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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

Notes: (Grainsby Hall. co Lincoln). Mottoes—Sola virtus invicta; and, Tyde what may. Blazon: Az. a saltire cantoned with a star in chief and in base, and with two crescents addorsed in the flanks ar. Crest—A rock ppr.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Haigh Coat of Arms and Family Crest

Haigh Origin:


Origins of Haigh:

This surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and may be either a geographical name from a person who lived in an area bounded by something, acquiring from the Olde English pre 7th Century "haga", which means similar, to the Old Norse "hagi", which means Bush farmland; or geographical from Haigh in West Yorkshire, or in Lancashire. Both of these regions are listed as "Hagh" in the Premium Rolls of the respective districts, dated 1194 - 1198, and called from "haga" or hagi." Geographical surnames were created in very old times since they provided easily identifiable names in the small regions of the Middle Ages. Geographical names were frequently provided to the king of the castle, or as a source of recognition to those who left their place of origin to shift to another place. The surname first shows on record in England in the first part of the 13th Century. Petrus del Hage, whose name appears in Scottish documents, dated 1160, was considered to have originally come from La Hague in Manche, Normandy, named from the Old Norse "hagi." In the new style, the name spelled Haig, Hague, and Haigh, the last mentioned form being most spread widely in Yorkshire. In April 1545, Alice Haigh and William Wilson married in Halifax, Yorkshire.


More common variations are: Haighe, Haaigh, Haighy, Haeigh, High, Hagh, Haih, Haghigh, Haugh, Heigh.


The surname Haigh first appeared in Yorkshire, where Iollan de Hagh was listed in 1229. The Scottish clan resided in Bemersyde for many centuries after their entrance in Scotland.

The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of Jollan de Hagh, dated about 1222, in the "Close Rolls of Yorkshire," It was during the time of King Henry III who was known to be the “The Frenchman," dated 1216 - 1272. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England. Surnames all over the country began to develop, with unique and shocking spelling varieties of the original one.


Many of the people with surname Haigh had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.

United States of America:

Some of the population with the name Haigh who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Abraham Haigh landed in New Jersey in 1812. Samuel Haigh landed in Maryland in 1812. Amos, Benjamin, Charles, Fred, John, Joseph, Samuel Haigh arrived in Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1860. David Haigh, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) Division, Pennsylvania in 1876.


People with the surname Haigh who settled in Australia in the 19th century included Mary Haigh, an English prisoner from York, who was shifted aboard the "Arab" in December 1835, settling in Van

Diemen's Land, Austraila. Frederick Haigh arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Duke of Bedford" in 1848. John Haigh arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Caroline" in 1849. Allen Haigh arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo." Samuel Haigh at the age of 24 arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Bee."


Some of the individuals with the surname Haigh who settled in New Zealand in the 19th century included George Haigh landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840. George Haigh at the age of 33, Elizabeth Haigh, Abraham Haigh and George Haigh, all arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Birman" in the same year 1842.

Here is the population distribution of the last name Haigh: England 9,481; United States 3,739; Australia 2,321; South Africa 1,169; Canada 647; New Zealand 409; Scotland 394; Wales 214; France 135; Malaysia 101.

Notable People:

Gideon Haigh was an Australian scholar.

Jennifer Haigh was an American author.

John George Haigh is an English serial killer.

Kenneth Haigh is an English actor.

Louise Haigh is a British Co-operative leader, representative of Parliament (MP) for Sheffield Heeley since May 2015.

Nancy Haigh is an American set developer.

Philip A. Haigh is a British professor and writer.

Haigh Coat of Arms Meaning

The three main devices (symbols) in the Haigh blazon are the saltire, mullet and crescent. The two main tinctures (colors) are azure and argent.

The bright, strong blue color in Heraldry is known in English as azure, and similarly in other European languages – azul in Spanish, azurro in Italian and azur in French. The word has its roots in the Arabic word lazura, also the source of the name of the precious stone lapis lazuli 1. Despite this, those heralds who liked to associate colours with jewels chose instead to describe blue as Sapphire. According to Wade, the use of this colour symbolises “Loyalty and Truth” 2.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 3. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 4.

The saltire is one the major ordinaries, large charges that occupy the whole of the field 5. Arguably one of the best uses of this device is that of the St. Andrews Cross, a white saltire on a blue background found on the Scottish flag. The saltire is obviously closely related to the Cross, and Wade in his work on Heraldic Symbology suggests additionally that it alludes to “Resolution”, whilst Guillim, an even more ancient writer, somewhat fancifully argues that it is awarded to those who have succesfully scaled the walls of towns! 6

The heraldic mullet, not to be confused with the fish of that name, is shown as a regular, five pointed star. This was originally, not an astronomical object, but represented the spur on a horseman’s boot, especially when peirced, with a small circular hole in the centre it represents a type of spur known as a “rowel” 7. A clear example can be found in the arms of Harpendene, argent, a mullet pierced gules. The ancient writer Guillim associated such spurs in gold as belonging to the Knight, and the silver to their esquires 8. In later years, Wade linked this five pointed star with the true celestial object, the estoile and termed it a “falling star”, symbolising a “divine quality bestowed from above” 9.

For easy recognition of the items on a coat of arms, and hence the quick identification of the owner, bold simple shapes are best. Hence, simple geometric shapes are often used for this purpose 10xz`, and the crescent Is a typical example of this, and can appear in any of the main heraldic tinctures. Some common is this device that there are special names for its appearance in various orientations – whilst it lies normally with points upward, the decrescent points to the sinister side, and the increscent to the dexter 11. The allusion, obviously is to the shape of the moon in the sky (indeed, the French have a version “figuré” which includes a face!) and has been said to signify both “honour by the sovereign” and “hope of greater glory” 12.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Azure
  • 2 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P36
  • 3 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 4 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 5 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Saltire
  • 6 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P63
  • 7 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 97
  • 8 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P107
  • 9 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P105
  • 10 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P146
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Moon
  • 12 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P106