Wygoode History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought many new words to England from which surnames were formed. Wygoode was one of these new Norman names. It was specifically tailored to its first bearer, who was a Norman or an excessively religious person. Normans were referred to as Bigots by the French, although the meaning of the word is unknown. After the 15th century, a nickname adapted from the phrase by God took on the form Bigot. There is some suggestion that the name in Normandy had been Wigot, and there was a line descended from Wigot de St.Denis, a great nobleman of Normandy, who made grants to Cerisy Abbey in 1042, and in 1050 subscribed a charter of Duke William at the head of the Norman barons. 
Early Origins of the Wygoode family
The surname Wygoode was first found in Essex at Dunmow and Finchingfield, where they were granted lands by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Roger Bigod is also listed in Domesday Book; he was a Sheriff, with large land holdings in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. Marston-Biggott in Somerset was an ancient family seat. "This place derives the affix to its name from the Bigott family, to whom the manor for several centuries belonged, and the site of whose ancient mansion is still marked by the moat." 
"Earl Roger, "noted for his singular skill in all warlike exercises," was one of the most accomplished knights of his day; and had few equals either in the tilt-yard or the field. His domain contained one hundred and sixty-two knight's fees: and he stands forth in history as the true type of the great feudal Seigneur, haughty in bearing and fearless of tongue, whose power in the realm might challenge-if it did not threaten-the authority of the King himself. His name is brought prominently before us in all the transactions of Henry III.'s reign." 
Early History of the Wygoode family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Wygoode research. Another 284 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1095, 1096, 1107, 1144, 1150, 1166, 1177, 1182, 1209, 1214, 1220, 1221, 1225, 1227, 1245, 1266, 1270, 1298, 1306, 1508, 1515, 1522 and 1637 are included under the topic Early Wygoode History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Wygoode Spelling Variations
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Bigot, Bigode, Bygod, Begod, Bigod, Wigot, Bidgood and many more.
Early Notables of the Wygoode family
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Roger le Bigod (1150-1220), son of Hugh Bigod, 2nd Earl of Norfolk, who was recorded on the Falkirk Roll. This roll was a list of those at the Battle of Falkirk (July 22 1298), when the forces of Edward I defeated a Scottish army under William Wallace.
Another 55 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Wygoode Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Wygoode family to Ireland
Some of the Wygoode 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.
Migration of the Wygoode family
To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Wygoode or a variant listed above: Richard Bidgood who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1638; and V. Bigot who settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1851. In Newfoundland, Benjamin Bidgood was a juror in St. John's in 1751.
- Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 1 of 3
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.