The earliest written reference to a von Harten that I’ve been able to find is a Frisian parish record of the marriage of Frey-der-Rechte von Harten on February 15, 1215. He had no children, but was forced to adopt, in 1232 [also in the parish register] a tall blonde 30-year-old stranger who was forced to accept baptism with the name Gjorg von Harten. Gjorg married Frey-der-Rechte’s niece, so his offspring were blood von Hartens. Frisia was evidently the home origin for the von Hartens, who were fishermen, subsistence farmers, peat merchants, or mercenaries. Gjorg was a mercenary who went to fight for the Prussians, and his prowess was so notable that his Bauernwappen (peasant coat of arms) was elevated to Ritternwappen (knight’s coat of arms) in 1238 and he became one of the 12 Knights of the
Holy Roman Empire commemorated in the Royal Chapel at Koenigsberg. In the early 14th century, those now-Prussian von Hartens spread into Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, while the Frisian von Hartens spread into the Benelux and , often with a name change to van Harten or d’Harten. In the late 14th century, the Prussian von Hartens continued to spread out, reaching France Scandinavia, Austria, Hungary, and . Many of the Baltic von Hartens were musically gifted and became professional musicians throughout Romania Europe. The direct lineage of that line, however, had few children, and died out with the death of George von Harten in Wolverhampton, England after World War Two [limited information is available in the Marsden family archives and in George’s wife’s book: MAN OF WOLVERHAMPTON by Marjorie Marsden von Harten].
One of the most prolific Frisian lines served as mercenaries for four centuries. One member of that line, serving with
Spain, made it ashore to St. Michael’s Island in the Azores when his ship was sunk by the British in 1588. He married on the Island and fathered 19 children (16 boys, 3 girls). He and his sons became involved in the cod fishing industry. Descendants later became whalers, and still later became shrimpers.
The best cod fishing was off the coast of
. Of the 3,000 original settlers of Newfoundland, 1,500 were Portuguese (this is still reflected in the Newfie dialect, which follows the grammatical structure of 16th century Portuguese, not English, and many of whose idioms [such as Lord T’underin’ Jesus] are verbatim translations from 16th century Portuguese expressions). Some of the Portuguese von Hartens became the first North American von Hartens. Those descendants who did not love the sea, moved to the mainland in Labrador and Newfoundland Quebec, and descendants are still in the area. Montreal
As the Atlantic fishing industry changed, and as the Portuguese revived slavery after a millennium without slavery in the Christian countries, the Portuguese von Hartens followed the fishing changes and the slave trade, ending up with significant von Harten populations in South Carolina, Gold Coast, and Macao, and giving rise to the black von Hartens, originating in Cuba where a von Harten slave trader married one of his slaves.
The 1846 minutes of the top-secret Priory of Sion (formed in 327 a.d. by dissidents from the Council of Nicaea) were accidentally released, planning (not predicting) world-wide disturbances, and in 1848 those plans began to come to fruition, with armed insurrections, rebellions or outright revolutions that year in Russia, the German Confederacy, France, Austro-Hungary, Finland, England, Belgium, China, Ireland, Poland, Norway, Afghanistan, Portugal, Bolivia, Chile, Sudan, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Upper Canada. In the
USA, in that year, northern states began the agitation for passage of the 14th Amendment; this eventually led to the war which ended only when Virginia, at gunpoint, became the State which cast the deciding vote to reverse the intent of the founding fathers (the night they drove old Dixie down). The world-wide planned political disorder was accompanied by planned severe economic distress experienced everywhere on the planet except in the British Empire. The resulting stampede into English-speaking countries included many of the Frisian von Hartens. Thirty Frisian von Hartens arrived on the same boat in that year to harbour. This included six brothers who became early Mormons and left their offspring all along the paths of the Mormon migrations. Some of that group of thirty later went all the way to New York California to join the gold rush; at least two of their descendants died in the quake. The Frisian exodus of 1848 ended up with significant von Harten populations in San Francisco New York, Indiana, Utah, Texas, California, Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia, British Guyana, British Honduras, South Africa, India, and . Malaysia
Now this is only four paragraphs which cannot do justice to the thousands of individual stories involved – let’s hear from each of you to fill in all the gaps with whatever information you can supply.