About PetersPioneersBiggins/Beggan Irish Roots

By Peter Biggins

Mary Cooney Alexander, Al Beagan (1941-2010), Lucille Beagan, Michael Beaghen, Adrian Beggan, Gerard Beggan, Judith Biggin, Brian Biggins, Cathi Biggins, Charles Biggins, David Biggins, John Biggins, John Biggins, John S. Biggins, Kathleen Biggins, Kieran Biggins, Mary Hughes Biggins, Michael Biggins, Patrick Biggins, Sean Biggins, Thomas Biggins, Mark Bigham, Martha Bowes, Deirdre Biggins Cameron, Kevin Hennessy, Patrick Hogan, John Little, Lori Kaltenbronn, Ann Mahon, Clare McConville, Brid O'Malley, Leo Petrini, Ron Scherer, Monsignor Thomas Shannon (1932-2008), and Ellen Biggins Sullivan contributed to this study.

About PetersPioneers      DNA of the Three Collas      The River Faughan, Tirkeeran      Patrick Beggan of Drumgill      A Trip to Ballinrobe      Contacts      Home Page

Biggins DNA Project

Wanted: Male Beggan/Biggins with Irish, Scottish, or English roots to join the Biggins DNA Project and have his Y-chromosome DNA tested at Family Tree DNA. The Y-DNA67 test is recommended. For information, see Biggins/Beggan DNA. Contact Peter Biggins with any questions.

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About Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots

The objective of Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots is to connect Biggins/Beggan descendants in America, Ireland, Scotland, and Australia with their ancestors and cousins. PetersPioneers is a Web site devoted to the ancestors of Peter and Marilyn Carroll Biggins, including Patrick and Bridget Biggins, who immigrated in the 1830s to Will County, Illinois, by way of Ontario, Canada, from counties Mayo, Monaghan, or Cavan in Ireland.

This material tends to be oriented to the name Biggins because it is the writer's name, but variations of the name are meant to be included.

As children growing up with Irish Catholics in the Chicago area in the 1950s, we were never quite sure we were one of them. My Dad said we were Irish, but the name Biggins just did not sound Irish compared with Murphy, Kelly, O'Connor, Maguire, etc. When you told people your name, they would ask how to spell it, or say it sounded English. Through my whole life, I only met one Biggins who wasn't a relative: John Biggins, an executive with the Elgin Watch Company, whom I caddied for around 1953 when he was a guest at Indian Hill Club in Winnetka.

In 2002, I retired and got hooked on genealogy. The first eye-opener was my great great grandfather's first name in the family Bible--Patrick. That sounded real Irish. I found books in the library by MacLysaght and Woulfe that not only listed the name Biggins but said it came from the Irish word beag which, ironically, means small. The U.S. censuse of 1850 said Patrick's wife was Bridget and the two of them were from Ireland. I found two other Biggins families living across the road from Patrick and Bridget. An 1890 biography for one of them said they were from County Monaghan but did not mention Patrick. One of their descendants, Cathi Biggins, said the name was not Biggins originally. My cousin Dan Biggins said we came from County Mayo.

In 2006, I started this Web page on Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots and made my first trip to Ireland. I decided to stay in Ballinrobe, County Mayo, because there was a Biggins Bar. I did research there every night. For the first time in my life, everybody knew my name. The Mayo County chairman for the Irish Farmers' Association was Michael Biggins, and he gave me a 2004 book celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Glencorrib National Schools: the name Biggins was practically on every other page.

In 2007, I received an email from Claire McConville of Roslea, County Fermanagh: "Al Began has a great site but I’m sure you already know this and if you haven’t read his genealogy notes for Monaghan yet I would suggest you do as you may find something in there that refers to your family. I would also look at the map he has of the Beggans as there is a Pat Beggan on there who was born in 1807 and assuming I’m reading the map correctly it seems his parents may be Hugh Beggan and Ann Cusack. If I’m not then the Pat is still there all the same and looks to be in a townland called Drumgill. Drumgill is in the Parish of Kildrumsherdan in County Cavan. Cavan is another County which borders on County Monaghan, and depending on the geography families may have crossed the border." See: Patrick Beggan of Drumgill.

While this page focuses on Biggins families of Irish descent, the name Biggins also is found among families of English descent. There also are descendants of African-American slaves with the name Biggins. In the 1870 United States census, there were 111 households with the surname Biggins. Of these, 44% were Irish, 36% English, and 20% African-American.

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Irish Surname Sources

Beggan in Fermanagh
From Chapter 31, "Fermanagh Families," page 421, in The Fermanagh Story by Rev. Peadar Livingstone, Cumann Seanchais Chlochair, 1969.
Beggan in Monaghan
From page 580 of The Monaghan Story by Rev. Peadar Livingstone, Clogher Historical Society, 1979. Note that Beggan is translated as "a descendant of the diminutive person." In Chapter 5, pages 72-73, Livingstone cites families other than McMahon "who figured in Monaghan in the Middles Ages." He lists those that migrated from Fermanagh to Monaghan in the later Middles Ages: Beggan, McCaffrey, MacManus, Maguire, and Monaghan. The Hearth Money Rolls relate to the years 1663 and 1665. N, W, and C refer to areas of Monaghan: north, west, and central.
Biggins in MacLysaght
From The Surnames of Ireland by Edward MacLysaght (1887-1986), Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1969.
Biggins in Woulfe
From Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Dublin,1923. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1967, 1969, 1993.
Biggins in Woulfe
From Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Dublin,1923. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1967, 1969, 1993.
Biggins in Woulfe
From Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Dublin, 1923. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1967, 1969, 1993.
Biggins in Woulfe
From Irish Names and Surnames by Rev. Patrick Woulfe, Dublin,1923. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co. in 1967, 1969, 1993.

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Al Beagan's "Genealogy Notes" of Ireland

Al BeaganAl Beagan (1941-2010). Allen Temple Beagan of Sandwich died July 23, 2010, after a courageous battle with colon cancer at the age of 69. He was the husband of Lucille (Laurie) Beagan for 43 years. Besides his family, Allen's passions were genealogy, softball and gardening. He was a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston and a member of the Genealogical Society of Ireland in Dublin. He created his "Genealogy Notes" of Ireland website and spent many hours and years researching his family's history from Ireland to Prince Edward Island, Canada, to Massachusetts. He was a proud member of the Old Timers Softball League out of Harwich and the Sandwich Softball League.
It did not take me long to find the "Genealogy Notes" of Ireland, the website of Al Beagan (1941-2010), a history of the Biggins/Beggan/Beagan name. There I found the baptism of Patrick Beggan near the Monaghan border in Drumgill, County Cavan, in 1807, the same year that my Patrick Biggins was born. I also found on Al's site the name of a person in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Gerard Beggan, who was interested in Biggins/Beggan genealogy. On my second trip to Ireland in 2007, I met with Gerard Beggan in Carrickmacross. He told me he had a professor in college, Peadar Livingstone, who said that Beggans were descendants of Maguires. I met with him again on my third trip.

After our son's wedding in Orleans on Caped Cod, Massachusetts, my wife Marilyn and I stopped by unannounced at Al's house in Sandwich on the way home. We were surprised and saddened to learn from his wife Lucille that he had died two months earlier. The gracious Lucille invited us in nevertheless and told us about Al's life and his intense interest in researching his family history and the origin of his Beagan name.

Al Beagan's great grandfather was Owen Beagan. For Owen's descendants, see Owen Beagan Family from County Cavan.

Al Beagan's website is no longer available, but some pages are available on Rootsweb:

A few other of Al Beagan's pages on on Rootsweb:

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Biggins/Beggan DNA

In 2008, Daniela Moneta started a Biggins DNA project. Daniela is a professional genealogist and started the Biggins DNA project as part of her efforts to learn more about her ancestor Eleanor Biggins who was born in 1798 in Middlesex, England, married Joseph Hewitt in London in 1821, and died in 1859 in Surrey, England.

Daniela found this page on the Internet and asked me to have my Y-DNA tested. I was skeptical because of the cost and doubtful that I would learn anything, but my wife Marilyn encouraged me to do it. Now, I really feel Irish--I match up closely with people named Beggan, Beaghen, Began, and Little (John Little's father was nicknamed "Jimmy Beggins"). I match up with Sean Biggins, a descendant of James Biggins who lived across the road from my great great grandfather Patrick Biggins, but the common ancestor goes back to 1350 AD.

I am one of 12 Y-DNA testers who share the mutation occurred around 1350 AD--after the adoption of surnames in Ireland. The 12 of us have similar surnames: Beaghen, Beggan, Biggin, Biggins, Bigham, and Little. The Irish word for little is beag. 2 testers were born in Clones. The other 10 testers were born in America, Australia, and Scotland. Our known ancestors come from counties Fermanagh, Monaghan, and Cavan.

5 of the 12 share a mutation that occurred around 1400 AD. 3 of the 5 share a mutation that occurred around 1500 AD. 2 of the 3 share a mutation that occurred around 1600 AD (they descend from a Patrick Beggan born in Cavan in 1779).

The 12 Beggan testers have an earlier mutaion that occurred around 550 AD that is shared with other testers: 46 McDonald, 22 Connolly, 12 Boylan, 12 McGuire, 6 King, 5 McAuley, 5 Larkin, 4 O'Hara, 4 MacDougall, 4 White, and 3 Martin. Certain of the McDonalds can trace their ancient ancestry back to Carthend, who lived in Tirkeeran on the Faughan River around 550 AD. Tirkeeran means "land of Carthend." Carthend was the grandson of Colla Uais. This larger group of testers has a mutation that occurred around 475 AD that is shared with McMahons and many other testers. Certain of the McMahons can trace their ancient ancestry back to Colla da Crioch. Colla Uais, Colla da Crioch, and Colla Meann were three brothers with Celtic Y-DNA and Roman names who came to Ireland from England in the 4th or 5th century. They are called The Three Collas. See DNA of the Three Collas.

Biggins/Beggan surname variants are found in several DNA projects at Family Tree DNA, which has the largest Y-DNA database in the field.

There are two kinds of markers for Y-chromosome DNA: STRs and SNPs.

  • A SNP is a single nucleotide polymorphism, a mutation in the DNA that happens when a single nucleotide (A, T, G, or C) in the genome sequence is altered. A person has many SNPs that together create a unique DNA pattern for that individual.
  • An STR is a Short Tandem Repeat, or count of repeats at a physical location on the chromosome. These repeats can be used to predict STRs. They can be used to create a modal DNA for a group of men that match each other. And they can be used to measure genetic distance between two testers and between a tester and the modal DNA.
STR testing is done by everyone who tests with FTDNA. SNP testing is newer and is done by a much smaller group.

Following are the participants in the Biggins DNA project and the Bingham DNA project who have tested 67 STR markers. All have the L21 SNP, which is considered a Celtic SNP. There are three groups. The first two are descended from Clan Colla and have the Z3000 SNP. The third is said to be descended from Niall of the Nine Hostages and has the M222 SNP, and probably the DF105 SNP. The M222 group also is known as Northwest Irish.

Biggins/Beggan Y-DNA
NameFTDNA #Big Y SNPUnique STROldest Ancestor, Birth Year, Birth PlaceComments
L21, DF21, Z3000, Z3006, Z3008, S953, ZZ13, FT14481, BY3164, FT17167, BY142544, FTA30858 (1600 AD) - Clan Colla
Jack Little896940FTA30858413b=24, 561=16Patrick Beggan, 1779, County CavanEmigrated in the 1840s to Derby, Connecticut, worked in the iron mills. Ties to John Patrick Little's tree (see below)
John Patrick Little69648FTA30858413b=24, 561=16Patrick Beggan, 1779, County CavanJohn's great grandfather changed his name from Beggan to Little. John's father James Little was born in 1898 and nicknamed "Jimmy Beggins" as a child. He emigrated to Ayrshire, Scotland. John himself was born and raised in Ayrshire, emigrated to Canada for fourteen years, and then to Perth, Australia
L21, DF21, Z3000, Z3006, Z3008, S953, ZZ13, FT14481, BY3164, FT17167, BY142544 (1500 AD), Clan Colla
Kieran Biggins629651BY142544413b=24, 561=16James Biggins, 1790, County MonaghanEmigrated to Western Scotland sometime in the 1820s or 1830s, settling first in Renfrewshire, then to Galston, Ayrshire, then on to Lanarkshire
L21, DF21, Z3000, Z3006, Z3008, S953, ZZ13, FT14481, BY3164, FT17167 (1400 AD), Clan Colla
Sean Biggins146867FT17167413b=24, 561=16James Biggins, 1822, County MonaghanEmigrated in 1840 to Will County, Illinois. Bought a farm next to Patrick Biggins below
Eric J. Began956940FT17167413b=24, 561=16Michael Beggan, born in 1781 in County Fermanagh, IrelandMarried Margaret Kelley from Fermanagh in 1807. Emigrated after 1824 to Watertown, Wisconsin
L21, DF21, Z3000, Z3006, Z3008, S953, ZZ13, FT14481, BY3164 (1350 AD), Clan Colla
Michael BeaghenN34030 413b=24, 561=16Francis Beaghen, 1850, IrelandEmigrated in 1860 to Brooklyn, New York
Gerard Beggan
166169 413b=24, 561=16Beggan, Clones, IrelandRemained in Ireland. Originally from Magheranure, Clones, County Monaghan, near the Fermanagh border. Died in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, in 2018. The 1911 census for Magheranure shows a Bridget Beggan 50 and daughters Mary 26 and Ellen 22 in Magheranure, all three born in County Fermanagh, The 1901 census for nearby Coraghy shows Bernard Beggan 54 with wife Bridget 40 and daughters Mary 16, Catherine 14,and Ellen 12, all five born in County Fermanagh
Adrian James Beggan190653 413b=24John Beggan, County FermanaghRemained in Ireland. Grew up in Meath. Now lives in Dublin. Father from Clones, County Monaghan
David Andrew Biggin559385 413b=24Thomas Biggin, Castle Carey, Somerset, EnglandEmigrated to Australia aboard the James T Foord in November 1849
Peter Biggins127469BY3164413b=24, 561=16Patrick Beggan/Biggins, 1807, County CavanEmigrated sometime before 1835 to Ontario, Canada, and sometime between 1835 and 1838 to Will County, Illinois. See Patrick Beggan of Drumgill
Keith J. Bigham91030 413b=24Andrew Bigham, 1793, Fairfield, Hamiltonban Township, Adams County, PennsylvaniaEmigrated to Fairfield, Pennsylvania, before the Revolutionary War. The township is named after Hamiltonsbawn in County Armagh, Northern Ireland. The Griffiths Survey of 1848-64 shows 120 Bighams in Ireland, including 99 in County Down and 6 in County Armagh
Mark Wayne BighamN86785BY3164413b=24, 561=16Hugh Bigham, 1750, IrelandEmigrated to Lebanon, Pennsylvania, before the Revolutionary War. The Griffiths Survey of 1848-64 shows 99 0f 120 Bighams in County Down, Ireland
L21, DF21, Z3000, Z3006, BY3160, BY3157 (1000 AD), Clan Colla cousin
Frederick Anton LittleN50180 570=15Hugh Little, 1819, New YorkOriginally from Ireland or Scotland
L21, M222, probably DF105 (250 AD). M222 is known as Northwest Irish
James Biggins395347 Toorard, County MayoCousin of Charles
Charles James Biggins III256505 Patrick Biggins, 1807, Cloondaver, Robeen Parish, County MayoChuck's great great grandfather, James Biggins, emigrated in 1851 to Livingston County, New York, then in 1854 to McKean County, Pennsylvania. Before Cloondaver, the family lived in Roundfort, which is east of Ballinrobe and south of Hollymount. Before that, the family was from around Glencorrib in far south County Mayo.
David Biggins125892 Henry Biggins, 1859, Yorkshire, EnglandDavid's ancestor was from Yorkshire, England, but possibly may have immigrated from Ireland.

Big Y SNPs. SNPs (e.g., BY3164) are single nucleotide polymorphisms, or mutations, found on the Y chromosome. SNPs that are inherited by two or more testers allow the creation of tree branches with named SNPs. BIG Y is a testing program offered by Family Tree DNA since 2014 that identifies SNPs on a large portion of the Y-chromosome.

Big Y Block Tree
Big Y Block Tree for SNP BY3164. Source: The Family Tree DNA homepage of a matching tester.
Biggins timeline
Timeline for SNP BY3164. Source: Family Tree DNA.

BY3164 has been traced back to Colla Uais. Following is a list of SNPs leading up to BY3164, together with a very rough estimate by FTDNA of the year when each SNP occurred. Click on the SNP to see Family Tree DNA's estimated year.

  • Z3008. Year 475. The SNP of the father of Colla Uais: Origin of the Three Collas. Includes McMahons and other descendants of Colla da Crioch as well as desendants of Colla Uais.
  • S953. Year 550. Probably the SNP of Muredach, son of Carthend. See: The River Faughan, Tirkeeran
  • ZZ13. Year 600. Probably the SNP of Aed Guaire.
  • R-FT14481. Year 750. Probably the SNP of Conal. Descendants with this SNP include Biggins/Beggan, as well as McDonald 1 testers who can trace their paternal ancestry back to Brian MacDonnell, Somerled, and Colla Uais.
  • BY3164. Year 1350. Probably the SNP of an early person with the surname of Beggan or a variation thereof.
See Unabridged Clan Colla BIG Y tree and Abridged Clan Colla BIG Y tree. Following is an abridged FT14481 Big Y SNP tree.

Abridged FT14481 Big Y SNP Tree with Probable Historical Names and Tester Names

R-Z3008 (475 AD)     Colla Uais
S953 (550 AD)     Muredach, son of Carthend
ZZ13 (600 AD)     Aed Guaire
FT14481 (750 AD)     Conal
(1350 AD)

(1300 AD)


(1400 AD)

(1200 AD)

A938 (850 AD)     Goffrad
FT112238 (950 AD)     Somerled
(1100 AD)


(1700 AD)
Brian MacDonnell

McDonald 1
(1250 AD)

McDonald 2

Unique STRs. There is one STR marker that so far is the same for all Bigginses in the first group. It is not found in any other Clan Colla descendants. That marker is 413b. The value for all Biggins testers is 24. No other Colla descendants have a value of 24. Instead they have a value of 23, except for a few who have 22.

Biggins GD Matrix

The table on the right shows the genetic distances, in 67-marker STRs, among the Biggins Y-DNA testers.

  • The distances among the 12 testers in the first group range from 2 to 12, and the average is 6, which indicates that they are related but not closely related.
  • The genetic distances of the Little tester in the second group relative to the first group range from 9 to 15, indicating that there are many more generations between the two groups. In fact, he matches up with a Smith group.
  • The distance between the first two Biggins in the third group is 0, which indicates that they are very closely related.
  • The distances of the testers in the third group relative to the first two groups range from 22 to 26, indicating a large number of generations between the third and the first two groups. This distance is relective of the difference between the Colla/DF21 SNP and the Niall/M222 SNP.
  • The distance between the first two and the third Biggins in the third group is 11, which indicates that they are not closely related.

Genetic distance occurs because of mutations from one generation to another. If two people are identical in all STR markers except they are off in one marker by 1 point, the genetic distance would be 1. If they were off at 2 different markers by 1 point in each marker, then the genetic distance of those two samples would be 2. If they are off by 2 points at one marker and 1 point in a second marker, then the genetic distance would be 3. Based on FTDNA practice, as modified in 2011, the genetic difference for some markers is limited to 1. This method of computing genetic distance is called the hybrid mutation model.

By testing the Y-DNA, males can determine the origin of their paternal line. Note that the Y-DNA strictly checks the paternal line, with no influence of any females along that line. Females do not receive the Y-chromosome, and therefore females cannot be tested for the paternal line. If you are a female and would like to know about your paternal line, you would need to have a brother or a male relative from that line to be tested. By testing the mtDNA, males and females can determine the origin of their maternal line. Note that the mtDNA strictly checks the maternal line, with no influence of any males along that line. Both males and females receive the mtDNA from the mother.

