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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Bigrigg is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once 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.

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The surname Bigrigg was first found in 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.

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Bigrigg family name include Bygrove, Bygroves, Bygrave, Bygraves, Bigrove, Bigroves, Bigrave, Bigraves, Bargrave and many more.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bigrigg research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1312, 1610 and 1680 are included under the topic Early Bigrigg History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bigrigg Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Bigrigg surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Elizabeth Bygrave who landed in Virginia in 1624.

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  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  3. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  4. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  5. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  10. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  11. ...

The Bigrigg Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bigrigg 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 6 February 2013 at 12:56.

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