Higgins, ó hUiginn A Gaelic surname meaning descendant of Uige, meaning ‘knowledge, skill, ingenuity’. A sept of the southern Uí Neill, in the present Westmeath, and one of the most distinguished literary families in Ireland. A branch settled in Sligo, where they acquired large estates in the parishes of Achonry and Kilmacteige which they retained down to the Cromwellian confiscations. In 1890 Higgins was the eighty-third most numerous surname and the estimated number of bearers was 9,100. In that year the surname was chiefly found in Mayo, Galway, Dublin, Roscommon, Cork, and Antrim. In the United States it is the 370th most numerous surname with an estimated 82,500 bearers. It is numerous in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania. In England and Wales in 1996 it was the 227th most numerous surname.
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