Show ContentsHeaney History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Irish surnames in use today are underpinned by a multitude of rich histories. The name Heaney originally appeared in Gaelic as Ó hEighnigh. 1

Early Origins of the Heaney family

The surname Heaney was first found in County Londonderry (Irish: Doire), a Northern Irish county also known as Derry, in the province of Ulster, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Heaney family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heaney research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heaney History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heaney Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The many regional dialects and the predominate illiteracy would have made common surnames appear unrelated to the scribes of the period. Research into the name Heaney revealed spelling variations, including Heaney, Heany, Hegney, Hegeany, Heagney, Heeney and others.

Early Notables of the Heaney family

Notable amongst the family name at this time was

  • Heaney of Banagher

Heaney Ranking

In the United States, the name Heaney is the 9,021st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. 2

United States Heaney migration to the United States +

In the late 18th century, Irish families began emigrating to North America in the search of a plot of land to call their own. This pattern of emigration grew steadily until the 1840s when the Great Potato Famine of the 1840s cause thousands of Irish to flee the death and disease that accompanied the disaster. Those that made it alive to the shores of the United States and British North America (later to become Canada) were, however, instrumental in the development of those two powerful nations. Many of these Irish immigrants proudly bore the name of Heaney:

Heaney Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Heaney, who landed in New York in 1819 3
  • Charles Heaney, aged 21, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1823 3
  • Thomas Heaney, who arrived in New York in 1835 3
  • Charles, Daniel, Hugh, James, John, Patrick, Samuel, and Thomas Heaney all, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860

Canada Heaney migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Heaney Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Michael Heaney, aged 40 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Odessa" departing from the port of Dublin, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In August 1847 4

Australia Heaney migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Heaney Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss. Eliza Heaney, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Lancashire, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Baretto Junior" on 5th April 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 5

New Zealand Heaney migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Heaney Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Patrick Heaney, (b. 1855), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Helen Denny" arriving in Hawkes Bay, Napier, North Island, New Zealand on 20th September 1875 6

Contemporary Notables of the name Heaney (post 1700) +

  • Robert C. C. Heaney (b. 1906), American Republican politician, Treasurer of Michigan Republican Party, 1949-51; Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Michigan, 1952, 1956 7
  • Gerald Heaney, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1952, 1960 7
  • George A. Heaney, American politician, Member of New Jersey State House of Assembly from Hudson County, 1892 7
  • Daniel Heaney, American politician, Mayor of Rochester, Minnesota, 1869-70 7
  • Gerald William Heaney (b. 1918), American federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals
  • Charles Heaney (1897-1981), American photographer and painter
  • Harry Heaney, Emeritus Professor of Organic Chemistry
  • Seamus Justin Heaney (1939-2013), Irish winner of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (1968), the E. M. Forster Award (1975), the PEN Translation Prize (1985), the Golden Wreath of Poetry (2001), T. S. Eliot Prize (2006) and two Whitbread Prizes (1996 and 1999)
  • Dermot Heaney (b. 1971), former Irish Gaelic footballer
  • Thomas Heaney (1888-1928), Australian rules footballer
  • ... (Another 5 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. MacLysaght, Edward, The Surnames of Ireland. Ireland: Irish Academic Press, sixth edition, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2366-3)
  2. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 33)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 16th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from on Facebook