Rigg History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Rigg is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in Cumberland and Lancashire. This local name was derived from the local at the ridge or near a ridge. There are a variety of types of local surnames, some of which include: topographic surnames, which could be given to a person who lived beside any physical feature, such as a hill, stream, church or type of tree. Habitation names form the other broad category of surnames that were derived from place-names. They were derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. Other local names are derived from the names of houses, manors, estates, regions, and entire counties. The surname Rigg comes from the Old English word rigge, or the Old English word hrycg, both of which mean ridge. [1] [2]

Early Origins of the Rigg family

The surname Rigg was first found in Shropshire where William de Rigge was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1197-1198. Later and further to the north, John del Rigg was recorded in the Subsidy Rolls for 1332 in Cumberland. [3]

Early History of the Rigg family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rigg research. Another 148 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1567, 1601, 1602, 1591, 1612, 1613, 1410, 1635 and 1705 are included under the topic Early Rigg History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rigg Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Rigg were recorded, including Rigge, Rigg, Riggs and others.

Early Notables of the Rigg family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Robert Rigge, Rygge or Rugge (died 1410), English Chancellor of the University of Oxford, a native of Devonshire, and possibly a relative of Thomas de Bitton, bishop of Exeter. [4] Ambrose Rigg or Rigge (1635-1705), was an English Quaker, born at Brampton in Westmorland. He and his companion Thomas Robertson went to Rochester...
Another 58 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rigg Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rigg Ranking

In the United States, the name Rigg is the 11,467th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Rigg family to Ireland

Some of the Rigg family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Rigg migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Rigg family emigrate to North America:

Rigg Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alice Rigg, who landed in Virginia in 1665 [6]
  • William Rigg, who settled in New Jersey in 1685 along with Eupham
  • William Rigg, who landed in Perth Amboy, NJ in 1685 [6]
Rigg Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jane Rigg, who landed in Virginia in 1714 [6]
Rigg Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Robert Rigg, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1828 [6]
  • Edward Corner Rigg, who arrived in Texas in 1850-1906 [6]

Australia Rigg migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Rigg Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Rigg, English convict who was convicted in Norwich, Norfolk, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Duncan" on 10th December 1840, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [7]
  • Mr. John Rigg, (b. 1824), aged 18, English labourer who was convicted in Norwich, Norfolk, England for 15 years for breaking and entering, transported aboard the "Candahar" on 26th March 1842, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), he died in 1863 [8]
  • Mr. Thomas Rigg, (Wrigg), English convict who was convicted in Knutsford (Nether Knutsford), Cheshire, England for 7 years transported aboard the "Forfarshire" on 24th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]
  • George Rigg, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Countess of Yarborough" in 1850 [10]

New Zealand Rigg migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Rigg Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Louisa Rigg, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [11]
  • Mr. James J. Rigg, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [11]
  • Mr. John R. Rigg, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [11]
  • Miss Louisa J. Rigg, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [11]
  • Mr. Gregory B. Rigg, Canadian settler travelling from Prince Edward Island aboard the ship "Prince Edward" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 13th May 1859 [11]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Rigg (post 1700) +

  • Dame Enid Diana Rigg DBE (1938-2020), English BAFTA, Emmy and Tony award winning actress, best known for her portrayal of Emma Peel in The Avengers
  • Ernest H. Rigg, American Republican politician, Mayor of Woodbury, New Jersey, 1929-1930 [12]
  • James F. Rigg, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Navy, during World War II, credited with 11 aerial victories
  • John D. Rigg, American Republican politician, Member of West Virginia State House of Delegates from Preston County, 1877, 1883-84; Delegate to Republican National Convention from West Virginia, 1900 [12]
  • Clement Rigg (1899-1966), English professional footballer who played in 254 matches as a full back (1920-1930)
  • Sean Michael Rigg (b. 1988), English former professional footballer who played on the wing or as a striker.
  • James Harrison Rigg (1821-1909), English nonconformist minister and Methodist educator, President of the Methodist Conference (1878-1879)
  • Archie Rigg (1872-1951), English rugby union and professional rugby league footballer of the late 1890s
  • Keith Rigg (1906-1995), Australian cricketer who played in 8 Tests from 1931 to 1937
  • Richard Rigg (1872-1964), English-born, Canadian Methodist minister and politician in Manitoba, Canada
  • ... (Another 1 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Rigg 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: Dum vivo cano
Motto Translation: While alive celebrate.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th August 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/duncan
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th December 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/candahar
  9. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/forfarshire
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) COUNTESS OF YARBOROUGH 1850. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1850CountessYarborough.htm
  11. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  12. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 24) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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