Higden History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon surname Higden 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 Higden family

The surname Higden 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 [1] and as a surname, John Hikedun was found in the Hundredorum Rolls for Worcestershire in 1273. [1] 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. [2]

Early History of the Higden family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higden 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 Higden History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higden Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Higden has been recorded under many different variations, including Higdon, Higden, Hygdon, Hygden and others.

Early Notables of the Higden 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. " [3] 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 Higden Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Higden migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Higden or a variant listed above:

Higden Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Peter Higden, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • William Higden, who arrived in Virginia in 1695 [4]
Higden Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Thomas Higden to Maryland in 1721


  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)


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