Highish History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The origins of the Welsh name Highish go back to the ancient Celtic culture that existed in the hills and Moors of Wales. The forbears that initially held the name Highish once lived in one of the various places named Huish in the English counties of Devon, Dorset, Somerset, and Wiltshire. The surname Highish belongs to the category of habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

Early Origins of the Highish family

The surname Highish was first found in Somerset, Devon and Wiltshire where the name is derived from the Middle English "Hiwys." [1]

Huish is a parish, in the union of Torrington, hundred of Shebbear, Black Torrington and Shebbear, in Devon and North Huish and South Huish are parishes in the union of Totnes, hundred of Stanborough and Coleridge in the same county. [2]

"The estate of Trenans Austell, or Trenance Austell, [Cornwall] was formerly dignified with the name of manor; and no doubt it was particularly honoured with this appellation, when it gave in part that name by which the town was originally designated. In the reign of Edward III it belonged to the family of Hiwis of Devonshire, by whose co-heiress it was conveyed by marriage to the Coleshills." [3]

Again in Cornwall, "the manor of St. Ewe, so early as the beginning of the fourteenth century, was in the family of Hiwis, from whom it passed with Tremoderet and other estates to the co-heiress of Arundell." [3]

"The manor of Canalissey or Cannaligee, [in the parish of St. Issey, Cornwall] was in all probability the property of the Hiwis family so early as the reign of Edward III; since at that period they held a large estate in this parish." [3]

"Sidbury [in Sidmouth, Devon] like many other villages and hamlets of the district, is a seat of the lace-manufacture. At Sand is the old Elizabethan mansion of the Huyshe family; and in the church, originally Norman, but rebuilt, is an inscription recording the death of one Henry Parson, * in the second-first climacteric year of his age;' and what that might have been in Arabic figures, no one has been able to decide. " [4]

Early History of the Highish family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Highish research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1120, 1594, 1668, 1594, 1595, 1609 and 1613 are included under the topic Early Highish History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Highish Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Highish have included Huish, Huysh, Hewish, Hywis, Huyse, Huyish and many more.

Early Notables of the Highish family (pre 1700)

Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was Alexander Huish (1594?-1668), English biblical scholar, the son of John Hewish or Huish, and born in the parish of St. Cuthbert, Wells, Somersetshire, in...
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Highish Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Highish family

Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Highish: Joseph Huish who settled in Nevis in 1654.



  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital


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