What is the origin of the last name Riggs?

The surname Riggs is of English origin and is derived from the Old Norse personal name "Hrǫrekr," meaning "famous ruler" or "warrior." Over time, it evolved into various forms such as Rugge, Ruggeby, and eventually Rigg. The name Riggs is believed to have originated from the combination of Rigg and the patronymic suffix "-s," indicating "son of Rigg." The surname Riggs can be traced back to medieval times, predominantly found in the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire in England.

Countries of origin for the last name Riggs

Riggs is a last name that is predominantly found in the United States. Its origin can be traced back to England, where it was derived from the Old Norse word “hryggr,” meaning ridge or back. The name Riggs is classified as a topographic surname, indicating that it was originally used to describe someone who lived near a ridge or hill.

Historical records indicate that the surname Riggs first appeared in England during the 14th century. Over time, individuals with the name Riggs migrated to other parts of the world, including the United States. Today, Riggs is most commonly found in English-speaking countries, particularly in the United States. It is estimated that there are approximately 33,000 people in the US with the surname Riggs.

The popularity of the Riggs surname in the United States can be attributed to early settlers and immigrants carrying the name. Many of these individuals were English, Scottish, or Irish immigrants who arrived in the US during the colonial period. They brought their surnames with them, including Riggs, which subsequently became established in American society.

Throughout history, individuals with the last name Riggs have made notable contributions to various fields. For example, Julian Riggs Smith was an American architect known for his work on hotels and resorts in Hawaii. Another prominent figure with the Riggs name is Naomi Riggs, an American actress who appeared in films and television shows during the mid-20th century.

The Riggs surname has also been the focus of genealogical research, with individuals seeking to trace their family history and connections. This interest in genealogy is driven by a desire to understand one’s roots and heritage, as well as to uncover any notable ancestors or historical significance associated with the surname Riggs.

Although significant research has been conducted on the Riggs surname, there are still unanswered questions and possibilities surrounding its origin and meaning. Further investigation and collaboration among genealogists, linguists, and historians may shed light on additional aspects and nuances of the Riggs name, deepening our understanding of its significance in history.

Interesting facts about the last name Riggs

  • The surname Riggs is of English origin and is derived from the medieval personal name Rigg, which itself comes from the Old Norse word “hrigg,” meaning “ridge” or “back.”
  • It is believed that the name originated as a nickname for someone living near a ridge or hill.
  • The surname Riggs can be found in various spellings including Rig, Riggers, and Rigge.
  • During the medieval period, the Riggs family was associated with the county of Yorkshire in England.
  • The name Riggs has spread to other English-speaking countries, including the United States, Canada, and Australia, through immigration and colonization.
  • Notable individuals with the surname Riggs include John Riggs, an American politician who served as the Governor of Idaho, and Bobby Riggs, a renowned American tennis player in the mid-20th century famous for his match against Billie Jean King known as the “Battle of the Sexes.”
  • The Riggs surname has also been used as the name for various businesses and organizations, such as Riggs Bank, a historic American bank, and Riggs National Corporation, a holding company.
  • There are several variations of the Riggs surname in different languages. For example, in German, it can be spelled “Riggsen” or “Riggen,” and in Dutch, it can be spelled “Rikx.”
  • The popularity of the Riggs surname has fluctuated throughout history, with periods of increased usage followed by periods of decline.
  • Genealogical research indicates that individuals with the surname Riggs can trace their ancestry back to different regions of England, pointing to multiple origins and branches of the family name.

Name Rank


There are around 34506 people with the last name Riggs in the US

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