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Meaning and Origin of: Harland

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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English (mainly northeastern): habitational name from any of various minor places (including perhaps some now lost) named from Old English hār ‘gray’, hara ‘hare’, or hær ‘rock’, ‘tumulus’ + land ‘tract of land’, ‘estate’, ‘cultivated land’, notably Harland in Kirkbymoorside. North Yorkshire, which is named from hær + land. This surname has been present in northern Ireland since the 17th century.
  2. French (Normandy): nickname for someone given to stirring up trouble, from the present participle of medieval French hareler ‘to create a disturbance’.
  3. George and Michael Harland were Quakers who emigrated from Durham, England, to Ireland. George went on to DE in 1687 and became governor in 1695, while Michael went to Philadelphia. George Harland’s descendants, who dropped the final -d from their name, included a number of prominent American politicians, in particular James Harlan (1820–99), who became a senator and secretary of the interior.
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