Show ContentsHighsmith History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Highsmith surname is derived from the Old English words "heah" meaning "high" and "smid" meaning "smith, blacksmith or ferrier." It is supposed that this compound name may have originally indicated a tall metal worker, or perhaps, a smith, who lived or worked upon high ground.

Early Origins of the Highsmith family

The surname Highsmith was first found in Buckinghamshire, where they held a family seat from very early times.

Early History of the Highsmith family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Highsmith research. Another 44 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1567 and 1585 are included under the topic Early Highsmith History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Highsmith Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Highsmith include Highsmith, Heighsmith, Haighsmith, Hysmith and many more.

Early Notables of the Highsmith family

More information is included under the topic Early Highsmith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Highsmith Ranking

In the United States, the name Highsmith is the 7,206th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [1]

United States Highsmith migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Highsmith or a variant listed above:

Highsmith Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Bartholomew Highsmith, who landed in Virginia in 1715 [2]

Contemporary Notables of the name Highsmith (post 1700) +

  • Shelby Highsmith (1929-2015), American lawyer and jurist, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2002-2015)
  • Carol M. Highsmith (b. 1946), American photographer, author, and publisher
  • Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995), American novelist
  • Alonzo Highsmith (b. 1965), American professional NFL football player
  • George W. Highsmith, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for Montana, 1892 [3]
  • E. C. Highsmith, American Republican politician, Chair of Pender County Republican Party, 1952 [3]
  • Albert W. Highsmith, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1952 [3]
  • Jim Highsmith (b. 1945), author of multiple books in the field of software development methodology

  1. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  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)
  3. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook