Higgins / Family History
ancient family history was found in the irishsurnames.com archives.
Surnames developed a wide number of variants over the centuries. Many different spelling variations of the same name can be traced back to a single original root. Also, when a bearer of a name emigrated from Ireland it was not uncommon that their original name would be incorrectly transcribed in the record books upon arrival at their new location. Some names have dozens of spelling variations. Some Surnames were also altered over the years based on how they sounded phonetically, by their sound, and depending on the prevailing political conditions it may have been advantageous to change a name from one language to another. This was especially so in Ireland where most Gaelic names were 'anglicized' at some stage.
Variants of the name Higgins
include O'Higgins, Higgans, Higgin, Higginson, Higgens, Higgons, Higgon and Higneyy. This surname is of ancient Gaelic origin and is derived from the Gaelic O'hUigin sept.
A sept or clan is a collective term describing a group of persons whose immediate ancestors bore a common surname and inhabited the same territory. It is also the case that many Irish septs or clans that are related often belong to a larger groups, sometimes called tribes. For example the 'Tribes of Galway' consisted of fourteen distinct families. The 'Tribes of Kilkenny' were ten families, etc.
The original families were a branch of the Westmeath O'Neills. Many of these moved to County Sligo where until recently they were extensive landowners. In the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries they excelled as poets, later being renowned in the fields of medicine and sciences. A famous bearer of the name was Bernardo O'Higgins (1778-1842) who together with José de San Martín, freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. His father Ambrosio O'Higgins (1720-1801) was a Governor of Chile and later became Viceroy of Peru. At the present time the name is chiefly found in Connaught Province.The Higgins
family crest (or coat of arms) came into existence many centuries ago. The process of creating these coats of arms began as early as the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this, including Ireland. The new more formalized art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own family crest, coat of arms, including Higgins