If you decide to participate, FTDNA sends you two scrapers that you use to swab the inside of your cheek. They give you a homepage for your DNA results and genealogical information. DNA results are posted there and on a public page that compares your DNA with others in the project.

If you are a male with the name Biggins, Beggan, or another variant, you may benefit from particpating in the Biggins DNA project. Here are some of the questions you may be able to answer with your Y-DNA:

  • Are you related to other people with the same name? I was able to learn that there is a close relationship between Patrick Biggins, my great great grandfather, and James Biggins who lived across the road from Patrick in Will County, Illinois. The DNA of Sean Biggins, a descendant of James Biggins who lived across the road, confirms that there is a relationship. An 1890 biography of James Biggins says he came from County Monaghan. But we are not that close. The relationship goes back several hundred years. He has a SNP born in 1400 AD that I do not have.
  • Are you related to people with the same name in other parts of the world, such as County Mayo, Scotland, and England? For example, if you are a Biggins from County Mayo, are you related to people with the same or similar name in County Fermanagh? We have one participant from County Mayo, none from Scotland. We have a particpant from England. Are people with English roots named Biggins related to people with Irish roots named Biggins? The one person named Biggins with English roots has a genetic distance of 11 from the one from County Mayo. Their Y-DNA matches the DNA of Niall of the Nine Hostages.
  • Are people with variants of Biggins/Beggan related? Michael Beaghen, whose ancestors came from County Monaghan, is closely related to us. We have two Bighams who are closely related. The Griffiths Valuation shows a number of people named Bigham from County Down.
  • Are people named Little related to people named Biggins/Beggan? John Little whose family name was Beggins matches closely with my DNA. The Irish beag means small. John lives in Perth, Western Australia, but was born and raised in Ayrshire, Scotland, and previously lived in Canada fourteen years. His father was James Little, known as a child as Jimmy Beggins. He was born in 1898 in the townland of Drumlane in the Parish of Laragh, County Cavan. His grandfather was James Little, born in 1860, and his great grandfather was Bernard Little born circa 1813, who acquired the farm in Drumlane through marriage.
  • Are you descended from Clan Colla? I found that there are people named Maguire, McMahon, Carroll, McKenna, McDonald, and McDaniel who match fairly closely with my Y-DNA. People with these names are said to be descended from the Three Collas, who established the ancient kingdom of Oriel.

To sign up for the Biggins DNA Project at FTDNA, go to this Web page: Biggins DNA project. I strongly recommend Big Y-700, which costs about $400 on sale. The next best is the Y67 test, which costs about $260 on sale.

You can test for just BY3164 for $18 at YSeq. If you have BY3164, the test will put you on this page, but not in the Biggins DNA project at FTDNA. If you don't have BY3164, it will not tell what you do have. If you are interested, go to BY3164 at YSeq.

For a table of the current participants and their Y-DNA results, go to Biggins DNA project.

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Irish Origin of Name

The Irish word for little or small is beag. According to exerpts from the works of Edward MacLysaght and Rev. Patrick Woulfe, this is the origin of the name Biggins.

In 1834, John O'Donovan (1806 to 1861) traveled throughout Ireland gathering information for the Ordinance Survey of Ireland about antiquities and notable families and places. He gathered his comments in a series of letters. In one of these letters, O'Donovan lists 26 "aboriginal families of Clones and its vicinity" according to "Con O'Neill, who is intimately connected with the country." The 16th family is "O'Becan, now translated Little." In his 1993 book containing O'Donovan's letters from Fermanagh, John Cunningham comments that "Beggan or Little is a common name in the Clones, Rosslea, Donagh area. It is a British name as well as being the anglicized version of an Irish name." See: John O'Donovan's Letters from County Fermanagh (1834), by John O'Donovan, edited by John B. Cunningham, 1993: letter from Enniskillen, November 24, 1834, pages 74-81.

Variations of Biggins in the Griffith's Valuation property survey of 1848-64 were: Beaghan, Beagin, Beegan, Began, Beggan, Beggans, Beggin, Beggins, Biggin, Biggins, Biggane, Bigham, and Little. In general, the name had evolved somewhat differently in different areas. The most prevalent variations were:

  • Little, Beggin, and Beggan in Co. Fermanagh
  • Beggan, Began, and Litttle in Co. Monaghan and Co. Cavan
  • Bigham in Co. Down
  • Biggins, Biggin, and Beggins in Co. Mayo
  • Biggane in Co. Limerick and Co. Cork
  • Beegan in Co. Galway

Biggins is a relatively rare name. As far as we know, there never really was a Biggins clan, chieftan, or coat of arms.

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Peadar Livingstone's Theory

In his 1969 book, The Fermanagh Story, Rev. Peadar Livingstone includes a list of the prominent families of Gaelic origin. One of these is Beggan. In 2007 and again in 2009, I met with Gerard Beggan in Carrickmacross, County Monaghan. Gerard's Beggan ancestors came from the Clones-Roslea area. As a young man, Gerard was working in a hotel in Clones in 1969, the year that The Fermanagh Story was published, There he met Father Livingstone, who told him that the Beggan family was originally a branch of the Maguire family. Maguire is the most common name in Fermanagh. (The Clan Colla Big Y SNP Tree shows a common Biggins/McGuire ancestor with the FT14481 SNP, which goes back very roughly to some time between 500 and 800 AD.)

Fermanagh Map
1969 map of surnames in County Fermanagh from Chapter 31, "Fermanagh Families," in The Fermanagh Story by Rev. Peadar Livingstone, Cumann Seanchais Chlochair, 1969. Note the name Beggan on the border in the lower right quadrant of the map, which is the Clones area.
Monaghan Map
1979 map of surnames in County Monaghan from page 51 of The Monaghan Story by Rev. Peadar Livingstone, Clogher Historical Society, 1979. Note the name Beggan in the upper left quadrant of the map, which is the Clones area.

A biography of Peadar Livingstone says Father Livingstone was a renowned scholar in both the Irish language and local history. He wrote comprenensive histories of two counties in Ireland: The Fermanagh Story (1969) and The Monaghan Story (1979). He also wrote a regular column for the The Fermanagh Herald, a local newspaper, under the name "Ernesense." Peadar Livingstone was born in 1932 and lived in the town of Castleblayney in County Monaghan. His father was a jeweller. He entered St. Macartan's College in Monaghan in 1945. Following his secondary school education, he entered Maynooth College to study for the priesthood for the diocese. He studied Celtic languages--Irish and Welsh--and theology. He was ordained a priest in 1957. Father Livingstone entered University College Dublin to continue his studies in Irish; however, he was recalled to the diocese before he completed his studies. He was appointed to the teaching staff of St. Michael's College in Enniskillen, a diocesan seminary in Northern Ireland, where he served as President and taught Irish, history, and religion. He was appointed a curate to the parish of Donaghmoynero in 1977. In 1987 he was assigned to the parish of Clogher in County Tyrone where he died later that year at age 55.

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Map of Colla Uais

The Oxford Companion to Irish History by S. J. Connolly, says the Airgíalla was composed of nine minor-kingdoms, each named after their ruling dynasty. Three of these they claimed descend from Colla Uais. Colla Uais had two sons, Erc and Fiachra Tort. From Fiachra Tort came the Uí Tuirtri. From Erc, came Cairthend and Fiachrach, who were respectively the ancestors of the Uí Maic Cairthinn and the Uí Fiachrach Arda Sratha.

  • Uí Tuirtri, also spelt as Uí Tuirtre, meaning "descendants of Tort". They were based east of the Sperrin Mountains in eastern County Londonderry and Tyrone. From 776, the Uí Thuirtri had moved east of the River Bann and into the over-kingdom of Ulaid, and by 919 they had lost all links to the Airgíalla.
  • Uí Maic Cairthinn, meaning "descendants of Cairthend". Based south of Lough Foyle in north-western County Londonderry.
  • Uí Fiachrach Arda Sratha, meaning "descendants of Fiachrach of Ard Straw". Based at Ardstraw in modern-day County Tyrone. They became subject to the Cenél nEógain by the 12th-century, and expanded southwards into Fir Luírg, in County Fermanagh.
Below is an exerpt from a 1689 map showing places inhabited by descendants of Colla Uais.
  • Lough Foyle is at the top of the map.
  • The Sperrin Mountains the unnamed mountains south of Lough Foyle.
  • The River Bann flows up from Lough Neagh on the right.
  • Ardstraw is south southeast of Lough Foyle.
  • Lurge is southwest of Ardstraw on the left edge of the map.
  • Clones (Clonish), where descendants can be found today, is near the bottom of the map on the Fermanagh-Monaghan border, between Clankelly and Dartre.

Airghialla Map
Excerpt from 1689 map of Ireland, showing the Clones (Clonish) area. Published by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702).

Dartraighe, anglicised as Dartree, Dartry or Dartrey, was an Irish territory in medieval Ireland which stretched north to Clones. It was later incorporated into County Monaghan as the barony of Dartree. It was listed as part of the federated Kingdom of Airghíalla in the Book of Rights. The Irish annals for 947 AD say that Scolaige ua hAedacáin, king of Dartraige, and Gairbíth son of Muiredach, heir designate of Uí Chremthainn, and Aed son of Tigernán ua Ruairc were killed in battle in a counter-attack.

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Prevalence of Households with the Name Biggins/Beggan or a Variation Thereof, by County

The table below has been taken from the Griffith's Valuation property survey of 1848-64. Some people named Bigham and Little may be Anglo-Irish rather than Irish with an anglicized name.

Excluding Little, the total is 306.

The biggest concentrations (excluding Little) are:

  • 82 in Fermanagh and Monaghan
  • 35 in Mayo and Galway

CountyBeaghanBeagin Beegan BeganBegganBeggansBegginBegginsBigginBigginsBigganeBighamLittleTotal
Antrim 232530
Armagh 3163747
Belfast city 262533
Cavan 7113342
Down 19995195
Dublin 21820
Dublin city 111719
Fermanagh 11341117163
Galway 831921
Limerick 1414
Longford 3912
Mayo 165111134
Meath 76619
Monaghan 41614111349

Clones Area

Clones area
Excerpt from 1689 map of Ireland, showing the Clones (Clonish) area. Published by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702)

The biggest concentration of households is in two contiguous baronies: Clankelly in County Fermanagh, Dartree in County Monaghan, and Tullygarvey in County Cavan. The largest town in this area is Clones, County Monaghan, which is less than a mile south of the the shared boundary. The monastery of Clones was established here in the 6th century by St. Tighernach.

The number of Biggins/Beggan households in the Clones area are:

  • 50 in County Fermanagh
  • 39 in County Monaghan
  • 9 in County Cavan

Head of HouseholdTownland/TownLessor
BEGGAN THOMASPORTSEarl of Lanesborough
BEGGAN JOHNPORTSEarl of Lanesborough
1862, County FERMANAGH, Barony CLANKELLY, Union CLONES, Parish CLONES
BEGGIN THOMASDERRYGELLYJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN MICHAELKNOCKNALEARJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN BERNARDKNOCKNALEARJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESAGHNASHAMMERJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESDERRYARD John Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESDERRYARDJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESDRUMSHANCORICKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESDRUMSHANCORICKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESDRUMYARKINJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN ELLENLANNAGHTJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN BERNARDERVEYJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN BERNARDERVEYJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN THOMASGREAGHNAGOREJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN FRANCISDERRYVOLANJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN MICHAELESHNADARRAGH John Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN CATHERINEESHNADARRAGHJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN FRANCISESHNADARRAGHJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN PATRICKESHNADARRAGHJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN OWENESHNADARRAGHJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESCORRAGUNTJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN OWENCORRAGUNTJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN MICHAELCORRAGUNTJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN HUGHCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN THOMASCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN OWENCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN PATRICKCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN PATRICKCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
BEGGIN JAMESCORRALEEKJohn Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin
1860, County MONAGHAN, Barony DARTREE, Union CLONES, Parish AGHABOG
1861, County MONAGHAN, Barony DARTREE, Union CLONES, Parish CLONES
1861, County MONAGHAN, Barony DARTREE, Union CLONES, Parish KILLEEVAN
1860, County MONAGHAN, Barony MONAGHAN, Union MONAGHAN, Parish CLONES
1860, County MONAGHAN, Barony MONAGHAN, Union MONAGHAN, Parish KILMORE
BIGGIN ANNEBOUGHHenrietta Westenra
1857, County CAVAN, Barony TULLYHAW, Union BAWNBOY, Parish TOMREGAN
Clones area
Excerpt from Map of the Baronies of Ireland in 1899, showing the Clones area. Source data: Ordnance Survey of Ireland.
Clones area
Excerpt from Civil parishes of Fermanagh: 6. Clones; 13. Enniskillen; 14. Galloon
Clones area
Excerpt from Civil Parishes of Monaghan: 1. Aghabog; 2. Aghnamullen; 3. Ballybay; 4. Clones; 6. Currin; 8. Donaghmoyne; 15. Killeevan; 16. Kilmore; 21. Tedavnet; 22. Tehallan; 23. Tullycorbet
Clones area
Excerpt from Civil Parishes of Cavan: 7. Castleterra; 10. Drumgoon; 18. Kildrumsherdan; 35. Tomregan

Some Clones Area Lessors

  • Fermanagh: Earl of Lanesborough. Title in the Peerage of Ireland. It was created in 1756 for Humphrey Butler, 2nd Viscount Lanesborough. The Butler family descended from Theophilus Butler, who represented County Cavan and Belturbet in the Irish House of Commons. In 1715 he was raised to the Peerage of Ireland as Baron Newtown-Butler, of the County of Fermanagh, with remainder to the heirs male of his father. He was succeeded according to the special remainder by his brother, Brinsley, the second Baron. He had previously represented Kells and Belturbet in the Irish Parliament. In 1728 he was created Viscount Lanesborough in the Peerage of Ireland. He was succeeded by his son, Humphrey, the aforementioned second Viscount, who was elevated to an earldom in 1756. The first Earl was succeeded by his son, Brinsley, the second Earl. He represented County Cavan in the Irish House of Commons. His grandson, the fifth Earl, sat in the British House of Lords as an Irish Representative Peer from 1849 to 1866.
  • Fermanagh: John Madden, Provost of Trinity College Dublin. The Maddens were major landowners in the County of Fermanagh, with 10,498 acres. John Madded JP DL (1819-1903), of Rosslea Manor, County Fermanagh, High Sheriff of County Fermanagh, 1848, Lieutenant, 41st Regiment, married, in 1847, Clara Elizabeth, second daughter of the Rev J Spencer Knox (eldest son of the Rt Rev and Hon William Knox, Lord Bishop of Derry). Slatmulrooney was one of three estates granted in 1610 to Trinity College Dublin.
  • Monaghan: Lord Cremorne. Richard Dawson, 1st Earl of Dartrey KP (1817 – 1897), styled the Hon. Richard Dawson until 1827 and the Lord Cremorne from 1827 to 1866, was an Anglo-Irish Liberal, and later Liberal Unionist, politician. Dartrey was the second and only surviving son of Richard Dawson, 2nd Baron Cremorne, and his wife Anne Elizabeth Emily (née Whaley), and succeeded his father in the barony in 1827 at the age of nine. As this was an Irish peerage it did not entitle him to a seat in the House of Lords. In the late 1830s, Archbishop William Crolly, Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, was seeking a site for a new Catholic cathedral. A site at the apex of a hill on the outskirts of the town was purchased from Lord Cremorne. Around 1840 construction began on St Patrick's Cathedral. In 1847 Richard Dawson was created Baron Dartrey, of Dartrey in co. Monaghan, in the Peerage of the United Kingdom, which allowed him to take a seat in the House of Lords. Dartrey served as a Lord-in-waiting (government whip in the House of Lords) under Lord Palmerston from 1857 to 1858 and under Palmerston and later Lord Russell from 1859 to 1866. He was made a Knight of the Order of St Patrick in 1855 and in 1866 he was further honoured when he was made Earl of Dartrey, of Dartrey in the County of Monaghan. In 1886 Dartrey broke with William Ewart Gladstone over Irish Home Rule and moved to the Liberal Unionist benches in the House of Lords. He also served as Lord-Lieutenant of County Monaghan from 1871 to 1897.
  • Monaghan: Lord Rossmore. Henry Robert Westenra, 3rd Baron Rossmore (1792 – 1860), was an Anglo-Irish Member of Parliament and peer, from 1843 to 1852 Lord Lieutenant of Monaghan. He was also an accomplished player of the Irish pipes, and was considered to be the equal of a good professional piper.[
  • Monaghan: Marquis of Bath. John Alexander Thynne, 4th Marquess of Bath (1831 – 1896), styled Viscount Weymouth between March and June 1837, was a British peer and a diplomat for almost sixty years. Born in St James's, he was the son of Henry Thynne, 3rd Marquess of Bath and his wife Harriet, second daughter of Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton. He succeeded his father as Marquess in June 1837, aged only six. Lord Bath was educated at Eton College and Christ Church, Oxford. He was a devout Anglo-Catholic and a determined opponent of the Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 which sought to suppress Ritualism in the Church of England.
  • Cavan: Richard Coote, lessor of 892 households in County Cavan, Barony of TULLYGARVEY, Union of COOTEHILL, including 708 in Drumgoon Parish and 84 in Kildrumsherdan Parish

Immigration to USA

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Irish Records

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English Records of Irish Born

Saint Bécán of Kilbeggan

Saint Bécán, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, founded a monastery in Kilbeggan in the 6th century, giving rise to the town's Irish name Cill Bheagáin, meaning "the church of St Bécán". Kilbeggan Parish is in the Diocese of Meath.

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Beggan Family from Corraleek

Claire McConville has a website, Claire's Ancesttry, in which she provides the ancestry of her great great great grandparents, the Patrick and Catherine McElroy Beggan from Corraleek, Roslea, County Fermanagh.

