The Biggs Family Tree

The English surname "Biggs" appears to be of nickname origin, being one of those names derived from a personal or physical characteristic of the original bearer.  The name evolved from the Middle English word "bigge", meaning "large, stout, strong".  Thus, the surname would have been used to describe one who was of large or bulky proportions.  This type of surname was commonly used in medieval England.  For example, the surnames Long and Short would have developed in the same way.

The surname is recorded as early as the thirteenth century. In the "Hundred Rolls" of 1273, one Alan Bigge from Cambridgeshire was mentioned as were Robert Bigge from Huntingdonshire and William Bigge (Oxfordshire).  However, in some instances, the name occurs accompanied by the prefix "de" or "atte"' meaning "of/from" or "at the".  This would appear to indicate that the name may also be of local or topographical origin, although there is little information to support this theory.

Notable bearers of this surname include E.Power Biggs (b. 1906), the English organist; Hermann Michael Biggs (1859-1923), the American physician and public health administrator; and Alfred Barratt Biggs, the Australian Physicist.  The most infamous bearer of the name is Ronald Biggs, the train robber .