Hygham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hygham is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in or beside an enclosed region. The surname Hygham originally derived from the Old English word "hegham" which referred to an "enclosed dwelling." [1]

Early Origins of the Hygham family

The surname Hygham was first found in Norfolk at Heigham, Potter, a parish, in the hundred of Happing. [2]

The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Echam. [3]

But by 1182, the parish was known as Higham Potter and possibly meant "homestead with a hedge or hatch-gate. The affix must allude to the pot-making here at an early date." [4]

As far as early records of the family is concerned, Osward de Hecham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Essex in 1176 and a few years later, Hugo de Hegham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1198. [5]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three early entries for the family: Ralph de Hegham, Norfolk; Thomas de Hegham or Heyham, Kent; and Robert de Heyham, Suffolk. [1]

Later, Robertus de Hegham was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. "This surname is derived from a geographical locality, 'of the Hegham,' i.e. the enclosed dwelling, a spot in East Cheshire that gave rise to a surname now very familiar to the directories of the surrounding district. Also parishes in the Dioceses of Norwich, Peterborough, and Rochester, which no doubt have contributed to the list in South England." [1]

Early History of the Hygham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hygham research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1560, 1495, 1571, 1554, 1555, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1570, 1568, 1634 and 1545 are included under the topic Early Hygham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hygham Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Hygham are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Hygham include: Hyam, Hyams, Hygham, Hyham, Higham, Highams and many more.

Early Notables of the Hygham family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Sir Clement Higham, (also Heigham), of Barrow Hall, Suffolk, (1495-1571), a Member of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons (1554-1555), Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and a Privy Councillor to Queen Mary. He was of a Suffolk family, son of Clement Heigham of Lavenham. "On 27 January 1555 he was knighted by King Philip (Machyn, Diary, p. 342), and on 2 March 1558 he succeeded Sir David Brooke as lord chief Baron of the exchequer. He received a new patent on Queen Elizabeth's accession, but on 22 January 1559 he was...
Another 116 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hygham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Hygham family

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Hygham or a variant listed above: Thomas Higham settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1698; Farwell Higham settled in New England in 1755; Thomas Higham arrived in New York in 1822; Abel, James, and William Higham arrived in Philadelphia in 1828.



  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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