Patrick Beggan 1807-1866 of Corraleek, Roslea, Fermanagh; m. ca. 1820 Catherine McElroy; had eight children
Peter Beggan

Francis Beggan b. 1828

Owen Beggan b. 1830

Ellen Beggan b. 1832

Bridget Beggan b. 1834

Patrick Beggan 1837-1908 m. Catherine Quigley b. 1835
  • John Beggan 1857-1940 m. Susan Lynch 1864-1924
    • Bridget Beggan b. 1884 m. James Hurson
    • Catherine Beggan b. 1885
    • Mary Ellen Beggan 1887-1938 m. James Donellan b. 1926
    • Sarah Jane Beggan 1891-1969
    • Patrick Beggan 1895-1956 m. Susan Connolly
    • James Edward Beggan 1897-1964 m. Annie McGuigan
    • Susan Beggan 1903-1981 m. Mark McConville
    • Margaret A. Beggan 1907-1971
  • Mary Beggan b. 1861 m. Thomas Manly
    • Thomas Manly 1887-1965
  • Catherine Beggan b. 1862
  • Bridget Beggan 1863-1945 m. John Beggan 1856-1932
    • John Beggan 1883-1946
    • Patrick Beggan b. 1884
    • Sarah Jane Beggan 1888-1903
    • James Beggan b. 1893
    • Luke Patrick Beggan 1895-1933
  • Sara Beggan b. 1866
  • Ellen Beggan b. 1868
  • Patrick Beggan 1870-1943 m. Mary J. Cosgrove. Emigrated to Rhode Island
    • Andrew A. Beggan b. 1898
    • Edward Beggan b. 1899
    • Thomas Peter Beggan 1901-1984
    • Francis P. Beggan b. 1903
    • James A. Beggan b. 1905
    • Mary A. Beggan 1906-1960 m. John Patrick Galligan b. 1903
    • Rose E. Beggan b. 1909
    • Eugene V. Beggan b. 1911 m. Julia V. Murphy
    • Leonard Beggan b. 1916
  • Ann Beggan 1874-1933. Emigrated to Rhode Island
  • Thomas Beggan 1877-1912 m. Margaret O'Hara. Emigrated to Rhode Island
    • Francis Joseph Beggan 1909-1974 m. Genevieve Marie Ryan
    • Thomas Beggan 1905-1967
    • Helen Beggan 1895-1933 m. Gately
    • Anna Beggan 1888-1903 m. Queenin
    • May Beggan m. Glancy
  • Margaret Beggan b. 1880. Emigrated to Rhode Island
Catherine Beggan b. 1839

Thomas Beggan b. 1841 m. Catherine Maguire b. 1849
  • Michael Beggan b. 1867 m. Ellen Maguire
    • Mary Anne Beggan b. 1900
    • John Beggan b. 1902
    • Catherine Ellen Beggan b. 1904
    • Agnes Beggan b. 1905
    • Elizabeth Beggan b. 1907
    • Michael Joseph Beggan b. 1910
    • Rosaleen Beggan b. 1912
    • John Beggan b. 1914
    • Patrick Beggan b. 1916 m. Aggy McKenna
    • Owen Beggan b. 1918
  • Eugene Beggan 1871-1954 m. Ellen
    • Susan Beggan b. 1897-1981 m. Thomas Gilroy
  • Ann Beggan b. 1873
  • Thomas Beggan b. 1876 m. Ellen Josephine O'Malley b. 1881
  • Catherine Beggan b. 1879 m. Patrick Flanagan
  • Rose Beggan b. 1883
  • Francis Beggan b. 1886 m. Margaret Carolan/Carlin b. 1890
    • Mary Anne Beggan b. 1914
    • Catherin Beggan b. 1916
    • Rosie Beggan b. 1918
    • Theresa Beggan b. 1926
    • Elizabeth Beggan
    • Francis Beggan
    • John Patrick Beggan
    • Luke Joseph Beggan
    • Michael Beggan
  • Mary Beggan b. 1889
  • Peter Beggan b. 1889

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Beggan Family from Fermanagh and Watertown, Wisconsin

Mary Beggan Mueller has a tree at MyHeritage.com that goes back to Michael Beggan, born in 1781 in County Fermanagh, Ireland. He married Margaret Kelley from Fermanagh in 1807. They had seven children in Fermanagh, the last in 1824, then emigrated to Watertown, Wisconsin. Mary says, "As far as we know, daughter Margaret Beggan, who married John Gamble, was in New York in 1836, marriage records. It seems from then on they came in stages, the last one to come over was Patrick, my great-great grandfather in May of 1842, from his declaration for citizenship. Can't find much in the ships' lists. They did settle (all of them) in Hartford CT before settling in Wisconsin."

Michael Beggan 1781-1864 of Fermanagh; m. 1807 Margaret Kelley; had seven children
Sarah Beggan 1807-1906 m. Patrick Little 1808-1887
  • John Little 1837-1881
  • Margaret Little 1838-1912
  • Atchison Michael Little 1842-1912 m. Sarah Brandis b. 1837
    • Walter Brandies 1874-1947 m. Zilphia Scott 1874-1957
    • Henry Brandis b. 1878 m. Clara A. b. 1892
    • Ora Brandis
  • Jane Mary Little 1842-1926 m. Willia H. Nary
    • Charles Nary b. 1881
    • Joseph Nary b. 1883
    • Kattie Nary b. 1885
  • Mary Little 1845-1869 m. John Daly
  • William Little 1847-1865
  • Sarah Little 1851-1933 m. Jophn A. White 1853-1920
    • George Joseph White 1880-1958 m. Veronica Osweiler 1879-1964
    • John A. White 1881-1958
    • Mary Alice May White 1887-1944
    • Leonard William White 1890-1961
    • Raymond H. White 1894-1973
  • Catherine Little 1853-1925 m. Christian Seeger 1841-1930
    • Milton Seeger 1884-1967
    • May Seeger 1888-1975
    • Ruth Sara Seeger b. 1896 m. Charles Wieser b. 1894
Patrick Beggan 1814-1914 m. Susan Carroll
  • Michael Andrew Began 1861-1915 m. Theresa Frances Sacksteder 1862-1920
    • Lawrence A. Began 1892-1895
    • Louis Edward Began 1894-1950 m. Alice Rickelman 1891-1977
    • Gerald John Began 1896-1951 m. Gertrude R. Haumesser 1896-1980 (great grandparents of Eric J. Began
    • Joseph Michael Began 1898-1942 m. Maude Louise 1897-1982
    • Jerome Dennis Began 1902-1920
  • Susan M. (Susie) Beggan 1863-1893
  • John Beggan 1865-1930 m. Rose Crangle 1865-1956
    • Stillborn Beggan 1904-1904
    • Oliver (Robert) Beggan 1906-1977 m. Agnes Amelia Caughlin 1908-1993 (parents of Mary Beggan Mueller)
    • Francis Patrick Beggan 1906-1948 m. Gertrude Mary Mulherne 1904-1989
  • Francis Patrick (Frank) Beggan 1868-1898
  • Charles jervis Beggan 1871-1943
  • Edward Joseph Beggan 1874-1956
  • Margaret (Maggie) Beggan 1876-1939 m. Michael Burke
    • Clarence francis Burke b. 1905
  • Thomas Carroll Beggan 1878-1956 m. Martha Ebert 1881-1951
  • Joseph Bernard Beggan 1886-1944
Margaret Beggan 1816-1858 m. John Gamble 1815-1858
  • Michael H. Gamble 1844-1925 m. Fannie Dooner
    • Joseph A.Gamble 1886-1957
    • Mary R. (Mayme) Gamble 1888-1978 m. C. W. Lamphere
    • Victor E. Gamble 1890-1984 m. Laura A. Carr b. 1891
    • Sylvester John Gamble 1892-1970 m. Ellen b. 1893
    • (Catherine) Olivia Gamble 1896-1996 m. Frank (Franz) Ernest Pleschel
    • Valentine Gamble
    • Esmond Gamble
  • Catherine Gamble 1846-1936 m. Thomas Graham 1837-1905
    • Katherine (Kate) Graham 1867-1934 m. Theodore Wells Gray 1865-1941
    • Margaret (Maggi) Graham 1871-1873
  • Margaret Gamble 1847-1926 m. Joseph Adam Fernholz 1844-1901
    • Eugene Fernholz 1872-1905 m. Clara Foy 1880-1914
    • Anna Fernholz 1876-1956
    • Edward Fernholz 1878-1956 m. Rosa Haala
    • Margaret (Maggie) Fernholz 1881-1957 m. Henry Frodl 1879-1949
    • Frank Roy Fernholz 1883-1940
    • Charles Fernholz 1885-1887
    • Guy RudolphFernholz 1888-1957
  • James Gamble b. 1849
  • John Gamble 1849-1926 m. Jennie Markee 1855-1900
  • Mary Ann Gamble 1851-1918 m. John James Ray 1844-1923
  • Charles Gamble 1853-1937 m. Ruth Holmes 1859-1933
    • Ruth M. Gamble 1883-1963 m. Elmer Anthony Lentz 1871-1946
    • Ann Gamble b. 1886 m. Russell Clair Jensen b. 1889
    • Charles H. Gamble b. 1890
    • Thomas Gamble b. 1894
  • Thomas Gamble 1854-1886
Anna Beggan 1820-1905 m. John Bernard Little 1815-1912
  • Jane Ann Little 1844-1923 m. Philip Vaughn 1836-1908
    • Margaret A. Vaughn 1866-1945 m. Lawrence Peter Doran 1855-1925
    • Mary J. Vaughn 1868-1954 m. Charles Doran 1867-1955
    • Francis (Frank) Vaughn 1870-1952 m. Florence Puetz b. 1881
    • Catherin Vaughn 1874-1943 m. William O'Connor
    • Elizabeth Vaughn 1876-1972 m. James O'Reilly 1864-1950
    • Alice Cecelia Vaughn 1880-1978 m. William Doran 1869-1956
    • Ellen (Nellie) Vaughn b. 1882 m. Dan C. Mulvehill b. 1886
    • Caroline (Carrie) Vaughn 1887-1956 m. William Quirk 1870-1928
  • Margaret Little 1846-1850
  • William Little 1847-1915 m. Mary Daly 1850-1877
    • John H. Little 1871-1872
    • Annie L.Little 1874-1874
    m. Eliza Reardon 1854-1939
    • Robert Bernard Little 1879-1956 m. Mildred Smith 1890-1980
    • William Little 1881-1898
    • John Little 1883-1887
    • Emmett Joseph Little 1887-1963 m. Frances Spencer 1893-1982
    • Edna J. Little 1890-1914
    • Catherine (Kate)Little 1894-1967
    • Henry Little 1897-1908
  • Mary Little 1850-1909 m. James Brannon
  • Catherine Little 1852-1891 m. William Henry Smith 1843-1919
    • Laura M. Smith 1874-1950 m. John Quirk 1866-1919
  • John Little 1856-1935 m. Lucy Rapley
    • Walter Little b. 1891
  • Elisabeth Little 1857-1922
Mary Beggan 1820-1862 m. Michael Gamble 1820-1912
  • Michael Gamble 1848-1924 m. Margaret Kennedy 1854-1890
    • Mary A. Gamble 1877-1965
    • Elizabeth Gamble 1879-1893
    • Katherine (Kate) Gamble 1881-1973
    • James Michael Gamble 1883-1968
    • Margaret J. (Maggie) Gamble b. 1887 m. J. F. Murphy
    • John Peter Gamble 1890-1918
John Bagen 1822-1903 m. Bridget Maguire 1820-1873
  • Margaret Bagen 1845-1922
  • Rosanna Bagen 1847-1903
  • Michael Bagen 1849-1928
  • Mary Eleanor Bagen 1852-1936 m. Edward Dooner 1841-1926
    • Edward Dooner b. 1879
    • Charles Dooner b. 1883
    • Mary Dooner b. 1886 m. James Sullivan 1889-1957
    • Vincent William Dooner b. 1888
    • Robert Dooner b. 1890
    • James Dooner b. 1891
  • John Bagen b. 1854
  • Martha Bagen 1855-1934 m. Thomas A. Sullivan, MD 1857-1905
    • Helen E. Sullivan 1887-1964 m. Gus Bergesrode
    • Mary Sullivan b. 1888 m. Devine
    • Margaret R. (Peg) Sullivan b. 1888 m. James Gordon
    • John Arthur Sullivan b. 1890 m. Edith Nelson
    • Thomas Emmett Sullivan 1893-1967 m. Edith Lehrer 1893-1980
    • Edward Addis Sullivan b. 1896
  • James Bagen 1857-1932
  • Edward Bagen 1858-1917
  • Thomas F. Bagen 1860-1970
Hannah Beggan 1824-1891 m. Patrick White 1818-1892
  • Sarah White 1848-1910 m. Charles F. Murray b. 1851
  • James White 1849-1892
  • Andrew Michael White 1851-1877
  • Michael White b. 1852
  • Francis (Frank) White 1855-1919
  • Eugene Francis White 1857-1948 m. Mary
    • Eugene Francis White 1896-1947 m. Lilla (Claire) Flavel 1900-1963
  • Margaret A. White 1857-1891
  • Mary Elizabeth (Gertrude) White 1859-1948 m. Henry B. Murray 1846-1914
    • Gertruse M. (Grettie) Murray 1883-1973 m. Charles Whitehead 1871-1960
    • Alice May Murray 1886-1983 m. Reid
    • Josephine C. Murray 1888-1976
    • Adeline (Adelaide) Murray b. 1891
    • Regina Patricia Murray 1895-1990 m. Edward James Broad d. 1955
    • Henry J. (Harry) Murray b. 1899
  • John White 1861-1870

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Owen Beagan Family from County Cavan

In his "Genealogy Notes" of Ireland website, Al Beagan (1941-2010), includes his Beagan pedigree. This webiste is discussed more fully at Al Beagan's "Genealogy Notes" of Ireland.

Owen Beagan was born in County Cavan in 1827. He emigrated in 1839 to Newfoundland and in 1842 to Prince Edward Island. He was a farmer and school teacher. Owen married Ann Trainor in 1857 in St. Patrick's Church in Fort Augustus, PEI. Ann Trainor was born in 1840 in County Monaghan.

Owen's father, John Beagan, was born about 1800 and is thought to be from Kilsherdeny Parish in County Cavan.

Owen Beagan 1827-1884 of County Cavan; m. 1840 Ann Trainor; had 11 children
John Beagan 1858-1861

Margaret Beagan 1859-1954 m. 1889 Martin Keoughan 1862-1924
  • Agatha Koughan m. Lawrence Hern
  • Laura Koughan
  • Catherine Koughan b. 1864 m. Ed White
  • Mathias Koughan 1886-1953 m. Catherine Ellen Macdonald
  • Mary Koughan b. 1888
  • William owen Koughan b. 1891
  • Helen Rose Koughan b. 1893
  • Francis Joseph Keoughan b. 1898 m. 1927 Ella Duffy
Bridget Beagan 1861-1944 m. 1887 James William Duffy 1858-1940
  • Annie Duffy b. 1900 m. 1935 William D. Berrigan
  • Mary Mabie Duffy b. 1889 M. John L. Moorside
    • Lois Moorside d. 1993 m. Count Grasshof
  • William Francis Duffy 1889-1971 m. Winnifred Stewart 1893-1932
    • Joseph Duffy
    • Leo Duffy
    • Clair Duffy
    • Agnes Duffy
    • James Francis Duffy
    • Mary Duffy
  • Ernest Duffy
  • Wilfred Duffy
  • James Duffy
  • Peter Duffy
Mary Jane Beagan 1863-1878

Peter Beagan1867-1947 m. Rose Kane 1859-1950
  • Joseph Francis Beagan 1893-1973 m. Helen L. O'Neill
    • Gerard Wilmont Beagan 1917-1980 m. 1940 Judith Doucette 1919-1940
    • Mary E. Beagan b. 1940 m. 1940 Murray McKenney 1917-1988
    • Barbara A. Beagan
    • Helen M. Beagan b. 1926 m. 1944 Myron Chaberlain Jr.
    • Joanne Frances Beagan
    • Roseanne Beagan b. 1933 m. 1952 Joseph J. Giamo
  • James Owen Beagan
  • Peter Anthoney Beagan b. 1899 m. Hester Brogie
Celistine James Beagan b. 1868

Francis Patrick Beagan b. 1869 m. Catherine Morgan
  • Loretta Beagan
  • Evelyn Beagan
  • Mae Beagan
  • Doris Rose Beagan 1911-1994 m. Richard Powers McGinley 1902-1948
    • Sally Elizabeth McGinley b. 1934 m. DoMonico
    • Richard Paul McGinley b. 1936 m. Patricia
    • Carol Ann McGinley b. 1938
    • Katherine Marcia McGinley b. 1939
    • Deborah McGinley b. 1940 m. Leroy Campbell Smith Jr.
    • Susan McGinley 1946-1946
    • Grace McGinley 1946-1946
  • Male Beagan
John Thomas Beagan 1870-1918 m. Catherine Power 1871-1922
  • Everett Owen Beagan 1901-1974 m1 Margaret McLoud 1904-1942
    • Everett Barnard Beagan
    • Mary Elizabethh Jane Beagan
    • John Elmo Beagan
    • Beryl Catherine Beagan
    • Margaret Mildred Beagan
    • Maureen Ann Beagan
    • Mary Pyrtle Beagan 1938-1986 m. Jack Harding
    • Eileen Bernadette Beagan
    • Eleanor Theresa Beagan
    • Emett Thomas Beagan
  • Annie Evelyn Beagan 1904-2002 m. Simon Fahey
    • Thomas Fahey
    • Joseph Fahey
    • Madeline Fahey
    • Maureen Fahey
    • Midred Fahey
    • Simon Francis Fahey
  • Joseph Lorne Beagan 1907-1961 m. Catherine Croken
    • Jean Beagan
    • Elizabeth Beagan
    • Rudy Beagan
  • Mary Mildred Beagan 1909-1929
  • Elmer John Beagan b. 1912 m. Alice Knight b. 1917
    • Allen Temple Beagan 1941-2010 m. 1867 Lucille
    • Richard Knight Beagan 1943-1951
    • Valerie Beagan 1945-1945
    • David James Beagan
    • Mary Joan Beagan b. 1950 m. William Malono
    • Gail Marie Beagan
    • Paul Thomas Beagan
    • Linda Alice Beagan
    • Susan Beagan
Catherine Ann Beagan 1873-1875

Catherine Ann Beagan b. 1876 m. Alexander James Maceachern 1868-1941
  • Joseph Maceachern
  • Margaret Maceachern m. Cumminsky
  • Kate Maceachern
  • Peter Maceachern m. McDonald
  • Ann Maceachern m. McAdams
    • Mary McAdams
Lucius Owen Beagan 1880-1920

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Mathew Biggins Family from County Cavan

Biggins Konnections is the website of David Belfry Biggins that provides the family history of Mathew Biggins who was born in 1835 in County Cavan. David received research support from his cousin and Leslie Biggins Winter, who visited us with her husband Cort in April 2015.

In 1837, Mathew Biggins emigrated at age 2 from County Cavan to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his father Thomas Biggin. He enlisted in the Army in 1861 and was injured in the Battle of Gettysburg in 1864. He met his wife while he was recovering from his injury in the hospital at Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania. In 1868, Mathew and Deborah moved out West and in 1874 settled in the Dakota Territory.

Mathew Biggins 1835-1907 of County Cavan, m. 1864 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Deborah E. McGrath b. 1845 in Limerick; had eleven children
Thomas F. Biggins 1865-1931 m. 1889 Mary J. "Mayme" Kyle
  • Edwin Biggins b. 1889
James Mathew Biggins Sr. 1867-1913 m. Harriett Ducharme b. 1886 (James was mayor of Bonesteel, South Dakota, at the time of his death at age 46 in 1913)
  • Arthur Leo Biggins 1887-1956 m. 1919 Anna Marie Struck
  • Birtha "Birdie" Biggins 1889-1939 m. 1913 John Clarence Penne
  • Katherine Debra "Kate" Biggins 1891-1984 m. 1918 Roswell Foster Magill (Katie graduated from the University of Chicago: BA from the College in 1915 and JD from the Law School in 1920. Her husband was Undersecretary of the Treasury under FDR in 1937-38. Kate's daughter Catherine Prelinger (1925-1991), an historian, was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Vassar College and had a Ph.D. in history from Yale University.)
  • James Mathew Biggins Jr. 1892-1976 (played in the Great Lakes Naval Station Band under John Philip Sousa during World War I)
m. 1897 Mildred "Millie" Irish
  • Francis E. "Frank" Biggins 1902-1935 m. 1919 Mable M. Carey
  • Helen Deborah Biggins 1903-1994 m. 1921 Richard ormesher
  • Eben W. "Frank" Biggins 1906-1992 m. 1925 Evelyn Estelle McMurray
  • Frederick James "Freddie" Biggins b. 1913 m. Vida "Bunny" Sage
Anna "Annie" Biggins 1869-1943

Catherine Biggins 1870-1870

Mathew W. Biggins 1872-1950 m. 1900 Mary meade
  • Agnes Lucille Biggins b. 1890
John "Jack" Biggins 1873-1951

David Biggins 1875-1940 m. 1906 Jeannie May Fox
  • Myrle Debra Biggins 1907-1982 m. 1946 Henry Frederick Wolff
  • Clarence Leslie Biggins 1909-1997 m. 1935 Mirrian Elizabeth Belfry (son is David Belfry Biggins, webmaster for Biggins Konnections)
  • Elwin Mathew Biggins 1911-1954 m. 1930 Letha May Andrews
  • Harold David Biggins 1915-1973 m. Helen Clara Roehl (daughter is Leslie Biggins Winter, who visited us in April 2015)
Edward Collins Biggins 1876-1971 m. 1904 Estella Clara Griffith
  • Furniss Morton Biggins 1905-1989
  • Chester Leroy Biggins
  • Walter M. Biggins b. 1913
Daniel Biggins 1879-1941 m. Tillia hauf Hinzman

Deborah Biggins 1882-1963 m. 1907 Walter Michael Quinn Sr. MD

  • Walter Michael Quinn Jr. b. 1911
  • Mary Margaret Quinn b. 1915
  • Kathleen Lorraine Quinn b. 1918
Mary Ellen Biggins 1884-1920 m. 1907 Ralph Leo Riley
  • Catherine Ellen Riley 1911-1993
  • Monica Marie Riley 1912-1999
  • Leo Magrath Riley 1915-1916
  • Paul Joseph Riley b. 1917
  • Ligori Riley
Katherine Biggins

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from County Cavan and Springfield, Ohio

Anna Bentsen has compiled a family tree for the Biggins family of County Cavan and Springfield, Ohio, at in her Burgstaller Family History. The family tree consistes of four Biggins siblings: Anna, Patrick, Charles, and Owen. They were all born in Ireland. The fourth, Owen Biggins, is known to have been born in Ballieboro, County Cavan. Bailieborough, or Bailieboro, is a medium-sized town in the townland of Tanderagee, County Cavan. St. Anne's Church in Bailieboro was buiilt in 1834 and is part of Killann Parish in the Diocese of Kilmore. All four emigrated to Springfield, Ohio. Owen Biggins is known to have emigrated to New Orleans in 1849, then to Springfield.

