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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.

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

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Highsmith research. Another 87 words (6 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.

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Another 19 words (1 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Highsmith Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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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
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  • Shelby Highsmith (1929-2015), American lawyer and jurist, Senior Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (2002-2015)
  • George W. Highsmith, American politician, Prohibition Candidate for Presidential Elector for Montana, 1892
  • E. C. Highsmith, American Republican politician, Chair of Pender County Republican Party, 1952
  • Albert W. Highsmith, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Virginia, 1952
  • 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
  • Jim Highsmith (b. 1945), author of multiple books in the field of software development methodology
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Citations



    Other References

    1. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
    2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
    3. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
    4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
    5. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
    6. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
    7. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
    8. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
    9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
    10. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
    11. ...

    The Highsmith Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Highsmith 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 20 January 2016 at 10:04.

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