The English surname Hargraves is an habitational name from any of a number of places called Hargrave or Hargreave, of which there are examples in Cheshire, Northamptonshire, and Suffolk; all are named with Old English har ‘gray’ or hara ‘hare’ + graf ‘grove’ or græfe ‘thicket’. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Geoffrey de Haregrave. This was dated 1188 in the Pipe Rolls of Derbyshire. The first reference in the New World was in 1654 when Peter Hargrove arrived in Virginia from England. Today there are approximately 3,500 bearers of the name Hargraves living in the United States.
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