Origin of the Harding name and the Hardinger
Hello, I am Steve Harding, a Harding from Wirral in north-west England: welcome to my Harding page, I hope you like it! Harding is a Germanic or Anglo-Scandinavian name, and is still used in Norway today for people who come from the Hardanger fjord area, and their dialect is Hardingmål. The name is also used in Norway and Sweden (as Hårding - pronounced as "Hawding" - or Hardingz) to represent a "Tough Guy". A cross-country skier would for example be a Harding
THE HARDINGER OF HARDANGER
Click the picture to see this clip of Erling Skjalgsson address the Hardinger at a meeting of the Thing assembly. From the 2005 Rygekongen Festival, Hafrsfjord, 2005.
... after which they managed to get to the prison tower & switched the king with an old man dressed like the king. Then they set sail & made their escape but with the black side of the ship facing the shore...
The English did not recognize them as the invaders as they were looking for a white ship. The saga ends with King Harding returning safely to Kinsarvik, Hardanger. See also the Kinsarvik page.
Kinsarvik, (with promotional video for Hardangertun) and the excellent Harding Motell/ Hyttetun sounds like a great place of pilgrimage for the Harding clan. And for footie fans there is even a Harding Soccer Team, where? .. you've guessed it, in Kinsarvik! i vakre Hardanger… in beautiful Hardanger: Heia Harding! And there are some connections with another Scandinavian group - the Normans: the following web-site in France http://hagdik.fr/prenoms-normands/says: HARDING (anglo-scandinave) : celui qui est dur, solide, fort - attest en Normandie dans le nom de lieu Hardinvast.
The Harding fiddle (Harding fele or Hardanger Fiddle) has been said to be "almost as famous as Stave Churches and Viking Ships", and one of its famous exponents was Hallvard T Bjørgum. Hear this traditional Norwegian Waltz Finn Jenta.
Hardingmål is a dialect of Norwegian still spoken in Hardanger/ Hordaland. F.ex. dai is used instead of de or du (you), fann is used instead of fant (found), ikkje instead of ikke (not): dai fann ikkje sild: you didn’t find any herring?
So the Heardingas named the hero.
Hear this reciting of the poem in old and modern English
…and if you’ re really interested, hear Julian Glover
(introduction by Sir Ralph Richardson) with his superb reading
In Icelandic literature they are the "Haddings" and their legendary leader Hadding is protected by both Thor and Odin: see part 24 and onwards of from Viktor Rydberg's TEUTONIC MYTHOLOGY
HARDING AS A SURNAME
It has to be remembered that patrilineal surnames did not come into common use in the British Isles until the 14th Century. Here is a record of the escapades of one the earliest recorded Hardings Thomas Harding from Wirral from 1353:
Hardings in Wirral: Extract from "Calendar of Cheshire Trailbaston Proceedings 1353" ed. P. Booth in
Henry Cherleton v. Robert Poole and Thomas Harding. Henry Cherleton complained that Robert Poole and Thomas Harding killed his dog at Great Neston, Wirral on Friday 1st Feb 1348 & broke his hedges. They denied guilt. Jury verdict - Not guilty.
Although the name Harding clearly has Germanic roots, despite some claims to the contrary it is impossible to properly trace surname lineages from these areas into the British Isles since the patrilineal system of surnames came well after the Anglo Saxon and Viking Age invasions and colonisations. Its use as a proper surname in the British Isles possibly evolved in England from a description of someone coming from these groups of people or possibly from Anglo-Scandinavian communities using the expression to describe a particular tough guy in a village or region. Ultimately when in these various communities patrilineal surnames did eventually emerge, one particular Harding passed his name to his sons and daughters and so on. In Scandinavia this never happened because the use of patrilineal surnames is quite recent, and in the case of Iceland they still use the son of and daughter of system of surnames.
AT LEAST 3-4 LINEAGES IN THE BRITISH ISLES
There may well have been a number of these tough guys around starting different lineages when paternal surnames came into being. We can get an idea of this from the 1891 Census and maps showing the distribution of people with the surname Harding. There appear to be 3 separate main cores in England: I: Northern England (focusing on Yorkshire-Lancashire); II: Southern England; III: South-West England and an additional smaller core (IV) in Eastern Scotland
Adapted from the 1891 census and Ancestry.com
The rose of Peder (Petrus) Harding, 13th century hero of Gotland
The site is maintained by Stephen Harding