Show ContentsO'Hearn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Many Irish surnames can be traced back to their Gaelic forms. The name O'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 O'Hearn family

The surname O'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 O'Hearn family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'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 O'Hearn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

O'Hearn Spelling Variations

The recording of names in Ireland in the Middle Ages was an inconsistent endeavor at best. The standardized literary languages of today were not yet reached the general citizenry. Research into the name O'Hearn revealed spelling variations, including O'Aherne, O'Ahern, Hearne, O'Heffron, Haveran, Hayveren and many more.

Early Notables of the O'Hearn family (pre 1700)

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

O'Hearn Ranking

In the United States, the name O'Hearn is the 14,804th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Australia O'Hearn migration to Australia +

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

O'Hearn Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Morris O'Hearn, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Glentanner" [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name O'Hearn (post 1700) +

  • Taylor W. O'Hearn (1907-1997), American politician from Louisiana
  • Patrick O'Hearn (b. 1954), American musician, composer and recording artist
  • Michael O'Hearn (b. 1969), American bodybuilder
  • John O'Hearn (1893-1977), American professional football player
  • George E. O'Hearn, American college football coach
  • Ed O'Hearn (b. 1898), American NFL professional football player
  • Walter D. O'Hearn (1910-1969), Canadian journalist
  • Walter O'Hearn (1890-1950), Australian politician
  • Peter O'Hearn (b. 1963), Canadian-born, English computer scientist

Halifax Explosion
  • Mrs. Alice  O'Hearn (1869-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who survived the Halifax Explosion (1917) but later died due to injuries [4]

The O'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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  3. South Australia Passengerlists (Retrieved 10th November 2010). Retrieved from
  4. Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from on Facebook