Show ContentsHeiken History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Heiken date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in or beside an enclosed region. The surname Heiken originally derived from the Old English word "hegham" which referred to an "enclosed dwelling." [1]

Early Origins of the Heiken family

The surname Heiken was first found in Norfolk at Heigham, Potter, a parish, in the hundred of Happing. [2]

The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Echam. [3]

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." [4]

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. [5]

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. [1]

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." [1]

Early History of the Heiken family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Heiken research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1495, 1545, 1554, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1568, 1570, 1571, 1572, 1634 and 1636 are included under the topic Early Heiken History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Heiken Spelling Variations

Heiken 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 Heiken have been found, including Hyam, Hyams, Hygham, Hyham, Higham, Highams and many more.

Early Notables of the Heiken family

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 Heiken Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Heiken migration to the United States +

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 Heikens to arrive on North American shores:

Heiken Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Margrethe Heiken, aged 23, originally from Obickhafe, Germany, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Darmstadt" from Bremen, Germany [6]
Heiken Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Beatrice Fannie Heiken, aged 29, originally from Warwick, England, who arrived in New York in 1912 aboard the ship "Majestic (1890)" from Southampton, England [6]
  • David Heiken, aged 41, who arrived in New York in 1922 aboard the ship "Homeric" from Cherbourg, France [6]


  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from https://heritage.statueofliberty.org/passenger-result


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