HISTORY OF THE HIGGINS
This is a picture of my mother, Neva Joy Higgins Young circa late
1910s. My mother received a degree from Eastern Illinois Teachers
College in Charleston just prior to World War 1 with majors in German
and Latin. She taught in both Lerna High School and Neoga High School
but she did not teach German for teaching of German was against the law
in World War 1. Mother was a very good pianist and played the piano and
sometimes directed the choir at the United Presbyteran Church in Neoga,
Illinois for more than 40 years. She insisted that I concentrate on my
school work and on my music which continues to be of benefit to me some
70 years later.
Through internet sources mostly Ancestry.Com and the LDS ancestry page, I have found that my eartliest Higgins ancestor is John Higgins born in 1528 in England.
JOHN HIGGNS: My 12GGrandfather born 1528 in England. Married Elizabeth Clinton, daughter of Thomas and Margery (Tracy) Clinton. Children of John and Elizabeth were Christopher and Edward.
EDWARD HIGGINS: My 11GGrandfather born September 7, 1545 in Bridstone, England. Child of Edward was Robert.
ROBERT HIGGINS: My 10GGrandfather, Born about 1575 in England. Married about 1598 to Julian Meals daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth Meals. Julian was born in about 1582 and died August 1, 1603 in Langely, England. One son Richard Higgins. Robert Higgins died and is buried in Leominster, Hertford, England. Robert was a mercier that is a marketer of cloth. (Thus my first name Robert is important in Higgins genealogy as well as that of Drydens and Youngs.)
RICHARD HIGGINS: My 9GGrandfather, Born August 1, 1603 in England, came to Phymouth, Mass. in 1633. Married Lydia Chandler November 12, 1634 who was born in 1613 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass. They had two sons Johnathan and Benjamin. After the death of Lydia, Richard married Mary Yates in 1651 and they had 10 children. Richard died June 21, 1675 in Piscatanway, Middlesex, New Jersey. It appears that Richard was a tailor.
BENJAMIN HIGGINS: My 8GGrandfather, Born January 7, 1640 in New Plymouth, Plymouth, Mass. Married Lidya Banges on December 24, 1666 at Eastham, Barnstable County, Mass. They had 7 boy children including Samuel Higgins.
SAMUEL HIGGINS: My 7GGrandfather, Born March 7,1676 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. First married Thankful Mayo and she died before 1740. They had three boy children. He then married Hannah Cole and they had four boy children including Israel Higgins. Samuel died December 10, 1761 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass.
ISRAEL HIGGINS: My 6GGrandfather, Born April 26, 1706 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. Married Ruth Brown and they had at least one boy child also known as Israel Higgins. Israel died February 7, 1788 in Middle Haddam, Middlesex, Ct.
ISRAEL HIGGINS(2): My 5GGrandfather, Born October 3.1728 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. Married February 15, 1753 Elizabeth Aiken who was born April 3, 1733 in Eastham, Mass. They had at least one boy child George W. Higgins. Israel was a Revolutionary War soldier for two months in 1778 or 79. He was involved with special forces in an effort to dislodge a British military group in Maine near the Penobscott River, The effort was unsuccessful and subsequently there was an investigation of the failure. The story of this activity is in My Genealogy Supplement 3.0 web page. Israel died August 4, 1790 in Middle Haddam, Middlesex, Ct.
GEORGE W. HIGGINS: My 4GGrandfather, Born October 20, 1756 in Middleton Conn. and moved to near Allegheny River at Olean, New York in late 1700s. Married Patience Mapes in about 1777 and they had three boys and two girls including Ransom Higgins. George and wife were with son John Higgins on the boat trip from New York State to Illinois and he settled in the area of Friendsville, Illinois where there was a fort built by William Barney. One reference says that George was buried near Friendship, New York which is close to the Allegheny River and Olean, New York. Another reference says that he was buried in Lancaster, Wabash County, Illinois. I doubt if he made the long trip back to New York in his old age and wonder if there has been confusion between Friendship, New York and Friendsville, Illinois.
RANSOM HIGGINS: My 3GGrandfather, Born about 1783 in Mass. Died 1851 near Friendsville, Illinois. He came to Illinois with his brother John but he settled near Friendsville, Illinois where William Barney, his father in law had built a fort. Ransom married Mary (Polly) Barney in about 1807 in Edwards County, Illinois. Ransom did many good things including building the first wagon west of the Wabash River,constructing and operating a water powered grist mill and building a fort in the area of Friendsville, Illinois. He also served as Justice of Peace for the area.Ransom and Polly had at least one son, Barney Higgins.
