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Surname Hefferon - Meaning and Origin

all surnames with 'H'

Hefferon: What does the surname Hefferon mean?

The last name Hefferon is of Irish origin. The name is an Anglicized form of the Gaelic name "Ó hIfearnáin", which itself is derived from the word "ifearnán", meaning demon. The leading "O" signifies "descendant of". So in essence, Hefferon translates to "descendant of Ifearnán".

Like many surnames, Hefferon is believed to have originated as a nickname based on an original bearer's character traits, probably used to describe someone who was mischievous or wicked, much like a 'little demon'. It’s also potentially linked to the medieval job of a cattle herder, as the word might be carelessly misheard or transformed through dialect to 'heifer' - which is the term used for a young female cow.

However, it's important to note that having this surname doesn't make the bearer a 'demon' or 'wicked'. The meanings of surnames were applied many centuries ago and tend not to hold any relevant bearing to the individual's character today. They serve more as an interesting historical insight into the linguistic and societal practices of our ancestors.

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Hefferon: Where does the name Hefferon come from?

The surname Hefferon primarily originates from Ireland, which is believed to have emerged from the Gaelic name "O hIfearnain". Yet, there are variations of this surname which are most frequently used in different time periods and locations. The spelling variations of this Gaelic name over centuries include Heffernan, Heffernon, O'Heffernan, Hefferen, and several others due to recording mistakes and dialectal differences.

This surname was first found in County Clare, located on the west coast of Ireland in the province of Munster, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

Today, Hefferon is not an overly common surname; however, individuals bearing the surname can be found mainly in countries such as the United States, England, and Ireland. According to Forebears, the surname is most prevalent in the United States, with the highest density in Ireland. The surname can also be found in small numbers in Canada, Australia, and Scotland. Further research shows a significant concentration of people with the Hefferon last name in places like Leinster, Ireland, and New York, United States.

Variations of the surname Hefferon

The surname Hefferon seems to be derived from Irish origin. The variants and alternate spellings of this surname may include Heffron, Hefron, Hefferan, Hefferin, Heffernan, Hefferon and Heferon. Some surnames of the same origin could encompass O'Heffron, O'Haffernan, or O'Hefernane.

In Irish surnames, 'O' often means ‘descendant of’ so these names could all have a similar root in ancestral lineage. Variations in spelling could be down to phonetic transcription by English speakers during periods of immigration, meaning the same original name could evolve differently in various locations. Changes could also occur due to non-standardized spelling in earlier centuries when literacy was less widespread.

In terms of region, these surnames, including Hefferon, are particularly common in areas of Ireland such as County Mayo and County Clare. The names could also be found among the Irish diaspora in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

Famous people with the name Hefferon

  • Stephanie Hefferon: British actress best known for playing Eve in the 2003 short film Sin Is War.
  • Kevin Hefferon: Professional football player who has played for teams such as the Sydney Swans and Essendon Bombers.
  • Ray Hefferon: Former Australian cricketer who represented the country in the early 1990s.
  • Tom Hefferon: British actor and comedic writer who has appeared in several TV shows such as 'Spoons' and 'EyeSpy'.
  • Michael Hefferon: American actor and director, best known for his role in the HBO series 'The Wire'.
  • Julie Hefferon: British actress and comedienne who is best known for her role as Daphne in the BBC comedy series 'Surprise, Surprise'.
  • Martin Hefferon: Award-winning British composer whose work has been featured in films such as 'The Italian Job' and 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets'.
  • Joe Hefferon: British TV presenter best known for his work on BBC's 'Tomorrow's World' and 'The Generation Game'.
  • John Hefferon: Irish actor best known for his roles in several Irish films such as 'The Daisy Chain' and 'The Irishman'.
  • Brian Hefferon: Professional golfer and coach who competed on the European Tour from 1991-1995.

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