Heighder History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The proud Heighder family originated in Cornwall, a rugged coastal region in southwestern England. In early times, people were known by only a single name. However, as the population grew and people traveled further afield, it became increasingly necessary to assume an additional name to differentiate between bearers of the same personal name. The manner in which hereditary surnames arose is interesting. Local surnames are derived from where the original bearer lived, was born, or held land. The Heighder family originally lived in Devon. Their name, however, is derived from the Old English word heah, which means hill or raised land. [1]

Early Origins of the Heighder family

The surname Heighder was first found in Devon, where they held a family seat from ancient times. Early in their history the family branched to Cambridgeshire, where William Haytere was registered in the Assize Rolls of 1260. There was also registry of Reginald le Heytur in 1296. [2]

John Haytour was listed in Somerset 1 Edward III (during the first years of Edward III's reign.) [3]

Early History of the Heighder family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heighder research. Another 99 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1540, 1687, 1706, 1726, 1611, 1684, 1611, 1628, 1632, 1634, 1702, 1762, 1702, 1728, 1760 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Heighder History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heighder Spelling Variations

Cornish surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The official court languages, which were Latin and French, were also influential on the spelling of a surname. Since the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent in medieval times, and scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings of their surname in the ancient chronicles. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into England, which accelerated and accentuated the alterations to the spelling of various surnames. Lastly, spelling variations often resulted from the linguistic differences between the people of Cornwall and the rest of England. The Cornish spoke a unique Brythonic Celtic language which was first recorded in written documents during the 10th century. However, they became increasingly Anglicized, and Cornish became extinct as a spoken language in 1777, although it has been revived by Cornish patriots in the modern era. The name has been spelled Hayter, Haiter, Haytor, Hater and others.

Early Notables of the Heighder family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Richard Hayter (1611?-1684), English theological writer, born about 1611, son of William Hayter, fishmonger, of Salisbury, Wiltshire. In 1628 he entered Magdalen Hall, Oxford, as a commoner, and graduated B.A. 26 April 1632, and M.A. 29 Jan. 1634. [4] Thomas Hayter (1702-1762), was bishop successively of Norwich and London, baptised at Chagford, Devonshire...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Heighder Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Heighder family

A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Heighder: George Hayter, who sailed to Barbados between 1654 and 1663. In addition, John Hayter had settled in Tilton, Newfoundland by 1771; and John Haiter was recorded as a planter in Trinity, Newfoundland in 1830..



  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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