surname, attested from c. 1400 (Harrys), from "Harry," the popular pronunciation of Henry. As a type of tweed (1892), it is from the name of the southern section of the island of Lewis with Harris in the Outer Hebrides; originally it referred to fabric produced by the inhabitants there, later a proprietary name. That place name represents Gaelic na-h-earaidh "that which is higher," in comparison to the lower Lewis. Harrisburg, capital of Pennsylvania, is named for ferryman John Harris (1727-1791), son of the original European settler.
updated on October 10, 2017