Heffern History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are a multitude of ancient meanings and variations associated with the Irish surnames that are now common throughout the modern world. The original Gaelic form of the name Heffern is O hIfearnain.

Early Origins of the Heffern family

The surname Heffern 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 from ancient times.

Early History of the Heffern family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heffern research. Another 52 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1719, 1777 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Heffern History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heffern Spelling Variations

Within archives, many different spelling variations exist for the surname Heffern. Ancient scribes and church officials recorded names as they were pronounced, often resulting in the name of the single person being recorded under several different spellings. Different spellings that were found include Heffernan, Heffernam, O'Heffernan, O'Heffron, Hefferen, Hefferney, Heffernon, Hefferon and many more.

Early Notables of the Heffern family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family name at this time was Paul Hiffernan (1719-1777), Irish miscellaneous writer, born in or near Dublin in 1719. "His parents, intending him for the priesthood of the Roman Catholic church, sent him to a classical school in Dublin. When very young he went with...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heffern Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Heffern migration to the United States +

North America accepted thousands of Irish immigrants during the 19th century as their homeland suffered under foreign imperialistic rule. Although settlers from the early portion of the century came to North America by choice in search of land, by far the largest influx of Irish immigrants came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Many of these Irish families left the country destitute and in some cases suffering from disease. However, those who survived the long ocean voyage were especially vital to the development of industry in the United States and what would become known as Canada. Research of immigration and passenger lists has shown many early immigrants bearing the name Heffern:

Heffern Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Heffern, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1854 [1]
  • William Heffern, aged 30, who landed in New York in 1854 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Heffern (post 1700) +

  • Keith Heffern, American Management Officer in Madagascar
  • Meghan Heffern (b. 1983), Canadian actress from Edmonton, Alberta, known for her work on Chloe (2009), The Fog (2005) and American Pie Presents: Beta House (2007)
  • John A. Heffern, American diplomat, United States Ambassador to Armenia (2011-2014), Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs (2017)


  1. ^ 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)


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