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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Briggs family come from? What is the English Briggs family crest and coat of arms? When did the Briggs family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Briggs family history?

The English surname Briggs derives from the Old Norse word "bryggja." It is the Northern English form of the word bridge.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Brigg, Briggs, Brigge and others.

First found in Yorkshire, about the year 1275, at Wakefield. Within the next century it had branched into Cumberland, and even further north to Aberdeenshire in Scotland. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 listed Hugh ate Brugge and Roger ate Brugge in Oxfordshire while the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Juliana del Bryg, Robertus atte Brig and Ricardus atte Brygg. [1] Between the 11th and 15th century there were numerous recordings of various members of the family name as they flourished in the north and into Scotland.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Briggs research. Another 293 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1382, 1504, 1628, 1633, 1684, 1561, 1630, 1642, 1704 and are included under the topic Early Briggs History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 81 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Briggs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Briggs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 105 words(8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Briggs Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Clement Briggs who settled in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621
  • Clement Briggs, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621
  • Seth Briggs settled in Virginia in 1635
  • James Briggs settled in St. Christopher in 1635
  • Jo Briggs, aged 20, arrived in New England in 1635

Briggs Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Hen Briggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1714
  • Robert Briggs, who landed in North Carolina in 1768

Briggs Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Maria Briggs, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Abraham Briggs, who arrived in America in 1819
  • Mr. Briggs, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A Briggs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850
  • A C Briggs, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850


  • LeBaron Russell Briggs (1855-1934), American educator and first Dean of Men at Harvard University
  • David Briggs (1944-1995), American record producer best known for his work with Neil Young
  • Lyman James Briggs (1874-1963), American administrator, physicist, and agricultural scientist
  • Brigadier-General Raymond Westcott Briggs (1878-1959), American Commandant St. Thomas Military Academy (1943-1947)
  • Ansel Briggs (1806-1881), American politician, the 1st Governor of Iowa, from 1846 to 1850
  • William John "Bill" Briggs (b. 1943), American NFL football defensive end for the Washington Redskins (1966-1967)
  • Charles Frederick "C.F." Briggs (1804-1877), American journalist, author and editor
  • Clare A. Briggs (1875-1930), early American comic strip artist, best known for his strip A. Piker Clerk created in 1904, and later his strip Danny Dreamer, a regular in the Chicago Sunday Tribune
  • Frank A. Briggs (1858-1898), American Republican politician, 5th Governor of North Dakota (1897-1898)
  • Frank Obadiah Briggs (1851-1913), American politician, United States Senator from New Jersey (1907-1913)



  • A Harkrader-Hathaway (including the Briggs Family) history by Charles Briggs Hathaway.
  • John Briggs of Sandwich, Massachusetts and His Descendants by Edna Anne Hannibal.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortiter et Fideliter
Motto Translation: Boldly and faithfully.


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  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  2. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  11. ...

The Briggs Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Briggs Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 14 October 2014 at 19:52.

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