Show ContentsBigger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Bigger family may have been Viking settlers. Their surname comes from a place name of Norse origins, from when they 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 Bigger family

The surname Bigger 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 Bigger family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bigger 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 Bigger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bigger Spelling Variations

Standards against which to judge the accuracy of spellings and translations did not yet exist in the Middle Ages. Spelling variations in names dating from that era, are thus, an extremely common occurrence. Bigger has been recorded as Biggar, Bigare, Bigger, Bigir, Bygar, McGivern, Bigger and many more.

Early Notables of the Bigger family (pre 1700)

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

Bigger Ranking

In the United States, the name Bigger is the 16,629th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Bigger family to Ireland

Some of the Bigger 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 Bigger migration to the United States +

The New World was far from the oppressive regime of the old country. It was a place where there was more land than people and political and religious freedom were far easier to come by. Many Scots even got the chance to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. In recent years, interest in this heritage has been generated by Clan societies and regular highland games in North America. An examination of early immigration and passenger lists has revealed many people bearing the Bigger name:

Bigger Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Bigger, who arrived in Maryland in 1652 [5]
  • Ann Bigger, who landed in Maryland in 1654 [5]
  • Francis Bigger, who landed in Maryland in 1661 [5]
Bigger Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • David Bigger, who settled in New Hampshire in 1718
  • Gilbert Bigger who settled in Baltimore in 1754
  • Peter Bigger, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1754 [5]
Bigger Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Bigger, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1812 [5]
  • David Bigger, who arrived in Mississippi in 1825 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Bigger (post 1700) +

  • William W. Bigger, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Ocean City, Maryland, 1893-97 [6]
  • Thomas B. Bigger, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Richmond, Virginia, 1845-61 [6]
  • Matthew L. Bigger, American Republican politician, Candidate in primary for Ohio State Attorney General, 1928 [6]
  • Thomas A. Bigger, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Kansas, 1924 [6]
  • John Bigger, American politician, Member of Ohio State Senate, 1803-06; Presidential Elector for Ohio, 1824; Candidate for Governor of Ohio, 1826
  • James M. Bigger, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1876 [6]
  • J. C. Bigger, American politician, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, 1883-85
  • Elsie E. Bigger, American Republican politician, Candidate for Michigan State House of Representatives 43rd District, 1998 [6]
  • Edjaun Cinclair "E. J." Bigger (b. 1987), American football cornerback
  • Jeff Bigger (b. 1963), American author, journalist, playwright, master storyteller and performance artist
  • ... (Another 4 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. 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)
  6. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, March 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook