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Heffley Coat of Arms / Heffley Family Crest

This name HEFFLEY was a German occupational name for a maker of hooks and eyes or buckles. The name is also spelt HEFTEL, HEFT and HEFELE. Surnames are divided into four categories, from occupations, nicknames, baptismal and locational. All the main types of these are found in German-speaking areas, and names derived from occupations and from nicknames are particularly common. A number of these are Jewish. Patronymic surnames are derived from vernacular Germanic given names, often honouring Christian saints. Regional and ethnic names are also common. The German preposition 'von (from) or 'of', used with habitation names, is taken as a mark of aristocracy, and usually denoted proprietorship of the village or estate from where they came. Some members of the nobility affected the form VON UND ZU with their titles. In eastern Germany there was a heavy influence both from and on neighbouring Slavonic languages. Many Prussian surnames are of Slavonic origin. A notable member of the name was Karl Joseph HEFELE (1800-93) the German Roman Catholic prelate and historian, born in Unterkochen in Wurttemberg. In 1840 he became a Catholic professor of church history at Tubingen. He wrote on the conversion of southwest Germany (1837). His great work is the 'Konziliengeschichte'. American surnames comprise of surnames found in every country throughout the world, many with differences in spelling not seen in the old country due to the inability of clerks and Government officials to record correctly the names given them by unschooled immigrants not familiar with the English, French, German, Portugese, Dutch or Spanish languages currently used in the Port of entry or the part of the country where they settled. When an immigrant arriving in America with little knowledge of English gave his name verbally to the officials, it was written down by them as they heard it, and being thereby 'official' it was often accepted by the immigrant himself as the correct American rendering of his name.

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Last Updated: May 9, 2020

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