This unusual name is topographic and derives from the Olde English "haer" meaning "stony" and "fleot" or "flfot". The latter being, Viking (Norse) and translating as a stream or inlet. If such a place existed as a named area rather than simply being a name developed from "one who lived by a stony stream". This location is now lost. The Coat of Arms was Blue, charged with three golden Escallopes (the sign of the Pilgrim to the Holy Land), and the name development has included Harfleet, Hartfleet and Harflete, Elizabeth Harfleet being recorded in London in 1692.The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Henry Harflete (Barrister). which was dated in 1653, at Grays Inn, London. during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, known as the Lord Protector, 1649 - 1658. 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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