Dig History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the first family to use the name Dig lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Dig comes from the given name Richard. [1] Dick is a diminutive of this personal name.

One source explains the origin more clearly: "In Scotland it has been variously written at different periods, as Dicson, Dykson, Dikson, Diksoun, Diksoune, Dixson, and Dickson. They are descended from one Richard Keith, said to be a son of the family of Keith, earls-marshal of Scotland, and in proof thereof they carry in their arms the chief of Keith Mareschal. This Richard was commonly called Dick, and his sons, with the carelessness of that age, were styled 'Dickson.' It is probable that he was the son of the great Marshal, Hervey de Keth, (ob. 1249,) by his wife Margaret, daughter of William, third lord Douglas." [2]

Early Origins of the Dig family

The surname Dig was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area where William de Dyck was first magistrate of Edinburgh in 1296. John Dic, was a witness in Ayr, 1490, Wille Dic was 'dekin of the bakstaris' of Stirling in 1526. John Dyk or Dik was bailie of David, Earl of Craufurd in Perthshire in 1547 and Alexander Dik was archdean of Glasgow in 1555. [3]

Some of the family were found in Northern England in later years. Yorkshire records for 1563 listed: William Dycks; and William Dix. [4] In Norfolk, Thomas Dykkes, was rector of Bodney, Norfolk in 1431, and William Dykk was rector of Godwick in 1420. [5]

Early History of the Dig family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dig research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1526, 1658, 1678, 1681, 1580, 1655, 1618, 1618, 1631, 1638, 1639, 1703, 1785, 1703, 1725, 1741, 1728 and are included under the topic Early Dig History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dig Spelling Variations

In medieval Scotland, names were more often spelled according to sound than any regular set of rules. An enormous number of spelling variations were the result. Over the years, the name Dig has been spelled Dick, Dyck, Dic and others.

Early Notables of the Dig family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir William Dick (1580?-1655), Provost of Edinburgh, the only son of John Dick, who held a large proprietor in the Orkneys, and who had acquired considerable wealth by trading with Denmark, and was a favourite of James VI. "In 1618 he advanced 6,000l. to defray the household expenses of James VI when he held a parliament in Scotland in 1618. Through his influence with the government he greatly increased his wealth by farming the customs and excise; he extended the trade of the Firth of Forth with the Baltic and Mediterranean ports, and...
Another 312 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dig Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Dig family to Ireland

Some of the Dig family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Dig family

In such difficult times, Ireland, Australia, and North America looked like better homes for many Scots. The trips were expensive and grueling, but also rewarding, as the colonies were havens for those unwelcome in the old country. That legacy did not die easily, though, and many were forced to fight for their freedom in the American War of Independence. The Scottish legacy has resurface in more recent times, though, through Clan societies, highland games, and other organizations. Immigration and passenger lists have shown many early immigrants bearing the old Scottish name of Dig: John Dick and his wife Mary and two children settled in Georgia in 1775; John and Elizabeth Dick settled in Barbados in 1679; John Dick settled in Quebec in 1775.



The Dig Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: At spes infracta
Motto Translation: Yet my hope is unbroken.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print


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