Higins 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. Higins 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 Higins family

The surname Higins 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 Higins family

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

Higins Spelling Variations

Just like the English language, the Gaelic language of Ireland was not standardized in the Middle Ages. Therefore, one's name was often recorded under several different spellings during the life of its bearer. Spelling variations revealed in the search for the origins of the Higins family name include Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.

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


United States Higins migration to the United States +

Ireland became inhospitable for many native Irish families in the 19th centuries. Poverty, lack of opportunities, high rents, and discrimination forced thousands to leave the island for North America. The largest exodus of Irish settlers occurred with the Great Potato Famine of the late 1840s. For these immigrants the journey to British North America and the United States was long and dangerous and many did not live to see the shores of those new lands. Those who did make it were essential to the development of what would become two of the wealthiest and most powerful nations of the world. These Irish immigrants were not only important for peopling the new settlements and cities, they also provided the manpower needed for the many industrial and agricultural projects so essential to these growing nations. Immigration and passenger lists have documented the arrival of various people bearing the name Higins to North America:

Higins Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Honor Higins, who arrived in Maryland in 1675 [1]


The Higins 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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