Anna Biggins 1820-1907 m. Dennis Kelly b. 1824
  • Margaret Kelly b. 1855
  • James Kelly 1857-1920 m. 1882 Margaret A. Collins 1862-1939
    • Helen (Ellen) Kelly b. 1884 m. 1907 Frank Lubbers b. 1884
    • Annie Kelly 1886-1929 m. 1911 John P. Smith
    • William Kelly 1888-1907
    • Mary K. Kelly b. 1890 m. 1919 Carl Diehl 1889-1919
    • Christopher Kelly 1892-1929
    • Margaret Kelly 1895-1966 m. Harry Amato
    • Dennis Kelly 1897-1898
    • James Kelly 1899-1960
    • Eddy Kelly
  • Dennis Kelly b. 1862
Patrick Biggins 1824-1888 m. Mary 1828-1882
  • Roseanne Biggins b. 1854 m. 1882 James Reedy
  • Mary Biggins b. 1857
  • Catherine Biggins 1860-1895
  • Margaret Biggins 1861-1894 m. 1879 John Hennessy 1850-1934
    • Francis (Frank) Hennessy 1882-1966
    • William Joseph Hennessy 1886-1934
    • Mary Margaret Hennessy 1891-1968
  • Barnard (Barney) Biggins 1863-1893
Charles Biggins 1828-1882 m. 1852 Mary Crossen 1837-1900
  • James N. Biggins 1854-1878
  • Rose A. Biggins 1857-1894
  • Patrick H. Biggins 1858-1887
  • Terrence (Teddy) Biggins 1858-1883
  • Dominick Biggins 1862-1898
  • Mary M. Biggins 1863-1944
  • John Biggins 1865-1891
  • Frank J. Biggins 1866-1888
  • Charles J. Biggins 1867-1937
  • Owen Biggins 1873-1873
Owen Biggins 1830-1892 m. Catherine McGivney 1834-1899 b. Ballieboro, County Cavan
  • Mary Biggins 1864-1927 m. 1883 Frederick Hook 1861-1932
    • Ruth Hook
    • Mary Hook 1882-1960 m1. 1906 Billy Niles m2. Benjamin Horne
    • Katherine E. Hook 1885-1948 m. 1914 Charles Klecker 1889-1954
    • Owen Hook 1886-1910
    • Magdalena Hook 1889-1963 m. 1907 Charles L. Miller 1887-1963
    • Roy Hook 1890-1890
    • Frederick Hook 1893-1894
    • Anna E. Hook 1895-1973 m. James Coffey
    • John D. Hook 1897-1966 m. Elizabeth 1885-1969
    • Wilbur Henry Hook 1899-1967
    • Helen Esther Hook 1902-1981 m. 1920 Gustav Burgstaller 1885-1940
    • Eugene Edward Hook 1904-1979 m. 1923 Louise Krupp 1904-1984
    • Alphonse Charles Hook 1906-1952 m. Margaret Elfner 1907-1996
  • Thomas Biggins 1855-1904 m. 1887 Margaret Chain 1858-1912
    • Mary E. Biggins 1888-1943
    • Gertie Catherine Biggins 1889-1972 m. 1908 Harry W. Garber 1888-1961
    • William Owen Biggins 1891-1891
    • Helen Frances Biggins 1895-1931
    • Thomas Edward Biggins 1896-1966 m. 1924 Bessie Touchman
  • James Biggins 1859-1859
  • Anna Elizabeth Biggins 1860-1937 m. 1882 Harry E. Oldenbaugh
    • Madeline (Maude) Oldenbaugh 1884-19 39 m. William E. Kinderman
    • Helen Oldenbaugh 1885-1909 m. 1904 Carl Glenn
    • Rosalind Oldenbaugh 1888-1962 m. Charles Malowney 1882-1923
    • Wilmuth Oldenbaugh b. 1906 m. Eugene Cutshall
    • Richard Oldenbaugh m. Kinderman
    • Dorothy Oldenbaugh m. Windgate
  • John C. Biggins 1862-1911
  • Patrick Biggins 1866-1867
  • Owen J. Biggins 1868-1881
  • Katie Biggins 1871-1874

In December 2019, Kevin Hennessy of Strongsville, Ohio, wrote and said he stumbled on this Biggins Family while researching his family tree. He is the "great great grandson of Patrick Biggins. Patrick's daughter Margaret married my great grandfather, John Hennessy. The information listed on your site validated everything I have found so far, except I did not know about Anna Biggins. Thank you!"

"We've only been at this for about 15 months, but have been able to assemble about 1400 names in the Hennessy / Biggins / Meyer family tree. I have to say that your site is by far the most robust family tree site I have encountered, especially as it pertains to the DNA discussion. I took the standard Ancestry test and it actually help confirm my relationship to Owen Biggins which ultimately led me to your site."

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from County Cavan; Derby, Connecticut; Ayrshire, Scotland: and Perth. Australia

In February 2022, I got an email from Jack Little, saying he had managed to tie his tree together with that of John Patrick Little, his closest Y-DNA tie. It looks like their common ancestor is Patrick Beggan 1776 (might be 1779). He had 4 sons, Patrick Little 1795, James Little 1798, William Little 1806 and Bernard Little/Beggan 1813. Jack descends from James Little. John Patrick descends from Bernard. Patrick, James and William came to Derby, Connecticut USA in the 1840s. Bernard's son James, born in 1864, emigrated to Scotland.

In March 2021 Jack Little, kit 896940, received his Big Y-700 results from FTDNA. He had the Biggins/Beggan BY3164 SNP as predicted by his Y-111 results.

In December 2021, John Patrick Little, kit 69648, received his Big Y-700 results from FTDNA. He had the Biggins/Beggan BY3164 SNP as predicted by his Y-111 results.

But Jack and John Patrick also found that they shared FTA30858, a SNP that the other BY3164 testers so far do not have.

Patrick Beggan b. 1779 in County Cavan, Ireland, m. Catherine b. 1780
They had six children. Patrick, Catherine and the three youngest children are in the 1821 census in Drung & Larah
The three oldest children emigrated to Derby with their families in the 1840s, but not their parents.
Patrick Little b. 1795 m. Ellen 1786-1870. Patrick emigrated to Derby, Connecticut, USA, in the 1840s
  • John Little 1816/22-1882 m. Eliza Little 1823-1882
  • Patrick Little b. 1817 m. Bridget Heery
    • Mary Heery
              m. Sarah Murray 1816-1960
    • Patrick Little 1840-1900 m. Bridget McGinn 1842-1922
      • Ellen F. Little 1868-1888
      • Patrick Little 1870-1870
      • Michael Little 1874-1894
    • Thomas Little 1844-1905
    • Mary A. Little b. 1847
    • Elizabeth Little b. 1849
    • Sarah Little b. 1851
    • James Little b. 1854
    • Terisa Little b. 1857
James Little 1798-1852 m. Rose Reilly 1801-1863. James emigrated to Derby, Connecticut, USA, in the 1840s
  • Owan Little 1828-1867 m. Mary Ann Gun 1832-1891
    • Rosa Ann Little 1852-1875 m. Alexander Wonderly 1846-1907
      • Barbara Wonderly 1872-1940
      • "Baby Boy" Wonderly 1875-1880
    • James Albert Little 1860-1931
    • Mary Elizabeth Little 1863-1945 m. Charles Edner 1865-1934
      • Arthur Charles Edner 1885-1911
      • Hazel Dell Edner 1892-1938
      • Lillian Bell Edner 1895-1965
      • Harriet L. Edner 1902-1985
    • Margaret Ann Little 1865-1890 m. Thomas Franklin Marson 1863-1896
  • Mary Ann Little 1836-1915 m. Patrick McManus 1831-1870
    • James Aloysius McManus 1856-1924
    • Mary Ann McManus 1860-1939 m. Orion Sherman Ames 1851-1930
      • Lester Orion Ames 1885-1962
      • Maud Mary Ames 1887-1964
      • Lettie Belle Ames 1889-1958
      • Ruby Ellen Ames 1892-1974
      • Elba Rosetta Ames 1895-1965
      • William Marcellus Ames 1897-1983
      • Archie Sherman Ames 1900-1964
      • Charles James Ames 1903-1950
    • John McManus 1862-1863
    • William Patrick McManus 1863-1928
    • Rose Catherine McManus 1865-1958
    • Margaret E. McManus 1868-1953
  • Patrick Francis Little 1840-1897 m. Catherine Maguire 1838-1875
    • Dennis H. Little 1866-1900
    • William Little b. 1868
    • Catherine Little 1870-1870
    • Rose A. Little 1872-1911 m. Harry Benjamin Gates 1880-1914
      • Mildred A. Gates 1903-1914
    • Margaret Little 1873-1938 m. William Schumann b. 1870
      • Mary Catherine Schumann 1898-1961 m. William Michael Cummings 1898-1972
      • Violet M. Schumann 1900-1963 m. Charles berger 1896-1935
    • Philip H. Little 1875-1933 m. Johanna Dempsey 1881-1918
      • Stillborn Little 1900-1900
      • Charles Little 1901-1966
      • Marion F. Little 1904-1990
      • Katherine L. Little 1906-1988
      • Annette L. Little 1911-1993
      • Phylis Little 1915-2002
      • Philip Francis Little 1918-2000 m. Isabella M. Davern 1919-1961. Parents of Jack Little, FTDNA kit 896940
  • William Little 1840-1880 m. Mary Gibbons 1844-1901
      James Little 1860-1892
    • John Little b. 1864
    • Catherine Little 1866-1867
    • Mary E. Little b. 1868
    • Margaret Little b. 1871
    • Catherine Little 1877-1877
    • Jennie Little 1880-1934
William Little b. 1808 m. 1852 Mary Crossen 1837-1900. William emigrated to Derby, Connecticut, USA, in the 1840s

Bernard Little/Beggan 1812-1883 m. Bridget Fay/Foy 1826-1901. Died in Cootehill, Cavan, Ireland
  • Catherine Beggan b. 1848
  • James Little 1864-1939 m. Catherine Coyle 1865-1936. Lived in Drumlane, County Cavan, Ireland.
    • Thomas Little b. 1893
    • James Little 1898-1979 m. Susan Fisher 1912-2006. Married and lived in Ayrshire, Scotland. Parents of John Patrick Little, FTDNA kit 69648, who emigrated to Canada and then Perth, Australia
  • John Little b. 1864
  • Patrick Little b. 1867
Mary Beggan b. 1814

John Beggan b. 1819

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from County Monaghan and Scotland

Kieran Biggins became part of the Biggins DNA Project in 2017. His paternal ancestry is summarized as follows.

James Biggins b. 1790. m. Mary Kelly probably in Co. Monaghan. Living in Barrhead Village, Neilston, Scotland in 1841 census with son John
James Biggins 1811-1856. b. in Cootehill, Co. Monaghan. m. 1836 Agnes Woods in Paisley, Scotland. d. in Annick Lodge Colliery, Ayrshire.
  • Charles Biggins b. 1841
  • James Biggins b. 1843 m. 1866 Agnes Riggs. Emigrated circa 1871-1880 to Superior Township, Osage, Kansas
    • Agnes Woods Biggins b. 1866
    • Ellen Mitchell Biggins b. 1869
    • Robin R. Biggins b. 1875
    • Anna Biggins b. 1877 m. Herman Strauss
  • Janet Biggins 1846-1919 m. 1867 Anthony Young
    • James Young b. 1869
    • Selenie Young b. 1871
    • William Young b. 1874 m. Ellen Linton
    • Jane Young b. 1879
  • John Biggins b. 1849 m. 1868 Margaret Smith 1851-1872
  • Robert Biggins 1852-1920 m. 1871 Agnes Shields b. 1851
    • Agnes Biggins 1873-1878
    • Mary Catherine Biggins b. 1875 m. 1898 John Cunningham
    • Annie Biggins b. 1881
    • Robert Biggins 1883-1948 m. Catherine Quigley
    • Charles Biggins 1885-1897
    • Agnes Biggins b. 1888. Emigrated to Winnipeg, Canada, then Hillsboro, Illinois
  • Elizabeth Biggins b. 1855
Philip Biggins 1817-1870. b. in Co. Monaghan. m. Mary Strawbridge. d. in Old Monkland, Coatbridge, Scotland
  • Rose(anna) Biggins 1840-1912 m. 1863 James Durning. Emigrated circa 1865 to Northumberland, England
    • Thomas Durning b. 1863
    • Marjorie Durning b. 1867
    • John Durning b. 1871
    • James Durning b. 1873
    • Agnes Durning b. 1875 m. 1894 William Smith Gateshill
    • Margaret Durning b. 1977
    • Hugh Durning b. 1880
    • Annie Durning b. 1883
  • Mary Biggins 1843-1919 m. 1864 James Burns (or Byrne).
    • Sarah Burns (or Byrne) 1869-1927 m. 1887 Thomas Neilan d. 1934. Daughter Joan Neilan m. Hugh Biggins, son of James Biggins and Catherine McCourt, then his cousin also called Hugh Biggins, son of Hugh Biggins and Agnes McCulloch
    • James Burns 1871-1946 m. 1893 Mary Selfridge d. 1949
    • Margaret Burns 1873-1936 m. 1891 Robert Gilliespie d. 1836. Emigrated to Detroit, Michigan
    • William Burns (or Byrne) b. 1877 m. 1900 Bridget Boyle
    • Ellen (Annie) Burns (or Byrne) 1879-1966 m. 1896 John "Puppy" Norton d. 1967. Emigrtated to Marsteller, Pennsylvania
    • Thomas Burns (or Byrne) 1881-1888
    • Henry Burns (or Byrne) b. 1883
  • James Biggins 1852-1860
John Biggins 1820-1875 m. 1843 Mary McCabe 1822-1891 in Glasgow
  • Mary Biggins b. 1844
  • Roseanna Biggins 1846-1922 m. 1866 Edward Rooney b. 1845
    • Mary Jane Rooney 1866-1920 m. James Callan
    • Hugh Rooney 1869-1947 m. Jane Connelly
    • John Biggins Rooney 1871-1918 m. Mary Morrison
    • Helen "Nellie" Rooney 1874-1961 m. Robert Doran
    • Elizabeth Marie Biggins Rooney 1876-1956 m. 1901 William Hendrie
    • Edward Rooney 1879-1963 m. 1900 Margaret "Maggie" Sharpe. Emigrated to Staten Island, New York circa 1907
    • Margaret Rooney b. 1881
    • James Rooney b. 1883
    • Henry Kearney Rooney 1886-1886
  • Mary Biggins 1848-1917 m. 1867 John Thomas Donohoe 1837-1892. Emigrated 1870 to Pennsylvania and 1874 Nebraska
    • James Donohoe 1868-1869
    • John Donohoe b. 1869 m. Katherine McNickols
    • Thomas Donohoe b. 1872 m. Bridget Cook
    • Mary Donohoe 1873-1965 m. George MacLeod
    • James A. Donohoe 1977-1956 m. 1911 Flora Lowery Davis. James was Chief Judge of U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
    • Hugh Edward Donohoe 1880-1971 m. Hazel Bell McKorkle
    • Patrick Donohoe 1882-1978 m. 1913 Margaret Holland
    • Eugene (Owen) Donohoe 1884-1986 m. Grace Mary Hoffman
    • Margaret Donohoe 1887-1981 m. 1926 George Agnes. Margaret wrote Maggie First in 1977
    • Elizabeth Donohoe 1887-1967 m. Ben Grady
  • James Biggins b. 1850
  • John Biggins 1852-1884. Emigrated 1873 to South Dakota. Known as "Scotty Biggs."
  • Margaret Biggins 1853-1908 m. 1876 Peter Donnachie 1850-1924
    • Mary Donnachie 1877-1902
    • Michael Donnachie b. 1878
    • Hugh Lawrie Donnachie 1879-1914
    • Richard Donnachie b. 1880
    • Samuel Donnachie b. 1888
    • Agnes Donnachie b. 1891
  • Elizabeth Biggins 1856-1946. Became a nun in 1880: Sister M. Zita
  • Hugh Biggins 1859-1931 m. Bridget McCann. After Bridget died, Hugh emigrated in 1927 to Chicago, Illionois.
    • John J. Biggins 1883-1945 m. 1912 Josephine M. Doran. Emigrated in 1923 to East Chicago, Indiana
    • Mary Ann Biggins 1885-1965 m. 1911 Patrick Kelly. Emigrated to Canada, then Chicago, Illinois
    • Elizabeth Zita Biggins 1887-1888
    • Thomas Paul Biggins 1889-1965 m. 1914 Rosina Holmes. Emigrated to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, then Niagara Falls, New York
    • Hugh Biggins 1891-1968 m. 1919 Agne McCulloch. Grandparents of Kieran Biggins who provided this infomation
    • James Biggins 1895-1976 m. Catherine (Kate) McCourt d. 1954. James served in the Scottish Highland Regiment during WWI
    • Alexander (Alec) Joseph Biggins 1898-1972 m. 1923 Margaret Marion McNicol Lockhart. Emigrated 1923-24 to Allegheny, Pennsylvania
  • James Biggins 1861-1862

In September 2020, Margo O’Brien wrote to say she had just found this Biggins family tree. She said Janet Biggins is her 2nd great grandmother from her second marriage to John Baird (Anthony Young being her first husband).

Biggins Family from Cloondaver

In 1996, Brian Biggins sent a letter to my son Edward in New York hoping to find information about a Biggins ancestor who lived in New York. Edward passed this "strange" letter on to me, and Brian and I corresponded by mail. For the first time in my life, I did a little genealogical research. No connection was found between our families, but I received a great introduction to Biggins genealogy. See correspondence with Brian Biggins.

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I visited Thomas J. Biggins and his wife Grace in Castlecarra, County Mayo, Ireland. Thomas' great great grandfather Patrick was from the townland of Cloondaver in Robeen parish. Before that the family lived in Roundfort, which is east of Ballinrobe and south of Hollymount. Before that, the family was from around Glencorrib in far south Co. Mayo.

I was the second Biggins from America to visit Thomas and Grace. The first was Brian Biggins of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, who visited them ten years earlier. In February 2010, Brian's cousin Leo Petrini provided additional information.

In October 2007, Mary Hughes Biggins, wife of Thomas Biggins' brother John, found this page while researching her husband's ancestry. In January 2009, she was able to make significant contributions to the tree below.

