Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived in Hertfordshire, where they held lands and a family seat at Bygrave. Originally the surname was derived from the Old English word biggrafau which meant dweller by the ditch. This name is a toponymic, surname, which is derived from nearby geographical features.
Early Origins of the Bigrave family
Hertfordshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the manor of Bygrave in that shire. The name in Saxon was "Biggrafan" having nothing to do with the grave or being by a grave. Before the Norman Conquest Leommaer Bygrave held a family seat at Bygrave in the year 1015, and most likely gave his name to the village of that name. At the time of the taking of the Domesday Book the Bygraves held their land which consisted of a village and a mill from the Bishop of Chester.
Early History of the Bigrave family
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Bigrave Spelling Variations
hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Bigrave include Bygrove, Bygroves, Bygrave, Bygraves, Bigrove, Bigroves, Bigrave, Bigraves, Bargrave and many more.
Early Notables of the Bigrave family (pre 1700)
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Migration of the Bigrave family to the New World and Oceana
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Bigrave were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Elizabeth Bygrave who landed in Virginia in 1624.
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