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Hardy Family History
This interesting surname is of early medieval English and French origin, and is derived from the nickname for a brave or perhaps fool-hardy person, one who would risk all for ultimate success. It derives from the Old French, Middle English (1200 - 1500) "hardi", meaning bold or courageous. This surname is an example of that sizeable group of early European surnames that were gradually created from the habitual use of nicknames. The nicknames were given in the first instance with reference to a variety of characteristics, such as physical attributes or peculiarities, mental and moral characteristics, supposed resemblance to an animal or bird's appearance or disposition, habits of dress and occupation...
Hardy (Variants: Hardie, Hardey, Hardee, Le Hardy, Hardiman, Harden)
Also found as herdi through the influence of Middle English hard, herd ‘bold’ (Old English heard). In French, also meaning free or noble.
In Irish, in addition to being an importation of the English name, this is also found as an anglicised form (by partial translation) of Mac Giolla Deacair ‘son of the hard lad’.
In Scottish, a variant spelling of Hardie.
Early bearers of the surname include: William Hardi, 1194 in Pipe Rolls (Yorks); William le Hardy, 1206 in Pipe Rolls (Lincs); William le Hardy, 1220 in Assize Rolls (Berks); Matill’ Herdy, 1379 in Poll Tax (Sheffield, WR Yorks); Emma Hardey, 1381 in Poll Tax (Great Bowden, Leics); Robert Hardy, 1485 in Feet of Fines (Empingham, Rutland).
William Hardy, an English convict from Middlesex, was transported aboard the "America" on 4 April 1829, settling in New South Wales, Australia.
In 1891, the surname was recorded in England and Wales 18,893 occurrences and a fewer 331 in Scotland.
In 1881, it was widespread especially in North England and North Midlands. The surname was also recorded as a top surname in the county of Nottinghamshire with 1,064 occurrences.
In 1881, the most common Hardy occupation in the UK was Coal Miner. Coal Miner, Farmer and Agricultural Labourer were the top 3 reported jobs. A less common occupation was Labourer.
Godfrey Harold Hardy (1877-1947), an English mathematician known for the Hardy-Weinberg principle. The collaboration with Wilhelm Weinberg led to the basic principle of population genetics. Their equilibrium states that allele and genotype frequencies in a population will remain constant from generation to generation in the absences of other evolutionary influences.
Another noted, Edward Thomas Hard (Tom Hardy), English producer and actor. He has appeared in such films as Bronson and both Kray twins in Legend.
1881, 1891 Census
1881 Census in Nottinghamshire
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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