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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. Higgins originally appeared in Gaelic as O huigin, which is derived from the word uiging, which is akin to the Norse word viking.
The surname Higgins 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.
People who were accounted for by scribes and church officials often had their name recorded many different ways because pronunciation was the only guide those scribes and church officials had to go by. This resulted in the problem of one person's name being recorded under several different variations, creating the illusion of more than one person. Among the many spelling variations of the surname Higgins that are preserved in archival documents are Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higgins 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 Higgins History in all our PDF Extended History products
Another 197 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higgins Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
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 Higgins to North America:
Higgins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Elizabeth Higgins, who landed in Virginia in 1623
- Abraham Higgins, who landed in Salem, Massachusetts in 1637
- Georg Higgins, who landed in Virginia in 1639
- Richard Higgins, who landed in Maryland in 1649
- Francis Higgins, who arrived in Virginia in 1651
Higgins Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Charles Higgins, who arrived in Virginia in 1702
- Timo Higgins, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
- Walter Higgins, who landed in Virginia in 1705
- Norah Higgins, who arrived in Virginia in 1706
- Alexander Higgins, aged 18, arrived in New England in 1724
Higgins Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Edward Higgins, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1800
- William Higgins, who arrived in New York in 1804
- Terrence Higgins, who landed in America in 1804
- Nicholas Higgins, who landed in America in 1811
- Bernard Higgins, aged 21, arrived in Tennessee in 1812
Higgins Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- John Higgins settled in St. John's in 1751
- Elizabeth Higgins settled in Harbour Grace in 1774
- Mr. Benjamin Higgins U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 358 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
- Mrs. Phebe Higgins U.E. who arrived at Port Roseway [Shelburne], Nova Scotia on December 13, 1783 was passenger number 479 aboard the ship "HMS Clinton", picked up on November 14, 1783 at East River, New York
- Mr. Abraham Higgins U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784
Higgins Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Mich Higgins, who landed in Canada in 1811
- Michael Higgins settled in Fogo, Newfoundland in 1824
- Bennett Higgins, who landed in Canada in 1830
- Jeremiah Higgins, aged 36, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the barque "Pallas" from Cork
- John Higgins, aged 24, a labourer, arrived in Saint John, NB in 1833 aboard the ship "Britannia" from Sligo
Higgins Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Edmund Higgins, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- George Higgins, English convict from Kent, who was transported aboard the "Ann" on August 1809, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Joseph Higgins, English convict from Lincoln, who was transported aboard the "Agamemnon" on April 22, 1820, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- James Higgins, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Adamant" on March 16, 1821, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Luke Higgins, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
Higgins Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- William Higgins, aged 35, a sawyer, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
- Mary Ann Higgins, aged 38, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
- Mary Higgins, aged 6, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
- Matthew Higgins, aged 7 mths., arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Clifford" in 1842
- Peter Higgins, aged 36, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
- Johnnie Lee Higgins (b. 1983), American NFL football wide receiver
- Edward Haydn "Eddie" Higgins (1932-2009), American jazz pianist, composer and orchestrator
- Steve Higgins (b. 1963), American writer and comedian
- Andrew Jackson Higgins (1886-1952), American businessman, founder and owner of Higgins Industries who built over 20,000 Higgins boats, landing crafts used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II
- Brigadier-General Gerald Joseph Higgins (1909-1996), American Deputy Commanding General 4th Division (1949-1950)
- George G. Higgins (1916-2002), renowned labor activist and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom
- Marguerite Higgins (1920-1966), American reporter and war correspondent and the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize (1951) for international reporting
- George Higgins (1939-1999), American novelist
- Aidan Higgins (1927-2015), Irish writer, best known for his short stories, travel pieces, radio drama and novels
- Alex (Hurricane) Higgins (b. 1949), Irish snooker player
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 patriaMotto Translation:
For my country
- Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
- Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
- MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
- Tepper, Michael Ed & Elizabeth P. Bentley Transcriber. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of Philadelphia 1800-1819. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1986. Print.
- Leyburn, James Graham. The Scotch-Irish A Social History. Chapel Hill: UNC Press, 1962. Print. (ISBN 0807842591).
- Bell, Robert. The Book of Ulster Surnames. Belfast: Blackstaff, 1988. Print. (ISBN 10-0856404160).
- Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
- Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of Ireland. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1969. Print.
- Kennedy, Patrick. Kennedy's Book of Arms. Canterbury: Achievements, 1967. Print.
The Higgins Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Higgins 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 25 April 2016 at 01:29.
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