In August 2009, Charles James "Chuck" Biggins III found this page on the Internet and sent an email with updates. In September 2012, he joined the Biggins/Beggan DNA project. He was the first Biggins with Mayo roots to join the project. He has the DNA of Niall of the Nine Hostages, also called Northwest Irish. On Mother's Day in 2020, Chuck posted the following on FaceBook:

Happy Mother's Day to our Grandma, Mary Lyndall Biggins, who 90 years ago became one of the youngest female pilots in the Philadelphia area at the age of 17.
She met our grandfather, Charles Biggins, who was also an aviator and airport operator, in 1928 at Pitcairn Airfield near Philadelphia. They married in 1930 and together they did some barnstorming, passenger hops, and flew the U.S. mail, all during the Golden Age of Flight.
They were acquaintances of many prominent aviators of the time, including Charles and Ann Lindbergh, and were contacted by authorities when baby Lindbergh was kidnapped. It was believed by some that they had the baby, but this was not the case, it was their own son Charles Biggins Jr., my uncle.
They flew often between Olean, NY(Hinsdale Field) and Philadelphia, PA(Pitcairn Field) and when Charles Jr. was born, he went along as well. They continued flying until the height of the depression in 1933, but not much more.
Unfortunately, Grandpa died in 1961 in a tragic car accident on Christmas Eve while on his way to visit his two sons and their young families (my father Tom Biggins, mom Claudette Welch Biggins, brother Tom; my uncle Chuck Biggins, Betty Canfield Biggins, their children Chuck, Mike, Diane and Jimmie). My sister Paula, cousin Ken and I were not born yet.
Grandma passed away in 1998 and would not talk about those flying days and left us to find stories of their adventures by researching old newspaper clippings and looking at a few old photos passed down.
We all love and miss you Grandma Mary!
Chuck Biggins Diane Biggins-Korcz Mike Biggins Jim Biggins Ken Biggins Tom Biggins Paula Benthall
NOTE: All of the above was written by my Cousin Dan Biggins who is truly our families amazing historian who has contacted several places for more information &/or verification of what our family already had.
I believe this includes the Smithsonian Institute.
Also, I want to add that our Grandma Mary wanted to join the Ait Transport Auxiliary to ferry military planes between the US & England, before the US joined that war WWII.
But Grandpa Chuck (the 1st, my son Chuck Biggins is the IVth) stopped her. So Grandma Mary became a Rosie the Riveter at the Curtis Wright plant on Elmwood Avenue where they built the P-36 for the war effort.

In December 2018, Joe Biggins sent me an email about Gerald and Aidan Biggins, who had emigrated to Chicago: "I stumbled across your website the other day, and I just wanted to comment on how awesome I thought it was. My father, Joseph Biggins, passed away two years ago. I was too young to get to ask him a lot of questions about my family history, unfortunately. I noticed my Grandfather, Gerald Biggins, and my great-uncle, Aidan, are included in your trees. I never met my grandpa cause he passed away in 1987 before I was born. However, I did know Aidan. He lived with my Grandma, Ann Flannery. She was also an Irish immigrant. She recently passed away this passed winter. I just wanted to say thank you for everything you have done. It helps a kid like me really know where he came from after losing everyone that knew themselves." Joe's father's obituary in the Chicago Tribune, Jan. 22, 2016: "Joseph G. Biggins, age 60, beloved husband of Lucille G., nee Platt; loving father of Joseph, Jacqueline, Jennifer and Julie; cherished son Anne, nee Flannery and the late Gerard; dear brother, brother-in-law and uncle of many."

Patrick Biggins 1807-1866 of Cloondaver, Robeen Parish; m. Mary Maloy; had four children: James, Edward, Bridget, and John
Bridget Biggins b. 1831; emigrated to Ceres Township, McKean County, Pennsylania, USA; m. Martin Welch b. 1830
James Biggins 1834-1916; emigrated 1851 to Livingston County, New York, USA, then in 1854 to Ceres Township, McKean County, Pennsylania; m. 1869 Ellen Welch 1844-1910; fought in Civil War 1864-1865
John Biggins b. 1849 m. Catherine Golding b. 1856 (in 1901 census for Cloondaver)
Patrick Welch 1852-1880

James E. Welch b. 1855

John C. Welch 1857-1902 m. 1881 Clara M. Ball 1878-1963; John was a druggist
  • Louis J. Welch b. 1882 m. Margaret
    • John Welch b. 1909
  • Clarence B. Welch b. 1895
  • Geraldine Welch b. 1902
Mary A. Welch b. 1859 m. John Shea

Margaret E. Welch b. 1861

Martin Welch b. 1865

Thomas Welch 1870-1872

Alice Welch b. 1872

Thomas Welch b. 1875
Edward Biggins

Mary Anne Biggins 1872-1896

Ella Biggins 1874-1948 m. 1902 John J. Faragher b. 1873 in Ireland

  • Helen M. Faragher b. 1903
  • Kathryn B. Faragher b. 1905
John E. Biggins 1878-1925 m. Elizabeth J. McDonald 1878-1963
  • James Edward Biggins 1911-1965
  • John McD. Biggins b. 1914
  • Gerald F. Biggins 1917-1953
Patrick Edward Biggins, MD 1880-1950 m. 1908 Frances Campbell 1880-1949
  • James A. Biggins b. 1909
  • Patricia Agnes Biggins b. 1911 m. Victor Leo Petrini, parents of seven, including Leo Petrini
  • Elizabeth Biggins b. 1912
  • John Biggins b. 1915
  • Edward W. Biggins 1916-1942; KIA Oran, North Africa
  • Mary Elinor Biggins 1918-1976
  • Francis Leo Biggins 1921-2012 m. Margaret Angela Garvey 1921-2009 (parents of Brian Biggins)
  • Joseph Biggins b. 1923
James John Biggins 1885-1969 m. 1906 Mabel Brown d. 1907; lived in Olean, New York, USA
  • Charles James Biggins 1907-1961 m. 1928 Mary Lyndall 1913-1998
    • Charles James Biggins 1931-2011 m. 1951 Betty Lou Canfield b. 1933 (parents of Charles James "Chuck" Biggins III)
    • James Biggins - died young from an accident
    • Thomas M. Biggins m. Claudette Welch
Bridget Biggins b. 1880

Richard Biggins b. 1882

Mary Biggins b. 1886; went to New York, USA, in 1905 and stayed with her sister Bridget "Delia" Biggins

James Biggins b. 1887

John Biggins b. 1888

Kate Biggins b. 1891

Joseph Biggins 1894-1939 m. Eleanor Jennings d. 1965
  • Patrick J. Biggins 1925-1974; m. Peggy Walsh; moved to Castlecarra; son Thomas and wife Grace were visited by Brian Biggins in 1996 and Peter Biggins in 2006; son John m. Mary Hughes, who supplied much of the information on this side of the tree
  • Thomas Biggins; went to the UK
  • Richard Biggins; went to the UK; d. 1987
  • Gerard Biggins 1950-1987; moved to Chicago, USA; m. Ann Flannery; had 5 children
  • John Biggins m. Bridget Duffy; d. 1987
  • Aidan Biggins; moved to Chicago, USA
  • Kathleen Biggins m. Jennings; d. 1950s
  • Rose Biggins m. Feeney; d. 1959

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from The Neale and Ballynalty

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I stayed at Riverside House, a very nice B&B on Cornmarket Street. It is run by Anne Mahon. Anne and her family had lived in Staten Island and New Jersey for a number of years before returning to Ballinrobe.

When I arrived at Riverside House, I told Anne that I was researching Biggins genealogy. To my surprise, she told me her aunt Katie Grimes married Thomas Biggins in Glencorrib. By the time I left, she was able to give me details of this Biggins family, which I posted on this Web site. It subsequently was seen by several relatives who were "Googling" their ancestors: Kathleen Biggins in The Bronx, New York, Helen Sullivan Peters and her mother Ellen Biggins Sullivan in Monroe, New York, Lorraine Biggins in Medford, Massachusetts, and Mary Cooney Alexander in Basildon, Essex, England. These four, especially Mary Alexander, added greatly to the family tree shown below.

Sister M. Amatus Biggins. One member of the Biggins family from The Neale and Ballynalty was Ellen Biggins (1903-1972). She emigrated with 7 other women in 1929 to Villa de Matel, Houston, Texas, to join the Sisters of Charity. She became Sister M. Amatus and served in hospitals and orphanages in California, Texas, and Louisiana. Her ancestors were from County Mayo, Ireland. She is the daughter of Thomas and Mary Biggins Biggins from Turloughmore, The Neale, then in Cushlough (Lough Mask road), Ballinrobe. Her parents were first cousins.

Sister M. Amatus
Sister M. Amatus (Ellen Biggins), circa 1929.
Kathleen Biggins
Kathleen Biggins, host of A Thousand Welcomes on WFUV FM Saturday mornings from Fordham University.

Biggins Music. Kathleen Biggins hosts A Thousand Welcomes, an Irish music program on Fordham University's FM station, WFUV. You can listen to it live on your computer from 9 am to noon on Saturdays, Eastern time. In an e-mail on September 20, 2005, Kathleen wrote:

My father's parents both came to the U.S. from Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo in the 1920s, so I'm second-generation American. There are no Biggins relatives of mine left there (there's another Biggins family in the town, but they're not related that we know of). My grandmother's relatives are still in the town, though. Most of the other Biggins relatives are in The Neale.

I don't know of any Biggins geneolgists in Ireland, so I can't really help you there. But Mayo is a good place to start. It's really the only place in Ireland where you'll find the name.

Good luck!

Supreme Court
Hazen Paper v. Biggins. In 1993, the Supreme Court of the United States reviewed an age discrimination case involving Walter F. Biggins (Hazen Paper v. Biggins, 507 U.S. 604). Justice Sandra Day O'Connor delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy filed a concurring opinion, in which Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Clarence Thomas joined. Other Justices were John Paul Stevens, Byron White, Antonin Scalia, Harry Blackmun, and David Souter.

Hazen Paper Company manufactures coated, laminated, and printed paper and paperboard in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Hazen hired Walter as their technical director in 1977. They fired him in 1986, when he was 62 years old, just before he would have vested under the Hazen pension plan.

Walter is the great grandson of Patrick and Honor Thornton Biggins from the Neale. He is the grandson son of Thomas and Annie Crosby Biggins who emigrated in 1889 to Chelsea, Massachusetts. He is the son of Thomas and Ella Biggins.

Family Tree. A family tree for the Biggins family from The Neale and Ballynalty is shown below.

John Biggins 1781-1968
John Biggins married Ellen Rochford 1841-1881. They lived in Turloughmore, The Neale (John and 3 children listed in 1901 Census for Cahernagry West; 2 children listed in 1911 Census for Cahernagry West)
Patrick Biggins 1833-1888 married Honor Thornton 1843-1924. Born in Beechgrove, The Neale. They lived in Turloughmore, The Neale (Honor and children listed in 1901 Census for Cahernagry West; Honor, children, and grandchildren listed in 1911 Census for Cahernagry West)
Thomas Biggins married in 1881 to Bridget Walsh of Ballycusheen, Kilmaine b. 1850. They lived in Ballynalty (Thomas, Bridget, and children listed in 1901 Census for Ballynalty; Bridget and children listed in 1911 Census for Ballynalty).
Bridget Biggins 1864-1894, married in 1891 to Thomas Barrett 1866-1930 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. Went to the US after being refused a teaching post in The Neale because of political differences.

Mary Biggins 1866-1937, married in 1901 to Pat Luke Varley 1860-1927
  • Luke Varley 1903-1979
  • John Varley b. 1904, living with Thomas and Mary Ellen Murphy Biggins in the Bronx in the 1930 US census (see second column)
  • May Varley b. 1905
  • Bridget "Delia" Varley b. 1910
Patrick Biggins 1868-1961, married Maggie Burke d. 1978
  • John Biggins 1930-2001
  • Philomena Biggins b. 1937
Margaret J. Biggins b. 1870, emigrated 1891 to Boston, married 1896 Robert Barrett b. 1868, living at 35 Matthews Street in 1900, 67 Cottage Street in 1910
  • Ellen Teresa Barrett b. 1897
  • John Edward Barrett 1899-1987
  • Robert J. Barrett 1901-1954
  • Thomas F. Barrett b. 1904
  • George H. Barrett b. 1906
  • James Joseph Barrett 1909-1989
  • Margaret Josephine Barrett 1911-2011
  • Grace Louise Barrett 1917-1934
John Biggins b. 1871

Thomas Biggins b. 1873, married in 1895 to Mary Biggins (see second column for children)

Sarah Biggins 1875-1941, married 1900 James O'Malley 1876-1943, lived in Creevagh, The Neale.
  • Luke Patrick O'Malley 1901-1996, married Kate Moran 1907-1992, had five children, died in Castlebar
  • Mary Catherine O'Malley 1902-1984, worked in New York, retired in Ireland
  • Eileen O'Malley 1903-1990, became Sister Enda of the Sisters of Mercy
  • Bridget Gabrielle :Delia" O'Malley 1906-2003, emigrated to New York, married Tim Reilly from County Cork, had four children
  • Martin Joseph O'Malley 1908-1990, became a Carmellite priest, ordained in Rome in 1937
  • Patrick O'Malley 1911-1986, married Mary Flannery 1914-1991, had nine children
  • Sarah O'Malley 1912-2009, emigrated to Lancashire, England, married Patrick Cooney 1913-1947 and had three children, then Robert Burns 1913-1992 and had two children. Mother of Mary Alexander, who provided much of the information on this tree.
  • Honora O'Malley 1915-2015, married Thomas Farragher 1907-1984, emigrated to Kent, England, had seven children
  • Margaret O'Malley 1917-2005, became Sister Columbanus of the Sisters of Mercy, at convents in Cornwall, Warwickshire, and Dorset
Michael Biggins 1877-1931, married Bridget Lynagh 1882-1931

James Biggins b. 1880
John Biggins 1868-1955, emigrated to Yorkshire West Riding, England, where he lived with his brother Martin. Died in Don Valley, Yorkshire West Riding

Thomas Biggins 1870-1955, emigrated in 1889 to Chelsea, Massachusetts, married in 1892 toAnn Crosby 1869-1927
  • Catherine Biggins b. 1892
  • John Joseph Biggins 1894-1970. A son had a daughter who had a son whose DNA matches Mary Alexander (see 1st column), based on Family Tree DNA Family Finder. He is Mary's 3rd cousin twice removed.
  • Thomas Joseph Biggins 1895-1993, m. 1922 Ella. Their son Walter F. Biggins had a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States
  • James Patrick Biggins 1897-1979
  • Martin Edward Biggins 1899-1980, m. Mary Hoy. Their granddaughter is Lorraine Biggins
  • Mary Biggins 1902-1902
  • Luke Biggins 1904-1963
  • Walter Biggins 1906-1924
Michael Biggins 1872-1921, emigrated to Northumberland, England with his brother Patrick. Died in Maltby, Yorkshire West Riding, England

Patrick Biggins 1874-1941, emigrated to Bell's Close, Northumberland, England, married in 1903 to Elizabeth Woods 1881-1951, emigrated to 1913 Bulli, N.S.W., Australia
  • Catherine Biggins 1903-1904
  • Patrick Biggins 1904-1906
  • Mary Honour Biggins 1905-1906
  • Norah Biggins 1907-1907
  • Elizabeth Biggins 1908-1964
  • Catherine Biggins 1910-1913
  • Norah Honour Biggins 1912-1913
  • John Biggins 1916-1991
  • Michael Francis Biggins 1921-1976
Mary Biggins b. 1875, m. 1895 Thomas Biggins, lived in Turloughmore, The Neale until 1899-1911-13, then in Cushlough (Lough Mask road), Ballinrobe (see 1st column for the family of Thomas Biggins)
  • Thomas Biggins 1895-1980, emigrated in 1921 to The Bronx, New York, worked as a trolley motorman; m. 1929 Mary Ellen Murphy (b. 1908 Ballinrobe) in The Bronx; moved to Elmsford, New York; one daughter a nun, Sister Marie Goretti; granddaughter is Kathleen Biggins who hosts A Thousand Welcomes, an Irish music program on Fordham University's FM station, WFUV
  • John Biggins 1897-1898
  • Michael Biggins 1899-1921
  • Ellen Biggins 1903-1972; emigrated with 7 other women in 1929 to Villa de Matel, Houston, Texas, to join the Sisters of Charity; became Sister M. Amatus; served in hospitals and orphanages in California, Texas, and Louisiana
  • Patrick Biggins 1906-1986
  • James Biggins 1909-1964
  • Margaret Mary Biggins b. 1911
  • Nora Biggins b. 1913, married Flannery, a widower with children, lives in Ballinaga (The Neale road)
  • Delia Biggins 1915-1963
  • Mary Ellen/Anne Biggins 1916-2008, married 1960 Ernest Sutton, lived in Canterbury, Kent, England
Bridget Biggins b. 1877, m. 1918 Thady or Timothy Connor 1871-1918
  • Jack O'Connor
  • Mary O'Connor
Martin Biggins 1878-1966, emigrated to Derbyshire and West Riding, England, m. 1909 Catherine Boylan 1889-1975
  • Nora Mary Biggins 1909-1990
  • Delia Bridget Biggins 1911-1996
  • John Biggins 1913-1979
  • Thomas Biggins 1915-1984
  • James Biggins 1916-1981
  • Catherine Biggins 1918-1989
  • Ellen Biggins 1920-1921
  • Patricia Biggins 1922-2004
  • Frances Biggins 1924-2001
  • Veronica Biggins 1926-2005
  • Anne Doreen Biggins 1930-2003
Ellen Biggins 1880-1968, married in 1916 to Pat Owen Varley 1867-1948, lived in Drumsheel, County Mayo
  • Joseph Patrick Varley b. 1917
  • Luke Varley b. 1919
  • Mary Ellen Varley b. 1921
Edward Biggins 1883-1950, emigrated to Doncaster, Yorks, West Riding, England, married in 1912 to Gertrude Goulding 1892-1974
  • John J. Biggins 1913-1914
  • Eileen Biggins 1918-1996
  • Edward F. Biggins 1919-1995
  • Nora Biggins 1922-1922
  • Nora C. Biggins b. 1925
  • Ellen Selina Biggins 1928-2006
Luke Biggins 1886-1962, m. Honor "Nora" Morrin 1891-1968
  • Patrick Biggins 1924-1996
  • John Joseph Biggins 1926-2003, lived in Wiltshire, England
  • James Biggins 1927-1929
  • Nora Biggins b. 1929
  • Mary Ellen "Mellie" Biggins b. 1931
James Biggins 1888-1902
Mary Biggins 1882-1946, never married

Julia Biggins 1883-1960, emigrated to New York, never married

Bridget "Delia" Biggins 1885-1976, emigrated to Boston with sister Ellen in 1906; never married

Margaret Biggins 1886-1973, stayed in Ireland, died circa 1983

Ellen Biggins 1888-1978, emigrated to Boston with her sister Bridget in 1906; married 1923 Michael Maguire, lived in Masssachusetts
  • Eugene Andrew Maguire b. 1926
  • Mary Elizabeth Maguire b. 1928, married Chambers
  • Edward Maguire b. 1932
John Biggins, 1891-1965, emigrated to Boston and lived with Ellen and Michael Maguire, never married

Thomas Biggins, 1893-1965, married in 1934 Katie Grimes, 1908-2004, who was born in Ballytrasna and is the sister of Mary Grimes who was mother of Anne Mahon (Anne Mahon of Riverside House B&B contributed to this table), lived in Wallpark (formerly part of Ballynalty) on Lough Corrib
  • Bridget Mary "Bridie" Biggins 1939-1986, married Vinny McGuire; had 6 children, live in Floral Park, New York
  • Ellen Biggins b. 1940, immigrated to America in 1958, married 1965 Jerry Sullivan, living in Monroe, New York; have 4 sons (including Father Paul Sullivan, ordained a priest in the Diocese of Phoenix in 2007 and assigned to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glendale, Arizona) and 4 daughters; Ellen and her daughter Helen have contributed to this table
  • Thomas Biggins 1941-2012, married Kathleen Hyland, live in Glencorrib, had 3 sons and 2 daughters
  • Julia Biggins 1942-1994 lived in Queens, New York, daughter Maureen lives in Tappan, New York
  • Patrick Biggins, 1943-2007, married Nora, had 4 daughters, lived in Queens, New York, family now in Hyde Park, New York
  • John Biggins 1944-1944
  • Mary Margaret Biggins 1945-1953
  • Katherine "Kathleen" Biggins b. 1946, married Sharkey; lived in Queens, New York, now lives in Westchester County, have 2 daughters and 1 son
  • Anne Biggins b. 1948, lived in New York City with her sisters Kathleen and Peg, moved to San Francisco with daughter Bridget
  • John Biggins 1948-1948
  • Margaret T. Biggins b. 1952, married Roder, have 3 sons and 2 daughters; lived in California, now live in Stoney Creek, New York, wrote article about her mother entitled "The experiences of Katie Biggins in America" that was included in Glencorrib National Schools, 1854-2004, a copy of which was provided by Michael and Bridie Biggins of Ballynalty (see below)

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from Ballinrobe and Rostaff

Biggins Bar, Ballinrobe. Research prior to my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe indicated that there was a Biggins Bar in Ballinrobe. The existence of this establishment was a major reason for selecting Ballinrobe as a base for Biggins family research. Biggins Bar is on Bowgate Street, which is an informal section at the south end of Main Street. The first night I went to Biggins Bar and introduced himself to John Biggins, the proprietor. I also met a first cousin of John Biggins, known as John Joe Biggins, who had returned not long ago from working in Dublin at The Stephen's Green Hibernian Club, founded in 1840 by Daniel O'Connell and others. My brother Jim had coincidentally gotten John Joe's phone number from staff at the club, when he and his wife Anne stayed there a year earlier.

