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 O'Hiffernan is O hIfearnain.
Early Origins of the O'Hiffernan family
The surname O'Hiffernan 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 O'Hiffernan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Hiffernan research.Another 186 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Hiffernan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Hiffernan Spelling Variations
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 O'Hiffernan are preserved in the archival documents of the period. The various spellings of the name that were found include Heffernan, Heffernam, O'Heffernan, O'Heffron, Hefferen, Hefferney, Heffernon, Hefferon and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Hiffernan family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early O'Hiffernan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
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Migration of the O'Hiffernan family to the New World and Oceana
Suffering from poverty and racial discrimination, thousands of Irish families
left the island in the 19th century for North America aboard cramped passenger ships. The early migrants became settlers of small tracts of land, and those that came later were often employed in the new cities or transitional work camps. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
during the late 1840s. Although the immigrants from this period were often maligned when they arrived in the United States, they provided the cheap labor that was necessary for the development of that country as an industrial power. Early immigration and passenger lists have revealed many immigrants bearing the name O'Hiffernan: Patrick Hefferen settled in Alexandria Virginia in 1817; Bridget Hefferin settled in Pennsylvania in 1773; Edmund, Edward, John, Michael, Thomas and William Heffernan arrived in Philadelphia between 1840 and 1860.