This is an English locational surname, and one which almost certainly derives either from a "lost" medieval village, or one where the spelling today is sufficiently removed from the original spelling, to disguise any certain association. The derivation is probably from the 7th century Olde English "hearg-waella", and translating as "the heathen temple by the spring". Several existing places fit this description, the most famous and most likely, being Harrow-on-the-Hill, in Middlesex. It is possible that the modern surname originates as a short or slang version of this village name. Over five thousand British Isles surnames originate from now "lost" villages, hamlets, or even single homesteads, and they represent about 7% of the total names list. With this name we have regular church recordings in the Greater London area from the begining of the 17th century. It is possible that there are earlier recordings elsewhere, but if so we have not been able to find them. The London recordings include James Harrowell, the second son of John Harowell, (see below), christened at St Dunstans, Stepney, on September 3rd 1609, whilst a third son Thomas, was christened at the same church in 1612. A later recording is that of Sarah Harrowell, the second "r" having now appeared in the name, and the date being March 11th 1723, at St Botolphs without Aldgate. The first recording is in the reign of James 1st of England and V1 of Scotland. This is that of John Harowell, a witness at the christening of his son Edward, at St Dunstans in the East, Stepney, on March 9th 1607.
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