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An excerpt from archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The name Digges is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from the baptismal name Dod, the short form of Roger. Baptismal names began to appear as surnames relatively late in the growth of the naming tradition. This is a little surprising, given the popularity of biblical figures in the Christian countries of Europe. Nevertheless, surnames derived from baptismal names grew in popularity during the Middle Ages, and have become one of the foremost sources for surnames.


The surname Digges was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very early times.

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 Digges include Dodge, Doidge, Doge, Doige, Doddge, Doges, Dodges, Doidges and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Digges research. Another 155 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1196, 1214, 1515, 1559, 1546, 1595, 1583, 1639, 1610, 1629, 1651, 1697, 1620, 1674, 1650, 1655, 1656 and are included under the topic Early Digges History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Notables of the family at this time include Leonard Digges (c.1515-c.1559), English mathematician and surveyor, credited with the invention of the theodolite; Sir Thomas Digges (1546-1595), an English mathematician and astronomer; Sir Dudley Digges (c.1583-1639), an English diplomat and politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1610 and 1629...

Another 69 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Digges Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


Some of the Digges family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


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:

Digges Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Edward Digges, who landed in Virginia in 1650
  • William Digges, who landed in Maryland in 1680

  • Deborah Digges (1950-2009), born Deborah Leah Sugarbaker, an American poet and teacher, awarded the Ingram-Merrill Award (1985), National Endowment for the Arts grant (1987), Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award (1987), Guggenheim Fellowship, (1988) and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award (1996)
  • Alyssa Digges, American actress, known for Dead by Dawn 2: The Mask of Conrad (2004)
  • Mae Digges, American actress, known for her role in San Francisco (1936)
  • J. M. Digges, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in San Juan de los Remedios, 1874
  • Edward S. Digges, American Democrat politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maryland, 1948
  • West Digges (1720-1786), English actor
  • Dudley Digges (1879-1947), Irish stage and film actor, known for his roles in Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), The Invisible Man (1933), The Emperor Jones (1933) and The Maltese Falcon (1931)

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    Other References

    1. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
    2. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    3. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
    4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
    5. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
    6. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
    7. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    8. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
    9. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
    10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    11. ...

    The Digges Family Crest was acquired from the archives. The Digges 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 15 January 2016 at 13:50.

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