The Ahern or O’Hern Family

Ahern or O’Hern family crest

(Crest No. 282. Plate 44.)

THIS family, whose name is variously spelled Ahern, Ahearne, Hearne, Heron, and O’Ahern, is descended from Milesius, King of Spain, through the line of his son Heber. The founder of the family was Eogan More, son of Olliol Ollum, first absolute King of Munster, A. D. 177, and his consort, Sabia, daughter of Con Kead Caha, King of Ireland, A. D. 148.

The ancient name was Aighearn, which signifies “Joy.” The possessions of the sept were located in the present County of Cork.

The Ahern branch of this family held possessions in Cork, Limerick, and Clare. The O’Herns were also chiefs of Hy-Cearnaidh, or O’Kearney, in the County of Tipperary. This branch of the O’Aherns, or Hernes, is thus mentioned by O’Heerin:

Over Ui Cearnaigh of valiant hosts,

Rules O’Echtigern of the land of tribes;

A joyful country is that of the upright man,

As far as the hospitable port of the Shannon.