Hourie Family in Scotland

The Scottish Horries and Houries (Hauries, Howries) bear a similar name to the Swiss Hauris, but a relationship is unlikely. The Scottish family apparently takes its name from a farm named Horrie in the Toab district of St. Andrews parish on Orkney Mainland. The farm was part of the earldom estate. It appears in records between 1510 and 1560, when there was a dispute over its ownership.

“Hourie, Horrie. Clouston suggests that this Orcadian name is possibly a corruption of Thoreson, since the Norse th frequently becomes h in Orkney (Clouston, p. 34). Hourston, Horraldshay, Hurtisco, etc., are spelled with Th in the early records. There is, however, a place name Hurre or Horrie in the parish of St. Andrews from which the name may have come. Gawane Herre or Hurre is in record in the parish of St. Andrews, 1519. In 1568 Iggagartht (i.e. Ingagarth) Hurrie, daughter of Adam Hurry and lawful heir to John Hurry, sold half the place of Hurry [Horrie] to James Irrewing [Irving] of Sabay (REO., p. 126). In the Shetland rental of 1715 A. Horrie accounts for the skatt of 2 merks land in Sandwick, Unst (Old Lore Misc., VII, p. 59-60). Magnus Horrie, a native of Shetland, and once one of the clerks of the Exchequer in Edinburgh, became a resident of Algiers and by 1766 was described as being “so high in favor and confidence with the Dey of that place that he made him one of his principal secretaries” (Old Lore Misc., VII, p. 11-12). Gawane Herre (Hurre), of great age, was resident in the parish of St. Andrews, Orkney (OSR., I, p. 63). George Hourie was tenant of Nistaben, Firth, Orkney, c. 1850.” (George F. Black, The Surnames of Scotland (New York Public Library 1946))

There was an Andrew Howry in colonial Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Pennsylvania Militia at Chester, Pennsylvania on 10 May 1758 as a recruit in Capt. Paul Jackson’s Company. His birthplace was listed as Ireland, his occupation as weaver, and his height as 5 feet 8 inches. A military roll dated 29 May 1758 lists him as deceased at the age of 22 (Pennsylvania Archives, Series 5, Vol. 1, pp. 168, 171). Annella A. McCallum, Orkney Roots Research, notes that there is an Ireland in the parish of Stenness, Orkney. She adds that Jacob and Ursula are common names in some Orkney families in the 18th century (Personal Communication, 19 June 1990). So, it seems likely that the Andrew Howry who was a contemporary of Hans, Ulrich and Jacob Howry in Pennsylvania belonged to an Orcadian family.

John Horrie (36), a farmer, his wife Jean (34), and children William (14) and Jean (12) emigrated from Stenness, Orkney, to Savannah, Georgia on the Marlborough, September 1774.

A John Hourie from Saint Ola or Scapa in Orkney came to America in 1800 as a worker for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

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