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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Irish


The old Gaelic name used by the Hear family in Ireland was O hAodha, which means descendant of Aodha or descendant of Hugh.

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The surname Hear was first found in County Cork (Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where this distinguished Irish family descended from the ancient Kings of Munster, and their territories were in the south western part of County Cork. Their ancient family seat was Aghamilly Castle in Pobble O'Hea.

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 Hear include: O'Hea, Hea, Heas, Hees, O'Hear, Hayes, O'Hay, Hay and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hear research. Another 161 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1205, 1172 and 1700 are included under the topic Early Hear History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Hear Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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 Hear or one of its variants:

Hear Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Samuel Hear, aged 33, arrived in New York in 1719

Hear Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Felix Hear, aged 40, landed in New York, NY in 1804

Hear Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Mary Hear, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1829

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  1. Somerset Fry, Peter and Fiona Somerset Fry. A History of Ireland. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1993. Print. (ISBN 1-56619-215-3).
  2. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  3. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  4. Woodham-Smith, Cecil. The Great Hunger Ireland 1845-1849. New York: Old Town Books, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-385-3).
  5. Heraldic Scroll and Map of Family names and Origins of Ireland. Dublin: Mullins. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
  8. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  9. Vicars, Sir Arthur. Index to the Prerogative Wills of Ireland 1536-1810. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Rasmussen, Louis J. . San Francisco Ship Passenger Lists 4 Volumes Colma, California 1965 Reprint. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1978. Print.
  11. ...

The Hear Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hear 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 3 July 2013 at 08:17.

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