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Origins Available: English, Irish

Many Irish surnames can be traced back to their Gaelic forms. The name Hearn originally appeared in Gaelic as O hEachthigheirn or O hEachthigheirna, made up of the words "each" meaning "steed," and "thighearna," meaning "lord." This was first Anglicized O'Hagherin, which was later changed to O'Aherne before the prefix was eventually dropped. [1]


The surname Hearn was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clįr) located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat as a Dalcassian sept from before the year 1000. However, with the disruptions of the Strongbow Invasion of 1172, they migrated southward to counties Cork and Waterford. In Waterford the name is predominantly Hearn and Hearne.

Irish names recorded during the Middle Ages are characterized by many spelling variations. This preponderance of variations for common names can be explained by the fact that the scribes and church officials that kept records during that period individually decided how to capture one's name. These recorders primarily based their decisions on how the name was pronounced or what it meant. Research into the name Hearn revealed many variations, including O'Aherne, O'Ahern, Hearne, O'Heffron, Haveran, Hayveren and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hearn research. Another 250 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1420, 1566, 1754, 1769, 1797, and 1806 are included under the topic Early Hearn History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 21 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hearn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Hearn or one of its variants:

Hearn Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Bednego Hearn, who landed in Maryland in 1680

Hearn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Edmund Hearn, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763

Hearn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Thomas Hearn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1810
  • Isadore Hearn, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1850
  • Mary Hearn, aged 26, arrived in New York, NY in 1855
  • Anne Hearn, aged 2, landed in New York, NY in 1855
  • Mathew A Hearn, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1856

Hearn Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Maurice Hearn, who landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1750
  • James Hearn from Carrick on Suir in county Tipperary settled in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, in 1798

Hearn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Uriah Richard Hearn arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Sarah Hearn arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Andrew Richard Hearn arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Richard William Hearn arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840
  • Charlotte Hearn, aged 19, arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money"

Hearn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • George Hearn, aged 15, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857


  • Billy Ray Hearn (1929-2015), American founder and chairman of the Capitol Christian Music Group, the world's largest religious music label
  • Lacey Hearn (1881-1969), American sliver and bronze Olympic medalist for running at the 1904 games
  • Michael Patrick Hearn, American literary scholar
  • Glenn Hubbard Hearn (1914-1978), American politician, Mayor of Huntsville, Alabama, from 1964 to 1968
  • George Earl Hearn (1926-2010), American professor of psychology at Louisiana College in Pineville, Louisiana (1965-2000)
  • Charles Bunn "Bunny" Hearn (1891-1959), American Major League Baseball pitcher (1910-1920) and Major League scout and manager (1917-1918) and (1932-1946)
  • Major-General Thomas Guerdon Hearn (1890-1980), American Assistant Commanding General 2nd Army (1945)
  • George Hearn (b. 1934), American actor and singer
  • James F. Hearn, American Republican politician, Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware, 1949-53
  • H. P. Hearn, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1940



The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Per ardua surgo
Motto Translation: I rise through difficulties.


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  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)

Other References

  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1970. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
  7. Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
  8. Hickey, D.J. and J.E. Doherty. A New Dictionary of Irish History form 1800 2nd Edition. Dublin: Gil & MacMillian, 2003. Print.
  9. Johnson, Daniel F. Irish Emigration to New England Through the Port of Saint John, New Brunswick Canada 1841-1849. Baltimore, Maryland: Clearfield, 1996. Print.
  10. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  11. ...

The Hearn Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hearn Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 December 2015 at 09:10.

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