Sherri (Smith) Hardegree sent the following information that she found through her research on the Hardacre surname: "First found in Staffordshire where they were seated from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: George Hardacre, who arrived in Maine in 1779. Spelling variations of this family include: Hardacre, Hardaker, Hardiker, Handsacre, Handacre and others.
"This was a locational name 'of Hardacre' a spot in County Yorskhire. The name was derived from the Old English word 'HARDAKER'. Local surnames, by far the largest group, derived from a place name where the man held land or from the place from which he had come, or where he actually lived. These local surnames were originally preceded by a preposition such as "de", "atte", "by" or "in". The names may derive from a manor held, from working in a religious dwelling or from literally living by a wood or marsh or by a stream. Following the Crusades in Europe a need was felt for a family name. This was recognized by those of noble blood, who realised the prestige and practical advantage it would add to their status. Early records of the name mention HARDAKER (without surname) who was documented in Yorkshire in the year 1185. Edward Hardaker was documented in Lancashire in the year 1273. Willelmus Hardaker, listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Nicholaus Harthacre, 1379 ibid. Thomas Hardaker and Frances Lindley were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1778." [21 Jan 2008]