Harkness Family History

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Harkness Name Meaning

Scottish: apparently a habitational name from an unidentified place (perhaps in the area of Annandale, with which the surname is connected in early records), probably so called from the Old English personal name Hereca (a derivative of the various compound names with the first element here ‘army’) + Old English næss ‘headland’, ‘cape’. The surname is also established in northern Ireland, where it was taken in the 17th century by settlers from Dumfriesshire.

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

Similar surnames: Harness, Garness, Barsness, Barnes, Harker, Holness, Haynes, Harke

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Harkness Ethnicity Estimate

What are the common regions with the Harkness name?

These results combine data from everyone in the AncestryDNA® database with the last name Harkness. The Ancestry® ethnicity regions shown are top five most common on average for these people.

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  • England & Wales


  • Ireland & Scotland


  • Germanic Europe


  • Norway


  • Sweden


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Harkness Family Origin

Where is the Harkness family from?

Harkness Family Occupations

What did your Harkness ancestors do for a living?

In 1880, a less common occupation for the Harkness family was Farming. Farmer, Keeping House and Laborer were the top 3 reported jobs worked by Harkness. The most common Harkness occupation in the USA was Farmer. 42% of Harkness's were Farmers.

View Census data for Harkness | Data not to scale

  • Farmer

  • Keeping House

  • Laborer

  • Farming


Census records can tell you a lot of little known facts about your Harkness ancestors, such as occupation. Occupation can tell you about your ancestor's social and economic status.

Harkness Historical Records

What Harkness family records will you find?

Census Record

There are 62,000 census records available for the last name Harkness. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Harkness census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search 1940's US census records for Harkness

Passenger List

There are 9,000 immigration records available for the last name Harkness. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Harkness immigration records

Draft Card

There are 8,000 military records available for the last name Harkness. For the veterans among your Harkness ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Harkness military records

You've only scratched the surface of Harkness family history.

Harkness Life Expectancy

What is the average Harkness lifespan?

Between 1941 and 2004, in the United States, Harkness life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1944, and highest in 2000. The average life expectancy for Harkness in 1941 was 43, and 76 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Harkness

An unusually short lifespan might indicate that your Harkness ancestors lived in harsh conditions. A short lifespan might also indicate health problems that were once prevalent in your family. The SSDI is a searchable database of more than 70 million names. You can find birthdates, death dates, addresses and more.

Famous Harkness Family Ancestors

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