Henry Family History
Henry Name Meaning
English and French: from a Germanic personal name composed of the elements haim, heim ‘home’ + ric ‘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 (German Heinrich, French Henri, Italian Enrico and Arrigo, Czech Jindrich, etc.). As an American family name, the English form Henry has absorbed patronymics and many other derivatives of this ancient name in continental European languages. (For forms, see Hanks and Hodges 1988.) 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 2 as its first element, and there has also been confusion with Amery. 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. Jewish (American): Americanized form of various like-sounding Ashkenazic Jewish names.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press