The Irish surname O'Hart is an anglicized form of Gaelic Ó hAirt ‘descendant of Art’, a byname meaning ‘bear’, ‘hero’. The English name became established in Ireland in the 17th century. 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.