Hearn last name popularity, history, and meaning

Find out how popular the last name Hearn is in the United States and learn more about the meaning, history, and race and ethnic origin of people in America who are named Hearn.

Meaning of Hearn

Derived from a nickname for a person with gray hair or a gray beard, from Middle English "hare" meaning "gray-haired."

Hearn, like all of the last names we have data for, is identified by the U.S. Census Bureau as a surname which has more than 100 occurrences in the United States in the Decennial Census survey. The most recent statistics we have for the Hearn surname is from the 2010 census data.

Popularity of Hearn in America

Hearn is the 2385th most popular name in America based on the data we have collected from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Hearn surname appeared 15,234 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 people would have the surname Hearn.

We can also compare 2010 data for Hearn to data from the previous census in 2000. The table below contains all of the statistics for both years in a side-by-side comparison.

2010 2000 Change (%)
Rank 2385 2270 4.94%
Count 15,234 14,680 3.70%
Proportion per 100k 5.16 5.44 -5.28%

The history of the last name Hearn

The surname Hearn is of Anglo-Saxon origin, derived from the Old English word "hearn" which means "heron" or "heron-like bird." It is believed to have originated as a nickname for someone who resembled a heron or had habits similar to that of a heron.

The earliest known record of the surname Hearn dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086, where it appears as "Hern" and "Herne." This suggests that the name was already well-established in England by the late 11th century.

In the 13th century, the name was recorded in various spellings such as "Heyrun," "Heyroun," and "Heyron" in the Hundred Rolls of Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. These variations reflect the different regional dialects and scribal practices of the time.

One of the earliest documented individuals with the surname Hearn was Sir John Hearn, a prominent landowner and knight who lived in the 14th century. He held estates in Somersetshire and Wiltshire and was known for his military service during the Hundred Years' War.

In the 16th century, the name was sometimes associated with the place name "Herne Bay" in Kent, leading to variations like "Herne" and "Herne Bay." However, the connection between the surname and the place name is not clear.

Among notable individuals with the surname Hearn, one can mention Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904), a renowned writer and translator who played a significant role in introducing Japanese literature and culture to the West. He was born on the Greek island of Lefkada and spent the latter part of his life in Japan.

Another notable figure was Thomas Hearn (1678-1735), an English philosopher and scholar who served as the second keeper of the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford. He was known for his extensive work on ancient manuscripts and his contributions to the study of English antiquities.

In the 19th century, James Hearn (1819-1901) was an Irish-born businessman and politician who immigrated to Australia and became a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council. He was also involved in the development of the Sydney suburb of Newtown.

The American baseball player Mel Hearn (1879-1947) was a notable figure in the early 20th century. He played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder for several teams, including the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox.

In more recent times, the British writer Lian Hearn (born in 1942) gained recognition for her bestselling historical fantasy novels set in feudal Japan, such as the "Tales of the Otori" series.

Race and ethnic origin of people with the last name Hearn

We also have some data on the ancestry of people with the surname Hearn.

The below race categories are the modified race categories used in the Census Bureau's population estimates program. All people were categorized into six mutually exclusive racial and Hispanic origin groups:

  1. White only
  2. Black only
  3. American Indian and Alaskan Native only
  4. Asian and Pacific Islander only
  5. Hispanic
  6. Two or More Races

For the most recent 2010 census data, the race/ethnic origin breakdown for Hearn was:

Race/Ethnicity Percentage Total Occurrences
Non-Hispanic White Only 75.88% 11,560
Non-Hispanic Black Only 18.80% 2,864
Non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander Only 0.65% 99
Non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.35% 53
Non-Hispanic of Two or More Races 1.90% 289
Hispanic Origin 2.42% 369

Note: Any fields showing (S) means the data was suppressed for privacy so that the data does not in any way identify any specific individuals.

Since we have data from the previous census in 2000, we can also compare the values to see how the popularity of Hearn has changed in the 10 years between the two census surveys.

2010 2000 Change (%)
White 75.88% 77.51% -2.13%
Black 18.80% 18.72% 0.43%
Asian and Pacific Islander 0.65% 0.41% 45.28%
American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.35% 0.35% 0.00%
Two or More Races 1.90% 1.19% 45.95%
Hispanic 2.42% 1.83% 27.76%

Data source

The last name data and ethnic breakdown of last names is sourced directly from the Decennial Census survey, conducted every 10 years by the United States Census Bureau.

The history and meaning of the name Hearn was researched and written by our team of onomatology and genealogy experts.

If you have a correction or suggestion to improve the history of Hearn, please contact us.

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"Hearn last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com. Accessed on July 22, 2024. http://namecensus.com/last-names/hearn-surname-popularity/.

"Hearn last name popularity, history, and meaning". NameCensus.com, http://namecensus.com/last-names/hearn-surname-popularity/. Accessed 22 July, 2024

Hearn last name popularity, history, and meaning. NameCensus.com. Retrieved from http://namecensus.com/last-names/hearn-surname-popularity/.

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