Show ContentsHigget History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Higget family

The surname Higget was first found in Middlesex at Highgate, a town and chapelry, partly in the parishes of St. Pancras and Islington, but chiefly in that of Hornsey, union of Edmonton.

"According to Camden and other authorities, the hamlet of Highgate derived its name from the high-gate, or gate upon the hill, erected by the Bishop of London, on or very near the site of the present Gatehouse inn, about 500 years ago, when the high road over the hill was formed. But in a recent work drawn up on the invitation of the Highgate Literary Institution, it is supposed, with some probability, that the name (which in an ancient record is written Hygate), is deducible from Hy, a syllable in the British language, perhaps corrupted from Hu, a cap, and implying also Episcopal, and Gate, an entrance or way. " [1]

In the bordering county of Essex, we found the variant Mygate and Mygatt. From this branch, Deacon Jospeh Mygatt emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1634, settling in Cambridge by August 1634.

Further to the north in Scotland, the name is "an old surname about Glasgow. Of local origin, perhaps from Highgate, near Beith, Ayrshire. Highet is a variant. Johne Hechet was burgess of Glasgow in 1527. William Higait or Hegait, notary in Glasgow, 1547-55." [2]

As the reader will note, the Scottish records are quite late in comparison to the Middlesex reference, so one can presume some of the family migrated from Middlesex to Scotland.

Early History of the Higget family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higget research. Another 193 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1103, 1177, 1510, 1550, 1560, 1563, 1564, 1570, 1574, 1581, 1586, 1590, 1600, 1609, 1625, 1675 and 1820 are included under the topic Early Higget History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higget Spelling Variations

Higget has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Highgate, Higate, Hygate, Higgat, Higgett, Higgatt, Higget, Hygate, Hygat, Hyget, Hygett, Hygatt, Hegate, Hegatt and many more.

Early Notables of the Higget family

Distinguished members of the family include William Hegat (fl. 1600), Scottish professor at Bordeaux, a native of Glasgow. "Several Hiegaits are mentioned in connection with Glasgow between 1570 and 1590. If the ascription to Hegat of the ‘Pædagogiæ’ is correct, he must have gone to France before 1563 as a very young man. Dempster, who knew him well, says that...
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higget Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Higget family

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Higgets to arrive on North American shores: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3) on Facebook