Harkness, Edward Stephen, 1874-1940, American philanthropist, b. Cleveland. He inherited a fortune from his father, a partner of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. His extensive philanthropies, many of them anonymous, were extended especially to colleges, hospitals, and museums. He served as president of the Commonwealth Fund.

See biography by J. W. Wooster (1949).

Harkness is a Scottish surname. Its etymology is probably from the Old English personal name Hereca (a derivative of the various compound names with the first element here army) plus the Old English næss headland, cape

The name comes from hidden origins and is first recorded along the Cumbrian border (1350),by the 1400's they were firmly established in Nithsdale area of Dumfriesshire. James Harkness of Locherben led the rescue in 1684 of a group of Covenanters who were being taken for trial in Edinburgh. For this act his brother was hanged the following year.


There are two tartans that are recognized for the Harknesses of Nithsdale clan. One is the traditional red, and the other is the "ancient" blue. Both tartans were created by Harvey Harkness Rulien in 1982.

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