There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Higgan originally appeared in Gaelic as O huigin, which is derived from the word uiging, which is akin to the Norse word viking.
Early Origins of the Higgan family
The surname Higgan was first found in County Sligo
(Irish: Sligeach), in the province of Connacht
in Northwestern Ireland
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times. This distinguished Irish Clann was a branch of the O'Neills, said to descend from a grandson of Niall of the Nine Hostages, the 4th century High King of Ireland
and founder of the Uí Neill Clan.
Early History of the Higgan family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higgan research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1501, 1595, 1720, 1578, 1659, 1624, 1691, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1670, 1735, 1720, 1801, 1796 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Higgan History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Higgan Spelling Variations
Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland
was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations
revealed in the search for the origins of the Higgan family name include Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.
Early Notables of the Higgan family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Shean Duff O'Higgins (17th century), Lord of Ballynary, Sligo; Theophilus Higgons (c.1578-1659), an English divine and convert to Catholicism; Sir Thomas Higgons (c 1624-1691), an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Malmesbury in 1659, and Windsor (1661-1679); Bevil Higgons (1670-1735), an... Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higgan Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Higgan family to the New World and Oceana
became inhospitable for many native Irish families
in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Higgan to North America: Dan Higgins, who settled in Virginia in 1654; Francis Higgins settled in Virginia in 1651; John Higgins settled in Virginia in 1659; Walter Higgins settled in Nevis in 1663.
The Higgan Motto
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.
Motto: Pro patria
Motto Translation: For my country