Harvey Surname Genealogy

name Harvey is thought to be a Gallicized version of the name Herve –
coming from an
older Breton name of Aeruiu
or Haerviu which comprised
elements haer meaning
“battle” and vy
Herve was apparently a minstrel of ancient Brittany
and the name was thought to have been brought to England, perhaps in
legend or in song, by Breton mercenaries at the time of the Norman
conquest. The Domesday Book contained several references to Herve
as a
name, such Herueu de Berruarus in Suffolk.Spelling variants are Hervey and, in Scotland, Harvie.

Resources on

Harvey Ancestry

Early Harveys
were Hervey le Breton, a Breton cleric who became the first bishop of
Ely in 1109 and Hervey de Leon, the forebear of the Harveys of Ickwell
Bury in Bedfordshire.

Norfolk Some
think that the first use of Harvey as a surneme occurred in
Norfolk on the east coast. This part of England was certainly the
home of three illustrious Harvey families:

  • Harveys
    in Beachamwell parish records in Norfolk date from the 1500’s.
    John Harvey of Beachamwell founded the Norwich branch of the
    family. They were Norwich’s leading merchants and
    civic leaders during the 18th century.
  • a branch of the Hervey family from Thurleigh in Bedfordshire
    became masters of
    Ickworth Hall in Suffolk (near Bury St.
    Edmunds) in the early 1500’s and were prominent in court
    during Tudor times. These Ickworth Herveys,
    pronounced Harveys,
    developed a
    reputation for eccentricity, as Lady Mary Wortley’s jibe
    would suggest: “There are three types of human beings; men, women and
    Herveys.” Other Herveys from this family settled in Romford,
  • the Harveys of Chigwell in Essex
    came originally from Folkestone in Kent. This merchant family
    boasted William
    who discovered the circulation of blood, and, later, Admiral Eliab
    Harvey, an eccentric and hot-tempered naval officer who nevertheless
    distinguished himself at the battle of Trafalgar. Richard
    Morris’s 2007 book, Merchants,
    Medicine and Trafalgar: The History of the Harvey Family
    describes these Harveys.

SW England There were
also Harveys in the
southwest of England. Harveys in Ashill (near Taunton) in
Somerset date from the early 1500’s. Turner Harvey of Ashill was
acclaimed as “a renowned archer and warrior who fought for Henry
VIII.” There were more Harveys further west in Devon and

Harveys in Linkinhorne in Cornwall (near Bodmin Moor) started in
Elizabethan times. And there was a Harvey line at Maen near
Penzance soon after. Harveys became more prominent during the
hey-day of Cornish mining. The Harveys of Chacewater, there
from the early 1700’s, were miners; and John
Harvey established his famous foundry for mine equipment on the coast
at Hayle in
1800. From a Harvey family in St. Ives came the Bristol Harveys,
creators of Harvey’s Bristol Cream sherry.

Many Harveys left the area or emigrated when Cornish mining collapsed
in the 1860’s. Robert Harvey was one who came back. He had
gone with a group of Gwennap miners to Peru in 1872, made his fortune
in nitrate mines there, and returned in 1885 a rich man.

Channel Islands. The
Harveys in Guernsey may have come originally from Cornwall. They made their money in the
18th century from shipping and privateering, which they used to expand
their land holdings on the island. The most well-known of these
Harveys was a daughter, Margaret Anne, who became Mrs. Neve:

“She survived three days of concussion
after falling over the banister and hitting her head on a flagged floor
as a small child to live to the age of 110, her life spanning three
centuries (from 1792 to 1903). She had married John Neve of Kent.
After his death she returned to Guernsey in live in her picturesque old
home, Rouge Huis.”

She could recall the time when her father was in charge of the island
militia during the Napoleonic wars. A later Harvey, Winifred
Harvey, lived through the German occupation and published her diary of
those times, The Battle of Newlands,

Scotland. The
Harvey name came north to Scotland as well. The Harvey name was
associated with the Keith clan near Aberdeen from early times.
There was also a presence in Ayrshire. Often the spelling
was Harvie. But as the 19th century progressed the English
spelling of Harvey became increasingly predominant

. Many of the
Harveys in Ireland were originally of English extraction. They
to be found in Ulster (mainly in Armagh and Tyrone) and in county

The earliest English arrival appears to have been a Harvey family from
Bosworth in Liecestershire which settled in Wexford in the
1590’s. They
later owned Bargy castle
and were one of the leading
families of south Wexford. Bagenal Harvey of this family, a
plotter in the 1798 rebellion, met an untimely end when that revolt was

Harveys from Cornwall came to Derry as part of
the Protestant plantations of the early 1600’s. They
established themselves at Malin Hall in Ennishowen, Donegal.
Another Harvey
family, this
time from Scotland, was in Derry by the late 1600’s.

