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Meaning and Origin of: Harvard

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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. English: from the Old English personal name Hereweard, composed of the elements here ‘army’ + weard ‘guard’, which was borne by an 11th-century thane of Lincolnshire, leader of resistance to the advancing Normans. The Old Norse cognate Hervarðr was also common and, particularly in the Danelaw, it may in part lie behind the surname.
  2. Welsh: variant of Havard.
  3. John Harvard (1607–38), who gave his name to Harvard College, was the son of a London butcher. He inherited considerable property, and emigrated to MA in 1637. On his death he bequeathed half his estate and the whole of his library to the newly founded college at Cambridge, MA.
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