Show ContentsHaggart History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The first family to use the name Haggart lived among the Pictish people of ancient Scotland. The name Haggart is derived from the Gaelic form Mac-an-t-sagairt, which means son of the priest. Patronymic names often substituted the name of a saint or other revered religious figure in place of a devout bearer's actual father. However, the patronym Haggart often denotes actual paternity in this case, since the marriage of clerics in minor orders was permissible, although the marriage of priests was declared illegal and invalid during the 12th century.

The etymology of the name is much in debate. One source notes the "family are supposed to be derived from the Ogards of co. Hertfordshire." or the name "Haggard is a corruption of "hay-garth," a rick yard, and is so employed in Hall and Holinshed, as well as in several provincial dialects, but most probably, an ancient baptismal name which occurs in Domesday as Acard and Acardus." [1]

Early Origins of the Haggart family

The surname Haggart was first found in Perthshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Pheairt) former county in the present day Council Area of Perth and Kinross, located in central Scotland, where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.

The Scottish branch of the family was recorded quite late as "the name occurs in Suffolk in thirteenth century as Hacgard." [2] [3]

One of the first records of the family was found in Worcestershire, England where Alice Haggard was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of 1275. [4] In this case, the name may have been derived from the Middle English and Old French word hagard which means 'wild, untamed.'

Early History of the Haggart family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Haggart research. Another 78 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 172 and 1723 are included under the topic Early Haggart History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Haggart Spelling Variations

Repeated and inaccurate translation of Scottish names from Gaelic to English and back resulted in a wide variety of spelling variations with single names. Haggart has appeared Haggard, Hagard, Hagger, Hagart, Haggart, Hager and many more.

Early Notables of the Haggart family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Haggart Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Haggart migration to the United States +

Many Scottish families suffered enormous hardships and were compelled to leave their country of birth. They traveled to Ireland and Australia, but mostly to the colonies of North America, where many found the freedom and opportunity they sought. It was not without a fight, though, as many were forced to stand up and defend their freedom in the American War of Independence. The ancestors of these Scots abroad have rediscovered their heritage in the last century through the Clan societies and other organizations that have sprung up across North America. Immigration and passenger ship lists show some important early immigrants bearing the name Haggart:

Haggart Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Andrew Haggart, who arrived in New York in 1848

Australia Haggart migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Haggart Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Haggart, Scottish convict who was convicted in Edinburgh, Scotland for life, transported aboard the "England"on 28th April 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]

New Zealand Haggart migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Haggart Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Morris Haggart, (b. 1854), aged 21, Scottish settler travelling from Glasgow aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Bluff, Southland, South Island, New Zealand on 25th November 1875 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Haggart (post 1700) +

  • Robert Sherwood "Bob" Haggart (1914-1998), American Dixieland jazz double bass player, composer, and arranger
  • Malcolm Haggart, American politician, Candidate in primary for Mayor of East Detroit, Michigan, 1969 [7]
  • David Haggart (1801-1821), Scottish thief and rogue who was imprisoned six times, broke out of jail four times and ultimately hanged on July 18, 1821
  • Alastair Iain Macdonald Haggart (1915-1998), eminent Scottish Anglican priest
  • Alexander Haggart (1848-1927), Canadian lawyer, judge and politician who represented Winnipeg in the Canadian House of Commons from 1909 to 1911
  • John Graham Haggart (1836-1913), Canadian politician, Canadian Postmaster General, Minister of Railways and Canals

The Haggart 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: Modeste conabor
Motto Translation: I will attempt moderately.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th April 2022).
  6. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  7. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 16) . Retrieved from on Facebook