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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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The surname Higdon was 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.

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.


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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.

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

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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


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  • 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
  • William A. Higdon, American politician, Candidate for University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1899
  • Thomas B. Higdon, American politician, Member of North Carolina State House of Representatives from Macon County, 1909-10
  • Greg Higdon, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Kentucky State Senate 1st District
  • Galen Wayne Higdon Jr., American Republican politician, Elected Missouri State House of Representatives 11th District 2012
  • Bill Higdon, American politician, Independent Candidate for Presidential Elector for Georgia, 1972
  • 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

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  • 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. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  7. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  8. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  9. 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).
  10. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  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 12 November 2015 at 09:16.

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