Show ContentsHichens History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Hichens originally appeared in Gaelic as "O huigin," which is derived from the word "uiging," which is akin to the Norse word "viking."

Early Origins of the Hichens family

The surname Hichens was first found in County Sligo (Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht in Northwestern Ireland, where they held a family seat from ancient times. This distinguished Irish Clann was a branch of the O'Neills, said to descend from a grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 4th century High King of Ireland and founder of the Uí Neill Clan.

Early History of the Hichens family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hichens research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1501, 1595, 1720, 1490, 1490, 1578, 1659, 1624, 1691, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1670, 1735, 1720, 1801, 1796 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Hichens History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hichens Spelling Variations

Pronunciation, rather than spelling, guided scribes and church officials when recording names during the Middle Ages. This practice often resulted in one person's name being recorded under several different spellings. Numerous spelling variations of the surname Hichens are preserved in these old documents. The various spellings of the name that were found include Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.

Early Notables of the Hichens family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Sean mac Fergail Óicc Ó hUiccinn (died 1490) an Irish poet, Chief Ollam of Ireland (?-1490.) Shean Duff O'Higgins was Lord of Ballynary, Sligo; Theophilus Higgons (c.1578-1659), was an English divine and convert to Catholicism; Sir Thomas Higgons (c 1624-1691), was an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Malmesbury in 1659, and...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hichens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hichens migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Hichens family in North America:

Hichens Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Edward Hichens, (b. 1883), aged 22, Cornish saddler from Camborne, Cornwall, UK travelling aboard the ship "Umbria" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 30th July 1905 en route to Torrington, Connecticut, USA [1]
  • Mr. Richard Choak Hichens, (b. 1875), aged 30, Cornish stone cutter travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 9th May 1905 en route to Boston, Massachusetts, USA [1]

Australia Hichens migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Hichens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Rose Hichens, (b. 1849), aged 20, Cornish general servant departing from Plymouth in November 1868 aboard the ship "Corona" arriving in Hobsons Bay, Port Phillip, Victoria, Australia on 23rd February 1869 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hichens (post 1700) +

  • Robert Smythe Hichens (1864-1950), English writer, journalist, novelist, music lyricist, short story writer, music critic, best remembered as a satirist of the "Naughty Nineties"

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Robert Hichens (1882-1940), aged 29, English Quartermaster from Southampton, Hampshire who was at the ship's wheel when the RMS Titanic struck the iceberg; he survived the sinking escaping on life boat 6 [3]

The Hichens 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: Pro patria
Motto Translation: For my country

  1. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  2. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from
  3. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook