My Harrar line starts with Mary Adele Harrar (1879-1968) and intersects with my Furst line with Mary’s marriage to James Chamberlin Furst on April 30, 1913, in Williamsport, Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. Mary was the daughter of Ellwood Scott Harrar and Elizabeth Rebecca Aitken.

Harrar Family Portrait

Harrar Family Portrait ca. 1920. L-R, back row: Lillian A. Harrar, Edwin H. Stulb, Mabel Harrar, James C. Furst, Florence H. Harrar, Emilie Harrar. Front row: William H. Harrar, James Aitken Harrar, Elizabeth H. Stulb, Austin Furst, Elizabeth R. Aitken Harrar, Eleanor Harrar Stulb, Nancy Pierson Harrar, Ellwood Harrar Furst, Mary Adele Harrar Furst.

About the Name

My known Harrar ancestors emigrated from Germany, but there seems to be some evidence that the name is English in origin.

For many years Daniel Harrar (1756-1846), my great-great-grandfather, was the earliest Harrar that could be located. He and his wife Lydia lie buried in the Montgomery Baptist churchyard at Colmar, PA. It was natural to conclude that the name was Welsh, inasmuch as the entire congregation of this little church at that time were Welsh Baptists. However, nine postmasters in Wales, as well as the Royal Genealogical Society in London, denied that the name was Welsh.

A suggestion that the name might be of German origin was the discovery of a German-Lutheran Gesang-Buch, published in Germantown at an unknown date, and at present in the possession of Francis Diament of Devon. On the fly-leaves of this hymnal, written in faded ink, are the names and dates of birth of seven of Daniel and Lydia’s reputed nine sons. For the most part they are fairly legible, though the paper is torn and some fragments are missing. The list on one page is spelled “Harrar”, on the other “Harar”. This book may have belonged to Daniel and he may have been the German-Lutheran. Grace Florence Harrar, daughter of Theodore Morgan Harrar, writes:

“My father seemed to know that there were Harrar families living in Germany about 1560, but he always said they were in England at an earlier date and declared he was of English descent. I do not believe he had any records to prove this. It was only family tradition, but he was very positive about it.”

Further research has revealed that the name Harrar appears in English parish registers as early as 1539. Following is the list of the Eling Parish, Hampshire, England, marriage registers, 1539-1579, as compiled by the Utah Genealogical Society, for its possible value in connection with this record.

  • Thomas Harrar m. Alice Payne June 8, 1539
  • John Harrar m. Anis Lome July 2, 1541
  • Thomas Redde m. Elizabeth Harrar February 8, 1551-2
  • John Harrar m. Elizabeth Wilmott November 4, 1563
  • Richard Perrem m. Frances Harrar November 14, 1563
  • John Pillmoth m. Isabell Harrar July 16, 1565
  • Lawrence Lacy m. Frances Harrar September 23, 1565
  • William Lynch m. Alice Horar October 18, 1568
  • Robert Harrar m. Ellen Waller November 2, 1569
  • John Harrar m. Christian Trace September 7, 1571
  • Richard Harrar m. Alice Flory February 3, 1565
  • Robert Horar m. Joane Hinbest October 18, 1579
  • William Hourar m. Katherine Soter October 5, 1573
  • William Rosse m. Alice Harrar January 21, 1573-4
  • John Coke m. Idith Harrar January 16, 1585-6

In the year 1616, a book was published in London called “The Foure Brothers” written by Thomas Harrar. They only known copy is in the Bodlean Library at Oxford.

Among owners of cattle in Bucks County, PA, in 1684, appears the name Joseph Harrar. The names Harrah, Harrow, Harrer and Harer appear not infrequently in American city directories. In the early Pennsylvania tax lists our ancestors are variously recorded as Harrow, Harrah, and Harrar.

(From “Harrar Genealogy: The John Harrar Family of Pennsylvania” by James Aitken Harrar, M.D., 1945.)

My Line

John Harrar (bet. 1725 and 1730-1799) m. unknown
…Daniel Harrar (1756-1846) m. Lydia Tomlinson (1755-1818)
……John Harrar (1778-1810) m. Ann Snodgrass (1774-1834) in 1802
………James Snodgrass Harrar (1805-1882) m. Lavina Aaron Jenkins (1808-1848)
…………Ellwood Scott Harrar (1840-1907) m. Elizabeth Rebecca Aitken (1852-1925) in 1876
……………Mary Adele Harrar (1879-1968) m. James Chamberlin Furst (1882-1967)



“Harrar Genealogy: The John Harrar Family of Pennsylvania” by James Aitken Harrar, M.D., 1945. (Download pdf file.)