Higham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Higham name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Higham was originally derived from a family having lived in or beside an enclosed region. The surname Higham originally derived from the Old English word "hegham" which referred to an "enclosed dwelling." [1]

Early Origins of the Higham family

The surname Higham was first found in Norfolk at Heigham, Potter, a parish, in the hundred of Happing. [2]

The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Echam. [3]

But by 1182, the parish was known as Higham Potter and possibly meant "homestead with a hedge or hatch-gate. The affix must allude to the pot-making here at an early date." [4]

As far as early records of the family is concerned, Osward de Hecham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Essex in 1176 and a few years later, Hugo de Hegham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1198. [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three early entries for the family: Ralph de Hegham, Norfolk; Thomas de Hegham or Heyham, Kent; and Robert de Heyham, Suffolk. [1]

Later, Robertus de Hegham was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. "This surname is derived from a geographical locality, 'of the Hegham,' i.e. the enclosed dwelling, a spot in East Cheshire that gave rise to a surname now very familiar to the directories of the surrounding district. Also parishes in the Dioceses of Norwich, Peterborough, and Rochester, which no doubt have contributed to the list in South England." [1]

Early History of the Higham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Higham research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1560, 1495, 1571, 1554, 1555, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1570, 1568, 1634 and 1545 are included under the topic Early Higham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Higham Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Higham include Hyam, Hyams, Hygham, Hyham, Higham, Highams and many more.

Early Notables of the Higham family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Clement Higham, (also Heigham), of Barrow Hall, Suffolk, (1495-1571), a Member of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons (1554-1555), Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and a Privy Councillor to Queen Mary. He was of a Suffolk family, son of Clement Heigham of Lavenham. "On 27 January 1555 he was knighted by King Philip (Machyn, Diary, p. 342), and on 2 March 1558 he succeeded Sir David Brooke as lord chief Baron of the exchequer. He received a new patent on Queen Elizabeth's accession, but on 22 January 1559 he was...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Higham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Higham migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Higham Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Lawrence Higham, who landed in Maryland in 1671 [6]
  • Thomas Higham, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1698
Higham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Farwell Higham, who settled in New England in 1755
Higham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Higham, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1812 [6]
  • Thomas Higham, who arrived in New York in 1822
  • Abel, James, and William Higham, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1828
  • John Higham, aged 58, who arrived in New York in 1868 [6]
Higham Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Francis Higham, aged 25, who settled in America from Wigan, in 1901
  • David Edward Higham, aged 45, who landed in America from Surrey, England, in 1908
  • Florence Higham, aged 37, who landed in America from London, in 1908
  • Emma Higham, aged 10, who immigrated to the United States from Wigam, England, in 1910
  • Edward Higham, aged 29, who immigrated to America from Bolton, England, in 1911
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Higham migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Higham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Newbold Higham, aged 30, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Amazon"

New Zealand Higham 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:

Higham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Higham, British settler travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "Dinapore" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 5th August 1857 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Higham (post 1700) +

  • John Higham (1920-2003), American historian
  • Dick Higham (1851-1905), American baseball player
  • Nicholas John Higham FRS (b. 1961), English mathematician
  • Charles Higham (b. 1931), English biographer and poet
  • Jennifer Higham (b. 1984), British television and film actress
  • Edward Higham (1846-1885), Australian politician

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. James Higham (b. 1918), British Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [8]


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  8. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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