BARNEY HIGGINS: My 2GGrandfatherBorn February 24, 1816 and died February 10, 1877. Married Lucetta Smith and they had one son Rozander Smith Higgins born March 18, 1839 in Edwards Counnty, Illinois.
ROZANDER HIGGINS: My Great Grandfather, Born 1839 in Edwards County, Illinois. Married Mary, December 1860 in Richland County, Illinois. Served as a Union Soldier during the Civil War. Enlisted as a private in 1861 and was discharged as a musician. Moved to Neoga, Illinois in 1876. Was a blacksmith and inventor, Spelling of his first name is reported as Rozander (on his patent application), Rosander (on a land purchase report) and Rosender (as a Civil War Union Soldier in the 39th Illinois Infantry Division). He and Mary had one son, W. B. Higgins. Rozander died 5/22/1924 and Mary died 2/22/1936. Both are buried in the Neoga Memorial Cemetery and his name is Rozander on the tomb stone.
W. B. (BILL) HIGGINS: My Grandfather, Born December 21,1872 in Richland County, Illinois. Died near Neoga, Illinois May 13, 1931. I recall seeing him very sick with hypoglycemia. (opposite of diabetes). Married Rosa Anderson who was born January 30, 1873 and died of diabetes in Neoga, Illinois April 2, 1944. At the time of her death, I was in a Navy V12 unit at the University of Illinois and I remember coming to Neoga on a Greyhound bus to attend her funeral. They had two children, Neva Joy Higgins and Bernard Higgins. Bill was a farmer of the land in Illinois I now own, He along with Ray King and my dad, Max Young much enjoyed several day fishing trips on the Embarrass River in South Eastern Illinois. I recall several times when they brought large numbers of fish home.
NEVA JOY HIGGINS: Born December 11, 1897 on the farm I now own about 4 miles northeast of Neoga. Graduated from Normal School at Charleston, Illinois taught at Lerna Highschool, then Neoga High School. Married Max Young January, 1923. Was a very fine pianist and played piano and directed choir at the United Presbyterian Church, Neoga for about 40 years. Died of a storke in November 3,1972. Mother of two sons, me (Robert L. Young) and Philip Alan Young.
ROBERT LYLE YOUNG: Born April 3, 1925. University Professor involved in teaching and research in Mechanical Engineering.
The source of the following is:
(This article concerning the Lancaster Cemetery and the history of that area was central to my finding my Higgins ancestores. I am so gratetul to Michael James Higgins who recently again brought it to my attention.) http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mjhiggins/index.html
My Higgins ancestors first settled in Illinois in Wabash County. Quoting from the journal of John Higgin's wife:
"John was a ship carpenter back East, and we were doing well. But after his brother Willis went out west to Illinois Territory in 1812, we had wonderful reports from him on this new country with plentiful game and good timberland. They said that Illinois was going to become a state soon. So in 1816, we made the long trip by boat, with John's parents (George W. and Patience (Mapes) Higgins) and his brothers William and Ransom, (Ransom is my G4grandfather) and his sisters. Seven or eight other families, friends or ours, came to Illinois too.
John and I and our six children: William, George, John, Delia, Betsy, and our own family boat was in the lead. What a journey that was, and one I'll never forget! We settled at Mier (Landcaster's early name), and John built the first log house here in 1817. He and John Keracher were the early proprietors of our town. Johns parents and brothers (William and Ransom) settled in Friendsville where there was a fort for protection against the Indians. Life wasn't easy and we lost our little daughter Betsey that first year. Sometimes I got so homesick. But all in all, it was a good life."
And from another source:
"In 1816 a little colony came from New York State by flatboat down the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers and up the Wabash by keel boat, to Old Palmyra, dispersing soon to Landcaster and Friendsville. These were the ancestors of the Higgins, Smith, Moss, Brines, Harrison, Utter and Couch families."
I have had some doubts about the name of George Higgins wife. In various places it has been listed as Prentis or Prentice and Mapes or Mayfes.
By serching on the Ancestry.Com Genforum I found the following information from the Mapes page:
"Re: Mayfes or Mapes or ???Posted by: Joe Boyle (ID *****7970)Date: April 15, 2003 at 05:38:34In Reply to: Mayfes or Mapes or ??? by Robert Youngof 2138
I have a George W Higgins married to a Patience Mapes. I have 39 descendants listed for them. I can only trace back to her father, a John Mapes. This information is included in a CD that I published last year."
