We wish to invite anyone with the Biggins surname and all its variants (Beggan, Beagan, Biggins, Little, Bigham, etc.) to join this project. Any male can participant who either carries the surname or who is believed to be paternally descended from a man who carried the surname.
Project administrators are:
Daniela Moneta, a professional genealogist and Genealogy Librarian at the McClelland Irish Library in Phoenix.
Peter Biggins, an amateur genealogist, kit 127469 in the Biggins DNA project.
There are two unrelated origins: English and Irish. See the Biggins/Beggan Map.
The English Biggin are from Yorkshire, Derbyshire, London, and other places. In Yorkshire, there is a Biggin Lane. In Derbyshire, there is a Biggin Lane and Bigginmill Lane. In the London Borough of Croydon, there was a Biggins Farm that dated back to the 16th century. All that remains today are two streets: Biggin Way and Biggin Hill. Twelve miles to the southwest of the farm, the outskirts of the London Borough of Bromley, is the town of Biggin Hill and Biggin Hill Airport.
One of our members has Biggins ancestors from Yorkshire in 1859. His DNA is M222, which is referred to as Niall of the Nine Hostages or Northwest Irish. The roots for this DNA lie in Northwest Ireland, Ulster, Lowland Scotland, and the North of England adjacent to the Scottish border. Another member from County Mayo in Ireland also has M222 DNA, but the two are not particularly close.
Our largest group is Irish Beggan/Beagan, who originated in County Fermanagh and spread to Monaghan and Cavan. In the 17th century, some were transplanted to County Mayo on the Galway border. The Irish name Biggins/Beggan derives from beag, which translates as Little or Littleton according to Rev. Patrick Woulfe in his book Irish Names and Surnames. These Irish members have the DNA of Clan Colla, with the R-L21, DF21, and Z3000 SNPs.
One Biggins (127469) with Clan Colla DNA has done BIG Y testing. See: Clan Colla BIG Y Tree.
Key STR markers for Clan Colla are 511=9, 425=0, 505=9, and 441=12. Within Clan Colla, the Biggins/Beggan members have a unique marker 413b=24. One Biggins/Beggan member named Little has Clan Colla DNA, but shares instead a unique 570=15/16 with Smiths from Co. Down and Co. Monaghan.
Clan Colla descend from three brothers who lived in 4th-century Ireland and historically had certain surnames: McDonald, Calkins/Colcan, Maguire, Carroll, McKenna, Roderick, McMahon, etc. Irish historian Rev. Peadar Livingstone told one of our members in 1969 that Beggan is descended from Maguire.
For more information, see:
- Genetic Distance Matrix
- Biggins/Beggan Irish Roots
- FTDNA Clan Colla Project
- DNA of the Three Collas
- FTDNA M222 Project
If you are female, you can have a male Biggins (or variant) relative submit a sample for your Biggins line.
To participate meaningfully, persons testing should be prepared to share their direct male line ancestry back to the earliest known Biggins either in the form of a pedigree chart or, preferable, family group sheets (excluding living persons). This invitation extends to all people, those from the United States, England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Holland, South Africa, Canada, and Australia; just to name a few places where the surname can be found.
If you are researching this line but do not have any living relatives who might want to join this DNA research group but you are interested in the work we are doing, you may contribute to this Biggins (or variant) Surname Project General Fund by clicking the link at the left of this page. Your contribution may be made to help participants of a particular Biggins line or for a non-specific participant in the Biggins (or variant) Project. Just indicate on the contribution form (under "In Memory of") as to how to apply your contribution. Your contributions will be used to offset the cost of testing for those new participants who make a request through the Group Administrator. If you do not want your name to appear with your contribution please check the "Anonymous" box on the contribution form. You may also send an email to the Group Administrator indicating your willingness to aid a future participant with a matching funds offer. In that case you would not make the contribution until a potential participant responded to your offer. We post the matching funds offers under the News tab. If there is a response, the Group Administrator will contact you with further details on how to make your contribution. If you would like to remain anonymous please indicate that in your email. Thank you for your interest in the Biggins (or variant) Surname DNA Project.