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

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

The history of the Higdon name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from the son of Richard. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Higdon family name include Higdon, Higden, Hygdon, Hygden and others.

First found in Worcestershire, but one of the first records of the name was found in Cheshire where Ranulf Higdon (Higden) (1280-1364), was an English chronicler and Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Werburgh. His birth location was unknown but believed to be in the west of England. He is best remembered as the author of Polychronicon a long chronicle written in Latin which became very popular in the 15th century after it was translated into English in the late 14th century.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higdon research. Another 294 words(21 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1364, 1379, and 1715 are included under the topic Early Higdon History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Higdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Higdon surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Higdon Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • Peter Higdon, who sailed to Massachusetts in 1635
  • Peter Higdon, who landed in America in 1635
  • Jno Higdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1658

Higdon Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Eliza Higdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1706

Higdon Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • George Higdon settled at Trinity Bay in 1831
  • George Higdon, aged 26, landed in New York in 1832

Higdon Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Lewis Higdon, aged 47, who landed in America from Somerset, in 1906
  • Adelaide Higdon, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Paul Higdon, aged 41, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Thomas B. Higdon, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Samuel Higdon, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1920


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  • Emerson G Higdon, American manufacturing company executive
  • Wilford Higdon, prominent American educator
  • Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962), American Grammy Award winning composer of classical music and recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music
  • Hal Higdon (b. 1931), American writer and runner, winner of four World Masters Championships
  • Alex Higdon (b. 1966), former American football tight end
  • William Travis Higdon (1924-1986), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Michael Higdon (b. 1983), English association football player
  • James Higdon Ph.D., Research Associate with the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph team at Cornell University
  • Allan L. Higdon, Irish-born, Canadian acting mayor of Ottawa July 2000 to 2001


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  • The Higdon of Grayson County, Kentucky, 1810-1900 by Sarah Higdon Peyton.
  • Leonard Higdon of Anson County and His Descendants by Jo Ann Smith.
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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  3. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  4. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  9. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Higdon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Higdon 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 16 October 2012 at 19:49.

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