The Harned family is truly representative of many early families which emmigrated to the American Colonies. Since 1637 the growth of the Harned family has been tightly interwoven with the fabric of our developing nation and culture. All members of this family can point with pride to the way that family members have played a part in the shaping of American customs and traditions, and have participated by design or chance in pages of American history. Generation after generation chose to better their condition by migration and settlement, or by education, or by creative accomplishment. The old rhyme of butcher, baker, and candlestick maker certainly applies to this family. Although we haven't found a professional candlestick maker (most households of the 17th and 18th centuries made their own candles), they have contributed to American society through a fascinating variety of occupations.
While most of us have worked at fairly common occupations, we will try to give an historical perspective on the family, and identify just a few members who illustrate dramatic historical changes in our society. The numbers in square brackets following certain names refer to numbers assigned by Arthur Keith in his first article on the Harned family.
The early 1600's was a period when many in Europe and the British Isles were seeking an escape from economic and religious hardship. Edward Harnett  embarked from Kent Co, England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1637 to better his fortunes. The New England Coast at that time was only lightly settled with Europeans. Although a tailor by trade, he had to indenture himself to Joseph Batchelor as a servant in order to finance his trip to the New World. By 1639 he was already seeing his fortunes improve when he was able to obtain a grant of land in Salem. Of course most things come with a price, and the Puritans kept a tight reign on the life of everyone in Salem. One requirement was to attend services at First Church, so when Edward and his close associates became identified with the Quaker (Friends Church) movement and didn't attend services, they were fined and threatened with banishment from the town. Taking the hint, the Harnetts along with their relatives and other Quaker adherents, removed in 1657/8 across Long Island Sound to the newly developing town of Huntington, Long Island.
During the early 17th century, Long Island was the wilderness home of 13 tribes of indians, the largest of which were the Montauks. Much of the island was brush or lightly forested, with running streams, and surrounded by a coast line cut by numerous bays and inlets. To cut a town and farms from this wilderness, the Huntington Town government had to negotiate with Wyandance, the grand satchem of the Montauks to purchase tracts of land. Land bartered from the indians was then divided and granted to town residents. Huntington was incorporated by Gov. Nicoll in 1666 by a patent which was signed by Jonathan Harnett and five other residents.
Jonathan Harnett/Harned , son of Edward (1), was a cordwainer (shoemaker) at Huntington, and over a period of 40 years owned several parcels of land, including a low area called "Harnett's Hollow". In the early years of European settlement, there was a cooperative relationship between the indians and settlers. Many Huntington town records show that the town distributed stores of grain to the tribes during hard times. That Jonathan had close association with the indians is shown by the reference on 14 Apr 1702 to Will Harnet, who was listed along with other indians selling land in an indian deed to the trustees of the Town of Huntington.
The soil of Long Island was not known for its fertility, so those with the desire to do productive farming began looking westward. In the late 1600 and early 1700's the West included New Jersey, where one of the major figures was William Penn, a quaker with large land holdings. He had opened several tracts of land in New Jersey and Pennsylvania for settlement. Jonathan's three sons, Jonathan , Nathaniel , and Edward  removed from Long Island to Middlesex Co, New Jersey, where farmland was much more fertile, and they were members of a large Quaker community. The Plainfield Meeting House, where many Harneds worshipped during the 1700's, is still in use with its original pews. By the time rumblings of independence from England began, the Harneds of Woodbridge and Plainfield had sizeable farms and a stable life.
With the Revolutionary War came upheaval on a massive scale, as emotions ran high for both British Loyalists (Tories) and Colonial Patriots (Rebels). The conflict split many families, and the Harneds were no exception. In addition, as Quakers who were pacifists, the Harneds had to confront a conflict of conscience. Even Quakers attempted to assist one side or the other of the conflict by working as carpenters to build troop barracks, or by providing food and shelter to weary troops. As the War progressed, sides were taken, communication between generations was broken, children were disowned, and religions were changed. By the end of the conflict, the Woodbridge, New Jersey lands of Nathaniel Harned's sons Nathaniel  and John  had been confiscated.
Loyalist members of both families left New York to join 40,000 British troops in New Brunswick, Canada, and establish the Canadian branch of the Harned family. Euphemia, wife of Nathaniel, petitioned the British Government for a land grant stating "...the Petitioner was obliged to take refuge in New York with several hundreds of others, His Majesty's Loyalists; where she remainded until the evacuation there of by the Royal Army; and the Petitioner embarqued to this country with several other Loyalists, and arrived at this place about the month of June in the year 1783, with the third debarcation of Loyalists." Her son Allward, a carpenter and brick layer built many houses in Fredericton including Government House.