I did research at Biggins Bar every night for six nights, enjoying a couple pints of Guinness each night. I was able to verify what my brother Bill had always told me, that Guinness tastes best in Ireland. Bill had traveled to Co. Mayo following his discharge from the Navy during the Viet Nam conflict.

Biggins Bar is a favorite place to purchase flies for fly fishing. John's father Sean was an avid fly fisherman. After his father's death in a car accident in 2003, John established the Sean Biggins Memorial Cup for the best Ballinrobe angler in the annual World Cup Trout Fly Angling Championship at Lough Mask, a few miles west of Ballinrobe.

Established 1863. John Biggins says that Biggins Bar is the oldest continuously operating bar in Ballinrobe. As indicated on the sign, it was established in 1863. It originally was in the Farragher family. The first Biggins proprietor was John Biggins, grandfather of the current owner, who married Mary Farragher. According to a 1987 guide to the history and folklore of Ballinrobe, Itchy Feet & Thirsty Work, by Bridie Mulloy, Biggins Bar "is possibly the oldest license in town. The license was originally for a house in Brewery lane - off Bridge Street - but through the goodwill of Colonel Knox, for whom Sean's maternal great grandfather was gardener, a house was leased in Bowgate Street which still prospers."

Biggins Bar in Ballinrobe
Biggins Bar on Bowgate Street, Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 2006. Just after the name on the sign, it says "Est. 1863." The left side of the sign says "Beer Garden." The right side says "Fishing Tackle." From left: Peter Biggins, researcher, and John Biggins, proprietor.
Deirdre Biggins drapery shop in Ballinrobe
Deirdre Biggins drapery shop on Chapel Street in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 2006. Sign in widow announces "Wedding Feathers - Now in Stock."

D. Biggins, Ballinrobe. On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I went to the drapery shop of Deirdre Biggins Cameron (ladies' and children's wear) on Chapel Street in Ballinrobe. Deirdre is a sister of John Biggins of Biggins Bar. This Biggins family originally came from Rostaff, which is in Co. Mayo on the Galway border. Deirdre's grandfather, John Biggins moved to Ballinrobe and opened a drapery shop. My sister Emily and her husband Jack visited the John Biggins shop in 1971 and spoke with his wife Mary. Her husband John had died in 1962.

Cyril Biggins, Ballinafad, Connemara. In 2011, our friend Marie Whitla O'Reilly was visiting Connemara and happened upon a fishing guide named Cyril Biggins at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. I sent an inquiry to the Hotel and received an email back from Cyril's wife Brid O'Malley who told me Cyril was a cousin of John Biggins of Biggins Bar. He is the son of Liam and Josie Carney Biggins and brother of John Joe Biggins and Celine Biggins. "Cyril works as a fishing guide and instructor here at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel, where I also work, in administration. I will attach a couple of photographs and you can check out if you think he looks like any of the other Biggins!! He is a complete Carney, I think." Sadly, Brid also told me that Cyril's brother John Joe and their mother Josie had died unexpectedly in February two weeks apart.

Ballynahinch has long been famous for its fishing guides and the tradition has continued in the same families from generation to generation. Photographs in the hotel of fishing guides from the 1800’s confirm this long-standing practice. Fishing guides teach the inexperienced angler and direct the more practised angler to where the big fish are. Fishing at Ballynahinch is by fly only. Ballynahinch Castle Hotel is set in a private 450 acre estate of woodland, rivers, and walks in the heart of Connemara, Co. Galway. The hotel overlooks its famous salmon fishery, with a backdrop of the Twelve Bens mountain range.

Ballynahinch Guides
Fishing guides at Ballynahinch Castle Hotel. Cyril Biggins is second from the left.

John D. Biggins, Sheffield, England. On March 4, 2014, there was an article entitled "Startling Video Explained" by James Gorman in the Science section of the New York Times. It was about "beads leaping out of a jar in an arc before falling to the floor." The article mentioned John S. Biggins, a Cambridge physicist.

Biggins Beads

I sent John an email and found out that his grandfather was Patrick Biggins (1925-2006) from Ballinrobe, who had emigrated to England. His father was John D. Biggins, a Professor of Mathematics at the University of Sheffield and a Deacon in the Catholic Church of St. William of York. Being a church webmaster, I went to the parish website and found a series of beautiful homilies by John Biggins.

Another son of John D. Biggins is Mark Biggins, who is a conductor, pianist, and singer. He is currently a student at the Royal College of Music in London, England. Mark holds degrees in Musicology from Cambridge and Music Theory from Yale University.

John D. Biggins
John D. Biggins, Professor of Mathematics, The University of Sheffield.
John S. Biggins
John S. Biggins, Research Fellow, Trinity Hall, Cambridge University.
Mark Biggins
Mark Biggins, who is a conductor, pianist, and singer. He is currently a student at the Royal College of Music.

In March 2015, Anna Biggins offered some additional information on the Biggins family from Sheffield. "I came across your website today and found the photos of my dad and brothers. Just thought I'd let you know that there's also three sisters - my eldest sister Ruth (b.1982), Elizabeth (b.1993) and myself Anna (b.1996). Ruth married Graham Tebbutt in 2006 and they have two children Emma and Luke. She's a language teacher. Elizabeth (Lizzy) graduated in Psychology. I am studying medicine."

Biggins siblings
The Biggins siblings of Sheffield, England.

Family Tree. The family tree of the Biggins family from Ballinrobe and Rostaff is shown below.

Patrick Biggins b. 1841 and Bridget Phew b. 1861 were married in Rostaff, Co. Mayo, in 1880 and had seven children (Patrick, Bridget, and family listed in 1901 Census for Moyne):
Mary Biggins b. 1882

Michael Biggins b. 1884

Thomas Biggins b. 1885

Patrick Biggins b. 1888, moved to Tuam, opened a drapery shop, married (based on 2002 obituary for Thomas Biggins of Tuam provided by John Biggins of Biggins Bar)
  • Noel Biggins, Captain, New York Police Department
  • Thomas Biggins d. 2002, carpenter, emigrated to Birmingham, England, and New York, married Patricia Mills
    • Susan Biggins
    • Andrew Biggins
    • David Biggins
  • Francis Biggins, sales manager, Erin Foods
  • Tony Biggins, detective, Garda
  • Margaret Biggins, Civil Service
Honora Bridget "Nora" Biggins b. 1891, emigrated to America, married twice

John Biggins 1892-1962  moved to Ballinrobe and opened a drapery shop, m. Mary Farragher d. 1990
  • Patrick Biggins 1925-2006 emigrated to Wolverhampton, England, m. Margaret McEnroe from Co. Meath
    • John D. Biggins, Professor of Mathematics, The University of Sheffield; Deacon, St. William of York Parish, m. 1980 Lesley (son John S. and daughter Anna contributed to this table)
  • Mary Bridget Biggins b. 1926
  • William A. "Liam" Biggins 1929-1957  m. Josephine "Josie" Carney d. 2011
    • John Joseph Biggins 1952-2011
    • William Cyril Nicholas Biggins b. 1955  m. Brid O'Malley
    • Celene Biggins
  • Norah Patricia Biggins b. 1933
  • Anne P. "Nan" Biggins b. 1935  m. Duffy (contributed to this table)
  • Michael John "Sean" Biggins 1938-2003  m. Carmel Horan
    • John Biggins - Biggins Bar (contributed to this table)
    • Kieran Biggins
    • Deirdre Biggins, m. Richard Cameron
    • Siobhan Biggins
Helena "Nellie" Biggins b. 1895  m. Michael Hogan
  • Patrick Hogan (contributed to this table)

Table of Contents     

Biggins Family from Ballynalty

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I visited with Michael and Bridie Murphy Biggins on their cattle/sheep farm in the townland of Ballynalty, which is 8 miles south of Ballinrobe, near Glencorrib. Ballynalty is just north of the Black River, which separates Co. Mayo from Co. Galway on the south. The post office for Ballynalty is Headford, which is in Co. Galway.

Michael Biggins on his farm in Ballynalty
Michael Biggins with cattle on his farm in Ballynalty, Co. Mayo, Ireland, 2006.
Michael was Mayo County chairman for the The Irish Farmers' Association from 2002 to 2008. Michael and Bridie have five children.

The farm has been in his family for hundreds of years. Michael took me over to his mother's house for a visit. Her name is Norah and her maiden name was Biggins. Norah has a brother John Biggins in Boston. Her husband, Thomas Biggins, died in 2003 at the age of 82. I was served tea at Norah's house and then dinner at Michael's house. Following that, Michael took me on a tour of the farm and down to Headford to see his son who was working at the cattle sale.

Michael referred me to Eamon Martin who is doing genealogical research. Eamon, who is married to Frances Biggins and lives in Dublin, has provided some interesting information on Peeter Beaghan in the 1650s. Peeter who was given 673 acres of land in Co. Mayo to partially replace land confiscated in Co. Monaghan. Cromwell confiscated land owned by Catholics east of the river Shannon to compensate soldiers who helped put down a rebellion in 1641 and to reduce the influence of Catholics east of the River Shannon. Peeter's new land consisted of seven parcels in Shrule (Muckallgee, Balynalta, Carrownaheele) and Mooragagh (Killinebringe, Carrowmore). This information is included in the Book of Survey and Distribution on Martin Ryan's Shrule Web site. Peeter also received land back in Co. Monaghan. One explanation may be that he bought land from soldiers who had received it.

Michael also referred me to his niece Kathy Keane who is doing genealogical research. She has emailed me a family tree that allowed me to create a Biggins descendants chart for Michael's great great grandfathers on both his mother's and father's sides. Michael's parent are in italics on both sides of the chart.

In 2009, at the suggestion of John Biggins at Biggins Bar in Ballinrobe, I met Patrick Biggins and his son John Biggins in the townland of Cornfield, near Hollymount, County Mayo. They said their Biggins ancestors are the same as Michael Biggins family from Ballynalty. Patrick's father Jack Biggins had moved from Ballynalty to Cornfield.

In 2013, Lori Kaltenbronn sent an email and provided valuable information for the chart below. She is a great granddaughter of Mary E. Biggins and Thomas Luke Martin from Tuam. Family legend is that they met on the ship when emigrating. They came to the America about 1885 and settled in St. Louis. Her brothers James and John also lived here. When James died he left money to Bridget Murphy and Denis Biggins of Ireland in his estate. They were identified as his sister and brother. I'm not sure what happened to John. He wasn't listed in his brothers estate like the other siblings.

Lori also has some relationship to descendants of John Biggins and Katherine (Kitty) Sheridan. Their son Michael J Biggins came to St. Louis as well. He married Winnifred Finn. "I don't know how the two Biggins families are related, but family legend says they are."

Thomas Biggins b. 1830, Ballynalty (Thomas and son and family listed in 1901 Census for Ballynalty)
Denis Biggins 1800-1884, married Winifred 1806-1876
John Biggins b. 1846, married Katherine K. Sheridan b. 1849
Patrick Biggins b. 1866, Ballynalty, married Nora McHugh b. 1876 Headford
  • Michael Joseph Biggins, 1897-1985, married Margaret Walsh 1902-1982
    • Nora Biggins b. 1928 Ballycurran married Thomas Biggins 1921-2003
    • May Biggins married Berbard Shaw
    • Thomas Biggins d. 1984
    • Philip Biggins
    • Ger Biggins married Kathleen
    • John Biggins married Mary, emigrated to Boston
    • Imelda Biggins married Thomas O'Donoghue
    • Teresa Biggins
  • Thomas Biggins b. 1898
  • Mary Biggins, b. 1900
  • Patrick Biggins b. 1902
  • Sarah Biggins, b. 1903
  • Nora Biggins b. 1909
  • Margaret Frances Biggins, b. 1914, married 1942 Gerald Heaney, d. 1994 (Caoimhe McGlinchey sent an email in December 2014 saying that her grandmother Margaret Frances Heaney had received a centenarian letter from the President of Ireland)
Patrick Biggins 1837-1867, Ballynalty, married Bridget Connor
  • Mary Biggins
  • Margaret Biggins
John Biggins, 1839-1879, Ballynalty, married 1860 Mary Biggins b. 1841 Ballynalty (Mary and children listed in 1901 Census for Ballisnahyny)
  • Bridget Biggins b. 1861
  • Mary E. Biggins 1864-1927 b. Cong, d. St. Louis, Missouri, emigrated in 1885, m. 1889 Thomas Luke Martyn (Martin) from Tuam
    • Mary A. Martin 1890-1970, m. Michael Gannon 1889-1961
    • Ella Bridgette Martin 1892-1943, m. 1919 William Charles Dooley
    • John Joseph Martin 1894-1884
    • Thomas Martin 1898-1900
    • Cecilia Martin 1901-1995, m. 1927 James D. McCarthy 1902-1970
    • James Francis Martin 1907-1980, m. 1937 Dorothy Cecelia Wunsch 1911-2000
  • Denis Biggins 1866-1946 b. Cong, d. Moyne, married Ellen Fallon b. 1946 Kilconnely (Bally-roe)
    • Jack Biggins 1906-1995 married 1943 Mary O'Rourke. Moved to Cornfield, near Hollymount, north of Ballinrobe
      • Patrick Biggins, father of John
      • Denis Biggins
      • Nora Biggins
      • Emily Biggins
      • Nell Biggins
    • Michael Joseph Biggins 1909-1986 married 1951 Bridget Diskin, owned Biggins Foodstore across from Glencorrib Church from 1947 to 1996
    • Bridget Biggins b. 1912 married Frank Joyce
    • James Biggins 1914-1945
    • Patrick Biggins b. 1915 married Bernie Keogh
    • Denis Biggins b. 1919 married Mary Kelly
    • Thomas Biggins 1921-2003 Ballinsnahina married Nora Biggins b. 1928 Ballycurran
  • John Biggins 1870-1927, emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri
  • Bridget Biggins 1871-1939+, b. Cong, married 1902 Michael Murphy
  • James Edwin Biggins 1877-1939 b. Cong, d. St. Louis, Missouri
Mary Biggins b. 1873, Cong

Michael Biggins b. 1873, Cong

Pat Biggins b. 1873, Cong

John Joseph Biggins b. 1874, Cong, emigrated to Hartford, Connecticut, m. Catherine Godfrey 1879-1939
  • John J. Biggins, 1905-1970, b. Connecticut, d. San Francisco
    • John Biggins b. 1924
  • Michael D. Biggins 1906-1966, m. Emma Parker 1904-2003
  • Francis Biggins, 1908-1920
Pat Biggins b. 1876, Cong

Michael J. Biggins 1880-1953, b. Dringin, emigrated to St. Louis, Missouri, m. 1911 Winifred Finn 1884-1953

  • John J. Biggins 1912-1946
  • Rev. Edward P. Biggins, b. 1914
  • Mary C. Biggins, 1915-2010, m. 1940 John David Shine 1916-1944, m. John F. Hederman 1915-1997
    • Mary Ann Hederman m. Bruce Lockett
    • Kathleen Hederman
    • John F. Hederman
Mary Biggins b. 1880, Dringin, Tipperary

Catherine Biggins 1882-1953, m. McVeigh

Table of Contents     

James Biggins from Turlough

In September 2016, Anton O'Faolain" sent me an email about his Biggins family from County Mayo.

"My mother was a Biggins. She was born on a farm near The round tower of Turlough, County Mayo, not far from Castlebar. She was the second youngest of five girls and was born in 1916. She's been with her Saviour twenty years. Her father, James, died of pneumonia when he was 30. Rumour has it he was shot by the British for being IRA. Who knows. His wife, Moriah, was left to look after the five girls. Mum was only 3 and and the youngest was only a baby. The older girls all went to America, married and have raised families. One of my cousins whom I have not met but several of my siblings have was a teacher at Sandy Hooks Elementary School for years and had only recently left the school before the tragedy. My mother never saw her sisters again. My sisters tracked our cousins down but mum died before they could meet. My mother moved to a southern borough suburb of Dublin called Dun Laoghaire. There she met and married Tom Whelan and had eight children. Tom took his family to Australia where we have done alright. I'm nearing retirement age myself and haver raised eight children of my own. I'm about to write a series of true stories about the amazing Nora Biggins. She was wise, courageous and a wonderful mother with a great faith.


"It's a work in progress and the Nora Biggins stories are coming."

Biggin Family from Brooklyn and Ireland

Meredith Biggin provided information about her Biggin family from Brooklyn and Ireland. Included is infomation on Patrick from Find a Grave.

  • In the 1880 census, Patrick and Margaret report that they were born in Ireland, but their first two children were born in England in 1853 and 1856. This indicates that they immigrated to America between 1856 and 1858, when their third child was born.
  • In the 1930 census, Patrick and Margaret's son John Biggin reports that his parents were born in Northern Ireland.

