To download a pdf of the Heffernan descendants, click on the title below.


(updated 1 July 2020)

Please e-mail me if you have any suggestions, corrections or additions.

The meaning of the crest is: “The Right of Scholars”.

The research into the Heffernan family has been absolutely fascinating.  I had begun this journey trying to figure out my mysterious great-grandfather Lawrence Doherty. Thanks to lots of help from Michael Gibson, Dorothy Payne, Roots Ireland, Waterford Heritage Services, Paul Heffernan, John Heffernan, and more recently, Phil Little, I have an overwhelming amount of  information on Heffernans. Thanks to Phil for the Western Canada branch. And in doing so, I found Lawrence’s parents, uncle, aunt and nephews. We also have another aunt, Patrick Heffernan’s wife, Margaret Doherty, although this hasn’t been proven.


Patrick Heffernan, my ancestor, (ggg grandfather), born about 1800 in Kilworth, County Cork, Ireland,  came to Canada on “The Regulus” in May 1825 as part of the Peter Robinson settlers.  He and his wife, Margaret Doherty (1800-1883), who was from just across the border in Ballyporeen Parish in Tipperary County, settled in Otonabee Township on the E 1/2 Lot 29, Concession 9. He sold this farm to a Mr. Baxter and moved to Asphodel Township to the farm on the W 1/2 Concession 4, south of Highway 7 where his son, William, succeeded him.

John Heffernan, Patrick’s brother, born in Mitchelstown, County Cork, Ireland in 1792, came to Canada with his wife, Elizabeth Kingston,  in July 1846.

They stayed with Patrick and Margaret until they bought their own property in Otonabee. In September 1846, John bought 50 acres for 87.10 pounds on the north west half of Lot 25, Concession 9, Township of Otonabee.

John & Elizabeth Heffernan’s daughter, Johannah Elizabeth Heffernan, married my paternal great-grandfather, Lawrence Doherty. She died after giving birth to their fourth child and subsequently, Lawrence married Hanorah Mahoney, my paternal great grandmother. To make matters more interesting, Patrick and Margaret Heffernan are my maternal great-great grandparents.  Heffernans are married into the McGillens, the Dohertys and the Gibsons.  So you can see that my interest in the Heffernans is great. When I made my discovery that the Dohertys and Heffernans were also linked closely in Ireland (just across the border from Tipperary to Cork!), it all made sense.

We found a wonderful autobiography of John Heffernan(1858-1942)  on ancestry.ca on Jim Kelly’s family tree. A picture of his family is shown below.

 John Heffernan autobiography


Note to family members: This file has been privatized. This means that the personal data of all living individuals has been made private.   The software is not foolproof so if I don’t have sufficient information (eg birth dates), a person’s name may be included even though they are still living. I welcome all enquiries, corrections, additions. E-mail Me if you wish to get more information

16 thoughts on “Heffernan

  1. My father, John Joseph Heffernan, was born in 1887, not 1897. He died in 1994, just short of reaching 107 years by one month. my mother’s name is Flora Mae McEachin. She lived into her 60’s, and passed on.
    I am their 7th of eight children, Bill.

  2. Thanks for your correction. My website is somewhat out of date since I have been concentrating on Lunneys and Dohertys. Would you mind sharing the birth dates of your sisters and brothers?

  3. Al’s web page has the records of Mary Heffernan b1845 and m James English b 1825 and the records of all of their children one of whom Kate English is my grandmother. Mary Heffernan is recorded as the daughter of John Heffernan
    b 1792 in Mitchelstown,Cork.

    hy have you not recorded this info

    Al’s web page recorded Mary Heffernan b1845,daughter of John Heffernan b 1792
    She m James English b 1825.
    The records of all of their children are recorded, one of whom Kate English is my grandmother.
    Please let me know why you have removed this info on Jeri’s webpage

  4. Hi Helen
    This is a mystery. I have no idea why it has been removed. I am always updating my material and re-submitting the descendant reports. I shal begin the process of adding her back in. I sure didn’t make this error on purpose!

    Would you please send me information on this family? Even the report that you reference doesn’t include your parents or you.
    I tried to email you using the address above and it bounced back.

