Highen 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. Highen 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 Highen family

The surname Highen 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 Highen family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Highen 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 Highen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Highen Spelling Variations

Names from the Middle Ages demonstrate many spelling variations. This is because the recording scribe or church official often decided as to how a person's name was spelt and in what language. Research into the name Highen revealed many variations, including Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.

Early Notables of the Highen 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 Highen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Highen migration to the United States +

The 19th century saw a great wave of Irish families leaving Ireland for the distant shores of North America and Australia. These families often left their homeland hungry, penniless, and destitute due to the policies of England. Those Irish immigrants that survived the long sea passage initially settled on the eastern seaboard of the continent. Some, however, moved north to a then infant Canada as United Empire Loyalists after ironically serving with the English in the American War of Independence. Others that remained in America later joined the westward migration in search of land. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, though, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland at this time for North America, and those who arrived were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. In fact, the foundations of today's powerful nations of the United States and Canada were to a larger degree built by the Irish. Archival documents indicate that members of the Highen family relocated to North American shores quite early:

Highen Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Highen, who landed in New England in 1652 [1]
Highen Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Highen, aged 48, who arrived in Maryland in 1812 [1]


The Highen 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. ^ 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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