Harvey may also be Irish. A Galway clan originally called O’hAirmheadhaigh, meaning “the
descendant of the son of Airmed,”
was said to have anglicized their name to Harvey; as apparently did the
O’hEarchaidhs of county

Early Harveys (and Herveys) included:

  • Nicholas Hervey, a Catholic, who
    was one of the
    first settlers in Maryland. He arrived on the Ark and the Dove from Essex in 1634.
  • Thomas and William Harvey from Somerset who landed in Dorchester,
    Massachusetts in 1636 and later moved onto Boston.
  • Thomas Harvey, who was to be found in Perquimans county, North
    Carolina in the 1680’s. A descendant, Blassingame Harvey, was one
    of the pioneer settlers in Texas.
  • Onesiphorus Hervey, possibly
    from Cornwall, who was in Northumberland counry, Virginia by
    1702. A descendant is believed to be Thomas Hervey of Halifax
    county, North Carolina.
  • two Quaker Harveys, Joseph (from Staffordshire) and William
    (from Worcestershire), who came to Pennsylvania in 1702 and 1712
  • and the
    Scots Irish Henry Hervey
    who left county Monaghan in 1770
    and settled in Brooke county, Virginia (close to the Pennsylvania
    line). His farm there was still in the possession of his son
    David 107 years later.

Many Harveys followed the migration westward in the 19th century.
Turlington Harvey left New York for Chicage in the 1850’s.
He became a wealthy lumberman there and organized a real
estate syndicate to promote his new town of Harvey, Illinois.
Isaac Harvey headed west from Indiana for the goldfields of California
and ended up as the first mayor of Salinas City.

“His wife Sarah’s life mirrored her
restless husband’s, moving many times from Indiana to Missouri and
across the plains in a covered wagon to California and the gold rush
towns. Along the way Sarah gave birth to ten children. She
buried five of them as infants and one as a young man of sixteen.”

Fred Harvey, an Englishman, found his metier in Kansas in the 1870’s
when he started the Harvey House chain of restaurants, souvenir shops,
and hotels along the route of the railroad. They continued until
the 1960’s. A film musical which paid tribute to his business, The Harvey Girls, was made in
1946. It starred Judy Garland.

A Harvey family
was one of the first settlers of Bermuda in the 1600’s. Samuel
Harvey was recorded as a member of the Assembly in 1696 and there were
various other Harveys on the island by that time. These Harveys
had become involved in trade with Newfoundland by 1700 and they
gradually moved their business there during the 19th century.

early Harveys on Canada’s Eastern Seaboard were from diverse

James Harvie and his family came from Ayrshire in Scotland via Rhode
Island to Nova Scotia in 1760. These “New England planters” had
been given grants of land there after the French had vacated the
area. Harvie’s land was in Newport Landing and was handed down to
his descendants. It is still partly with the Harvie family

A Harvey
fishing family
from the Channel Islands came to the
Newfoundland coast in 1810. And Eugenius Harvey arrived from
Bermuda in 1820 to establish Harvey & Company, one of
Newfoundland’s most successful business enterprises. The company
has been involved primarily in shipping and the fish trade and it still
operates out of St. John’s today. Later there was a Moses Harvey
from Armagh in Ireland who arrived in St. John’s in 1852 to be the
pastor of its Presbyterian Free Church.

mining slump in Cornwall saw many Cornish miners head for Australia
and, in particular, to the Kapunda mine in South Australia. They
included a number of Harveys:

  • John and Elizabeth Harvey, who reached Adelaide on the Waterloo in 1840
  • George and Mary Harvey, who arrived there around the same time
  • and Arthur and Elizabeth Harvey,
    who came on the Robert Lees in

The sporting Harveys were from these Cornish mining roots. Four
of the sons of Horace and Elsie Harvey became first-class cricketers,
the most prominent of them being Neil Harvey who represented his
country in 79 Test matches between 1948 and 1963.

Harvey Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Select Harvey Names

William Harvey discovered the
circulation of the blood in 1616.
Bagenal Harvey was an early
leader of the 1798 Rebellion in Ireland.
John Harvey developed in the
1860’s the sherry known as Harvey’s Bristol Cream.
Alfred Harvey was the founder
of the comic book publishers Harvey
in the 1930’s.
Laurence Harvey, born Hirsh
Skikne in Lithuania, was a British film star of the 1960’s.

Select Harveys

  • 65,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Surrey)
  • 42,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 34,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia).




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