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

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

The name Biggs is rooted in the ancient Norman culture that arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. It was a name for someone who was a large, stout, or strong man. The name is Old Norse in origin, and stems from the Old English root bigge.


Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Biggs, Bigg, Big, Bigge, Byggs, Bygges, Bigges and others.

First found in Essex, where they had been granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Biggs research. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1917, 1606, 1659 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Biggs History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 47 words(3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Biggs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Biggs or a variant listed above:

Biggs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Biggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1610
  • Sarah Biggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1618
  • Mrs. Biggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Richard Biggs settled in Virginia in 1626
  • Thomas Biggs settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1635

Biggs Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • William Biggs, who arrived in America in 1795

Biggs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Andre Biggs, who landed in Louisiana in 1805
  • Jeremiah Biggs was a plaintiff before the Supreme Court in 1810
  • Alexander Biggs, aged 26, landed in New York in 1812
  • Henry Seymom Biggs, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1820
  • Peter Biggs, who landed in New York in 1842

Biggs Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century

  • Joseph Biggs was a fisherman in Adam's Cove, Newfoundland in 1829
  • Frances Biggs settled in Pouch Cove, Newfoundland in 1850
  • James Biggs was a fisherman of Bareneed, Newfoundland in 1871
  • John Biggs was a cooper of Carbonear in 1871

Biggs Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Abraham Biggs, a carpenter, arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
  • Samuel Henry Biggs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839
  • Ann Elizabeth Biggs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839
  • Mary Ann Biggs arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Recovery" in 1839
  • George Biggs, English convict from London, who was transported aboard the "Anna Maria" on March 6, 1848, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia

Biggs Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Frances Biggs, aged 19, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Isaac Biggs, aged 1, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Frances Biggs, aged 4 mths., arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Hannah Biggs, aged 29, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842
  • Alfred Biggs, aged 4, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Lloyds" in 1842


  • Asa Biggs (1811-1878), American politician, U.S. Representative (1845-1847), and U.S. senator from the state of North Carolina (1855-1858)
  • Hermann Michael Biggs (1859-1923), American physician, pioneer in the field of public health and bacteriology
  • Edward George Power Biggs (1906-1977), English-born, American who was one of the most influential classical organists of the twentieth century
  • Jason Matthew Biggs (b. 1978), American actor, best known for his role as Jim Levenstein in the American Pie series
  • Tyrell Biggs (b. 1960), American former heavyweight boxer
  • Casey Patrick Biggs (b. 1955), American actor, best known for his recurring role as the Cardassian Damar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
  • Richard T. "Rick" Biggs (1960-2004), American television and stage actor
  • Ronald "Ronnie" Biggs (1929-2013), English criminal, one of the perpetrators of the Great Train Robbery and lived as a fugitive for 36 years
  • Mr. Edward Charles Biggs (d. 1912), aged 21, English Fireman/Stoker from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • John B Biggs (b. 1934), Australian educational psychologist and novelist



  • The Jesse Tree: History of Biggs-Dexter Families in America by Rayma Leone Biggs.


  1. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  2. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  4. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  5. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  6. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  8. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Biggs Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Biggs 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 5 June 2015 at 15:31.

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