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Surname Hafer - Meaning and Origin

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Hafer: What does the surname Hafer mean?

The last name Hafer is of German origin and has several variations such as Heffer, Heffner, and Hafner. It is derived from the Middle High German word "haf," which means oat. This reflects the occupational origin of the surname, specifically referring to those who grew, milled, or sold oats. As a result, the name became a common occupational name in Germany and surrounding areas.

The earliest known ancient examples of the Hafer surname can be traced back to 1258 in Ellwangen, Wuerttemberg, Germany and 1326 in Wernhardshaufen, Bavaria, Germany. During this time, the origin and meaning behind the name were already in place.

Today, Hafer is a very common surname. It is estimated that there are at least 30,000 people in United States and over 266,000 people worldwide who bear the Hafer surname. In the US, it is most commonly found in Pennsylvania, Washington, California, and New York.

In addition to its German origins, the surname also holds a religious significance. In some instances, Hafer was used to signify “daughter of Haf” and to connect individuals to a pious figure, Haf, within their religion. It is also used as a given name for those born of the Jewish faith.

Overall, the surname Hafer is rich in history and meaning. It has given families a sense of belonging and connection with their ancestral roots for centuries.

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Hafer: Where does the name Hafer come from?

Today, the last name Hafer is most commonly found in areas of Europe and the United States. In Europe, a high concentration of Hafer families can be found in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In the United States, the last name was first brought over by immigrants from Europe, but it can now be found spread throughout the country. The most concentrated areas of the US with the name Hafer are Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

In Pennsylvania, the Hafer name is most often found in the Southeastern part of the state. It is believed to have been brought over by German settlers who first settled there in the 1700s. In Ohio, a large Hafer population can be found in the east-central part of the state – this is likely due to migration from Pennsylvania in the early parts of the 1800s.

Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin also contain significant populations of the Hafer family name. Most of these areas are also thought to be connected to the rise of the Hafer family in the Midwest during the early 1800s.

Regardless of its origin, it is clear that the last name Hafer remains a common one today. In Europe, it is still a well-known name in areas of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; in the United States, it is found in multiple states with its largest populations in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Variations of the surname Hafer

The surname Hafer is of Germanic origin, deriving from the Old High German word 'hafere', which means oats. This is reflected in the various variants, spellings and surnames that have originated from this root including Haaver, Hafar, Haffar, Hafar, Heffer, Hafer, Heffernan, Heffern, Haffner, Haverer and Houffler.

The name Hafer originated in Prussia and is particularly prevalent in North America. In the United States, the number of people bearing the surname Hafer has decreased from 2,002 in the year 1880 to 1,502 in 2014, making it one of the least common surnames. In Canada, meanwhile, the number of people bearing the surname has decreased from 708 in the year 1901 to today's total of around 71 people.

The declination of the name Hafer over time in these countries can be attributed to a wide variety of reasons, including both religious and cultural influences, as well as immigration and relocation. Furthermore, spelling variants that once referred to a family surname have evolved over time to become more recognisable by the modern English speaker, such as from Heffer to Hafer.

In addition to its current spelling variants, other spellings of the name Hafer can be found in various sources, including Haffer and Haffar. These spellings are considered older forms of the name, which were in use before the modern English spelling became the norm. The variants of the surname Hafer, as well as their various spellings and surnames, all provide an insight into the diverse history of the name, highlighting the evolution of this surname over time.

Famous people with the name Hafer

  • Kirk Hafer: Former professional American football player in the NFL.
  • Keith Hafer: American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer.
  • Brian Hafer: Two-time Emmy award-winning American cinematographer and photographer.
  • Jeffrey D Hafer: Vice Chairman of Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania since 1997.
  • Joseph C Hafer: Retired US Air Force brigadier general and assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, J-7 Special Operation Division.
  • Lucinda Hafer: American professional fantasy fiction author known for her Elemental series.
  • Dave Hafer: 1994 Special Olympics World Winter Games gold medallist in Alpine skiing.
  • Ed Hafer: Former professional American football player in the NFL.
  • Carrie Hafer: Professional soccer player who plays as a forward for the Houston Dash club in the National Women's Soccer League.
  • Kim Hafer: Professional makeup artist known for her work in television and film.

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