The name is derived from the Irish Gaelic personal name "ó hEamhthaigh."  The origins of this ancient personal name are obscure. It is possible that there is a connection to the word "eamh" which denotes a "groaning or exclamation of disgust."
The surname Heafy was first found in the Athlone region, County Westmeath (Irish: An Iarmhí) in the Irish Midlands, province of Leinster. Later some records of the family were found in Waterford and Cork. 
Early recorded instances of the name are rare, but there was a bearer recorded as a husbandman of Thisteinagh, in Couty Westmeath in 1601.
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