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Some Paternal Ancestors of Edwin Brown (“Big Doc”) KUGLER Sr


Your Harned ancestors have been traced to an Edward Harnett, (1566–1637) who lived on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, England. His descendants (mostly named Edward, seemingly) migrated first to Massachusetts Bay Colony, then to Long Island, and finally to the Province of New Jersey, where, about 1745, Rebecca Harned married William Rittenhouse. From New Jersey, later Harneds—siblings and cousins of Rebecca Harned—moved to Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Canada, and many other areas. In England the Harnets attended Anglican churches, or at least had their baptisms, marriages, and burials there, but those who came to the New World became Quakers, perhaps even before they left England. Later, some members of the Harned family began to leave the Quaker religion during and immediately following the Revolutionary War. Many became Baptists or Methodists.

My surname dictionary2 implies that Harnett, the original spelling of the name, is the diminutive of Arnald, “the ruling eagle”. Irish linguistic researcher Edward Mac Lysaght contends that the surnames O’Hartnedy/O’Hartnett/ Harnet have a long history in Ireland. Today, Harnets/Harnetts/Hartnetts are found in Counties Cork, Kerry and Limerick. It is also possible that Harnett was preceded by the French name Arnet/Arnett.3 If the name came to England from Ireland, it is interesting that it made it to eastern County Kent, which is about as far from Ireland as you can get in England.

In 1682, your ancestor Jonathan Harnett apparently decided to start spelling his name “Harned”4, and that is how it has been spelled ever since by most descendants. In some branches, however, the name has morphed to “Harnit”, “Hornet”, or “Horned”, or even back to “Harnet” or “Harnett”.

Migrations of Harned ancestors, 1637–1735 Map by Jon K Shidler.

Rebecca HARNED (c1728–1790)

Edward HARNED Sr (1700–1774)


Jonathan HARNETT/HARNED “Sr” (1650–1714)

Huntington Town

Count Rumford

Edward M HARNETT Jr (1618–1700)

Jonathan and Eunice PORTER

The Isle of Thanet

Edward M HARNETT Sr (c1598–1658)

Edward HARNETT (1566–1637)

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1 The following websites were especially useful in learning about your Harned ancestors—Harned and Harned (ws), and Harnett (ws); I also consulted these RootsWeb WorldConnect databases—Rochelle (RW db) and Sharp (RW db).

2 Smith, E (1988).

3 Harned and Harned (ws), “In Ireland”.

4 Harned and Harned (ws), “In America”.

Background pattern from Absolute Background Textures .