O'Higgins - Ó hUigin - d'Eguino
Origin of Name
Origin of Name
Stradbally ~ Sráidbhaile
The Higgins of Stradbally in Co. Laois are a scion of the O'Higgins Sept of Meath tracing their origins back to Gaelic times.
A gravestone in Athboy Church of Ireland cemetery informs us that William Higgins and his wife Mary were the parents of Michael Higgins who owned a substantial farmhouse at Freyne near Athboy in Co. Meath. Little else is known about this Michael Higgins. His son John was also a strong farmer able to provide secondary and medical school education for his children. His son Thomas Higgins was educated at the Jesuit College at Tullabeg in Co. Offaly and then went on to graduate as a physician from the Royal College of Surgeons in 1881. He was initially appointed as dispensary doctor at Clonaslee in Co. Laois and was elected as County Coroner in 1882. In 1885 he was appointed to Stradbally in Co. Laois and in 1887 he married Anne O'Sullivan who was a daughter of T.D. O'Sullivan, one time Lord Mayor of Dublin. They had 15 children and purchased "Woodlands" farm where they lived.
As a family they belonged to the emerging middle class elite of Irish Catholics who were more likely to play a role in the leadership of Ireland under the English Crown. However, through family and other connections, one of their sons, Kevin O'Higgins, would go on to play a leading role in the achievement of Irish independence from the United Kingdom.