Higgin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Higgin 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 Higgin family

The surname Higgin 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 Higgin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higgin research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1501, 1595, 1720, 1490, 1490, 1578, 1659, 1624, 1691, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1670, 1735, 1720, 1801, 1796 and 1818 are included under the topic Early Higgin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higgin Spelling Variations

Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Higgin were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.

Early Notables of the Higgin family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family at this time was Sean mac Fergail Óicc Ó hUiccinn (died 1490) an Irish poet, Chief Ollam of Ireland (?-1490.) Shean Duff O'Higgins was Lord of Ballynary, Sligo; Theophilus Higgons (c.1578-1659), was an English divine and convert to Catholicism; Sir Thomas Higgons (c 1624-1691), was an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Malmesbury in 1659, and...
Another 62 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higgin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higgin Ranking

In the United States, the name Higgin is the 17,732nd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1]


United States Higgin migration to the United States +

During the 19th century thousands of impoverished Irish families made the long journey to British North America and the United States. These people were leaving a land that had become beset with poverty, lack of opportunity, and hunger. In North America, they hoped to find land, work, and political and religious freedoms. Although the majority of the immigrants that survived the long sea passage did make these discoveries, it was not without much perseverance and hard work: by the mid-19th century land suitable for agriculture was short supply, especially in British North America, in the east; the work available was generally low paying and physically taxing construction or factory work; and the English stereotypes concerning the Irish, although less frequent and vehement, were, nevertheless, present in the land of freedom, liberty, and equality for all men. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine during the late 1840s. Research into passenger and immigration lists has brought forth evidence of the early members of the Higgin family in North America:

Higgin Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Higgin, who arrived in Virginia in 1650 [2]
Higgin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • W Higgin, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851 [2]

New Zealand Higgin migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Higgin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard A. Higgin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Mary Higgin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Alfred G. Higgin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Emily J. Higgin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • Louisa S. Higgin, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aloe" in 1863
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Higgin 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


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ 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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