Some of the children of John  were patriots, including Jonathan , who served in the Continental Army, was captured by the British and sent to Jamaica where he learned the tailor trade. He later returned to New York City where he became a wealthy clothier. Reuben  left New Jersey, returning to Long Island in poverty. Nathan  and his family became Methodists, while other children became Baptists. Nathaniel's son Josiah  was said to have served as a spy under Gen. Greene. Edward's children fared somewhat better. Jonathan , Rebecca , and Edward  removed to Pennsylvania prior to the war. Jonathan later moved on to Kentucky, where he became the progenitor of the Kentucky branch of the Harned family. Edward, Jr. settled in western Virginia, where his descendents still live today. Benjamin  had his property confiscated for his Tory activities.
These relocations into Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky during the 1700's were the first of a tide of migration westward, as each generation saw new lands being opened farther west for settlement. As Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois were opened in the early 1800's, Harned families from New Jersey and Pennsylvania sought out desirable farm land or new towns. Missouri and Arkansas drew Harneds down the rivers from Pennsylvania and Kentucky. The first Harned settled in Ohio by 1801 and along with others signed a petition to the Federal Government complaining that lands should be awarded directly to settlers, rather than in large parcels to middlemen who reaped huge profits when reselling land to settlers.
In 1814 William Harned , his second wife Margaret, and their children removed from Virginia to Indiana to begin homesteading. Indiana was a wilderness which required unusual commitment and fortitude, but they were successful, and their oldest son John Schyrock  later worked with his uncle John to assemble the first written tree of the Harned Family. Three years after settling in Indiana, William presented three wolf scalps to a local Justice of the Peace in order to collect a bounty, and received a Wolf Scalp Certificate.
A couple of other tangible reminders of these migrations remain today as the towns of Harnedsville, PA and Harned, KY. In 1770 eighteen families, including that of Edward Harned  removed from Woodbridge, New Jersey to Turkeyfoot Twp, Somerset Co, PA. Where the settlers crossed the Casselman River, a small village developed on the Harned farm. In 1836 Edward's son Samuel  laid out 53 lots and the village became the town of Harnedsville. During the 1800's in Kentucky, Henry C. Harned, son of John , donated railroad right of way in Breckenridge Co which became Harned Station. As the area developed it became the town of Harned, Kentucky. The railroad station which was the nucleus for the town still stands.
In 1849, news reached across the country that gold had been discovered in California, and the response was immediate. Those seeking quick fortunes headed overland or on sailing ships around Cape Horn to San Francisco and the gold fields, but the outcome was not always what they expected. Several Harneds made the trek, including William Anthony Harned , who left his family in Illinois and headed west. A year later he started back, and was last seen heading up river toward his home in Illinois. Jacob A.M., son of Samuel Harned , left New Jersey for the gold fields and then moved to Los Angeles, where he owned a livery stable. By 1890 he was retired to San Francisco, where he was a member of the Pioneer Association. G.B. Harned of New Jersey was a merchant at Sacramento as early as 1846, and provided the 49ers with supplies.
Clemence Sophia Harned , orphaned at 11 and married to Abraham Lozier at 17, read medicine under her older brother William. She opened a private school for girls which was probably the first in New York City to teach physiology, anatomy and hygiene as part of the curriculum. After her husband's death she determinded to become a physician and graduated an M.D. from Syracuse Medical College in 1853. She practiced in obstetrics, gave free lectures on health and hygiene, and in 1863 founded the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women. She was horrified by the high death rate of babies and their mothers, and pioneered improved prenatal, obstetric care, and surgery for women. She placed herself at the forefront regarding sexual harrassment, when she brought public pressure to bear on the faculty and students of Bellevue Hospital College, forcing them to stop hampering and insulting her female students in their clinical practice. In her position as President of the National Womens Suffrage Association she pushed for equal rights for women. She wrote frequently on public questions, with her paper "Women in Politics" (1883) receiving wide circulation. For more, go to Clemence Sophia Harned Lozier and History of the New York Medical College and Hospital for Women.
Those of the Quaker faith believed strongly in the equality of all people, so many Harneds who had remained in the Friends Church were expressing their anti-slavery attitudes during the 1830's and 40's in the abolitionist movement. Harned family members were central figures in abolitionist activities in Illinois, and in New York City. During the 1850's, Harneds helped support the "Underground Railway" which helped guide escaped slaves to freedom in the North. These activities helped ceate an abolitionist climate in the North leading up to the American Civil War. For more on these activities, see the Quaker page.
The Civil War brought renewed division to the Harned family as it did for many American families. Family members on both sides were committed to causes they were convinced were honorable, and were eager to volunteer to fight in one of the world's most savage and brutal wars, undoubtedly facing off against other family members in the anonymity of battle. We know of more than 50 Harneds who fought in the Union Army and at least 18 in the Army of the Confederacy. Many did not return to their homes, having died of wounds or disease. From Kentucky alone, Henry Harned  lost two sons to the War; William at the Battle of Murphreesboro, and John at the Battle of Shiloh. Wilford Lee Harned, grandson of William , and a Kentucky State Assemblyman during the 1850's, also lost his life at Shiloh. See Harneds in the Civil War for more about our family's involvement in this cataclysmic event. Following the Civil War, many Harneds from rural areas gravitated to cities on the Eastern Seaboard. Often this move was to find jobs in urban factories, but increasingly it was to pursue higher education and establish themselves in professions.