Patrick Biggin 1833-1884 m. Margaret Hanna Clark 1833-1915
Margaret Mary Biggin 1853-1936, born in England

Rose Biggin 1856-1916, born in England

Anne Biggin 1858-1918 m. Hines

James Bernard Biggin 1862-1943 m. Elizabeth B. Potts 1864-1937
  • Theresa Mary Biggin 1886-1930 m. 1910 Arthur Bernard Corbett 1882-1974
    • Arthur Bernard Corbett 1911-1989
    • James Corbett 1912-1997
    • William Patrick Corbett 1914-2006
    • Virginia Corbett 1916-2011
    • Thelma Veronica Corbett 1919-2005
    • Robert John Corbett 1924-2009
    • Raymond James Corbett 1926-2011
    • Corbett
  • William Patrick Biggin 1887-1966 m. Mary J. b. 1890
  • Grace Biggin 1890-1955 m. 1915 Charles J. Cretter 1891-1968
    • Charles Jules Cretter 1915-1994
    • Yvonne L. Cretter 1917-1983
    • Raymond Albert Cretter 1918-1997
    • Marcell Veronica Cretter 1920-2991
    • June grace Cretter 1924-2007
    • Germaine france Cretter 1927-2006
    • Estelle A. Cretter b. 1929
  • Walter Joseph Biggin 1892-1946
  • Elizabeth Biggin b. 1897
  • Helen Biggin 1897-1980 m. 1922 Thomas Aquinas McCarthy 1897-1957
    • Thomas Aquinas McCarthy 1923-2001 m. 1953 Bernadette Ann Dullea 1930-2006
    • Edwin McCarthy 1925-2009 m. 1964 Vivian Jean Spillane 1931-2019
    • James George McCarthy 1928-2016 m. Catherine Patricia Dean 1929-2014
    • Robert McCarthy b. 1928 m. Joyce
    • Elizabeth McCarthy b. 1931 m. Roy Marshall
    • Eugene McCarthy b. 1938 m. Connie
  • Andrew Biggin 1898-1963 m. 1924 Mary A. Moore 1899=1967
    • Andrew Biggin b. 1925
    • Elizabeth Biggin b. 1828
    • William Biggin b. 1930 m. 1957 Margaret Murray (Meredith's grandparents)
    • David James Biggin 1932-2010
    • James Biggin b. 1938
    • Mary Biggin b. 1938
  • John G. Biggin 1900-1964 M. Mary 1901-1979
  • Agnes Rose Biggin 1903-1995 m. 1922 John Joseph Schrantz 1900-1987
    • Andrew Thomas Schrantz 1923-2002
    • Mary Schrantz b. 1925
    • Patricia Ann Schrantz 1930-1994
    • Schrantz
  • Frances E. Biggin 1906-1994 m. Charles William Tansey 1901-1965
    • James Francis Tansey 1932-2013 m. Linda Crockett
    • Charles Tansey d. 2011 m. 1955 Joan P.
    • Robert Tansey
    • Maureen Tansey m. Danny Maddock
  • Raymond Biggin 1908-1911
  • John Biggin b. 1914
Mary Biggin b. 1862

Ella/Nellie Biggin b. 1865

Theresa Biggin 1868-1870

Frances Irene Biggin 1871-1906 m. John Francis McCarthy b. 1863
  • Robert Francis McCarthy b. 1895 m. Catherine C. Flannery 1898-1992
  • Edna McCarthy 1897-1992 m. Harry Alexander Young 1899-1983
    • Clare Patricia Young 1927-1980
    • Harry Alexander Young 1930-1998
    • Carol Marie Young 1934-1989
  • Ivy McCarthy 1899-1969 m. Harry Pickess
  • Raymond McCarthy b. 1902
Elizabeth Biggin 1867-1939 m. 1885 Robert Conn 1868-1938
  • Robert Conn 1897-1936
Nellie Biggin b. 1869

John Joseph Biggin 1872-1944 m. Anna Mary McNamara b.
  • Catherine Margaret Biggin 1907-1984 m. 1939 Fredrich Davis 1901-1948
  • Andrew Patrick Biggin 1908-1971 m. 1935 Marguerite C. Harlow 1910-1998
    • Richard J. Biggin 1942-2008 m. 1964 Kathleen Clarkson
  • Frances Marie Biggin 1913-1994 m. 1941 Vincent F. Finneran 1916-1983
  • Anna Edna Biggin b. 1918 m. Patrick Seibert b. 1939
Andrew Biggin 1872-1940 m. Jennie Barghansen 1880-1920
  • Jean Biggin b. 1910

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Mayo Abbey
The history of Mayo begins with the Synod of Whitby in 664, to resolve the conflict between the Celts and the Romans on the date of Easter. Having lost the debate St Colman left Lindisfarne and returned to Iona, later going to Innisboffin and from there to Maigh Eo, later to become known as Mayo of the Saxons.

Fr. James Biggins, Mayo Abbey

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I visited the Ballinrobe library and found a five-volume history of Co. Mayo that mentioned a Fr. James Biggins at Mayo Abbey.

After seeing the mention of Fr. Biggins in the Mayo history, I drove to Mayo Abbey. A Castlebar library patron kindly escorted me to the Mayo Abbey road. Mayo Abbey is a small town where the ruins of the old abbey are. St. Colman founded a monastery there in 668 A.D. The abbey was regarded as a center of learning equal to that of Kells and Augsburg in Germany. In 1152, it became the seat of the Diocese of Mayo. In the 16th century, the diocese gave its name to Co. Mayo. In 1631, the seat of the diocese was changed to Tuam.

The parish church in Mayo Abbey is St. Colman's Church. Kathleen Delaney wrote in response to a telephone call that Fr. Biggins was born in Castlebar in 1872 to Denis and Mary Biggins. He was baptized on December 24. His mother was from the Killeen family in Claremorris. He was ordained at Maynooth in June 1898. In 1896 St Patrick's College Maynooth had attained the status of a Pontifical University for its courses in Theology, Philosophy and Canon Law. At one time, Maynooth was the largest seminary in the world.

In the 1901 census for England, there was a Roman Catholic priest named James Biggins in Birkenhead. He was age 28 and born in Ireland. Birkenhead is in Merseyside, across the River Mersey from Liverpool. Birkenhead is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Shrewsbury and has four parishes today. See English Records of Irish Born.

Fr. Biggins became the Parish Priest (Pastor) at Mayo Abbey in 1931, having come from Castlebar. At Mayo Abbey, Fr. Biggins renovated the church interior, put down a boarded floor, studded the walls, and painted the inside. He built the curate's residence. An unassuming man, he was well liked by the people. For some years before his death he suffered from heart trouble. He died February 8, 1950, aged 77 years, and is buried in the New Cemetery where the tombstone to his memory was erected by the parishioners.

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Sister Teresa Biggins

Sister Teresa Biggins is a member of The Sisters of St. John of God in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

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Biggins Foodstore
Biggins Foodstore across from Glencorrib Church, 1947-1996. Source: Glencorrib National Schools, 1854-2004.

Biggins Foodstore in Glencorrib

In December 2006, I received a Christmas card from Michael and Bridie Biggins from Ballynalty, whom I had visited on my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe. Included with the card was Glencorrib National Schools, 1854-2004, a book published in 2004 celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Glencorrib National Schools. Included in the book is an article about the Biggins Foodstore, which was situated directly across from the Glencorrib Church from 1947 to 1996. It was owned and operated by the Michael (Mick) Biggins (1909-1986) and Bridgie Diskin Biggins family. Initially, they sold ciarettes, papers, and general groceries, but over the years the store became more of a general store selling drugs, clothing, and hardware. Mick and Bridgie had seven children who eventually helped out in the store: Michael, Mary, John, Bernadette, James, Bridget, and Patrick.

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St. Mary's Church in Ballinrobe

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, Monsignor Thomas Shannon, of St. Mary's Church in Ballinrobe, provided a list of 27 Biggins baptisms. He had no record of Biggins marriages.

Based on baptisms in the 1870s and 1880s, it was possible to reconstruct five Biggins families from St. Mary's Church in Ballinrobe.

Five Biggins Families from Ballinrobe:
Denis Biggins m. Mary Killeen from Claremorris
  • James P. Biggins 1872-1950; ordained at Maynooth 1898; parish priest at Mayo Abbey 1931-1950
  • Bridget Biggins b. 1874
  • Mary Biggins b. 1876
  • Catherine Biggins b. 1878
  • Margaret Biggins b. 1878
  • Ellen Biggins b. 1879
  • Ann Biggins b. 1880
  • Patrick Biggins b. 1881
  • John Joseph Biggins b. 1883
Michael Biggins m. Bridget Biggins
  • Elizabeth Biggins b. 1879
John Biggins m. Winifred Mullahy
  • John Biggins b. 1884
  • Mary Biggins b. 1885
James Biggins m. Bridget Farragher; was a shopkeeper on Shop Street in Westport in 1865
  • Thomas Edwin Biggins b. 1865 Westport
  • Mary Biggins b. 1871
  • William Biggins b. 1873
  • Margaret Biggins b. 1876

Based on baptisms in the 1910s, it was possible to reconstruct one other Biggins family from St. Mary's Church in Ballinrobe, first cousins Thomas and Mary Biggins. This family appears above under "Biggins from The Neale and Ballynalty." The father is a son of John and Ellen Rochford Biggins. The mother is the daughter of Patrick and Honor Thornton Biggins.

Thomas Biggins m. 1895 Mary Biggins
  • Nora Biggins b. 1913 Ballinaga (The Neale road)
  • Bridget Biggins b. 1915 Clooncurrane (Lough Mask road)
  • Mary Anne Biggins b. 1916 Clooncurrane

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Biggin in Ballinrobe in 1782.

On my 2006 Trip to Ballinrobe, I spotted a stone sign embedded in the wall of a house saying "This House Built By Thomas Biggin - 1782." The sign was on a building just after you turn on the Ballyglass Road heading north out of Ballinrobe.

On my return trip to Ballinrobe in 2009, I talked to Tom Watson, who lives across the street from the sign. He said the row of buildings where the sign was were built by the Courtney Kenny family. The Kenny family had lived in the Ballinrobe area since the late 17th century and owned a brewery and flour mill there. The theory is that Thomas Biggin was a journeyman stone mason and chiseled the sign into the side of the building during construction. It was plastered over but uncovered when the plaster was redone in 2004. The former Kenny home, Robe Villa, is on High Street, around the corner from the Biggin sign.

Biggin sign
Stone sign on Kenny building, 2006: "This House Built By Thomas Biggin - 1782."
Biggin sign
Kenny buildings on the road to Ballyglass, with High Street to the right, 2009. The Biggin sign is on the building just to the left of the road signs that appear in the foreground. The ruins of the Kenny flour mill on the Robe River are in back of these buildings. The Kenny home, Villa Robe, is at the far right edge of the photo. Walking down the street in the middle of the picture is Tom Watson, perhaps on his way to lunch, not long after our conversation.

See Maggie Land Blanck's Web site for some great 2004 photos of the buildings above when they were being refurbished, as well as the Kenny home and flour mill and other places in Ballinrobe, and old photos of Ballinrobe.

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Bob Biggins
Bob Biggins.

Bob Biggins, Illinois General Assembly, 1993-2011

Bob Biggins was the representative from the 41st District to the Illinois General Assembly from 1993 to 2011. Committee assignments included Aging; Tollway Oversight; Mass Transit; Sales and Other Taxes; Executive; Revenue & Finance; Appropriations-General Service.

He was born in 1946 in Oak Park, Illinois, and now lives in Elmhurst, Illinois.

His great great grandparents were John and Mary Moghan Biggins of Rossdaff, County Mayo, Ireland. Their son, James E. Biggins, was born in 1841 and immigrated to Maine in 1855. He married Mary Nolan and moved to the west side of Chicago in 1872-73.

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The Boston Harbor Bhoys

The Boston Harbor Bhoys
The Boston Harbor Bhoys. From left to right: Eddie Biggins, Michael Maloney, Ryan Biggins,

The father-son team of Eddie and Ryan Biggins are two-thirds of The Boston Harbor Bhoys, a Celtic and Irish-American band. The other third is a family friend (and past Irish Idol winner) Michael Maloney. "All three are versatile singers and musicians, each capable of holding a stage on his own. But when they come together in harmony, something special happens. The Boston Harbor Bhoys can set your feet to tapping or your heart to breaking."

Eddie's father and grandfather were born in Waltham, Massachusetts. His great grandfather James Francis Biggins was born in Ireland in 1858, married an Irish girl in England in 1872, and immigrated with his wife and three children to Boston in 1885. See Find a Grave.

Listen to the music at: Music of The Boston Harbor Bhoys.

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The King's Speech
The King's Speech, Momentum Pictures, U.K. Best Picture winner of 2010. Includes 1500 inflatables.

Joe Biggins, The Inflatable Crowd Company

Joe Biggins started The Inflatable Crowd Company in 2002. Since then, his Inflatable Crowds have been seen (but not noticed) in over 80 feature films and many TV shows and commercials.

Movies include Seabiscuit, Best Picture nominee of 2003, and The King's Speech, Best Picture winner of 2010.

Says Joe, "texture is the key to making inflatables a realistic solution. We provide an unparalleled level of detail customized to match the look of your crowd including everything necessary to blend the inflatables seamlessly among the real, non inflatable extras: real clothing, individual 3D faces, wigs, hats." See various images.

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John C. Biggins, Inventor of the Bank Credit Card

John C. Biggins Obituary
New York Times obituary for John C. Biggins, September 19, 1971.

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In 1946, banker John C. Biggins (1910-1971) introduced the first bank card, “Charg-It,” into his Brooklyn neighborhood. Whenever a customer charged a purchase at a local merchant, the charge was forwarded to Biggins’ bank, which reimbursed the merchant and retrieved payment from the customer. It was a relatively simple transaction, as all Charg-It cardholders were also account holders at Biggins’ bank.According to MasterCard's History of the Card Payments System, since their inception in 1946, payment cards have become a global force - the fastest, most secure, most convenient and most cost-effective method of payment in the world.

On pages 146-147 of his 2011 book (Princeton University Press), Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink, Louis Hyman says that Charg-It was created by John C. Biggins while working at his father's small Flatbush National Bank. Shortly thereafter, his father sold the bank to the large Manufacturers Trust Co., which shut the program down. Biggins then joined the Paterson Savings and Trust Company as head of their personl loan department and restarted the Charg-It program. Here the program was successful, and John C. Biggins ended up as the bank's president. Louis Hyman is assistant professor in the Labor Relations, Law, and History department at the ILR School of Cornell University.

The Flatbush National Bank of Brooklyn was established in 1926. It began as a state bank and eventually became a national bank. It was merged into Manufacturers Trust Company on May 8, 1946. In 1961, Manufacturers Trust merged with Hanover Bank and the combined bank was called Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (Manny Hanny). Ron Scherer, a former economics reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, is writing a book that touches upon the invention of the credit card and has done some research at the Brooklyn Public Library. He has learned that John Biggins became president of the Flatbush bank in 1927. Prior to that, John Biggins was president of a manufacturing company. Ron reports that the bank was located at 830 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn and is now Fulton Stores (furniture and appliances).

John C, Biggins (1910-1971), his father John E. Biggins (b. 1877) and grandfather James Biggins, (b. 1839) have been found in the U.S. census as follows.

  • In the 1940 census, John C. and his father John E. lived in separate households.
    • John C., 29, is living with his wife Catherine in Sayville, New York. He was an officer of a bank. Image
    • John E., 62, is living with his wife Catherine, son Edward, and daughter Margaret at 1031 E. 24th Street in Brooklyn. John E. was a bank president. Image
    John C. and his brother Edward, 23, were born in New York, but father John E. was born in Pennsylvania. Margaret, 27, was born in Massachusetts.
  • In the 1930 census, the family was counted twice, in a home they owned in Sayville out on Long Island and in a a home they owned in Brooklyn.
    • In Sayville: John C., 18, is living with his father John (E.), 52, mother Kathryn, 50, and brother Edward, 13, in Sayville, New York. John (E.) was a bank president. Margaret Biggins, 55, a sister of John (E.) was also living there. John C. was born in New York, but his father John (E.) and his grandfather (James) were born in Pennsylvania. Image
    • In Brooklyn: John C. is not listed. John (E.), 50, is a bank president living with his wife Catherine, 50, son Gerard, 13, and sister Margaret, 50, at 1015 Mansfield Place. The information may have been reported by a neighbor, because the ages are rounded and parent birthplaces are simply U.S. Image
  • In the 1910 census, John C. and siblings were not yet born. John (E.), 33, was living with wife Catherine at 326 Newfield Street in Brooklyn. They had been married two years. He is a superintendent at a galvinizing company and was born in Pennsylvania. Image
  • In the 1900 census, John E., 23, is living with his sister Margaret, 27, at 233 Gates Street in Philadelphia. He was a clothing salesman. He was born in Pennsylvania, his sister in Massachusetts, and their parents in Ireland. Image
  • In the 1880 census, John E., 3, is living with his father James, 41, and sisters Margaret, 10, and Mary, 8, at 4515 Mitchell Street in the Manayunk area of Philadelphia. James worked in a cotton mill and was born in Ireland. John E. and Mary were born in Pennsylvania. Margaret was born in Massachusetts. Image
  • In the 1870 census, James, 28, is living with his wife Rose, 24, and daughter Margaret, 1, in the Manayunk area of Philadelphia. James worked in a cotton mill and was born in Ireland, as was his wife Rose. Margaret was born in Massachusetts (born August 11, 1869, to James and Rose Biggins in Lawrence). Image

John C. Biggins is most likely related to the Biggins family from Cloondaver, County Mayo, Ireland. Brian Biggins of Hermitage, Pennsylvania, sent a letter in 1996 to my son Edward in New York hoping to find the relationship between his family from Eldred, Pennsylavania, and nearby Olean, New York and a Biggins ancestor who lived in Brooklyn, New York. Edward passed this "strange" letter on to me, and Brian and I corresponded by mail. For the first time in my life, I did a little genealogical research. No connection was found between our families, but I received a great introduction to Biggins genealogy. This correspondence with Brian Biggins indicated that Brian's great great grandparents, Patrick and Mary Maloy Biggins, were from Cloondaver. Brian's great grandfather, James Biggins, was born in Cloondaver in 1834, emigrated to Pennsylvania in 1851. Brian had 1921 correspondence from John E. Biggins, who had a manufacturing, galvanizing, and tinning business in Brooklyn in the 1920s called the John E. Biggins & Co. and located at 69 & 71 Ingram Street in Brooklyn (5 miles from the Flatbush Bank). Brian says that his older aunts and uncles recall that that the New York Biggins family had some connection to the Flatbush National Bank and that some of the family moved to the Boston area.

John E. Biggin
Postcard from John E. Biggins in Brooklyn to his cousin, dated August 31, 1921 (Wednesday). He says he will be passing through Olean, New York, on Saturday. Source: Brian Biggins.

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Barbara Biggins, OAM
Barbara Biggins, OAM.

Barbara Biggins, OAM

Barbara Biggins OAM, BSc, Grad Dip Lib, is a graduate of the University of Adelaide. She has made a lifetime study of children’s relationship with media. Drawn into the area by observing the potential for both positive and negative impacts on her own 3 children, and informed by her years as Senior Librarian at South Australia's Child and Youth Health service, she has been a longtime advocate for children’s interests, and has served on a range of government Boards related to children and media. She was President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media (1991 – 2003) and currently serves as its volunteer CEO. She received a Medal of the Ordrer of Australia (OAM) for service to the arts, is a Churchill Fellow and was SA’s Senior Australian of the Year in 2004.

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David Biggins and the Boer War

David J. Biggins is the author of three books on the Anglo Boer War, which took place from 1899 to 1902. Also, he has built a website that makes available information on the Anglo Boer War and provides a forum for discussion of the many aspects of this conflict. The website is at: AngloBoerWar.com. The site is free to use and has grown over the years since it was started by David and his brother Chris in 2004. It currently consists of over 2,500 articles, in excess of 11,000 images and more than 12,500 pages in searchable PDF format.

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David Biggins, Filmmaker

David Biggins of Surrey, England, has spent most of his life as a geologist looking for and producing oil, mainly in the North Sea. But he also has a passion for old cars. He owns a 1913 Nazzaro Corza Targa Florio, which he purchased in 2005. It is one of three Nazzaro cars still in existence. David bought his Nazzaro from a recently closed Italian collection/museum. Felice Nazzaro (1881-1940) won the 979 km Targa Florio race in 1913 driving a Nazzaro Tipo 2.

David wrote a book about the Targa Florio with Antonio Lombardi: The Belle Époque of the Targa Florio Races. The book released by Upfolds Publishing in December 2013 a prelude to the film released in 2015. The book is a hard covered coffee table style in high definition.

David produced a movie about the Targa Florio with Alain de Cadenet and Francesco da Mosto: Pistons, Passions, Pleasures - A Sicilian Dream. The film premiered on November 2015, at the Prince Charles Theater in Leicester Square, London.

1913 Nazzaro Corza Targa Florio
David's book is available at Upfolds Media
A Siciliam Dream
David's movie is available on DVD at Duke Video

David's Y-chromosome DNA is kit No. 125892 in the Biggins DNA project at Family Tree DNA. His DNA is classified as Niall of the Nine Hostages--also called Northwest Irish. There are two others in the Biggins project with similar DNA. They are from County Mayo in Ireland. There are 13 other people in the Biggins project with a different DNA called DNA of the Three Collas. They are from the Ulster area of Ireland, which is where the Collas originated.

David's ancestor, Henry Biggins, was born in Yorkshire in 1859. The 1851 UK census for Yorkshire includes 200 people named Biggins. Only one was born in Ireland. Only four are named Henry, including the one born in Ireland. He was age 30 and worked as a cutler. The 1851 UK census for Yorkshire also includes 148 people named Biggin. None was born in Ireland. Only 11 are named Henry.

David is the uncle of Sue Biggins below.

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Sue Biggins
Sue Biggins, Principal Investigator, Biggins Lab, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, USA. She is also Senior Vice President and Director of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutch and an Investigator with The Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Sue Biggins and Biggins Lab

Sue Biggins, a molecular biologist from Princeton University, heads up the Biggins Lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. She has a B.S. from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from Princeton University.

