What is the origin of the last name Harrell?

The last name Harrell has its roots in England, specifically derived from the Old English personal name "Hereweald." The name "Hereweald" combines "here," meaning army or warrior, with "weald," meaning power or rule. Over time, the name morphed into various forms such as Harald, Harold, or Harrell, and was brought to America by early English settlers. Today, the surname Harrell commonly signifies a family heritage linked to ancient English ancestry.

Countries of origin for the last name Harrell

The last name Harrell is of English origin, and is classified as a patronymic surname, derived from the personal name Harry. The name Harry is a medieval form of the name Henry, which itself has Germanic roots. As a patronymic surname, Harrell indicates that the original bearer was the son of a man named Harry, or Henry.

One possible meaning of the name Henry is “ruler of the household” or “ruler of the home.” This meaning aligns with the leadership and authoritative qualities often associated with the name Harrell. The surname Harrell is not only derived from Harry, it is also a variant spelling of the surname Harell, which further emphasizes the connection to leadership and authority.

The surname Harrell has been recorded in various forms throughout history, including Harrell, Harrells, Harell, and Harells. These variations may have developed due to regional accents, dialects, or clerical errors when recording names. The spelling of surnames was not standardized until much later in history, resulting in a wide range of variations for many names.

When examining the distribution of the surname Harrell in the United States, it is observed that it is most commonly found in the southern states, particularly in Texas, Georgia, and Alabama. This concentration suggests that the name Harrell may have originated in or migrated to these regions, possibly through migration patterns or family movements.

Throughout history, individuals with the last name Harrell have made notable contributions in various fields. For example, Thomas Harrell was an American trumpeter and composer known for his work in jazz music. Additionally, Sherman Harrell was an American football player who played as a quarterback in the National Football League.

Given the English origin of the surname Harrell, it is plausible to hypothesize that many individuals bearing this name could potentially have ancestral ties to England. However, tracing specific ancestral connections can be challenging due to the widespread usage of the name and the limited availability of historical records.

While the known facts about the last name Harrell provide valuable insights into its origins and distribution, there are still many unanswered questions. Further research, genealogical exploration, and historical analysis may lead to the discovery of additional details and connections related to the surname Harrell.

Interesting facts about the last name Harrell

  • The surname Harrell is of English origin.
  • It is derived from the medieval personal name “Harry” or “Henry,” which itself is derived from the Germanic name “Heimirich,” meaning “home ruler.”
  • The name Harrell is primarily found in the United States, particularly in the southeastern states, such as North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
  • Harrell is also a fairly common surname in England, where it is most commonly found in the southern regions, such as Sussex, Hampshire, and Surrey.
  • In recent years, the surname Harrell has gained some popularity as a given name, particularly in the African-American community.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Harrell include Grammy Award-winning music producer L.A. Reid (born Antonio Reid), NBA player Montrezl Harrell, and former NFL player Al Harrell.
  • The coat of arms associated with the Harrell surname features a black shield with a silver lion rampant and three silver mullets (stars) in chief.
  • The Harrell family motto is “Vigilantibus non dormientibus aequitas subvenit,” which translates to “Equity protects the watchful, not the sleeping.”
  • The Harrell surname has various spelling variations, including Harrel, Hurrell, Harwill, Herell, and Herrell.

Name Rank


There are around 50837 people with the last name Harrell in the US

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