There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Higan 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 Higan family
The surname Higan 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 Higan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higan research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1501, 1595, 1720, 1578, 1659, 1624, 1691, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1670, 1735, 1720, 1801, 1796 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Higan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Higan 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 Higan 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 Higan family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Shean Duff O'Higgins (17th century), Lord of Ballynary, Sligo; Theophilus Higgons (c.1578-1659), an English divine and convert to Catholicism; Sir Thomas Higgons (c 1624-1691), an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Malmesbury in 1659, and Windsor (1661-1679); Bevil Higgons (1670-1735), an... Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Higan family to the New World and Oceana
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 Higan family in North America: Dan Higgins, who settled in Virginia in 1654; Francis Higgins settled in Virginia in 1651; John Higgins settled in Virginia in 1659; Walter Higgins settled in Nevis in 1663.
The Higan 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