There are many Irish surnames being used today in forms that are quite different than their original, ancient forms. O'Higgin 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 O'Higgin family
The surname O'Higgin 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 O'Higgin family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our O'Higgin research.Another 289 words (21 lines of text) covering the years 1315, 1501, 1595, 1720, 1578, 1659, 1624, 1691, 1659, 1661, 1679, 1670, 1735, 1720, 1801, 1796 and 1818 are included under the topic Early O'Higgin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
O'Higgin Spelling Variations
A name was often recorded during the Middle Ages under several different spelling variations
during the life of its bearer because literacy was rare there was no real push to clearly define any of the languages found in the British Isles at that time. Variations found of the name O'Higgin include Higgins, Higgin, O'Higgin, Higgans, Higgens and many more.
Early Notables of the O'Higgin family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family at this time was Shean Duff O'Higgins (17th century), Lord of Ballynary, Sligo; Theophilus Higgons (c.1578-1659), an English divine and convert to Catholicism; Sir Thomas Higgons (c 1624-1691), an English diplomat and politician, Member of Parliament for Malmesbury in 1659, and Windsor (1661-1679); Bevil Higgons (1670-1735), an... Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early O'Higgin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the O'Higgin family to the New World and Oceana
In the 19th century, thousands of Irish left their English-occupied homeland for North America. Like most new world settlers, the Irish initially settled on the eastern shores of the continent but began to move westward with the promise of owning land. The height of this Irish migration came during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. With apparently nothing to lose, Irish people left on ships bound for North America and Australia
. Unfortunately a great many of these passengers lost their lives - the only thing many had left - to disease, starvation, and accidents during the long and dangerous journey. Those who did safely arrive in "the land of opportunities" were often used for the hard labor of building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. The Irish were critical to the quick development of the infrastructure of the United States and Canada. Passenger and immigration lists indicate that members of the O'Higgin family came to North America quite early: Dan Higgins, who settled in Virginia in 1654; Francis Higgins settled in Virginia in 1651; John Higgins settled in Virginia in 1659; Walter Higgins settled in Nevis in 1663.
The O'Higgin 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