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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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.

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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 Hundredorum 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.


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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.

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

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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.

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Briggs Settlers in 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 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 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


Briggs Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Saml Briggs, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1760
  • Thomas Briggs, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Mr. Abiel Briggs U.E who settled in Canada c. 1783
  • Mr. John Briggs U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783

Briggs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Briggs, English convict from Essex, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • James Briggs, English convict from Surrey, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Henry Briggs arrived in Kangaroo Bay aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836
  • Johanna Briggs arrived in Kangaroo Bay aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836
  • Mary Ann Briggs arrived in Kangaroo Bay aboard the ship "Tam O'Shanter" in 1836


Briggs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Briggs, aged 23, a carpenter, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • Emma Briggs, aged 23, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Catherine Stewart Forbes" in 1841
  • G Briggs landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1842
  • Martha Briggs, aged 38, a servant, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in 1842
  • Mary Briggs, aged 25, a dressmaker, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arawa" in 1884


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  • James Frankland Briggs (1827-1905), American politician, U.S. Representative from New Hampshire (1877-1883)
  • Frank Parks Briggs (1894-1992), American politician, United States Senator from Missouri (1945-1947)
  • Frank Obadiah Briggs (1851-1913), American politician, United States Senator from New Jersey (1907-1913)
  • Frank A. Briggs (1858-1898), American Republican politician, 5th Governor of North Dakota (1897-1898)
  • 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
  • Charles Frederick "C.F." Briggs (1804-1877), American journalist, author and editor
  • William John "Bill" Briggs (b. 1943), American NFL football defensive end for the Washington Redskins (1966-1967)
  • Ansel Briggs (1806-1881), American politician, the 1st Governor of Iowa, from 1846 to 1850
  • Brigadier-General Raymond Westcott Briggs (1878-1959), American Commandant St. Thomas Military Academy (1943-1947)
  • Lyman James Briggs (1874-1963), American administrator, physicist, and agricultural scientist

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  • A Harkrader-Hathaway (including the Briggs Family) history by Charles Briggs Hathaway.
  • John Briggs of Sandwich, Massachusetts and His Descendants by Edna Anne Hannibal.
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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. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  2. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  7. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. 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.
  9. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  10. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. 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 15 May 2015 at 10:43.

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