In the list of English surnames associated with the keeping and breeding of cattle, this is the rarest form. Recorded in the surviving late medieval church registers as Heffer, Heffor, Heifer, and the later Hepher, the surname is seemingly job descriptive for a person resonsible for keeping the young female cattle. It was first recorded in the Cambridge area, an area greatly associated with cattle breeding. More popular surnames are Bull, Stott, and Palfrey, but all have the same roots in the pre 7th century Olde English agricultural scene. In some cases it is claimed, the names are not occupational, but nicknames for one who possessed the claimed characteristics of the animal, and no doubt Robert le Bool, recorded in the Subsidy Rolls of the county of Sussex in the year 1327, was such a person.Early examples of this surname include Alice Heifer, christened at Oakington, Cambridge, the early epicentre of the name, on October 30th 1599, John Heffor, who married Ann Bullyn (but not THE Ann Boleyn), on November 2nd 1602 at Girton, Cambridge, and Eliza Hepha who married the quaintly named Smithee Sutton, at St Pancras Old Church, London, on January 27th 1856. The first known recording is probably that of Robert Heffer, a witness at Oakington, Cambridge, on July 5th 1573. This was during the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1st of Engalnd, 1558 - 1603.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • Heifer — may refer to: *A young female cow before she has had her first calf *Red Heifer, in Judaism is a heifer that is sacrificed and whose ashes are used for the ritual purification. *Heifer International, a charitable organization *Heffer Wolfe, a… …   Wikipedia

  • Heifer — Heif er, n. [OE. hayfare, AS. he[ a]hfore, he[ a]fore; the second part of this word seems akin to AS. fearr bull, ox; akin to OHG. farro, G. farre, D. vaars, heifer, G. f[ a]rse, and perh. to Gr. ?, ?, calf, heifer.] (Zo[ o]l.) A young cow. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • heifer — O.E. heahfore, West Saxon; Northumbrian hehfaro, heffera (pl.), of unknown origin, not found outside English. The first element seems to be heah high, common in O.E. compounds with a sense of great in size. The second element may be related to… …   Etymology dictionary

  • heifer — meaning ‘a cow that has not borne a calf’, is spelt this way …   Modern English usage

  • heifer — ► NOUN ▪ a cow that has not borne a calf, or has borne only one calf. ORIGIN Old English …   English terms dictionary

  • heifer — [hef′ər] n. [ME haifre < OE heahfore, lit., full grown young ox < heah, high, hence full grown (see HIGH) + fearr, bull, lit., young animal: see FARROW2] a young cow that has not borne a calf …   English World dictionary

  • heifer — noun /ˈhɛfə,ˈhɛfɚ/ a) A young female bovine (cow) that has not yet had a calf. 1611 And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, This is the ordinance of the law which the LORD hath commanded, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel,… …   Wiktionary

  • heifer n — 1) A dairy farmer had a heifer dozen calves. 2) Milk as the udder alternative has been heifer a long time …   English expressions

  • heifer — UK [ˈhefə(r)] / US [ˈhefər] noun [countable] Word forms heifer : singular heifer plural heifers a young cow that has not given birth to a calf …   English dictionary

  • heifer — /hef euhr/, n. a young cow over one year old that has not produced a calf. [bef. 900; ME hayfre, OE hea(h)f(o)re, equiv. to heah high + fore; akin to Gk póris heifer] * * * …   Universalium

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