Heighan History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Heighan first arose amongst the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It is derived from their having lived in or beside an enclosed region. The surname Heighan originally derived from the Old English word "hegham" which referred to an "enclosed dwelling." 
Early Origins of the Heighan family
The surname Heighan was first found in Norfolk at Heigham, Potter, a parish, in the hundred of Happing. 
The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Echam. 
But by 1182, the parish was known as Higham Potter and possibly meant "homestead with a hedge or hatch-gate. The affix must allude to the pot-making here at an early date." 
As far as early records of the family is concerned, Osward de Hecham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Essex in 1176 and a few years later, Hugo de Hegham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1198. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three early entries for the family: Ralph de Hegham, Norfolk; Thomas de Hegham or Heyham, Kent; and Robert de Heyham, Suffolk. 
Later, Robertus de Hegham was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. "This surname is derived from a geographical locality, 'of the Hegham,' i.e. the enclosed dwelling, a spot in East Cheshire that gave rise to a surname now very familiar to the directories of the surrounding district. Also parishes in the Dioceses of Norwich, Peterborough, and Rochester, which no doubt have contributed to the list in South England." 
Early History of the Heighan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heighan research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1560, 1495, 1571, 1554, 1555, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1570, 1568, 1634 and 1545 are included under the topic Early Heighan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Heighan Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Heighan has appeared include Hyam, Hyams, Hygham, Hyham, Higham, Highams and many more.
Early Notables of the Heighan family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Clement Higham, (also Heigham), of Barrow Hall, Suffolk, (1495-1571), a Member of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons (1554-1555), Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and a Privy Councillor to Queen Mary. He was of a Suffolk family, son of Clement Heigham of Lavenham. "On 27 January 1555 he was knighted by King Philip (Machyn, Diary, p. 342), and on 2 March 1558 he succeeded Sir David Brooke as lord chief Baron of the exchequer. He received a new patent on Queen Elizabeth's accession, but on 22 January 1559 he was...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heighan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heighan family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Heighan arrived in North America very early: Thomas Higham settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1698; Farwell Higham settled in New England in 1755; Thomas Higham arrived in New York in 1822; Abel, James, and William Higham arrived in Philadelphia in 1828.
- Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)