The Biggins Lab is studying how cells get the right chromosomes. Says Sue, "Our goal is to understand the mechanisms that ensure accurate chromosome segregation and thus maintain genomic stability and prevent human disease. This work is critical not only for elucidating fundamental aspects of this essential biological process, but is also required for the design of better therapeutic interventions in the long-term."

In 2015, Dr. Sue Biggins was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the country’s highest scientific honors (akin to a Baseball Hall of Fame for science).

Sue Biggins is a niece of David Biggins above.

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Christopher Biggins
Christopher Biggins, Actor

Christopher Biggins was born in 1948 in Oldham, Lancashire, and brought up in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He is a British actor well recognised on British television. A comedy actor, he was also a regular character in the popular situation comedy Porridge. Other comedy shows he appeared in include Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (1973), Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em (1973 & 1978), Brendon Chase (1980) and a regular role in the children's television programme Rentaghost (1978-1983) as Adam Painting. He is more versatile than many people assume: he played Nero in the acclaimed BBC dramatisation of I, Claudius by Robert Graves, and also appeared in the BBC's famed adaptation of Poldark. He also appeared in the Big Finish Productions audio drama The One Doctor, based on the television series Doctor Who. His film roles include The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), and he is also known in the theatre; for example, he has recently appeared in the stage adaptation of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He was co-host on Surprise, Surprise and hosted children's quiz On Safari (TV) in the 1980s. In his 2008 autobiography Just Biggins - My Story he speaks about his Lancashire roots.

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Sean Biggins, Cruciverbalist

Sean Biggins crossword
New York Times Crossword constructed by Sean Biggins, completed by Peter Biggins. Original with clues.

Sean Biggins
Sean Biggins.

I was drinking coffee and doing the Times Crossword one day after breakfast. I glanced up to see the name of the constructor at the top of the grid. Imagine my surprise to see that he was a Biggins. It was Monday, January 21, 2019, the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. I had been working these crosswords for a long time and had never seen one constructed by a Biggins. An Internet search told me this was the first Crossword done by Sean Biggins, so it was probably the first by a Biggins.

Sean said he had a little help from Will Shortz, Crossword Editor, and Sam Ezersky, an assistant to Will. Sean had this to say about his experience:

I became interested in crosswords after trying to solve some with my wife's grandmother (shout out to Grandma Pat in Algona, Iowa!). When visiting her, we would sit around the kitchen table, drink coffee, and (try to) solve the crossword. Once I got the hang of solving, I felt that constructing would be a fun challenge. Thanks to Will and Sam for coaching me through a few revisions of this puzzle and teaching me a lot along the way.
The idea for this puzzle was born out of a political theme I was trying to pull together. I was looking at last names of politicians that were homonyms (Bush, Gore, May, etc.) when I came to Martin Luther King Jr's name and reflected on "King" as part of a potential theme answer. I realized there were other prominent civil rights leaders whose last names shared the same characteristic. Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks quickly followed. I hope solvers enjoy the theme and find it fitting for the day. We owe a large debt to the civil rights leaders of the past, and I hope this puzzle serves as a reminder that there is more progress to be made.

Four years later, on Thursday, March 23, 2023, another crossword puzzle by Sean appeared, this time in the Wall Street Journal. A friend told me about it. It was entitled "Lower Class." (I made some mistakes, so I am not showing my completed puzzle.) I did a little searching, found Sean's phone number, and was able to talk with him on the phone. Sean Biggins was born in Iowa and now lives and works in Illinois. He also has had puzzles in the Los Angeles Times.

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Kieran at Biggins Hall
Kieran at High Biggins Old Hall in Kirby Lonsdale Parish, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England. Kieran is pointing to the sign denoting the path that winds down the hill to the village of Low Biggins.
High Biggins, a town in Cumbria

High Biggins is a small town about one mile southwest of in Kirby Lonsdale in Cumbria, England. Kieran Biggins, a DNA tester from County Monaghan and Scotland, and his son Gerard visited the village of High Biggins in Cumbria, North England in 2004. He wrote the following about the trip in 2017.

As a child growing up in Scotland, we were always aware of this village when on our many road trips “down South” to visit family in Manchester. Dad would always point out the A65 turnoff which he knew led to the market town of Kirkby Lonsdale and the adjacent villages of High and Low Biggins. We knew nothing of how the villages got their names or if there was any connection to our family name.
During our 2004 trip, after reaching Kirkby Lonsdale, we followed the signs for “Biggins” and arrived in the village of High Biggins mid-afternoon after a casual drive across the Yorkshire Dales. We parked the car and set about wandering the lanes of the village. Needless to say we found “Biggins Lane” and spotted the footpath to the village of “Low Biggins” which we decided not to follow due to time constraints. Further down the lane was the sign for “The Biggins Herd” of Pedigree Holstein Friesen cattle owned by John and Sue Hothersall of “Biggins Hall”. At the “Biggins Lodge Farm” we noted a gentleman unloading groceries from his car and as the chatty Scotsman I am, asked him if he knew anything of the history of his house or the village that shared my surname. He indicated that he knew little, having only moved into the house a few months earlier after his retirement from teaching. He did, however, take us outside to show us the high wall at the end of his garden that at one time represented the perimeter of the “Biggins Mansion” that had been demolished a long time ago. In addition, he pointed out the Biggins Crest that had been incorporated into one of the village walls around the corner from his house. This crest is believed to be the only known remnant of the existence of the Mansion.
“The Biggins” as the mansion was formally known, was built in 1895 by a Dr. Paget-Tomlinson of Kirkby Lonsdale. The only known photographs of the mansion were taken in 1899 but it was demolished sometime later. It is believed that a “Biggins Estate” was in existence in 1745.
Biggins Hall
Biggins Hall built in 1899 in Kirby Lonsdale Parish, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England. Source: Francis Firth.
Biggins Hall map
2017 map of High Biggins Old Hall in Kirby Lonsdale Parish, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England. Source: Historic England.
Biggins hall Crest
Crest from High Biggins Old Hall in Kirby Lonsdale Parish, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England. The crest was recovered from the demolished mansion and has now been incorporated in one of the village walls. Source: Kieran Biggins.
Biggins Hall Sign
Sign for cattle at High Biggins Old Hall in Kirby Lonsdale Parish, South Lakeland District, Cumbria, England. Source: Kieran Biggins.

Biggin, a town in Derbyshire

Biggins is a small town in Derbyshire, England, about 5 miles south southwest of of Ashbourne and 10 miles northwest of Derby.

Biggin, another town in Derbyshire

Biggin Hall Biggins is also a small town in Derbyshire, England, near Hartington, called sometimes Biggin-by-Hartington. There is an historic house of 17th century origin, Biggin Hall, which is a now a hotel and restaurant.

Biggin, a town in Yorkshire

Biggin is a small town in North Yorkshire, England, about 13 miles south southwest of the city of York and 18 miles east of Leeds. Biggin is a farming community a mile east of Little Fenton. The road between Biggin and Little Fenton is called Biggin Lane. Little Fenton is about a mile south of Church Fenton.

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Biggins Farm

On page 251 of Volume III of Surrey Archaeological Collections, there is a description of Biggin Farm: "A farm of some extent lying at the foot of Norwood hill. The name, in 1584, was bygin farm, and I think may fairly be deduced from Saxon bykan, or byge (whence are drived bay and bight), signifying a corner. The farm is situate in the angle, or corner, between the Selhurst wood and the great North wood." See 1832 map. Now, all that remains of Biggins farm is two streets: Biggin Way and Biggin Hill, in what is now the Borough of Croydon, about 22 minutes south of London.

Biggin Hill Airport

Since 1917, there has been an airfield, Biggin Hill RAF Station, about 45 minutes southeast of London, in the Borough of Bromley. The air station played a major role in World War II, serving as a base for Spitfires and Hurricanes in the Battle of Britain. It is featured in Dan Brown's fiction, "The Da Vinci Code." The airfield was named after Biggin Hill, a town in South East London, within the London Borough of Bromley.

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On The Late Captain Grose's Peregrinations Thro' Scotland

In Collecting The Antiquities Of That Kingdom, the poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) uses the word biggin in referring to an old, owl-haunted dwelling (italics added).

Oxford English Dictionary.
Hear, Land o' Cakes, and brither Scots,
Frae Maidenkirk to Johnie Groat's;—
If there's a hole in a' your coats,
I rede you tent it:
A chield's amang you takin notes,
And, faith, he'll prent it:

If in your bounds ye chance to light
Upon a fine, fat fodgel wight,
O' stature short, but genius bright,
That's he, mark weel;
And wow! he has an unco sleight
O' cauk and keel.

By some auld, houlet-haunted biggin,
Or kirk deserted by its riggin,
It's ten to ane ye'll find him snug in
Some eldritch part,
Wi' deils, they say, Lord save's! colleaguin
At some black art.

Ilk ghaist that haunts auld ha' or chaumer,
Ye gipsy-gang that deal in glamour,
And you, deep-read in hell's black grammar,
Warlocks and witches,
Ye'll quake at his conjuring hammer,
Ye midnight bitches.

It's tauld he was a sodger bred,
And ane wad rather fa'n than fled;
But now he's quat the spurtle-blade,
And dog-skin wallet,
And taen the—Antiquarian trade,
I think they call it.

He has a fouth o' auld nick-nackets:
Rusty airn caps and jinglin jackets,
Wad haud the Lothians three in tackets,
A towmont gude;
And parritch-pats and auld saut-backets,
Before the Flood.

Of Eve's first fire he has a cinder;
Auld Tubalcain's fire-shool and fender;
That which distinguished the gender
O' Balaam's ass:
A broomstick o' the witch of Endor,
Weel shod wi' brass.

Forbye, he'll shape you aff fu' gleg
The cut of Adam's philibeg;
The knife that nickit Abel's craig
He'll prove you fully,
It was a faulding jocteleg,
Or lang-kail gullie.

But wad ye see him in his glee,
For meikle glee and fun has he,
Then set him down, and twa or three
Gude fellows wi' him:
And port, O port! shine thou a wee,
And Then ye'll see him!

Now, by the Pow'rs o' verse and prose!
Thou art a dainty chield, O Grose!—
Whae'er o' thee shall ill suppose,
They sair misca' thee;
I'd take the rascal by the nose,
Wad say, "Shame fa' thee!"

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English Surname

The name Biggin appears in dictionaries of English names.

Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names by Mark Antony Lower, 1860, includes this entry:

BIGGIN. A common termination of local names, especially in the North. It means a building of considerable size — a house, as opposed to a cottage. A-Sax. byggan to build.

A Dictionary of English Surnames by P. H. Reaney and R. M. Wilson, 1991, includes this entry:

Biggin, Biggins: Thomas del Biggyng 1391 FrY[Register of the Freemen of the City of York (Surtees Soc. 96, 102, 1897, 1899]; William atte Byggyngge 1397 PN C[Place-Names of (e.g. PN Bk, Place-Names of Buckinghamshire, &c. English Place-Name Society)] 191, ME bigging 'dwelling-place, home', used also of an outbuilding as distinct from a house.

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Coffee Biggin

According to "The Coffee Bean Queen," in 1780, Mr. Biggin became the revolution of the coffee world. Who is Mr. Biggin? Well, it is not a who, but rather, a what. Mr. Biggin was a coffeepot built with a filter, shaped like a tea cosy, which sat inside the pot. It was originally called “bagging” and it has been reported that the name “Mr. Biggin” allegedly came about because of the poor use of English. It was shaped like a tall, oval teapot with a spout at the bottom.

Coffee Biggin
Oxford English Dictionary.
Coffee Biggin
Coffee Biggin.
Biggin Manor House
Biggin Manor House, now called The Priory, Cosgrove, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom.

According to All About Coffee, written in 1922 by William Harrison Ukers for the Tea and Coffee Trade Journal Company, "the coffee biggin, said to have been invented by a Mr. Biggin, came into common use in England for making coffee about 1817. It was usually an earthenware pot. At first it had in the upper part a metal strainer like the French drip pots. Suspended from the rim in later models there was a flannel or muslin bag to hold the ground coffee, through which the boiling water was poured, the bag serving as a filter. The idea was an adaptation of the French fustian infusion bag of 1711, and of other early French drip and filtration devices, and it attained great popularity. Any coffee pot with such a bag fitted into its mouth came to be spoken of as a coffee biggin. Later, there was evolved the metal pot with a wire strainer substituted for the cloth bag. The coffee biggin still retains its popularity in England."

The inventor of a forerunner of the percolator coffee pot was George Biggin, 1755-1808, who lived in Cosgrove, between Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire in southeast England. Cosgrove is 44 miles northeast of Oxford and is now part of a new town called Milton Keynes. George Biggin was a successful scientist of the time and close friend of the Duke of Bedford. He developed new techniques in the tanning process and was the inventor of the Coffee - Biggin, a coffee filter system which was a forerunner to the percolator. The Biggin Manor House in Cosgrove was built in the 17th century by the Rigby family. It became known as the Priory around 1810 and is now the UK headquarters of Pericom Plc.

Wendy Page has done research on George Biggin. Wendy is currently trying to prove a link between George's father John and a John Biggin who was a major trading merchant from 1786.

The Oxford English Dictionary claims that this device was named after a "Mr. Biggin." Some sources surmise that the name came from the Dutch "beggelin", meaning to trickle. Confusingly, certain French coffeemakers are labeled as Biggins. These devices are essentially drip pots, whereas to be labeled a Biggin, the device must operate by the steeping method: holding the coffee and water together, then isolating the spent grounds after the period concludes.

In Little Dorrit, a serial novel by Charles Dickens published originally between 1855 and 1857, there is a reference to a coffee-biggin as a popular household object in Book One, Chapter 25:

Against these obstacles, the lame foreigner with the stick had to make head as well as he could; not absolutely single-handed, because Mr Arthur Clennam had recommended him to the Plornishes (he lived at the top of the same house), but still at heavy odds. However, the Bleeding Hearts were kind hearts; and when they saw the little fellow cheerily limping about with a good-humoured face, doing no harm, drawing no knives, committing no outrageous immoralities, living chiefly on farinaceous and milk diet, and playing with Mrs Plornish's children of an evening, they began to think that although he could never hope to be an Englishman, still it would be hard to visit that affliction on his head. They began to accommodate themselves to his level, calling him 'Mr Baptist,' but treating him like a baby, and laughing immoderately at his lively gestures and his childish English--more, because he didn't mind it, and laughed too. They spoke to him in very loud voices as if he were stone deaf. They constructed sentences, by way of teaching him the language in its purity, such as were addressed by the savages to Captain Cook, or by Friday to Robinson Crusoe. Mrs Plornish was particularly ingenious in this art; and attained so much celebrity for saying 'Me ope you leg well soon,' that it was considered in the Yard but a very short remove indeed from speaking Italian. Even Mrs Plornish herself began to think that she had a natural call towards that language. As he became more popular, household objects were brought into requisition for his instruction in a copious vocabulary; and whenever he appeared in the Yard ladies would fly out at their doors crying 'Mr Baptist--tea-pot!' 'Mr Baptist--dust-pan!' 'Mr Baptist--flour-dredger!' 'Mr Baptist--coffee-biggin!' At the same time exhibiting those articles, and penetrating him with a sense of the appalling difficulties of the Anglo-Saxon tongue.

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Biggin Cap

The Biggin Cap (also called a "coif" or "arming cap") was worn by all classes, ages, and sexes. It can be worn alone or under a straw hat, a flat cap or a helmet. A biggins cap kept the wearers hair in place. It has a cord sewn in to tie at the throat. It was called earlier a begin or biggen and got its name because it was the "beginning" cap placed on infants.

Biggin Cap
Oxford English Dictionary.
Infant Biggin
Infant biggin from Two Centuries of Costume in America, Vol. 1 (1620-1820), by Alice Morse Earle.
Biggin under flat cap
Biggin under flat cap from Two Centuries of Costume in America, Vol. 1 (1620-1820), by Alice Morse Earle.

Henry IV, Part 2

In act IV, scene 5 of Part 2 of Shakespeare's Henry IV, written in 1597, Prince Henry has a soliloquy where he mentions his sleeping father's homely biggen (italics added).

Why doth the crown lie there upon his pillow,
Being so troublesome a bedfellow?
O polish'd perturbation! golden care!
That keep'st the ports of slumber open wide
To many a watchful night! sleep with it now!
Yet not so sound and half so deeply sweet
As he whose brow with homely biggen bound
Snores out the watch of night. O majesty!
When thou dost pinch thy bearer, thou dost sit
Like a rich armour worn in heat of day,
That scalds with safety. By his gates of breath
There lies a downy feather which stirs not:
Did he suspire, that light and weightless down
Perforce must move. My gracious lord! my father!
This sleep is sound indeed, this is a sleep
That from this golden rigol hath divorced
So many English kings. Thy due from me
Is tears and heavy sorrows of the blood,
Which nature, love, and filial tenderness,
Shall, O dear father, pay thee plenteously:
My due from thee is this imperial crown,
Which, as immediate as thy place and blood,
Derives itself to me. Lo, here it sits,
Which God shall guard: and put the world's whole strength
Into one giant arm, it shall not force
This lineal honour from me: this from thee
Will I to mine leave, as 'tis left to me.

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Biggins Lace

Biggins Lace
Presencia-Biggins, Keel Court, Enterprise Close, Medway City Estate, Rochester, Kent, UK.

The Biggins Lace Company, which is now Presencia-Biggins, sells lace patterns, craft threads, and other lace-making equipment and supplies. They are located in Rochester, Kent, United Kingdom.


Wings was an American sitcom that ran on NBC from April 19, 1990 to May 14, 1997. The show was set at a small airport on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, where Joe Hackett operated Sandpiper Airlines. Roy Biggins (played by David Schramm) was the owner of Aeromass, the only other airline on Nantucket. Generally competitive, arrogant and unpleasant, Roy often belittles Joe for having a small-time operation, mocks Joe's business skills, and generally implies by his comments that Joe is inferior to him altogether. Despite this, Roy obviously feels threatened by Joe's presence as a competitor, and makes numerous attempts to either buy Sandpiper or put them out of business. Roy was married once to a woman named Sylvia; for several years he claimed that she died, but it was later revealed that she had actually left him, and is now living in Boston and married to a wealthy plastic surgeon. The couple have one son, R.J. (Roy Junior), who is gay.

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Biggins Potatoes
20-pound bag of Biggins baking potatoes, extra large, $8.49, at Costco in Norwalk, Connecticut, 2010.
Biggins Potatoes
Biggins baking potatoes, at Costco in Norwalk, Connecticut, 2014. Photo by Brendan Biggins.

Biggins Potatoes

According to Rachel Leach, marketing manager of Russet Potato Exchange in Bancroft, Wisconsin, the name Biggins has been used as a trade name for their baked potatoes since 1998. The name was adopted because their potatoes are big--twice the size of the average potato. "This is Biggins Country, where the potatoes are big, hearty, and full-flavored, and they’re not afraid to stand up for what they believe in; the right to a thick, juicy steak, the right to a big dollop of sour cream, and the right to unlimited trips to the salad bar."

In May 2014, the website had this to say about the Biggins product: "The Biggins® brand offers a full range of russet potatoes, sweet potatoes and jumbo onions. Biggins® products are big, hearty and full-flavored. It’s a “special” occasion product for all occasions—whether it’s a table for one or a table for 10."


Biggins Cupcake

Chef Robert "Biggins" Hesse, was a season five contestant (2008-09) on the Fox reality TV cooking series, "Hell's Kitchen." His nickname is "Biggins," perhaps because he weighs close to 400 pounds. After the show, Hesse worked as a chef in the New York Yankees locker room. On Memorial Day weekend 2009, he opened a new restaurant with a fellow "Hell's Kitchen" contestant called Georgica in the Hamptons on Long Island. In December 2009, he became the chef at newly reopened Catamaran's Restaurant on Solomons Island in southern Maryland, transforming the former lounge into a restaurant providing homemade dishes. In September 2010, he created the "Biggins" cupcake for The Cupcake Stop. Hesse, from Quogue, Long Island, is a graduate of the American Culinary Academy in Lakeland, Florida.

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