Henry Family History
Henry Name Meaning
English French Walloon and West Indian (mainly Jamaica and Haiti): from a personal name composed of the ancient Germanic elements haim heim ‘home’ + rīc ‘power ruler’ introduced to England by the Normans in the form Henri. During the Middle Ages this name became enormously popular in England and was borne by eight kings. Continental forms of the personal name were equally popular throughout Europe. In the period in which the majority of English surnames were formed a common English vernacular form of the name was Harry hence the surnames Harris (southern) and Harrison (northern). Official documents of the period normally used the Latinized form Henricus. In medieval times English Henry absorbed an originally distinct Old English personal name that had hagan ‘hawthorn’ (compare Hain ) as its first element and there has also been confusion with Amery. In North America the English form of the surname has absorbed cognates from other languages e.g. German Heinrich and also their derivatives e.g. Swedish Henriksson (see Henrikson ). Compare Henri . Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hInnéirghe ‘descendant of Innéirghe’ a byname based on éirghe ‘arising’. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Mac Éinrí or Mac Einri patronymics from the personal names Éinrí Einri Irish forms of Henry. It is also found as a variant of McEnery . Americanized form of various like-sounding Jewish surnames.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press