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Surname Hafens - Meaning and Origin

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Hafens: What does the surname Hafens mean?

The last name Hafens is of German origin and is derived from the Middle High German word Hafe, meaning “oat”. It is thought to indicate that the bearer of this surname was once a farmer or related to someone who was a farmer and grew and harvested oats. The surname is likely to have come to northern Europe as a result of emigration from Germany and it can also be spelled differently, such as “Havens” or “Haffens”.

The Hafens surname can be found in records dating as far back as the 1600s when German farmers were first recorded in the region. Records also show that the family at one point were tenants of the Bishop of Giessen. In the present day, the most commonly found places with the Hafens surname are in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the United States.

The Hafens family were amongst the first people to arrive in America in 1683, the first recorded passage of the name being Johannes Jost Hafen from Baden, Germany. Many later members of the family have gone on to become prominent figures in America such as politician and American Civil War hero Erastus Havens, and naval officer Lawrence Abram Hafen.

The family emblems for the Hafens family are a bundle of wheat ears and a green and gold shield, suggesting a deep connection to farming and the land. This is fitting given the surname’s origin as a reference to a type of crop.

Today, the Hafens surname continues to be found around the world, a reminder of the family’s long and interesting journey over centuries.

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Hafens: Where does the name Hafens come from?

The last name Hafens is most commonly found in Europe, especially in Germany, where it is spelled Häfens. It is also found in the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and other German-speaking countries, as well as in the United States, Canada, Brazil, and South Africa.

The surname originated in the Germanic language, and possibly derives from various place-names where it was often used to describe a person who was a ‘dweller at a hafen (harbor or jetty)’ and thus linked to maritime activities. Hafens may also have derived from the Old German word 'hafin', which means 'prince', suggesting the bearers of the name may have once been members of an aristocratic family.

The name is thought to be especially common in Rhineland-Palatinate, a German state which borders France, Luxembourg, and Belgium, as well as Bavaria, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Hesse. Many Hafens also live in the larger cities of Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, and Berlin in Germany.

In the United States, the surname can be found in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, California, New York, and Georgia, and it is in the top 1000 most common surnames in Connecticut. In Germany, there are about 1000 people with the name today.

The surname continues to be popular in Germany and other parts of Europe, and is becoming increasingly more common in the United States.

Variations of the surname Hafens

The surname Hafens is a patronymic surname, derived from the given name Hafen, which is of Old Norse origin. The Old Norse form of the name was Hafni.

The variant spellings and surnames derived from Hafens include: Hafen, Hafene, Hafin, Haffen, Haffene, Haffin, Hafens, Hafensson, Hafenson, Haffensson, Haffens, Hafensen, Haffensen, Hafnson, Haffnson, Håfens, Håffen, Håffene, Håffin, Håfensson, Håffensson, Håfensen and Håffensen.

The other patronymic surnames derived from the given name Hafen are Haaf, Hafez, and Hove. Additionally, several non-patronymic surnames also stem from the given name. These include Haffenstedt, Haffner, Hoffen and Hoffens.

In some cases, the given name or surname is also shortened. For example, Hafens may sometimes be shortened to "Haf" or "Haff".

Famous people with the name Hafens

  • Jonathan Hafen: American attorney, politician, and former Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives.
  • John Hafen: Member of the Utah Senate.
  • Elwood Hafen: American abstract painter.
  • Karl Hafen: American political scientist.
  • Geirmund Hafen: Norwegian historian.
  • Henrik Hafen: Norwegian businessperson.
  • Gilbert Hafen: American physiologist.
  • Jeff Hafen: American professor of exercise science and current president of Southern Utah University.
  • Kris Hafen: American politician who served as a member of the Utah House of Representatives.
  • Richard Hafen: American cyclist and the 1970 National Bicycle Racing Champion.
  • Jon Hafen: American athlete for the running club, Team Utah.
  • Peder Hafen: Norwegian organ builder.
  • Peter Hafen: American electric violin player and improvisational artist.
  • Bruce Hafen: American president of Utah Valley University and former president of Dixie State University.
  • Emil Hafen: Swiss theologian and professor.
  • Joseph Hafen: American industrial psychologist.
  • Erich Hafen: Swiss shot putter.
  • Andreas Hafen: German weightlifter who competed at the 1988 Summer Olympics.
  • Sven Hafen: Norwegian long-distance runner.
  • Wolfgang Hafen: Swiss Professor of Social History at the University of Basel.

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