My Great Grandather R. S. Higgins with wife moved to Neoga in 1876. Rozander Smith Higgins was a blacksmith and inventor. He held a number of patents and spent much time trying to develop a perpetual motion machine which we now know is impossible for such a machine can only operate by violating the First Law of Thermodynamics. During the late 1800s, the swampy black soil on our farm could not be plowed with the wooden plows available xat that time. My folks told me that R. S. also claimed that he had invented the steel bladed plow which could plow the heavy black soil but John Deere, another blacksmith, stole the idea from him and thus developed the big John Deere farm implement company. When I was involved in engineering accreditation activity, I met a person who was Vice President of Engineering for John Deere and he told me that many people had contacted the company claiming that John Deere stole the idea of the steel plow from them. But no proof sufficient to prove their claims had ever been presented.
QUERY FROM TEXAS.
A lady from Texas saw this web page and wrote to me noting that her husband was a descendant of George W. Higgins. She asked me what proof I had that George W. was the son of Israel Higgins? I responded by sending her the pedigree of George W. from the Mormon LDS web site showing George W. as one of several children of Israel. She responded congratulating me on the appearance of my Higgins site but noting that she did not consider the LDS data to be suitable proof for she noted that it probably had not been confirmed by other data.
I brought her comments to the attention of Carol Vass who had been of great assistance in the Dryden site. Carol Vass thinks that both the DAR and the LDS site have older submissions which cannot be verified using good genealogical standards which are now more widely accepted and used.
Both the lady from Texas and Carol suggested that I put a cautionary note on this web site which I am pleased to do. In addition I told the lady from Texas that if she found appropriate proof to so notify me and I would add that fact to this web page. It is my hope that the connection can be proved for Israel and his ancestors lived very productive and interesting lives.
FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT GEORGE IS THE SON OF ISRAEL.
I explained to Michael Higgins the difficulty in proving that George Higgins, my 4GGrandfather was the son of Israel Higgins, my 5GGrandfather.
Michael Higgins is:
WEBMASTER OF HIGGINS GENEALOGY PAGE
Previously I had submitted my Higgins site to Michael and he had published it in his web site plus providing me with some very helpful information about my Higgins. Michael responded as follows: "The source I have located is in this book Katharine Chapin Higgins, Richard Higgins: a resident and pioneer settler at Plymouth and Eastham, Massachusetts and at Piscataway, New Jersey and His Descendants, (Worcester, MA: Printed by the Author, 1918) Michael Higgins
From pages 177 and 178 of this book:
127. ISRAEL5 HIGGINS(Israel4, Samuel3, Benjamin2, Richard1). born Oct. 3, 1728, died before April 1, 1793: married (1) Feb. 20, 1752. Hannah daughter of Dr. Joshua and Elizabeth (Gates) Arnold, Granddaughter of Joseph and Elizabeth (Hungerford) Gates: married (2) Feb. 15, 1753. Elizabeth Aiken, born April 3, 1733, died after Jan. 14, 1794: daughter of Henry and Margaret (Woods) Aiken
Israel Higgins served in the French and Indian War and the Revolution. He was a private in Capt. Elijah Robinson co., of Cot. John Ely's Connecticut regt. in 1777. His name appears on a "Billeting Roll" of the Company with remarks "Ent. June 16, 17 ----, Marched from home July 22. 17-. No. of days billeted himself, 37." He resided in :Middle Haddam parish, town of Middletown (1ater Chatham), Conn. George Higgins was appointed Administrator on estate of Israel Higgjns .April 1, 1793. Distribution to heirs date Jan. 14, 1794.
Childrenr born at Middletown, Conn.
i. Eunice, b. Feb. 23. 1734: probably married Ju1y 2 1772. Amos Bates of Chatham, Conn.
ii. George. b. Oct. 20, 1756.
iii. Elizabeth, b. Sept. 16, 1757; married May 21. 1737 Cornelius Brainard of Haddam Neck, Conn. She IuJ eight children and died Feb. 2,
266. iv. Israel, b. Feb. 22, 1761; married Henrietta Bradford,
v. Lydia., b. Apri118, li63; married Nov. i, 1789, Daniel Morgan. vi. Mollie, b. May 12 1765; probab1y married Feb. 12, 1784, Abner Chase of Yarmouth, Mass.
267. vii. TImothy, bapt. July 19, 1767; married (1) Lucy Whitmore; (2) Annie Follinsbee.
viii. Ama, hapt. April 8, 1770; married Jan. 4, 1792 Abraham Andrews.
268. ix. William, bapt. Sept. 13, 1772; married Abigail Strong
x. Sibyl, bapt. Sept. 4, 1776.
Authorities: Middletown, Conn., Vital Records; Middle Haddam Church Records; Record of Connecticut Men in the War of the Revolution; Middletown Probate Records. voL vi, pp. 20, 53, 64"
Note ii George listed among the children. This provides additional evidence that George Higgins was the son of Israel Higgins. My thanks to Michael for his assistance. I searched for this book on Google and found that a copy of this book could be purchased from the New England Historical Genealogical Society.