastings. They became the first Bishops of Ely and founded the monastery of Thorney in Cambridgeshire. However, in assisting King Stephen of England against the Empress Maude he was defeated by the Earl of Gloucester and forced to retire presumably to Scotland where they established large estates in Aberdeenshire. By 1200, however , the clan had also returned to England to Risley in Bedfordshire, and in Wiltshire, where the Herveys became the marquis of Bristol. William Harvey (1578-1657), Doctor and Scientist, was Physician Extraordinary to King James I, he became famous for discovering the circulation of the blood in 1616. He was the son of the Mayor of Folkestone. Meanwhile in Scotland, Andrew Hervey was the Dean of Guild in Edinburgh. Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Marquis of Bristol.

The surname Harvey contributed much to local politics and in the affairs of England or Scotland. During the 12th century many of these Norman families moved north to Scotland. Later, in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries England was ravaged by religious and political conflict. The Monarchy, the Church and parliament fought for supremacy. The unrest caused many to think of distant lands.

In Ireland, settlers became known as the "Adventurers for Land in Ireland". They "undertook" to keep the Protestant faith, occupying the lands of the Irish. In Ireland they settled in Ulster and county Wexford, although a small group settled in Galway.

The democratic way of life of the New World beckoned many. They sailed aboard the fleet of sailing ships known as the "White Sails".

In North America, migrants which could be considered a kinsman of the family named Harvey, or variable spellings of that same family name included Edward Harvey who arrived in Virginia in 1649; Grace Harvey settled in the Barbados in 1679; George Harvey and his wife settled in Virginia in 1648; John Harvey settled in Virginia in 1640; William Harvey settled in new England in 1630; Alexander Harvie settled in Virginia in 1635; Anne Harview settled in Virginia in 1635; John Harvy settled in the Barbados in 1674; Nicholas Hervey settled in Maryland in 1634; Martha Hervey settled in Pennsylvania in 1772; followed by Thomas Hervey in 1850. In Newfoundland, John Hervey settled in Chapples Cove in 1681; William Harvey settled in Trinity in 1708; Lawrence in Pettery Harbour in 1739; John held a fishery at Portugal Cove in 1794; William Hervy settled in Carbonear in 1810; William Harvey was a planter in Carbonear in 1841, and many more. There is a Harvey Cove, Harvey Hill, and Harvey Rock, in Newfoundland. From the port of arrival settlers joined the wagon trains westward. During the American War of Independence some declared their loyalty to the crown and moved northward into Canada and became known as the Untied Empire Loyalists.

Meanwhile, the family name was highly regarded in the social stream. There were many notables of this name, Harvey: Anthony Harvey, Film Director; Ian Harvey, Public Relations; Patrick Harvey, Real Estate; William Harvey, Professor of Law; Marquis of Bristol (Hervey).

Research has determined the above Coat of Arms* to be the most ancient recorded for the family surname Harvey.

source: The Hall of Names, Inc.

*the Coat of Arms eluded to is the center Coat in The Harvey Genealogist Logo, 3 trefoils diagonally on a field of crimson.

[The Harvey Genealogist Home]


Neither The Harvey Genealogist nor Ann Harvey Lahtinen may be held liable for incorrect or misleading information found on this website, nor for any consequences resulting from the use of any information found on The Harvey Genealogist site.

It is the responsibility of the user of this site to verify information against primary source documents before accepting as actual fact. The material contained in this website is obtained in a cooperative effort, and contain the merging of many contributors' data which often results in conflicting information. The law of averages dictates that there will be errors and ommissions.

We have made every effort to protect the privacy of living persons by attempting to eliminate the latest generations (primarily those born after 1930). Again, the law of averages dictate that, given the sheer bulk of information contained on this site, we will have missed some individuals.

The Harvey Genealogist Name and logo, including the cascade of Coats of Arms, may not be reproduced or edited by any means mechanical or electronic, in any form, without the express written permission of Ann Harvey Lahtinen.
Copyright 1996-1999, Ann Harvey Lahtinen

Logo Disclaimer