The history of this ancient Sligo family traces its ancestry as being of Irish native origin before the year 1100 and appears first in the ancient records in Sligo. The name "Higgins" is thought by modern scholarship, to have been derived from Uiging and related to the branch of the O'Neils where they held large estates in most of the Western Counties of Ireland. The Higgins clan produced a remarkable number of distinguished poets, the first being notably Tadhg Mor O'hlligin who died in 1315. A direct branch of the family tree is said to have produced Don Ambrosio O'Higgins (1721-1801) who was made Viceroy of Peru by the King of Spain in 1788. Don ambrosio is believed to have been born in Summerhill Co Meath where there is a district known as Ballina. Don Ambrosio styled himself as O'Higgins of Ballina the "O" prefix was first used in 1788 with future generations reverting to Higgins.
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