The English distribution of this surname is largely confined to the Midlands counties of Worcestershire and Staffordshire and appears to have origins in the Bromsgrove area of Worcestershire.
The Dictionary of British Surnames (Reaney) states that the name is probably derived from the Old French herberge meaning hostel or shelter.
Among the earliest recorded usages of the name are:
Edric le Herbergor - 1184 Pipe Rolls of Worcestershire
Ricardo de Hodebache - 1280 Lay Subsidy Roll, Manor of Bromsgrove & Norton
Modern useage of the name has many variants including Harbage, Herbage and Harbidge.
Today, based on local telephone directory listings, the surname occurs in less than 2 in 10,000 entries in England but 23 in 10,000 entries in the Black Country area of the Midlands.
I have so far traced my own branch of the family to John HARBACH who married Hannah TAYLOR in Bromsgrove in 1754 down through Henry HARBACH (b. Bromsgrove 1826) who moved to Willenhall, Staffordshire in the 1840s where the family have remained.
In the process, I have amassed a large amount of one name study data which I will be happy to search for anyone interested in the name. This includes:
If you would like more information please e-mail me at the address on my home page.
Return to Home Page.