  5. please try to email again as what I have entered is correct.
    I found Al’s web page by chance. My great grandmother was Mary Heffernan b 1845 and married James English b. in 1825 . I have their marriage certificate when they were married in Galbally, Limerick on February 18, 1865.
    Mary’s maid of honor is Bridget Heffernan and her father’s name is Michael
    Heffernan. Mary is listed in Descendants of Thomas Heffernan as the child of John Heffernan and Elizabeth Kingston. Mary’s line is indicated as Thomas1 and John 2. I have not been able to find the birth certificate of Mary yet. The birth date of Mary Heffernan verified only that she was 24 at the time of her marriage. Also listed in Descendants of Thomas Heffernan are all the names and marriages of all of the children of Mary Heffernan and James English. These are all correct as I have records that state the information to be correct.
    My grandmother was Kate English, daughter of James English (who lived in Ardane, Tipperary). Kate married Michael Coughlan. My mother was the daughter of Kate and Michael Coughlan and her name was Margaret Coughlan b 1904,Clonmel Tipperary and came to US in 1925. My name is Helen Shea, daughter of Margaret Coughlan and I reside in Ct. USA
    Who carried out this info of Descendants of Thomas Heffernan? I am most anxious to be assured the line to Thomas is my ancestor? Helen

  6. Hi Helen
    Here goes again. I emailed you the following with 3 attachments but it bounced back to me. The email I am using is: nellliegauthier@att.net .
    Please send something DIRECTLY to me at jlunney@sympatico.ca away from this web page so I can get an address we can use. The attachments I refer to can’t be sent from here.

    First of all. Al’s webpage is actually mine since I ran his webpage http://www.lunneysite.com when he was mayor and had my genealogy appended to it on http://www.lunneysite.com/jeri, so both reports were done by me. To be absolutely clear, Al is Al Lunney, my husband, and both the report on Al’s web page and the other one that you found are mine. Al doesn’t run any web pages nor does he do genealogy.

    Do you have any other proof that she was the daughter of John Heffernan & Elizabeth Kingston?

    I have checked with my son, Mike, who is also a genealogy buff, and neither
    of can remember why we “simplified” the Heffernan report by deleting some
    children, probably because they weren’t on the census records (see
    attached). The names of the 6 children who came to Canada were not recorded (see attached). So if Mary was born in 1845, wouldn’t you think she would be in the 1851 census?

    I met today with my Doherty cousin, Margaret Forde- we are writing the
    Doherty family history. Our Lawrence Doherty married John’s daughter,
    Johanna Elizabeth. Margaret has no record of Mary being in this family

    It’s interesting that I had another researcher looking for a link to my
    Dohertys and she is related to Coughlans, in particular, Fathers Tim & John
    Coughlan from Peterborough. Are they on your tree?

    I will put all of this info into my genealogy program and try to find a
    connection. Hoping for the best! I’ll be in touch if I find anything. I love

  7. My now deceased father left a note which led me to this website. My grandmother was Anna May Heffernan Fox, born November 10, 1885 and died June 8, 1959. How surprised I was to see her photo on this website! She was very easily recognized. My Dad had jotted on a small piece of paper some fragmented information: ‘Bridget Ryan. Lawrence Heffernan. Age 73. Norwood, Ontario.’
    I now believe Bridget Ryan and Laurence Heffernan were her parents. She was married to my grandfather, James C. Fox who was born 7-14-1883 and died 3-31-1969. I have photos taken around the time of their wedding – they were a handsome couple! I also have her Mass card (we called them holy cards) which, coincidentally, just last week I placed under the glass on my desk. I’m happy to provide this small amount of information to your wonderful website. Thank you !

  8. How nice to hear from you! I had a different birth date for your grandfather but will change it since my sources all seem to be census records. Anna Mae’s parents are indeed Lawrence and Bridget.
    I would love to hear from you and receive some info on your grandfather’s children and grandchildren. I will then update the descendant report on the website. I don’t public names of living people. Would you please write to me at jeri.lunney@gmail.com.

  9. I believe that the picture of your grandmother came via Phil Little (from beautiful Vancouver Island, British Columbia). His grandmother was Anna Mae’s sister, Charlotte Edith Heffernan (Ada Little).

  10. I’ve recently started researching Heffernan’s in Canada. Mine are from the Guelph, Wellington area.

    John Heffernan and Mary McGinn were the first settlers. I’m trying to find their immigration records. Or names on a manifest. I wonder if they came over from Ireland with the Peter Robinson Settlers as well.

    I’ve been curious if the Heffernans in Peterborough were going to connect with the ones in Wellington 🙂

    Would you be able to provide me with any info you may have come across pertaining to the Wellington Heffernans?

  11. Although the Heffernans have married into all of my families — the Gibsons, Dohertys and McGillens — I have not spent a lot of time investigating them. A person from Peterborough, Paul Heffernan, has done a lot of work. Also check out the Heffernan Facebook chat group — Descendants of Thomas Heffernan.

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