1600's and 1700's

Although Edward Harnett, Jr is currently identified as the only son of Edward, Sr to emigrate to the Colonies, there are records of other possible family members.

On 6 Apr 1664, one Richard Harnett witnessed a sale of land at Brookhaven, Long Island by the Indians to Richard Smith. Brookhaven was very close to Huntington, so this could have been Jonathan Harnett and the name was recorded incorrectly in the public record.

On 1 Mar 1758, one Richard Harnet witnessed the will of Peter Jebue of New York, carman, "now bound on a cruise on board the privateer ship St. George, Captain Devoe, commander...". The will was proved 12 Apr, 1759.

There are a number of Harnett family members who appear in records of the Southern Colonies:

Virginia and Maryland

John Harnett - Arrived at the Virginia Colony in 1643, the same year that Edward Harnett, Sr was admitted to First Church at Salem.

Martha Harnett - Arrived at MD in 1675.

Bartholomew Harnett - Arrived as an indentured passenger on the "Caesar" in Jul 1734.

Jonathan Harnett - He served in Capt. Thomas Gaddis' Co from VA in the Revolution, and received three land grants between 16 Dec 1785 and 20 Jan 1788, two on Froman Creek in Nelson Co, and one on Froman Creek in Jefferson Co.

Eneas Harnett - He served from VA in the Revolution.

James Harnet - m: 8 Sep 1778 at MD, Sarah Summerby.

William Harnett - He served from VA in the Revolution, and received a grant of land on Lick Creek in Jefferson Co, VA on 18 Nov 1784.

James Harned - Naturalized with oath of allegiance at Annapolis, MD on 5 Oct 1794.

John Harnett - He witnessed a deed at Richmond Co, VA on 12 Mar 1800.

North Carolina

Jethro Harnett - A member of Captain Baker's Company, Hertford Co Regiment, North Carolina Militia between 1732 and 1774.

Ephraim Harnett - A Revolutionary soldier, his heirs received a grant of 640 acres in North Carolina on 14 Oct 1783.

Cornelius Harnett - b: at IRE; d: 1742; m: Elizabeth -----. He was a merchant at Dublin, IRE, settling in Chowan Co, NC by 1720. In 1722 he sold land on Queen Anne's Creek to Chief Justice Christopher Gale, referring to himself as a planter. on 7 Dec 1725, Harnett and former Governor George Burrington led a riot in Edenton directed against the new Governor and his supporters. Facing criminal charges, Harnett left town, settling in Brunswick, where he opened an inn and operated a ferry across the Cape Fear River. When Burrington returned to power in 1730, he named Harnett to the Governor's Council, but Cornelius soon took issue with several major questions. After repeated abuses by the Governor, he resigned in Oct 1732.

- 2. Cornelius Harnett - b: 20 Apr 1723 near Edenton, Chowan Co, NC; d: 20 Apr 1781 at Wilmington, NC; m: Mary Holt, dau of Martin Holt. He moved with his parents to Brunswick in 1726 and later to Wilmington, becoming a leading merchant, and was appointed justice of the peace for New Hanover Co in Apr 1750. He served as town commissioner several times over a period of eleven years, and was elected to represent Wilmington to the Colonial Assembly in 1754. When the British Parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1765 to raise revenue from the colonies, Harnett became a leader in the resistance in North Carolina. From that resistance came the Sons of Liberty of North Carolina, of which he was chariman.

In 1773 Josiah Quincy, a patriot of Boston, visited with Cornelius Harnett, at his plantation called Maynard (later called Hilton). Quincy referred to Harnett as the "Samuel Adams of the South." On 19 Jul 1775, Governor Martin watched from the British warship Cruiser as a group led by Harnett, John Ashe, and Robert Howe burned Fort Johnson. Harnett was a member of the Second, Third, Fourth, and Provincial Congresses in 1775 and 1776, and served as president of the Fifth Provincial Congress. He served as president of the Provincial Council, thus becoming chief executive of the new government, and was elected to the Continental Congress in 1777. Captured by the British when they occupied Wilmington in Jan 1781, he was imprisoned in an open blockhouse and died from poor health shortly after being paroled. He was buried in St. James's Churchyard at Wilmingon, NC. They apparently had no children.


There are many with the Harnett surname scattered throughout North America, however most are descended from later waves of immigration. Beginning in 1849, the Irish potato famine caused many Harnetts to emigrate to the United States and Canada. Additional Harnetts arrived from England in the late 1800's. Our Harned/Harnett family is very likely related to these family groups in the British Isles prior to the immigration of Edward Harnett in 1637. We intend to continue researching any who have the surnames Harnet and Harnett who came to the New World prior to 1850, as they may more directly relate to Edward of Salem.

Softstuf - Tucson