Ranks of the medical and legal professions were swelled with new members such as Thomas Biggs Harned, grandson of John . He became a noted lawyer in Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ. In this capacity he became friends with Walt Whitman, noted poet and author, and in later years acted as executor of Whitman's estate.
Reflecting the new emphasis on higher education, Edward Nathan, grandson of Jonathan Harned , along with his wife Helen Vail, founded Harned Academy at Plainfield, New Jersey in 1889. It was located on land which had been in Helen's family since 1683, and was described as "A Boarding School for Twenty Boys" which gave instruction in mathematics, science, language, history, and music. The aim of the school was "a refined home for boys, with kind but firm discipline, and thorough instruction to prepare them for college or for a career. One student was Clarence Jackson, son of the famed Western photographer of the 1800's, William Henry Jackson.
Another Harned descendent, Virginia Hicks, became an amateur actress as early as 1886, and by age 16 had joined George Clark's Company of actors using the stage name Virginia Harned. After touring the country for two years she made her New York debut on 31 Mar 1890 in the play "A Long Lane, or Green Meadows". She became a nationally famous actress, playing roles in many plays and comedies of the time, and performing in most cities across the country. Virginia, born on 29 May 1867 at Boston, Massachusetts, was the daughter of James J. Hicks, a master of ships and a sub-marine engineer from Virginia. Her mother, Armanella, was born at Nova Scotia, Canada, and was most likely related in some way to the Harned family. Although raised in the South, Virginia attended schools in Boston and in England. During her career she had homes in New York City and Rye, NY. She died on 29 Apr 1946. We have much more about Virginia Harned and her career.
Although rare, the name Harned achieved a certain notoriety in 1909 when author Jack London wrote a short story entitled "The Madness of John Harned". Through the eyes of Manuel de Jusus Patino, he tells of meeting John Harned at the Tivoli Hotel in Lima, Peru, and later attending a bull fight with him in Quito Ecuador. At the bull fight there is a violent confrontation between John, an American, who feels that bull fighting is cruel but prize-fighting is sporting, and local citizens who see prize-fighting as savage but bull-fighting as sporting. It shows how a clash of cultural values can easily lead to violence, even between people who claim to abhor violence. We have been unable to determine whether he based this character on a friend or acquaintance, or whether he simply chose Harned as an unusual name.
As a boy Joseph Edward Harned, son of John , walked three miles each way to his one room schoolhouse in Garrett Co, MD. On the way he became fascinated with the beauty and variety of wild flowers. Although he chose a career in pharmacy, while working on his degree at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science he was fortunate to have a professor who stimulated an interest in medicinal plants, and reawakened his interest in wildflowers. He returned to Oakland, Maryland where he had a thriving pharmacy for half a century. He spent nearly as long studying the wild flowers of the area, ten years of that preparing a manuscript for a book. The result was Dr. Harned's monumental book "Wild Flowers of the Alleghenies", first published in 1931, which in 670 pages describes and illustrates over 1500 flowers, several previously unknown. As a result of his achievement he was elected a member and fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and other professional associations, even though he did not have a PhD. He was subsequently awarded two honorary doctorates.
World War II brought new hardships for all Americans, including the Harned family. Large numbers of family members enlisted and served, and many died. One family member attempted to assure U. S. victory by serving as a team leader on the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon. Herbert Spencer Harned, son of the lawyer Thomas Biggs, received his PhD in chemistry in 1913, and served as a Captain in the Chemical Warfare Service in World War I. He was a chemistry professor at Yale and the University of Pennsylvania prior to working on the Manhattan Project.
Another chemistry professor dedicated his research career to the study of diabetes and the body's use of blood sugar. Dr. Ben King Harned of Kentucky, great grandson of Jonathan , received his PhD in 1929 and was a chemistry professor and then research chemist for Johnson and Johnson Pharmaceuticals.
Since 1637 the Harned family has been been an amazingly complete reflection of our society as a whole. Most of us perform fairly typical roles at home and work, while a smaller number choose a more unusual occupation. During the 17th and 18th centuries a high percentage of the family were farmers, homemakers, fishermen, and mariners. The industrial revolution of the 19th century resulted in a tremendous shift to the cities and away from rural areas, toward industrially based jobs and away from the land and sea. The 20th century with its two World Wars hastened these trends, and today the service and information revolutions are again changing our lifestyles and the type of work we do. Now in the 21st century, we can take pride in the accomplishments of the Harned family of the past, and expect even greater diversity and creativity in the future.