My Biggs Origins

The name Biggs is a nickname for a large or stout person, with variations recorded as Big, Bigg, Bigge, Biggs, Byggs, Bygges and Bigges. It is of Olde English pre-7th-century origins. It derives from the ancient word “bigga” meaning large, and as such was both an original baptismal name, and later in the medieval period, either a nickname, surname or possibly indicated topographic or habitational origin.

The first record of the name Biggs is found in Essex where they had been granted land by King William after the Norman Conquest in 1066. I haven’t managed to trace us back that far yet but you never know!

Our line of the Biggs family can be traced back to the mid-1700s when they were farmers in the county of Wiltshire in South West England. At this stage, my research has taken me back to James Biggs (1766-1852). Described as Yeoman of Worton, parish Potterne in Wiltshire Deeds held by Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.  A yeoman was “a person qualified by possessing free land of 40/- (shillings) annual [feudal] value, and who can serve on juries.

The first of my line in the Biggs family to immigrate to Australia was my great-grandfather, Stephen Biggs. He departed Plymouth on the 10 September with his brother Alfred and arrived in Australia on 25 December 1852.

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