The Higby Family

Joseph Mahanaim Higby and wife Fanny Short c1900; photo courtesy Peter Davies

William Henry became a butler in Tetbury; Agnes Kate became a servant in Westbury On Trym; Emily married into the Veale family; Frederick a butler at the glove factory in Corsham; Alice a parlour maid to Judge James Austin; Evan( Fame) a bricklayer and Joseph Mahanaim worked for Great Western Railway.

The Higbys married into various families from the parish including the Allens and Merritts.

If you have any further information on members of the Higby family please contact Peter Davies e-mail:
tel: 0117 9719724

Sometime between their marriage day 23 February 1786 and the census of 1841, Mahanaim Higby his wife Mary (Buck) and three of their children moved from Newport Pagnall to North Stoke. The first census records their son Mahanaim being born 1804 in Bitton while his siblings Joseph, Mary, Elizabeth and Abbott John had arrived with their parents.

Mahanaim junior like his father was a mason by trade and he married Charlotte White raising thier large family in Bitton. Mary Ann, Caroline, Charles, Emily, Henry, Evan, Eliza , Annie and Joseph Mahanaim, who married Fanny Short in 1853 (this the first of two crossovers between the Shorts and Higbys) . This also became the first connection with the ‘The Nest’, 38 Church Road (now ‘Willow Tree Cottage’), originally owned by the Torrance family.

The old cottage housed Joseph, Fanny and their large family of ten children which included Eliza b.1867 who, in later years, married Edwin Henry Short (Harry), the second crossing of the two families. Edwin bought ‘The Nest’ from the Torrance family, and there he and Eliza brought up their seven children. Eliza Short (Higby) lived all her life, 1876-1961, in the old, simple, but beautiful cottage while her brothers and sisters left to form their lives in different areas and various occupations.


Fanny Higby (Short) with children Evan (Fame) and Eliza; photo courtesy Peter Davies