Show ContentsBiggerstaff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Biggerstaff surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in or near the village of Bickerstaffe, which was located near Ormskirk in the county of Lancashire. "In 1066 Bickerstaffe, under the name of Achetun, was one of the manors of Uctred, lord of Roby." [1]

One of the first records of the family was Adam de Bickerstath whose son Ralph, held manor in 1212. "Adam de Bickerstath's name frequently appears in charters and other public acts of the time." [1]

Early Origins of the Biggerstaff family

The surname Biggerstaff was first found in Lancashire, at Bickerstaffe, a village and civil parish in the West Lancashire district. The village dates back to at least the 12th century when it was listed as Bikerstad and literally meant "landing place of the bee-keepers" from the Old English words bicere + staeth. [2]

However, another reference claims the name came from the Old English word "bicker," meaning to skirmish or contend, as in bicker-staff, a weapon analogous to a quarter-staff. [3] This latter interpretation only occurs once through our research library and is mentioned here for reference purposes only as the former interpretation is more likely.

Early History of the Biggerstaff family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Biggerstaff research. Another 48 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1639, 1714, 1685, 1713 and are included under the topic Early Biggerstaff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Biggerstaff Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Biggerstaff include Bickerstaffe, Bickerstaff, Bickerstath, Bickerstathe, Bickersteth and many more.

Early Notables of the Biggerstaff family (pre 1700)

Another 40 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Biggerstaff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Biggerstaff Ranking

In the United States, the name Biggerstaff is the 7,920th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Biggerstaff family to Ireland

Some of the Biggerstaff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Biggerstaff migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Biggerstaff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Biggerstaff, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [5]
  • John Biggerstaff, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1844 [5]
  • John Biggerstaff, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [5]
  • Joseph Biggerstaff, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1856 [5]
  • Thomas Biggerstaff, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1868 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Biggerstaff (post 1700) +

  • John M. Biggerstaff (b. 1858), American Republican politician, Builder; Insurance business; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Kalamazoo County 1st District, 1915-16; Defeated, 1916. Scottish ancestry [6]
  • Jerry Biggerstaff, American Professor of Psychology at West Coast University, Los Angeles
  • Sarah Biggerstaff, American Lecturer in the Practice of Leadership at Yale School of Management
  • Deborah Biggerstaff, British Lecturer & Senior Research Fellow at Warwick Medical School
  • Antoinette Biggerstaff (b. 1947), Irish actress, known for her role in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)
  • Sean Biggerstaff (b. 1983), Scottish actor, best known for his role as Oliver Wood in the Harry Potter film series

Suggested Readings for the name Biggerstaff +

  • Biggerstaff 1978: Being an Updating of the Family History and Genealogy of the North Carolina Biggerstaffs and Related Families by Ralph Lydron Biggerstaff.
  • Isaac Garinger Davis, His Davis and Biggerstaff Families by Elizabeth Davis Thompson.

  1. 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online [accessed 21 January 2017].
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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