Harry last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Harry is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Harry.

Meaning of Harry

A surname derived from the medieval English personal name Harry or Henry, or from the Old English word "hæra," meaning "army ruler."

Harry, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Harry surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Harry in America

Harry is the 3802nd most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Harry surname appeared 9,311 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 3 people would have the surname Harry.

We can also compare 2010 data for Harry to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 3802 3703 2.64%
Count 9,311 8,799 5.65%
Proportion per 100k 3.16 3.26 -3.12%

The history of the last name Harry

The surname Harry originates from the English language and can be traced back to the medieval period, around the 12th century. It is believed to have derived from the Old English word "hær," meaning "army" or "warrior." The name was initially used as a descriptive nickname for someone who was a soldier or a member of the armed forces.

In early records, the name appears with various spellings, such as Herry, Hary, and Harey. One of the earliest documented references to the name can be found in the Domesday Book of 1086, which mentions a landowner named William Harei in Berkshire.

During the Middle Ages, the surname Harry was particularly prevalent in the counties of Essex, Suffolk, and Norfolk in eastern England. Many individuals bearing this name were recorded in medieval tax rolls and court records from these regions.

One notable bearer of the surname Harry was Sir John Harry, a member of the English Parliament who lived in the 14th century. Another early example is William Harry, a prominent merchant and alderman in the city of London, who was recorded in documents from the late 15th century.

In the 16th century, the name appeared in various forms, including Harrie, Harrye, and Harrey. During this period, several individuals with the surname Harry made significant contributions to English history and culture.

One such person was William Harrey (c. 1530-1599), an English physician and scholar who is considered one of the founders of modern anatomy and physiology. He authored several influential works, including "De Motu Cordis" (On the Motion of the Heart and Blood).

Another notable figure was Thomas Harrys (c. 1570-1631), an English composer and organist who served as the organist at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford. His compositions included anthems, madrigals, and other sacred works.

In the 17th century, the surname Harry continued to be prominent, particularly in the counties of Essex and Suffolk. One notable bearer was John Harrey (1633-1692), an English politician and lawyer who served as a Member of Parliament for Thetford.

As time progressed, the surname Harry spread to other parts of the British Isles and eventually to other English-speaking countries through immigration and colonization. Today, the name is found in various spellings, including Harry, Harrie, and Harrey, throughout the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and other nations with historical ties to Britain.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Harry

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Harry.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Harry was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 59.05% 5,498
Non-Hispanic Black Only 28.61% 2,664
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 3.13% 291
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 3.07% 286
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 2.63% 245
Hispanic Origin 3.51% 327

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Harry has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 59.05% 63.88% -7.86%
Black 28.61% 26.14% 9.02%
Asian and Pacific Islander 3.13% 1.92% 47.92%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 3.07% 2.93% 4.67%
Two or More Races 2.63% 3.11% -16.72%
Hispanic 3.51% 2.01% 54.35%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Harry was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Harry, please contact us.

Reference this page

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If you found the data or information on this page useful in your research, please use the tool below to properly cite or reference Name Census as the source. We appreciate your support!

"Harry last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 14, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/harry-surname-popularity/.

"Harry last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/harry-surname-popularity/. Accessed 14 July, 2024

Harry last name popularity, history, and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/harry-surname-popularity/.

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