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About the study

The Haresceugh One-Name study began in 1981, when I found it was the maiden surname of my mother's paternal grandmother. I collected the census entries (manually at that time) and found that it lead to Cumberland. Contructing the family tree showed that all modern holders of the name are descended from two brothers who moved from Cumberland to Manchester in the 1830s.

The name was registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies in 2006.

Variant names

The registered variants are Hairskeugh and Harescough, but any combination of Hare/Hair - s/es - ceugh/cough/kew/keugh/kugh are likely to be connected.

Name origin

Haresceugh is probably connected to the earthwork 'Haresceugh Castle' which sits on the Pennines above Kirkoswald. There are 2 places 'Haresceugh' and 'Nether Haresceugh' nearby.

However the earliest recorded parish register entry is 1673 in Penrith - baptism of Thomas, son of Thomas Hairskew and Hellen.

Historical occurrences of the name

With such a rare surname (see below for frequency), I have not found any famous holders of the surname, but there are two who have interesting lives.

Richard Haresceugh was baptised in 1735 in Carlisle to Thomas and Grace (nee Sewell). He married Mary Sewell in 1760 at St Botolph Bishopgate in London. He was the subject of letters between the Duke of Portland and Richard Bagot (of the Excise Office) in 1770, with the latter endeavouring to find a position for Richard, which he does. Richard becomes an Excise Office in the 4th Division Candles (when Candles and Soap were taxed) and he appears in the Excise Records (now at TNA), mainly die to periods of absence due to sickness, until he dies in 1789. His last entry in the Excise Records records his death and the promotions of other people to fill the vacancies.

Joseph Haresceugh was born in Hadfield in Derbyshire in 1812 and baptised in 1821 in Wigton in Cumberland. His parents, Isaac and Ann (nee Sowerby) had been married in Carlisle in 1803. In 1835, Joseph married Maria Scott in Manchester. He baptised 4 children in Manchester - he was a joiner - then 5 children in Kirkstall, Leeds where he was a schoolmaster, first at the Infant School, Kirkstall, then the National School, Headingley. He became the first Master at Adel Reformatory, Leeds in 1857, but by the time Maria died in 1864 he was the Manager of Sanitary Works. He remarried in 1866 in Manchester to Sarah Scott, who appears to be Maria's sister, but they lived in Armley, Leeds. In 1881 they were living in Rochdale, where Joseph died in 1883.

Name frequency

From the index of the 1881 census produced by the Church of Latter Day Saints, there were 2 Haresceughs, 19 Harescoughs and 1 Hareseugh in that census.

In the 1980s there were 7 families in all the Phone books.

According to an ONS database there are some 19 Haresceughs as of September 2002, which ranks it as joint 93697th.

Distribution of the name

In the 1881 census 17 of the people are in Lancashire; 4 in Yorkshire and 1 in Northumberland, though he was a Commercial Traveller with his wife in Lancashire.


All of the Haresceugh entries from the General Register Offices for England & Wales (1837 - 1955; 1983 - 2003) and Scotland (none) have been recorded (163 entries).

Wills since 1858 in England and Wales are being collected

All census entries have been found, except for Joseph and his family in the 1841, where his street appears to have been missed and for Joseph Scott Haresceugh, Joseph's youngest son, who disappears after the 1881 census and whose death has not yet been found either.

All entries in the IGI and transcribed by others have been checked.