Meaning, Origin, Etymology
The surname of Hart is a German, English, Jewish and Irish surname. The German variant spelling of Hardt 1 and 2. Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental name or a nickname from German and Yiddish hart ‘hard’. Irish: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hAirt ‘descendant of Art’, a byname meaning ‘bear’, ‘hero’. The English name became established in Ireland in the 17th century. There is a manor named Hert which is one of the variant spellings in Durham and it was mentioned in 1288 and in 1296 when Cristina the widow of R. de Brus, Lord of Annandale, was dowered there. The name can be found in the center and east of England in Leicestershire, Cambridgeshire, and Suffolk. Toward the north of England in the county of Durham and in the North and East Ridings, but can also be found in Gloucestershire and Wilts. The name itself has many different origins perhaps from the numerous Harts that immigrated from England and Germany and many Jewish families carry this surname. The English version is from the name of a male ancestor and it refers to a “stag” or “deer” or “hart”. The German versions mean “strong man” and the Jewish version originates from the family name of Hart or Hartman and is a patronym for Naphtali whose kinnui Herz (Harz) or Hirsch that means “deer” or “hart”. A male deer is a common charge of heraldry. Its medieval form as a surname is ‘ Le Hart.’ We have a large importation of Harts from Germany, where the word implies hard, stiff, rude, or severe. The Old Norse version Hjörtr; A. Hjerta; from the Danish, Harth; from the Dutch, Hart; from the German, Hart, Herte; in the Domesday Book, Artor, Hard; a personal name.
Hart, O’Hart, Harte, MacArt, McArt, MacCart, McCart, Hartt, Heart, Hurt, Hort, Harts, Herz, Hirsch, Hardt, Hartog, Hartwig, Hartwick, and Hartig.
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Hart ranks 1,814th in popularity worldwide as of the 2014 Census and approximately 306,516 people carry the Hart surname worldwide. The name ranks particularly high in the following six states: California, Texas, Florida, New York, Georgia, and Ohio. It ranks highest in the following countries: United States (178,006), England (42,408), Nigeria (20,786), Australia (16,780), Canada (13,998) and South Africa (8,254).
Early Bearers of Surname
Early bearers of the surname Hart include Roger Hert 1166 in Pipe Rolls (Norfolk), Reginald Hurt 1185 in Templars Records (Beds), Simon le Hert 1197 in Feet of Fines (Kent), Godrich ‘le Hurt 1220 in Book of Fees (Berks), Richard Hort 1221 in Assize Rolls (Warwicks), Willelmus Hert 1377 in Poll Tax (Colchester, Essex), Jul Hertes 1379 in Poll Tax (Colcester, Essex), Jul Hertes 1379 in Poll Tax (Faulston, Wilts), Thomas Herte 1482 in Feet of Fines (Canterbury, Kent), Jn. Hart 1473 in Parish Registers (Ilsington, Devon), Richard Hart 1545 in PROB II (Saint Nicholas, Gloucs), Alice Heart 1628 in PROB II (Puddletown, Dorset), John Hurt / Hart 1632 in PROB II (Saint Saviour, Southwark, Surrey), Mary Hart 1775 in Great and Hambro Synagogue Births (London), Martha Hart 1810 in New and Hambro Synagogue Records (London), Louisa Hart 1816 in New and Hambro Synagogue Records (London), Abraham Hart 1822 in Cemetery Scribes (Hackney Jewish Cemetery, Middx), Benjamin Hart 1827 in Cemetery Scribes (Brady Street Jewish Cemetery, Middx), Hyman Hart in Census 1881 (Whitechapel, Middx), and Aaron Hart 1887 in Cemetery Scribes (Willesden Jewish Cemetery, Middx)
Early American Immigration and New World Settlers
Some Hart settlers in the United States in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries included Josyas Hart who arrived in 1623 in Virginia, Edmund Hart who arrived in 1634 in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Chri Hart who arrived in 1635 in Bermuda, Simon Hart who arrived in New York in 1709, Ulerich Hart who arrived 1740 in Pennsylvania, Hartley Hart who arrived in 1804 at the young age of 17 in New Castle, Delaware, Theodorus Hart who arrived in 1809 in New York, and Isaac Hart who arrived in 1817 in Baltimore, Maryland. In Canada in the 18th and 19th centuries there were Jeremiah Hart who arrived in 1749 in Nova Scotia, John Hart who arrived in 1750 in Nova Scotia, Robert Hart who arrived in 1773 in English Harbour, Daniel Hart who arrived in 1833 in Saint John, New Brunswick and Jane Hart who arrived in 1833 in Saint John, New Brunswick. As for Australia and New Zealand in the 19th century we find John Hart an English convict from Middlesex who was transported on April 1, 1822 to New South Wales, Australia, Samuel Hart an English convict from Berkshire who was transported on April 4, 1829 to New South Wales, Australia, Edward Hart who arrived in 1841 to Wellington, New Zealand, and George Hart who arrived in 1850 to Wellington, New Zealand.
To find out which Coat of Arms above is associated with your direct lineage see the Which One is Mine? page.
Audacter tolle. Carry Stoutly.
CoeurJidele. A faithful heart.
Deo adjuvante vincam. God helping I shall conquer.
Parat usum. It prepares to use it.
Qui perde la fog e n’a plus de perdre. Who loses faith has no more to lose.
Via una cor unum. One way one heart.
HART TO THOROLD., of Harmston, co. Linc., and Middle Temple, London, 182., Vol. XXXII, fol. 16.
HART, LIEUT.-COL. ARTHUR FITZROY, C.B., East Surrey Regiment, 1883, Vol. LXII, fol. 145.
HART, SIR ISRAEL, of Ashleigh, Knighton, co. Leic., 1896, Vol. LXIX, fol. 40
HART, SIR ROBERT K.C.M.G (4/17/1882), G.C.M.G (5/24/1889) BART. (1893), Vol. LXVII, fol. 221; Supporters, Vol. 247
HART, S.H., of Hillingdon House, Sutton, co. Surrey, 1890, Vol. LXV, fol. 217
Carole Hart (1943-2018), American two-time Emmy Award-winning writer and television producer, known for her work with Sesame Street and for For the Next 7 Generations (2009), Hot Hero Sandwich (1979) and NBC Special Treat (1975)
Grantzberg Vernon Hart “Grant” Hart (1961-2017), American musician, drummer and co-songwriter for the band Hüsker Dü
Smith Stewart Hart (1948-2017), American-Canadian professional wrestler and a member of the Hart wrestling family
James “Jim” Ray Hart (1941-2016), American Major League Baseball third baseman who played for the San Francisco Giants and the New York Yankees from 1963 to 1974
Al Hart (1927-2016), American radio broadcaster, inducted into the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame in 2006
Jane Briggs “Janey” Hart (1921-2015), American aviator and widow of the late Senator Philip A. Hart, one of only 13 women (the Mercury 13) to qualify as a NASA astronaut
Brigadier-General William Lee Hart (1881-1957), American Surgeon 4th Corps Area (1940)
Lieutenant-General Charles Edward Hart (1900-1991), American Commanding General Army Air Defense Command (1957-1960)
Terry Jonathan Hart (b. 1946), former NASA Astronaut with 168 hours in space
Wilbert Hart (b. 1947), American soul singer and writer who with his brother William formed “The Delfonics”, the famous Philadelphia soul singing group, popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s