This surname, of Anglo-Saxon origin, is a locational name from any of the various places in Cheshire, Northamptonshire and Suffolk called Hargrave or Hargreave, recorded as "Haregrave" and "Haragrau" respectively in the Domesday Book of 1086. The placenames are derived from either the Olde English pre 7th Century "har" meaning grey, or "hara" meaning hare, plus the element "graf, grove" or "graefe", meaning a thicket. The suffix "s" denotes "of that place". Locational surnames were developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. The surname dates back to the late 12th Century (see below), and in the modern idiom it can be found recorded as Hargrever, Hargreaves and Hargrove. Recordings from London Church Registers include: the marriage of John Hargraves and Florence Collicot on November 16th 1634, at St. Stephan's, Coleman Street, and the christening of Elizabeth Hargraves on March 22nd 1642, at St. Andrew's, Holborn. A Coat of Arms granted to a Hargraves family in Lancaster is divided quarterly gold and green on an ermine fesse between three stags' heads courant counterchanged a red fret. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Haregrave, which was dated 1188 in the "Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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