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Harvey or Hervey

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Surname:  Harvey or Hervey
Branch:  Harvey
Origins:  British
More Info:  England

Background:  Harvey is an English surname and place-name, derived from a personal name meaning "soldier" or "man-at-arms". It is thought to have come to England with the Breton mercenaries of William the Conqueror as "Hervé". It is also used as a given name. As a given name, the diminutive Harry is sometimes used.

Motto:  Fides non timet, Faith fears not.
Arms:  Sa. on a bend ar. three trefoils, slipped, vert, in chief a fleurs-de-lis erm .
Crest:  A demi leopard sa. bezante, holding in his foot a trefoils vert.

View the Heraldry Dictionary for help.

The name Hervey seems to have come from the Norman name Herve', which is still common in parts of Normandy, France. People named Herve' apparently went with William the Conqueror (1026-1087) to England and Anglicized the spelling to Hervey, Haervey, or Harvey. Before conquering England, William was Duke of Normandy.

The Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. IX, Oxford University Press, 1968, cites Hervey who became .bishop of Bangor in 1092. The Welsh refused to recognize Hervey as their bishop since he was a Norman, unable to speak their language and ignorant of their customs. Strife resulted, Hervey's brother was the victim of murderous attacks and Hervey feared for his life. He sought a transfer. In 1107 he became the king's administrator of Ely and when it became a new see, he took possession as bishop in 1109. Hervey was high in favor with William Rufus and confessor to Henry I. He died in 1131.

Another early Hervey in England was Hervey de Montmaurice. According to the book, Henry_II, University of California Press, 1973 by W. L. Warren, Hervey de Montmaurice was recruited in 1167 by King Dermot MacMurrough of Leinster, Ireland, who had been driven out of Dublin by the king of Connacht. Hervey was "a man of broken fortunes, without equipment or money" and brother-in-law of Robert FitzStephen, who gathered a family party of descendants of Nest (the promiscuous mistress of King Henry I) to aid King Dermot. Their superior continental and Welsh military techniques swung the balance and Dermot suppressed his rebellious subjects and drove his rivals from Leinster.

According to Ickworth, the National Trust, 1978, the Hervey nobility (Earl, Baron, and Marquess) in England is descended from John Hervey (born circa 1290) who married Joan the daughter and co-heir of John de la leye, of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire.

When discovered in 1773, the Cook Islands in the Pacific Ocean were named the Hervey Islands by Captain James Cook in honor of Captain Hervey, R.N., the first Lord of the Admiralty. One island in the group is still called Hervey Island.

There is a rich and varied history of Herveys, nobility, clergy, men of letters, and scoundrels. Tracing the various Hervey backgrounds is interesting.

The meaning of the name Hervey is given variously as worthy warrior and "descendant of Haerveu (active in war)."

Name Variations:  Harvey, Harvye, Harvy, Harvie, Hervey.

One or more of the following publications has been referenced for this article.
The General Armory; Sir Bernard Burke - 1842.
A Handbook of Mottoes; C.N. Elvin - 1860.
English Surnames; C.M. Matthews - 1966.
A Dictionary of English Surnames; P.H. Reaney - 1958.
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvey.
Hervey Families of America Bulletin: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hervey/HFAV1.htm.

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