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Celtic Radio Community > Gathering of the Clans > Help With Heritage?


Posted by: CrsHrs 20-Jul-2012, 07:56 PM
I know on me mum's side I am German but I am trying to find out what I am on me father's side. Harris is our name, I fear it might be English.

Posted by: Robert Phoenix 25-Jul-2012, 08:28 PM
Do what I did. Check the dates on any family gravestones then go back into the local paper and look for obituaries.

Posted by: MacEoghainn 26-Jul-2012, 09:25 AM
Because surnames are a rather recent invention (when considered against man's recorded history) the possession of a surname normally associated to a geographical region doesn't necessarily mean one descended from people of that surname or that region. In addition to migration from one region to another and name changes that happened when many immigrants arrived in the US, there is also the possibility of other NPEs (Non-paternity event: causes include: adoption, marital infidelity, births outside of marriage, ect...) that could separate one from their surname or the region normally associated with that surname.

For people even with very detailed paper trail genealogies I suggest (assuming that financial considerations allow it) that everyone interested in their genealogy take advantage of the current DNA testing. There are a number of companies that do this kind of testing (see a list of companies here: http://www.isogg.org/wiki/List_of_DNA_testing_companies ***There may be more***).

My surname's family association's http://www.ewingfamilyassociation.org/ DNA project uses the http://www.familytreedna.com/ lab. It appears that at least one Harris family group is also using that lab: http://www.harrisdna.org/


Posted by: Cattee 29-Nov-2012, 06:26 PM
Harris is generally considered to mean "son of Harry." The given name Harry is a derivation of Henry, meaning "home ruler." Like many patronymic surnames, the surnames HARRIS and HARRISON are often found used inter-changeably in early records - sometimes with the same family.

Harris has origins in both England (yes English is a possibility) but Harris is also within Welsh as well, so you could have Welsh.

I recommend knowing your ancestors names and look through the census (Look at the one who arrives over to America and where they may have landed.) There are immigration records that they do post-arrival to America, along with census to check out for.

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