Harris a Cornish or English surname?

Looking for your Cornish roots, long lost friends/family or just other people with the same family name then try here.
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AngusHarris
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:20 pm

Post by AngusHarris » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:26 pm

Hello,

I was just wondering if anyone might tell me how common Harris is in Cornwall, and whether it is a Cornish surname or an English one?

Thanks in advance,
Angus

AngusHarris
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:20 pm

Post by AngusHarris » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:54 pm


"Mike" said:
Hi Angus,
the surname Harris is most prevalent in West Cornwall and South Wales. It is also seen a lot in East Cornwall, Devon and Somerset:
http://www.spatial-literacy.org/UCLnames/default.aspx

Thank you for that, a very useful site indeed!!
You don't know whether the name is considered an English one, or a Cornish one at all do you? Though (going on the distribution map) given its preponderance in far west Cornwall and neighbouring Wales it seems reasonable that it is more Briton in origin (or Celtic/Brythonic/Whatever) than English.

I think our Harris name comes from Camborne...

FlammNew
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Post by FlammNew » Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:16 pm

It's English - "Son of Harry" if memory serves - though as Cornish people sometimes took the names of their English Lords, it doesn't mean Harrises are necessarily ethnically English!

Whereabouts are your Harrises from?

[edit] Oops, sorry, didn't see you said Camborne.

AngusHarris
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Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:20 pm

Post by AngusHarris » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:41 am


"FlammNew" said:
It's English - "Son of Harry" if memory serves - though as Cornish people sometimes took the names of their English Lords, it doesn't mean Harrises are necessarily ethnically English!

Whereabouts are your Harrises from?

[edit] Oops, sorry, didn't see you said Camborne.



Yes, the reading I have done on the name Harris tells me that it is a bit of a blurry one. Both assumed by resident Cornish and brought into Cornwall by English, that is why I asked here hoping people in situ in Cornwall might inform me what the general consensus was on the name...

It is indeed common across the whole south of the blessed isle, but the fact that the emphasis in its concentration is overwhelmingly in Wales and Cornwall seems to imply to me that it is more of a "Celtic" (whatever that word means) surname

I think the Harrises here in Australia came mostly from Camborne and other mining towns

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Marhak
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Post by Marhak » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:02 am

According to the Penguin Dictionary of Surnames, Harris is (as Flamm says), "son of Harry", 26th commonest surname in England and Wales in 1853, 17th in USA in 1939. Family name of the Earls of Malmesbury. Harry is a form of Henry which is, apparently, Normanised Germanic, meaning "home rule" (really), so it isn't Celtic.

The famous Harris family associated with Kenegie (some of whom are still said to haunt the place) were centred at Hayne, Devon, before acquiring Kenegie (up behind Gulval, Pz) from the Arundells.

FlammNew
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Post by FlammNew » Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:54 am

There are other English Cornish surnames like "Johns", "Williams" etc formed in the same way as "Harris". I've actually got a distant ancestor called "John John" which must have been confusing! Oh, and distant relations called Harris in St Ives in the 1800s.

Porthia1947
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Post by Porthia1947 » Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:06 am

You might want to read "The Cornish Family" by Dr. Bernard Deacon www.cornwalleditions.co.uk/products/pro ... amily.html

There's a summary of the content at
www.cornwallinscriptions.co.uk/html/the ... amily.html

While the name Harris is of English origin someone called Harris could be in terms of ancestry, as or more Cornish than someone called Trelawney. Surnames such as Thomas, Williams, Johns and Harris etc are considered Cornish as there are so many Cornish people with these names.

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