This interesting name, with variant spellings Harlowe, Harlow and Arlow, is of English locational origin from any of the various places thus called. One in the West Riding of Yorkshire gets it's name from the old English "hoer", rock or pile of stones, plus "hlaw", a hill. Harlow in Essex and Northumberland, recorded respectively as Herlawe circa 1043, (Anglo-Saxon Wills), and as Hirlawe in the 1242 "Fine Court Rolls of Northumberland" have as their first element the Old English pre 7th Century "here", an army or host, plus "hlaw", hence, "the mound of the people". The reference here is probably to an ancient meeting place of the hundred. One, Richard de Herlawe was recorded in the 1273 "Hundred Rolls of Essex", and a Walter de Harlow in the 1327 "Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire". Anthony Harlow registered on a list of the living in Virginia on February 16th 1623 was an early settler in the New World. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Osbern de Herlaye, which was dated circa 1121, in the "Feudal Documents of Bury St. Edmunds", Suffolk, during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. 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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