The Irish surname Hart, also found in England is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó hAirt meaning "descendant of Art," a byname meaning "bear, or hero." The name is also of Germanic origin being a variant spelling of Hardt. One of the earliest settlers in the New World was John Hart, who embarked from the Port of London, aboard the ship "Phillip", bound for Virginia in June 1635. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Aelfric Hort, which was dated circa 1060, in the "Olde English Byname Register", Hampshire. The name is most frequently found in county Sligo in the province of Connaught.