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
Early Origins of the Heighder family
The surname Heighder was first found in Devon
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times.
Early History of the Heighder family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heighder research.Another 249 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1260, 1296, 1540, 1687, 1706 and 1726 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)
More information is included under the topic Early Heighder Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Heighder family to the New World and Oceana
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..