Show ContentsHigate History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Higate family

The surname Higate was first found in Middlesex at Highgate, a town and chapelry, partly in the parishes of St. Pancras and Islington, but chiefly in that of Hornsey, union of Edmonton.

"According to Camden and other authorities, the hamlet of Highgate derived its name from the high-gate, or gate upon the hill, erected by the Bishop of London, on or very near the site of the present Gatehouse inn, about 500 years ago, when the high road over the hill was formed. But in a recent work drawn up on the invitation of the Highgate Literary Institution, it is supposed, with some probability, that the name (which in an ancient record is written Hygate), is deducible from Hy, a syllable in the British language, perhaps corrupted from Hu, a cap, and implying also Episcopal, and Gate, an entrance or way. " 1

In the bordering county of Essex, we found the variant Mygate and Mygatt. From this branch, Deacon Jospeh Mygatt emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1634, settling in Cambridge by August 1634.

Further to the north in Scotland, the name is "an old surname about Glasgow. Of local origin, perhaps from Highgate, near Beith, Ayrshire. Highet is a variant. Johne Hechet was burgess of Glasgow in 1527. William Higait or Hegait, notary in Glasgow, 1547-55." 2

As the reader will note, the Scottish records are quite late in comparison to the Middlesex reference, so one can presume some of the family migrated from Middlesex to Scotland.

Early History of the Higate family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higate research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1103, 1177, 1510, 1550, 1560, 1563, 1564, 1570, 1574, 1581, 1586, 1590, 1600, 1609, 1625, 1675 and 1820 are included under the topic Early Higate History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higate Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Higate are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Higate include: Highgate, Higate, Hygate, Higgat, Higgett, Higgatt, Higget, Hygate, Hygat, Hyget, Hygett, Hygatt, Hegate, Hegatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Higate family

Distinguished members of the family include William Hegat (fl. 1600), Scottish professor at Bordeaux, a native of Glasgow. "Several Hiegaits are mentioned in connection with Glasgow between 1570 and 1590. If the ascription to Hegat of the ‘Pædagogiæ’ is correct, he must have gone to France before 1563 as a very young man. Dempster, who knew him well, says that...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higate Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Higate migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Higate or a variant listed above:

Higate Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Higate, who landed in Virginia in 1653 3

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  3. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8) on Facebook