Hearn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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]

Early Origins of the Hearn family

The surname Hearn was first found in County Clare (Irish: An Clár) 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.

Early History of the Hearn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hearn research. Another 116 words (8 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Hearn Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Hearn family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hearn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hearn Ranking

In the United States, the name Hearn is the 1,807th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [2] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Hearn is ranked the 305th most popular surname with an estimated 149 people with that name. [3]


United States Hearn migration to the United States +

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 [4]
Hearn Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edmund Hearn, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763 [4]
Hearn Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Hearn, who arrived in New York, NY in 1810 [4]
  • Isadore Hearn, who landed in Mobile County, Ala in 1850 [4]
  • Mary Hearn, aged 26, who arrived in New York, NY in 1855 [4]
  • Anne Hearn, aged 2, who landed in New York, NY in 1855 [4]
  • Mathew A Hearn, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1856 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Hearn Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. James Hearn, (b. 1870), aged 35, Cornish miner travelling aboard the ship "Philadelphia" arriving at Ellis Island, New York in 1905 en route to New York, USA [5]

Canada Hearn migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

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 [6]
Hearn Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. David Hearn, aged 25 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Avon" departing from the port of Cork, Ireland but died on Grosse Isle In September 1847 [7]

Australia Hearn migration to Australia +

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

Hearn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Uriah Richard Hearn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Sarah Hearn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Andrew Richard Hearn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Richard William Hearn, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John" in 1840 [8]
  • Charlotte Hearn, aged 19, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "William Money" [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Hearn 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:

Hearn Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Hearn, aged 15, a carpenter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Alma" in 1857

Contemporary Notables of the name Hearn (post 1700) +

  • Joyce C. Hearn (1929-2021), née Camp, an American politician, Member of the South Carolina House of Representatives (1975-1990)
  • William H. Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1932 [10]
  • W. D. Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Gold Democrat National Convention from Arkansas, 1896 [10]
  • Richard Francis Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Erie County 5th District, 1910-14 [10]
  • Raymond Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1952 [10]
  • Murray Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Kings County 2nd District, 1924-29; Justice of New York Supreme Court 2nd District, 1948-53 [10]
  • James F. Hearn, American Republican politician, Mayor of Wilmington, Delaware, 1949-53 [10]
  • H. P. Hearn, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Mississippi, 1940 [10]
  • Bobby E. Hearn Jr., American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 99th District, 2002 [10]
  • Billy Ray Hearn (1929-2015), American founder and chairman of the Capitol Christian Music Group, the world's largest religious music label
  • ... (Another 18 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Royal Oak
  • James V. Hearn, British Crew member with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [11]
SS Newfoundland
  • Mr. Patrick Hearn, Newfoundlander from St. John's, who on the 30th March 1914 he was part of the Seal Crew of the "SS Newfoundland" leaving the ship to intercept the Stephano which took him to the hunting grounds, he disembarked to begin sealing, but was caught in a thickening storm, attempting to return to the Newfoundland he and the 132 crew made camp for two days the sealers were stranded on the ice in a blizzard attempting to return to the ship, he survived


The Hearn Motto +

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.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  6. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  7. ^ 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)
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN from London 1840. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1840John.htm
  9. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) "WILLIAM MONEY" 1848-49. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849WmMoney.htm
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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