Heffer History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Early Origins of the Heffer family
The surname Heffer was first found in Somerset, where the name first appears in written records in the 14th century. The name Heffer, like many surnames, is an occupational surname, coming from whatever job the first bearer did for a living. In this case, the name is metonymic, coming from an object associated with the job, rather than the name of the job itself; the first bearer of the name was a farmer who herded cattle. A young cow is called a heifer, and it is from this that the name arises.
Important Dates for the Heffer family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heffer research. Another 51 words (4 lines of text) covering the year 1327 is included under the topic Early Heffer History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heffer Spelling Variations
A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Heffer, Heiffer, Heffner, Hayfour, Heifers and many more.
Early Notables of the Heffer family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Heffer Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heffer migration to the United States
Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Heffer or a variant listed above:
Typical Heffer Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Heffer Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Feridrick Heffer, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1732
Contemporary Notables of the name Heffer (post 1700)
- Jerome Heffer, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Mayor of Mamaroneck, New York, 1955 
- Richard Heffer (b. 1946), English television actor
- Simon James Heffer (b. 1960), English journalist and writer
- Eric Samuel Heffer (1922-1991), English Labour politician
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