There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name Heffernen is O hIfearnain.
from ancient times.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heffernen research.Another 52 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heffernen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
During the Middle Ages, scribes listened to a person's name and then decided the spelling from there. Names, therefore, often had many spelling variations
. The variations of the name Heffernen include: Heffernan, Heffernam, O'Heffernan, O'Heffron, Hefferen, Hefferney, Heffernon, Hefferon and many more.
Irish immigrants began to leave the English-controlled Ireland
in sizable numbers during the late 18th century. Many of these Irish immigrated to British North America or the United States in the hopes of gaining their own tract of farmland. This pattern of migration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine
caused a great exodus of immigrants to North America. These immigrants differed from their predecessors in that they were desperately fleeing the disease and starvation that plagued their homeland, and many were entirely destitute when they arrived in North America. Although these penniless immigrants were not warmly welcomed when they arrived, they were critical to the rapid development of the United States and what would become known as Canada. Many went to populate the western frontiers and others provided the cheap labor the new manufacturing sector and the building of bridges, roads, railways, and canals required. A thorough examination of immigration and passenger lists has revealed some of the earliest people to arrive in North America with name Heffernen or one of its variants: Patrick Hefferen settled in Alexandria Virginia in 1817; Bridget Hefferin settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Edmund, Edward, John, Michael, Thomas and William Heffernan arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.