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


The spelling and overall form of Irish names tend to vary widely over time. The original Gaelic form of the name Hegarty is "O hEigceartaigh," which is derived from the word "eigceartach," which means "unjust."

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The surname Hegarty 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.

Lacking standardized spellings, scribes and church officials recorded people's name according to how they sounded. This practice often led to the misleading result of one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Hegarty are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Hegarty, Hegerty, Heggarty, O'Hegarty and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hegarty research. Another 198 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1715 and 1721 are included under the topic Early Hegarty History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hegarty Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Under the rule of England, land ownership in Ireland changed dramatically, and many native Irish families found themselves renting out land to farm from absentee owners. This was one of the prime reasons that immigration to North America began in the late 18th century: Irish farmers dreamed of owning their own parcel of land to work for themselves. At this point, the immigrants were at least of modest means for the passage across the Atlantic was often quite dear. In the 1840s the Great Potato Famine created an exodus of people of quite different means. These people were most often destitute: they either sold anything they had to gain a passage or they were sponsored by philanthropic societies. Many of these immigrants were sick from disease and starvation: as a result many did not survive the long transatlantic journey. Although those settlers that did survive were often despised and discriminated against by people already established in these nations, they were critical to rapid development of the powerful industrial nations of the United States and the country that would later become known as Canada. An examination of immigration and passenger lists shows many persons bearing the name of Hegarty or one of its variants:

Hegarty Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • John, Michael, Robert, and Thomas Hegarty who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860
  • Charles Hegarty, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1896

Hegarty Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century


  • Daniel Hegarty, aged 23, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
  • John Hegarty, aged 21, a labourer, arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Highlander" in 1834
  • John Hegarty arrived in Saint John aboard the ship "Eleanor" in 1834
  • William Hegarty, aged 31, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork
  • Peter Hegarty, aged 16, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1837 aboard the barque "Robert Watt" from Cork


Hegarty Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • James Hegarty, aged 32, a farm servant, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry"

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  • William A. Hegarty, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New Jersey, 1940, 1944
  • Willam E. Hegarty, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Arizona 1st District, 1982
  • Michael Hegarty (b. 1933), American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Michigan, 1976; Member of Michigan Republican State Central Committee, 1979; Candidate for justice of Michigan State Supreme Court, 1980
  • John J. Hegarty, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Presidential Elector for New York, 1956
  • Miss Hanora "Nora" Hegarty (d. 1912), aged 18, Irish Third Class passenger from Whitechurch, Cork who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mary Hegarty, Irish award winning opera soprano
  • Den Hegarty (b. 1954), Irish rock and roll singer
  • Sťamus Hegarty (b. 1940), Lord Bishop of Raphoe (1982-1994), Lord Bishop of Derry
  • Nicholas Ian "Nick" Hegarty (b. 1986), English footballer
  • Shannon Hegarty (b. 1979), Australian former rugby league footballer

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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: Nec flectitur nec mutant
Motto Translation: They neither bend nor change.

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  1. Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
  2. Harris, Ruth-Ann and B. Emer O'Keefe. The Search for Missing Friends Irish Immigrant Advertisements Placed in the Boston Pilot Volume II 1851-1853. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1991. Print.
  3. Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
  4. Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
  5. Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
  6. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  7. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Hegarty Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hegarty 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 16 March 2016 at 08:38.

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