Surname Origin: English
Alternate Surname Spellings:HARISON, HARRESON, HARRISEN, HARRIS
Harrison has thirty entries in the "Dictionary of National Biography", and having no less than forty Coats of Arms, is of early medieval English origin. It is a patronymic form of the medieval male given name Harry, itself a pet form of Henry, from the Old French "Henri", via the Old German "Haimric", composed of the elements haim", home, and "ric", power. Introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066 in the form "Henri", the name became enormously popular and was borne by eight kings of England. It appears as "Henricus" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and subsequently generated a great variety of diminutive and pet forms including Herry, Harry, Hann, Hal and Hankin. Like many patronymic surnames, the surnames HARRISON and HARRIS are often found in early records - sometimes within the same family.
Early examples of the surname recording include: John Harryson in the records of the city of Sheffield, Yorkshire, dated in 1445, whilst a large and influential American family of the name are descended from Benjamin Harrison, who emigrated from England to Virginia in 1633 - 1634. Colonel Thomas Harrison (1606 - 1660) was a famous parliamentarian and regicide of King Charles 1st in 1649. William Henry Harrison (1773 - 1841), and Benjamin Harrison (1833 - 1901), both became presidents of the United States.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert Harriesone, which was dated 1355, in the "Calendar of Pleas for the City of London", during the reign of King Edward III, known as "The Father of the Navy", 1327 - 1377.
Famous People with the Surname HARRISON:
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