Higdem History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Higdem came from the son of Richard. In Old English, patronyms were formed by adding a variety of suffixes to personal names, which changed over time and from place to place. For example, after the Norman Conquest, sunu and sune, which meant son, were the most common patronymic suffixes. In the 12th and 13th centuries, the most common patronymic names included the word filius, which meant son. By the 14th century, the suffix son had replaced these earlier versions. Surnames that were formed with filius or son were more common in the north of England and it was here that the number of individuals without surnames was greatest at this time.
Early Origins of the Higdem family
The surname Higdem was first found in Worcestershire, and after sifting through archival materials, we found one of the first records of the distinguished name was found in Cheshire, where Ranulf Higdon (Higden) (1280-1364) was an English chronicler and Benedictine monk of the monastery of St. Werburgh.
His exact birth location is unknown, but believed to be somewhere in the west of England. He is best remembered as the author of Polychronicon, a long chronicle originally written in Latin which became very popular in the 15th century after it was translated into English in the late 14th century.
Early English rolls provide us a glimpse of the spelling variations used through Medieval times, and in this case, the name was both a forename and a surname. As a forename, Higdon de Slyngesby, et uxor ejus, ad valorem militis, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379  and as a surname, John Hikedun was found in the Hundredorum Rolls for Worcestershire in 1273.  Richard, son of Hykedon was listed in Cheshire in 1313, John Hikedun was found in Assize Rolls for Worcester in 1221 and later Thomas Hykedon. Hekedon was also found in the Subsidy Rolls for Cheshire in 1327. 
Early History of the Higdem family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higdem research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1364, 1640, 1749, 1693, 1715, 1682, 1684, 1688, 1533, 1495, 1539 and 1505 are included under the topic Early Higdem History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Higdem Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Higdem family name include Higdon, Higden, Hygdon, Hygden and others.
Early Notables of the Higdem family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Henry Higden ( fl. 1693), English poet and dramatist, a Yorkshireman, "a member of the Middle Temple. He is represented as a man of wit and the companion of all the choice spirits of the town. " 
William Higden (d. 1715) was an English divine, matriculated sizar of King's College, Cambridge, on 5 April 1682 (University Matriculation Register), and graduated B.A. in 1684, M.A. in 1688. " After the revolution he refused to take the oaths, but eventually conformed, and published in defence of his conduct 'A View of the...
Another 94 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higdem Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Higdem family
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Higdem surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Peter Higdon, who sailed to Massachusetts in 1635; Thomas Higden to Maryland in 1721; Benjamin Higdens settled at Trinity Bay Newfoundland in 1765; and George Higdon at Trinity Bay in 1831..
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print