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Our 2,765 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

The Surname BRIGGS is very common and I am aware that this is too large project to attempt on my own. I will do what I can to make this project viable and to do that,I may have to limit the Briggs branches to those proven to be connected to my grandfather.

I have had contact with several others researching a BRIGGS branch and I have launched a dropbox in which I have set up an individual folder for each researcher and we share this amongst us. Happy to hear from anyone who wishes to contribute to this surname.

Variant names

Modern variations: Brig, Brigg, , Briggs
Old variations: Brigge, Bridge, Bryggia, Brycg

Name origin

Northern English form of Bridge, from Old Norse bryggja. I have heard that 'Brigg' is standard Yorkshire dialect and, therefore, interchangeable with the word 'Bridge.' ( eg Briggate in Leeds led from Leeds Bridge up to the town.)

Historical occurrences of the name

My BRIGGS history is short and sweet thus far. My quest for knowledge on my BRIGGS branch came about after discovering my GG grandfather Thomas BRIGGS, born about 1830, place unknown at this stage; who died 1854 aged 24yrs.
Thomas Briggs was a blacksmith and on 8th May 1854 aged 24yrs he married Maria Richards 22yrs, in Sheerness, Kent (daughter of a Blacksmith from Devon). While their marriage certificate shows the names of both parents for Maria; it shows only Thomas's father'€™s (also Thomas Briggs - a gardener). If his mother had been named I would have a better chance of finding his birth records, siblings and other information.
Three months after the marriage, on 9th August 1854, Thomas died suddenly. Death certificate shows cause of death '€˜purpura / haemorrhage'€™. Maria was a bride, just a couple of weeks pregnant, and a widow, all within three months. Maria gave birth to their son Thomas Francis Richards BRIGGS on 5th April 1855, Blue Town, Sheerness.
Maria did not marry again until 1885, when she married the man she had worked for, Dr. Edward Swales, and they lived at 3 Trinity Road, Sheerness.
Her son Thomas. F.R. Briggs also died young aged 49yrs, on 11th February 1904, at 41 Fratton Road, Landport, Hampshire. Cause of death, apoplexy. He left a wife Ellen Ann (nee Baskett) and five children namely: Charles Edward Francis BRIGGS; Frank BRIGGS; Daisy Maria BRIGGS; Nellie Florence BRIGGS; May Victoria BRIGGS.
My grandfather Charles Edward Francis BRIGGS came to Australia in 1910 and settled in a suburb of Sydney N.S.W where he died in 1971.

Name frequency

In the 1881 census of England and Wales, there were 16,261 Briggs entries and 6,070 Bridges entries - giving a combined total of more than 22,000.

Distribution of the name

According to the Surname Atlas, in 1881, the largest occurance for the surname BRIGGS was in Yorkshire; followed by Lancashire; Lincolnshire; Derby. Much smaller numbers occurring in Westmorland; Cumberland; Surrey; Kent and London.


In terms of data collection, we calculate that there will be 10 times as many entries from the UK Births, Marriages and Deaths (so around 220,000) and 8 times as many UK census entries (so around 176,000). Then there are other British sources and similar data for other countries, such as Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA and Canada. This is a very large One-Name Study and I welcome any help that may be offered.

I have commenced indexing BRIGGS births,marriages, deaths and probates and have collected several certificates of BMDs and census information. Also collecting Wills/Probates;Obitsl family trees.