Show ContentsHegat History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hegat family

The surname Hegat was first found in Middlesex at Highgate, a town and chapelry, partly in the parishes of St. Pancras and Islington, but chiefly in that of Hornsey, union of Edmonton.

"According to Camden and other authorities, the hamlet of Highgate derived its name from the high-gate, or gate upon the hill, erected by the Bishop of London, on or very near the site of the present Gatehouse inn, about 500 years ago, when the high road over the hill was formed. But in a recent work drawn up on the invitation of the Highgate Literary Institution, it is supposed, with some probability, that the name (which in an ancient record is written Hygate), is deducible from Hy, a syllable in the British language, perhaps corrupted from Hu, a cap, and implying also Episcopal, and Gate, an entrance or way. " 1

In the bordering county of Essex, we found the variant Mygate and Mygatt. From this branch, Deacon Jospeh Mygatt emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1634, settling in Cambridge by August 1634.

Further to the north in Scotland, the name is "an old surname about Glasgow. Of local origin, perhaps from Highgate, near Beith, Ayrshire. Highet is a variant. Johne Hechet was burgess of Glasgow in 1527. William Higait or Hegait, notary in Glasgow, 1547-55." 2

As the reader will note, the Scottish records are quite late in comparison to the Middlesex reference, so one can presume some of the family migrated from Middlesex to Scotland.

Early History of the Hegat family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hegat research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1103, 1177, 1510, 1550, 1560, 1563, 1564, 1570, 1574, 1581, 1586, 1590, 1600, 1609, 1625, 1675 and 1820 are included under the topic Early Hegat History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hegat Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Hegat were recorded, including Highgate, Higate, Hygate, Higgat, Higgett, Higgatt, Higget, Hygate, Hygat, Hyget, Hygett, Hygatt, Hegate, Hegatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Hegat family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • William Hegat (fl. 1600), Scottish professor at Bordeaux, a native of Glasgow. "Several Hiegaits are mentioned in connection with Glasgow between 1570 and 1590. If the ascription to Hegat of the ‘Pæda...
  • the other was Robert Balfour (1550?-1625?), who was later an intimate friend of Hegat. " 3

Migration of the Hegat family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Hegat family emigrate to North America: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print on Facebook