Extracts from previous Newsletters.

Issue 9 - January 1989

HARDES News from Australia

The ancestor of Chart 83 was the first Hards/Hardes that we have discovered to have emigrated to Australia. His descendant, Mrs Joy Mullen writes:

Those of us researching the Hardes Family here in Australia have discovered that everyone (known) to us by name of Hardes here in Australia is directly related! We can all be traced back to Thomas Hardes who arrived a batchelor in Sydney in 1823 as a seaman on the whale ship " Sisters". We believe he originally came from Kent in England and was born in 1793. In Sydney, in 1830 he married a widow, Ann Buxton ( nee Hence). Sadly though, that is where our British research ends as we do not know exactly where in Kent Thomas originated from.

Those of us here in Australia have always spelt our name with an "E" in HARDES, but we are not even sure that we originally had one as Thomas could neither read nor write and would not have known if his name was spelt corrctly or not. So if any of you HARDES or HARDS folk in Kent have a missing Thoams in your family, please do contact us. Most of the dscendants of Thomas and Ann Hardes are still living in the Hunter Valley Region near Newcastle where Thomas settled after leaving Sydney.

Joy (Hardes) Mullen.


The Vessel " Sisters" that Joy mentions, first arrived in Sydney from London and Plymouth on July 3, 1823 in charge of Capt. Robert Duke. She had a general cargo, i.e. she was no an emigrant ship, and Thomas Hardes is listed among the crew in the ship's Muster. The "Sister" then entered the whaling industry, sailing in late August 1823. It is not clear wether Thomas was a sailor on board the ship or wether he had just worked his passage to Sydney. In the 1828 census for Sydney he is listed as a bricklayer.

Thomas and Ann had eight children, four boys and four girls born between 1833 and 1851. In 1847 the family moved from Sydney to Dempsey Island, close to the mouth of the Hunter River at Newcastle, where Thomas farmed. The area is now an industrial estate known as Kooragang.

Three of Thomas and Ann's boys went on to have 35 children, and Joy tells me that there were over 200 of their descendants at the last reunion the family held!

Joanna Hards


Extracts from previous Newsletters.

Issue 19 - January 1994


Last year in HFN 17 we printed a letter from Robert Hard of Fenton in Michigan about a possible Viking origin of his family name; the theme was taken up by Iona Hards of Munich in our last issue. A glance at our Population Census extracts reveals that some 15% of the people listed are named HARD, all on Sussex, mainly the western side, as compared with the more numerous HARDS and the occasional HARDES and HARDESS. It seems reasonable to suppose that none of these surnames was always rigidly adhered to in past centuries, and that the final S (like a penultimate E) might have been carelessly dropped or added from time to time when the name was spoken or written. However, today HARD and HARDS each has a distinct identity, and although it seems plausible to suppose the names have the same origin, it has yet to established.


Robert sent me details of a Hard Family Reunion that had been held in June 1992 at The Hard Family Log House in Green Leaf Park at Medina, Ohio, where, the press reported over a hundred descendants of the family who built the log house gathered together. Ranging in age from three months to those in their late eighties, members of the family came from California, Arizona, Louisiana, South Carolina, Texas, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and from Columbus and Dayton, as well as the northeast section of Ohio. Two interesting side notes – one couple celebrated their forty-seventh wedding anniversary by attending the reunion; and for the first time since the Civil War families from the South joined their northern relatives in a day that will long be remembered by all. A separate sheet explained that the log house was believed to have been originally built about 1820 by Abraham Hard 2nd at Wandsworth Township, Ohio. It had recently been moved to its new site at Medina, and restored. Robert himself is a direct descendant of Abraham Hard, as he explained in his letter inHFN 17. He adds: I suspect that the Hards were followers of Hardrada and drew their last name from that association. When we were in Norway we took a ferryboat across a fjord called “Hardsanger”, which may also be an association. There is a Hards family here in Livingstone County where we live. He was the County Sheriff here…. We are collecting material for a book on the family. We are very interested in a possible link-up between the HARDS and the HARD families. The St Olave’s connection looks like the best bet. St Olave’s Church, In Hart Street, in the city of London is supposed to have been originally established by and for the various Scandiavians who settled in this country during the tenth and eleventh centuries. Robert believes there may be some evidence of family names available through that church. We have made enquiries, but have nothing to report yet.