What is the origin of the last name Harrington?

The last name Harrington is of English origin, deriving from a place name. It comes from the Old English words "haering" (meaning "haring" or "herring") and "tun" (meaning "enclosure" or "settlement") combined, indicating that the name may have originally referred to a settlement where herrings were abundant. The earliest recorded instance of the name dates back to 1199, and over time, it has become fairly common throughout England and beyond.

Countries of origin for the last name Harrington

The last name Harrington, like many surnames, carries with it a history rich in meaning and cultural significance. Derived from the Old English personal name Hereward, it ultimately traces its origins to pre-7th century England. As with most surnames, the etymology of Harrington reveals the occupation or geographical location that likely led to the adoption of this name.

Harrington, in particular, can be traced back to the Old English roots “hær” and “tūn”, meaning “rock” or “stone” and “enclosure” or “settlement” respectively. This suggests that individuals who adopted this surname were either associated with or resided in a settlement or area known for its rocky terrain. It is important to note that the meaning and origins of many surnames, including Harrington, may have evolved over time due to various factors such as migration, intermarriage, or changes in the cultural landscape.

The geographical association of Harrington extends beyond England, as this surname has also been noted among Irish and Scottish populations. This can be attributed to historical events such as the migration of people between these regions or the influence of British colonialism.

Within the United States, the surname Harrington has established a presence, particularly in states such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and California. The dispersion of this surname across different regions can be partly attributed to patterns of migration and settlement throughout history, including movements westward in the United States.

While the genealogical research on specific individuals bearing the Harrington surname may be extensive, it is pertinent to focus on the broader historical context of this name. From its Anglo-Saxon origins to its transcontinental spread, Harrington exemplifies the multi-faceted nature of surnames as both signifiers of personal identity and reflections of historical events and geographic influences. Exploring the rich tapestry of surnames, such as Harrington, allows us to gain insights into the diverse layers of history that are embedded within our human heritage.

In our quest to unravel the intricacies of surname origins, it is important to recognize that every name carries with it a wealth of untold stories. While we can decipher certain aspects of a surname’s etymology and historical context, there are always lingering possibilities and unanswered questions. The last name Harrington, with its connections to land, occupation, and migration, continues to pique our curiosity and reminds us of the enduring mysteries that persist within the realm of name etymology and genealogical research.

Interesting facts about the last name Harrington

  • The surname Harrington is of English origin and is derived from a place name.
  • The name Harrington is believed to have originated from the village of Harrington in Cumbria, England.
  • Harrington is a locational surname, indicating that the original bearers of the name were residents or descendants of those from Harrington.
  • The village of Harrington in Cumbria is ancient, with evidence of human activity in the area dating back to the Roman times.
  • The name Harrington is fairly widespread in English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Famous individuals with the surname Harrington include Michael Harrington, an American democratic socialist, and Parker Harrington, a Canadian politician.
  • The Harrington family name has been recorded in various spellings throughout history, including Harington, Haryngton, and Heryngton.
  • Harrington is a relatively common surname, ranking among the top 1000 surnames in the United States.
  • The meaning of the name Harrington is not entirely clear, but it is believed to have originated from a combination of Old English words meaning “hare” and “enclosure” or “settlement.”
  • The Harrington family has a long and storied history, with records of the name dating back to the 13th century.

Name Rank


There are around 66959 people with the last name Harrington in the US

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