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Family spelling variants includes Herrington, Herington, Arrington, Harington

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HARRINGTON Family History


This long-established name is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational surname deriving from any one of the places called Harrington: in Cumberland, near Whitehaven; in Lincolnshire, near Spilsby; and in Northamptonshire, near Kettering. The place in Cumberland, recorded circa 1160 as "Halfringtuna, Haverinton", is so called from the Olde English pre 7th Century byname "Haefer", from "haefer", he-goat, with the suffix -ing(as)", denoting people, tribe of, and "tun", settlement, enclosure. Harrington in Lincolnshire is recorded as "Harinton" in 1202, and is named with the Olde English "haer", stony ground, with "tun", as before, while the Northamptonshire Harrington, recorded as "Arintone" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Hetherington" circa 1100, is so called from a derivative of the Olde English "haeth", heath; hence, "the settlement of the dwellers on a heath"...


Harrington (Variants: Harington, Arrington, Herington, Herrington)

A locative name from the parish of Harrington, in Cumberland, corrupted from Haverington, supposedly from Haver, in Dutch, Haber, Teutonic, oats, in a field, and ton. Signifying a town in or surrounded by oat fields.

Although, from Old English Haferingtun ‘settlement (Old English tun) associated with someone called Hæfer’, a byname meaning ‘he-goat’,  perhaps another meant ‘settlement’ (Old English tun) of someone called Hæring’.

Alternatively, the first element may have been Old English hæring ‘stony place’ or haring ‘gray wood’.

In Irish, the are several origins, the first adopted as an Anglicised form of Gaelic Ó hArrachtáin ‘descendant of Arrachtán’, a personal name from a diminutive of arrachtach meaning ‘mighty’, ‘powerful’. Also from County Kerry in Ireland, adopted as an Anglicised form of Gaelic Ó hIongardail, later Ó hUrdáil, ‘descendant of Iongardal’.

Another Irish reduced Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hOireachtaigh ‘descendant of Oireachtach’, a byname meaning ‘member of the assembly’ or ‘frequenting assemblies’.

Thomas Harrington, an English convict from Staffordshire, transported aboard the "Asia" on 3 September 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia.

In 1881, the surname was prevalent in Essex and London but also further North in Lancashire. It was also a top surname in the parish of Bristol located in the county of Gloucestershire.

In the same census year, the most common occupation was Agricultural Labourer along with Labourer and Bricklayer as the top 3 reported jobs worked by Harrington. A less common occupation was Farmer.

In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales with 6,072 occurrences and a few 9 occurrences in Scotland.

Robert George Harrington (1904 – 1987) was an American astronomer who co-discovered a number of comets, including periodic comets 43P/Wolf-Harrington. In 2019, the comet will pass within 0.065 AU of Jupiter, effectively lifting the perihelion point and increase the orbital period to 9 years.

Another noted, Richard Charles Harrington (1956-2004), a British physician and psychologist and professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Manchester.

Pádraig Peter Harrington (b. 1971), an Irish professional golfer who plays on the European Tour and the PGA Tour. He won three major championships: The Open Championship in 2007 and 2008, the PGA Championship, also in 2008. 

1881, 1891 Census

1881 Census in Gloucestershire

Dictionary of American Family Homes, P Hanks OUP 2003

Homes of Family Names in Great Britain, H.B. Guppy, London 1890

The Oxford Dictionary of Family Names in Britain and Ireland, P.Hanks, Coats, McClure OUP 2016

1860 Lower, Mark A Patronymica Britannica: a dictionary of the family names of the United Kingdom, London: J.R Smith. Public Domain

1857 Arthur, William An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. New York: Sheldon, Blakeman. Public Domain


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Pat Harrington born 1930 in New york New York, opened first nursing home in Ct. Irish Catholic Assembly


Pat Harrington was my grandfather born in New York, 1930s Irish Catholic parishioners.


G’g ‘grandfather Henry Harrington. Born around 1810. Cardwiner(made shoes) immigrated to eastern Canada before 1838.


Have spent decades looking for roots as dad was adopted by Beard family. My great grandmother was Mary Ann Harrington who married Walter Head from Ludlow UK. Her parents were Patrick and Catharine Lyons (St Finbarrs Cork) who met and married in Stepney London circ 1848.Patrick was from Coolcoulaghta Muinterverra and son of John Harrington and Catherine Hurly born 1825 baptised Durrus ..............I don`t get any Harrington response from the Sheeps Head Peninsular so maybe all emigrated? Any other descendants?


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