Show ContentsDiggs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Diggs 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 person who had a duck-like gait or bore some other resemblance to a duck. The surname Diggs is derived from Old English words duk, dukke, duck, doke, and dook, which all mean duck. However, these words are often indistinguishable from the various Old English words duc, duk, duke, douc, and doke, which all came from the Old French word duc. This ultimately came from the Latin word dux, which means leader, and is a derivative of the verb ducere, which means to lead.

Early Origins of the Diggs family

The surname Diggs was first found in Somerset where the first record of the family was John le Duk, who was listed there 1 Edward III (during the first year of King Edward III's reign.) [1]

The Rotuli Curiae Regis listed Ralph Dux of Buckinghamshire, 1198. [2]

In Cheshire, two early listing were found: Robert Ducke was listed in the Assize Rolls of 1260 and later; Hugo Doke was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1279. [3] In the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379, we found Adam Doke listed as holding lands there at that time. [4]

In Devon, we found the variant Duckham. [5] "Amongst old Tiverton [,Devon] names, now scantily to be found in the county, but still surviving in this town, are Duckham This name is now established in Monmouthshire. The Duckhams were Tiverton churchwardens in 1691, 1703, and 1743." [6]

Early History of the Diggs family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Diggs research. Another 68 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1515, 1546, 1559, 1570, 1580, 1595, 1628, 1632, 1636, 1638, 1639, 1648, 1657, 1672, 1691, 1705 and 1756 are included under the topic Early Diggs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Diggs Spelling Variations

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 Duck, Duche, Ducke and others.

Early Notables of the Diggs family

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was

  • Leonard Digges (c.1515-c.1559), was an English mathematician and surveyor, credited with the invention of the theodolite. Sir Thomas Digges (1546-1595), was an English mathematician and astronomer; Si...

Diggs Ranking

In the United States, the name Diggs is the 1,808th most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Diggs family to Ireland

Some of the Diggs family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 30 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Diggs migration to the United States +

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 Diggs or a variant listed above:

Diggs Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Diggs, who landed in Virginia in 1645 [8]
  • Edward Diggs, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [8]
Diggs Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W H Diggs, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • N. E. Diggs, aged 55, who settled in America, in 1894
Diggs Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mable Diggs, who immigrated to Topeka, Kansas, in 1904
  • John Diggs, aged 43, who landed in America from London, in 1904
  • Harry Diggs, aged 38, who immigrated to America from Johannesburg, South Africa, in 1907
  • Diggs, aged 33, who landed in America from Dublin, Ireland, in 1912
  • Beatrice Diggs, aged 28, who immigrated to Paducah, Kentucky, in 1913
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Diggs (post 1700) +

  • Stefon Marsean Diggs (b. 1993), American football wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League
  • Charles Coles Diggs Jr (1922-1998), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan's 13th district (1955 to 1980)
  • Reese Wilson "Diggsy" Diggs (1915-1978), American Major League Baseball pitcher in the 1930s
  • Elder Watson Diggs (1883-1947), American principal founder of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
  • Joetta Clark Diggs (b. 1962), American track and field athlete
  • Melanie Paige "Laney" Diggs (b. 1992), American figure skater
  • Jimmy Diggs (b. 1955), American television screenwriter, best known for his work on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager
  • Na'il Diggs (b. 1978), American NFL football linebacker for the San Diego Chargers
  • Scott Leo "Taye" Diggs (b. 1971), American theatre, film and television actor, best known for his roles in the Broadway musical Rent
  • Charles Coles Diggs Sr. (1894-1967), American politician, Representative from Michigan 1st District, 1948, 1952 [9]
  • ... (Another 20 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  1. Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  2. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  6. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  8. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook