Recorded in several forms including O'Heffron, O'Heberon, Heffernan, Heffernon, Hefferan, Hefferin and Haverin, this is an Irish surname. It originates from the pre 10th century O' Ifearnan, which appears to have the interesting translation of "The descendant of the little demon"! Almost all Gaelic surnames are patronymics and derive from an original nickname for the first nameholder or chief of the clan. As many such names are a thousand or more years old, the precise meaning is often open to considerable conjecture, and not the least with this one. The clan originate from at least two sources. The first is the West Coast of Ireland and specifically County Mayo, the second from what was Kings County, but is now known as County Offally, where in Petty's Cenusus of Ireland in 1569, they were the principal name in three baronies, whilst the third is from Ulter where as O'Heveran it was one of the most poular names of County Antrim, but is now very rare. During the infamous Potato Famine of 1846 - 1848 many nameholders emigrated. Included amongst these were Ann Heffron who left for New York on the ship "Oxford" from Liverpool" on January 16th 1846, and John Heffernan, who left from Dublin on the ship "Charlotte", also bound for New York, on May 21st 1846.
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