Show ContentsBiggart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the Biggart surname reach back to the language of the Viking settlers who populated the rugged shores of Scotland in the Medieval era. The Biggart surname comes from someone having lived in east Lanarkshire, in a place probably named from the Old Norse words "bygg," meaning "barley," and "geiri," denoting a triangular plot of land.

Early Origins of the Biggart family

The surname Biggart was first found in Lanarkshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Lannraig) a former county in the central Strathclyde region of Scotland at Biggar, a parish and market-town, on the road from Dumfries to Edinburgh.

"The original name of this place, as it occurs in several ancient charters, is generally written Biger, or Bigre, and is supposed to have been derived from the nature of the ground on which the castle of the family of Biggar was situated (in the centre of a soft morass), and to have been thence applied to the whole of the parish; and from the same circumstance, the castle assumed the name of Boghall. The manor was granted by David I. to Baldwin, a Flemish leader, whose descendants still retain the surname of Fleming; they appear to claim a very remote antiquity, and the name of Baldwin de Biger appears in testimony to a charter, prior to the year 1160." [1]

"Baldwin de Bigir, who appears as sheriff of Lanark in the reign of Malcolm IV is the first known to bear the territorial designation. Between 1147-1160 Balwinus de Digir (Bigir) witnessed the grant by Arnold, Abbot of Kelso, of the lands of Douglas to Theobaldus Flamaticus. Sometime after 1170 Baldwin de Bigre, sheriff of Lanark, granted the church of Innyrkvp beyond the Moors (ultra mores) to the monks of Paisley. Waldeve, Baldwin's son, was taken prisoner at Alnwick along with King William the Lion in 1174. In 1228 Hugh the son of Robert de Bygris appears in a grant to St. Machute of Lesmahagow, in which he is styled Hugo de Bygris films Roberti filii Waldevi de Bigris." [2]

To the south in England, one of the first records of the family was "Nicholas de Bichar" who witnesses a charter of William de Granavilla to Gateshead: and was, without doubt, the same Nicholas, mentioned in the Rot. Cur. Northumbriae, who was Lord of Byker, near Newcastle, in the reign of Henry III. This manor was anciently held in grand serjeancy, by carrying the King's writ between the rivers Tyne and Coquet, and making distresses of goods for the King's debts.- Hutchinson's Northumberland.

The family continued there till 1346. Richard de Bicker was summoned to attend the great Council at Westminster in 1324.- Palgrave's Parl. Writs.

"The name is found at a rather earlier date in Lincolnshire, where Gerard de Bikere occurs in the Rotul. Cancellarii of 1202, and was presumably the owner of Bicker, 'a very ancient and pleasant village, nine miles from Folkingham.' " [3]

Early History of the Biggart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Biggart research. Another 248 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1153, 1153, 1160, 1174, 1292, 1329, 1329, 1433, 1621, 1614, 1912, 1912, 1368, 1664, 1878, 1863, 1927, 1828, and are included under the topic Early Biggart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Biggart Spelling Variations

Spelling variations are extremely common among Scottish names dating from this era because the arts of spelling and translation were not yet standardized. Spelling was done by sound, and translation from Gaelic to English was generally quite careless. In different records, Biggart has been spelled Biggar, Bigare, Bigger, Bigir, Bygar, McGivern, Bigger and many more.

Early Notables of the Biggart family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Biggart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Biggart family to Ireland

Some of the Biggart family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 221 words (16 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Biggart migration to the United States +

Those who made the voyage were greeted with ample opportunity to acquire land and a political climate far away from the oppressive monarchy of the old country. They settled along the east coast of what would become Canada and the United States. In the American War of Independence, those who remained loyal to England traveled north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In this century, many Scots living in North America have begun to recover their rich heritage through festivals, highland games, and Clan societies. An examination of passenger and immigration lists has shown early immigrants bearing the name Biggart:

Biggart Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Biggart, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1772
  • Robert Biggart, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [4]
Biggart Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Biggart, aged 44, who arrived in Ohio in 1812 [4]
  • Sarah Biggart, aged 17, who immigrated to the United States, in 1894
  • Samuel Biggart, aged 26, who landed in America, in 1896
Biggart Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Robert Park Biggart, aged 38, who immigrated to America, in 1904
  • John Biggart, aged 65, who settled in America from Amtrim, in 1904
  • Joshia Biggart, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States from Antrim, in 1904
  • Mabelle Biggart, aged 48, who landed in America, in 1913
  • Hugh Biggart, aged 52, who immigrated to the United States, in 1921

Contemporary Notables of the name Biggart (post 1700) +

  • Mrs. James F. Biggart, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Texas, 1960, 1972 [5]
  • Bob Biggart, American two-time Primetime Emmy nominated sound editor
  • Claude Thomas "Tom" Biggart (1907-1979), American editor, best known for his work on The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet (1952 to 1955), Dennis the Menace (1959) and Hazel (1961)
  • Nicole Woolsey Biggart, American professor of Management and Sociology, the Jerome J. and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management at the University of California
  • Bill Biggart (1947-2001), American photojournalist and victim of the September 11th attacks
  • Sir John Biggart, British pathologist

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
  4. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  5. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook