Niger History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Niger family
The surname Niger was first found in Cheshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of the Baron William FitzNigel who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. He was preceded by Nigel of Cotentin (c.1070-1080,) who was the hereditary Constable of Chester. Another early mention is of Nigel (d. 1169,) who was an Anglo-Norman bishop of Ely, and Lord High Treasurer for both Henry I and Henry II of England. His son Richard FitzNigel, (d. 1198) was Bishop of London (1189-98) and treasurer of England (c.1158-98).
Important Dates for the Niger family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Niger research. Another 108 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1189, 1424, 1510, and 1600 are included under the topic Early Niger History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Niger Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Nigell, Nigel, FitzNigel, FitzNigell and others.
Early Notables of the Niger family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Niger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Niger migration to the United States
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Niger or a variant listed above:
Typical Niger Emigration from the United Kingdom to North America
Niger Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Peter Niger, who arrived in Arkansas in 1906 
Contemporary Notables of the name Niger (post 1700)
- Anthony Niger, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New York State Assembly from Monroe County 3rd District, 1942 
- Niger Innis (b. 1968), American National Spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality
You May Also Like
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ 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)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 11) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html