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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Higdon family come from? What is the English Higdon family crest and coat of arms? When did the Higdon family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Higdon family history?

The history of the Higdon name began with the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived 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.


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 Higdon family name include Higdon, Higden, Hygdon, Hygden and others.

First found in Worcestershire, but one of the first records of the 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 birth location was unknown but believed to be in the west of England. He is best remembered as the author of Polychronicon a long chronicle written in Latin which became very popular in the 15th century after it was translated into English in the late 14th century.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higdon research. Another 217 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1379, 1364 and 1715 are included under the topic Early Higdon History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higdon Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Higdon surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Higdon Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Peter Higdon, who sailed to Massachusetts in 1635
  • Peter Higdon, who landed in America in 1635
  • Jno Higdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1658

Higdon Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Higdon, who arrived in Virginia in 1706

Higdon Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • George Higdon settled at Trinity Bay in 1831
  • George Higdon, aged 26, landed in New York in 1832

Higdon Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • Lewis Higdon, aged 47, who landed in America from Somerset, in 1906
  • Adelaide Higdon, aged 38, who landed in America, in 1910
  • Paul Higdon, aged 41, who settled in America, in 1912
  • Thomas B. Higdon, aged 30, who emigrated to the United States, in 1912
  • Samuel Higdon, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1920


  • William Travis Higdon (1924-1986), American Major League Baseball outfielder
  • Alex Higdon (b. 1966), former American football tight end
  • Hal Higdon (b. 1931), American writer and runner, winner of four World Masters Championships
  • Jennifer Higdon (b. 1962), American Grammy Award winning composer of classical music and recipient of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Music
  • Wilford Higdon, prominent American educator
  • Emerson G Higdon, American manufacturing company executive
  • Michael Higdon (b. 1983), English association football player
  • Allan L. Higdon, Irish-born, Canadian acting mayor of Ottawa July 2000 to 2001
  • James Higdon Ph.D., Research Associate with the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph team at Cornell University


  • The Higdon of Grayson County, Kentucky, 1810-1900 by Sarah Higdon Peyton.
  • Leonard Higdon of Anson County and His Descendants by Jo Ann Smith.

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  8. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  9. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  10. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  11. ...

The Higdon Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Higdon Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 18 December 2014 at 14:57.

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