Heighden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Heighden date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in one of a variety of similarly-named places. Settlements called Heydon were found in Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire. Cambridge and Norfolk both had places called Heydon, and Haydon Bridge was in Northumberland. The surname Heighden belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Heighden family

The surname Heighden was first found in Norfolk, where Sir Thomas de Heydon (circa 1185-1250) was on record as a judge, who was given the office of "Justice of Eyre," under a provision in the Magna Carta. His son, William de Heydon, remained in Norfolk, continuing the line that obtained estates at Heydon and Baconsthorpe. A younger son of Sir Thomas, Johannes (John) de Heydon, settled in Devon in the 13th century beginning a well known Devon branch of this family name.

Edmund of Hadenham (fl. 1307), the early English chronicler, "was a monk of Rochester, to whom is ascribed, on the authority of William Lambard, the Kentish topographer, a historical work preserved in the Cottonian Library (Nero, D. II.) in the British Museum. This manuscript, according to Wharton, contains a chronicle in one handwriting down to 1307, which is a copy of Matthew of Westminster, excepting that it contains a number of interspersed notices relating to the history of Rochester. " [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Richard de Haydon, or Heydon, Yorkshire; John de Haydon, Somerset; and Agnes de Heydone, Oxfordshire. [2]

Early History of the Heighden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heighden research. Another 163 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1280, 1200, 1303, 1327, 1583, 1574, 1586, 1651, 1656, 1658, 1583, 1629, 1667, 1669, 1723, 1746, 1503, 1479, 1623, 1653, 1667 and 1629 are included under the topic Early Heighden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heighden Spelling Variations

Heighden has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Heighden have been found, including Hayden, Haydon, Hadenham and others.

Early Notables of the Heighden family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include John Haidon (d. 1583) Sheriff of London; John Heydon (1629-c. 1667), English philosopher and Rosicrucian (a legendary and secretive Order); as well as Sir John Heydon, English, Governor of Bermuda in 1669. George Heyden (fl. 1723), was an English composer and organist at the church of St. Mary Magdalen, Bermondsey. On 6 January 1746 he was elected a member of the Madrigal Society. [1] Sir Henry Heydon (d. 1503), was a country gentleman, belonged to an old family seated at Heydon in Norfolk. As early as the thirteenth century one of the family resided in Norfolk, and...
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heighden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Heighden family to Ireland

Some of the Heighden family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heighden family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Heighdens to arrive on North American shores: John Hayden settled in New England in 1630; another John settled in Virginia in 1670; Samuel Hayden settled in New England in 1666; Thomas Hayden settled in Virginia in 1654.



The Heighden 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: Ferme en foy
Motto Translation: Strong in faith.


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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