Lycurgus Dinsmore Bigger was born September 19, 1843 in Blue Ball, Warren County, Ohio to parents James and Elizabeth (McCandless) Bigger. I wouldn’t pretend to know the origin of his first name. Lycurgus, however, is a common name in Greek mythology and in Greek the name is derived from “lycos urgos” or “he who keeps the wolves away.” Dinsmore is probably a family name as it was customary to give children middle names which were family names or surnames of ancestors.
I ran across this name when I was researching last week’s Tombstone Tuesday article for Bigger Head. The history of Lycurgus Dinsmore Bigger presented a challenge to find meaningful (and accurate) information about his life. It does appear that at some point that either he decided to drop “Lycurgus” or there was someone else named “Dinsmore Bigger”. I found a couple of books on the genealogies of the Loomis and Williams (wife’s ancestors) families which included a brief record for Lycurgus and his family.
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- Essential Skills for Genealogical Research: Noticing Notices
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William Finlay Bigger, son of Lycurgus and Martha Caroline “Carrie” Bigger married Lucia Worl and had two children. The older, a daughter named Florence, was born in Wenatchee, WA and the younger, named first as Wilfred Loomis Bigger was born August 5, 1914 a couple years after his sister, in a log cabin across the Methow River from the town of Carlton, WA. After their father William Finlay Bigger died when Wilfred Loomis was about 7 months old, his mother changed his name to his father’s: William Finlay Bigger. Lucia continued to run their apple orchard her husband had established and was a well-known orchardist in the Wenatchee and Methow Valley in Washington into the 1960s. William Finlay Bigger, the son, made a career in the Army and after twenty some years retired to become a building inspector in California. He had married Dorothy Miller whom he had met when they were children in Carlton, WA,, in the 1940s and had three children: Neal, Sandra and Kathleen. Those children produced 6 grandchildren. Dorothy died in 1996 and William died in 2004 in their home of over 39 years in Carmel, CA. As I have begun to trace the family history I have found that there are many questions. One is why my father, William F. Bigger spelled his middle name with a “D”. I have not found any documents as to why or when the spelling of his middle name was changed from that of his father’s.
Thank you for sharing your research. My sister Kathleen and I are just beginning to put together all the information of the Bigger family.
Sandra Bigger Dodgson
Sandra — Just wanted to let you know the article you previously read at the Digging History blog about Lycurgus Dinsmore Bigger has been entirely re-written and expanded (going from 1100-word article to 5000+) and published in the November-December 2019 issue of Digging History Magazine. There are very few articles published at the blog these days. Instead I publish stories in a digital magazine format (PDF), available by single-issue purchase or subscription. In case you’re interested, here’s the link for the November-December issue: https://digging-history.com/store/?model_number=novdec-2019.
This is Sandra Bigger Dodgson again. Just realized a typo in my earlier comment. Actually, my father William F. Bigger spelled his middle name with an “E” as in Finley instead of Finlay like his father’s. This is one reason we had so much trouble over the years finding information on his family. Anyway, your article on Lycurgus Dinsmore Bigger does match up with my father’s family history. I do not know why the spelling of the middle name was changed or when.
Hi my name is megan( Bigger) Shearer my Grandpa is Harry lycurgus, Lycurgus last son I believe so your dad’s brother Harry married Rhoda Huston and had 5 kids Harry Jr , Martha , Peggy, Samuel (my dad) and julie. I wish I could find ore on my great great Grandpa James but keeping my head up in hopes to find something!!
Thanks for stopping by. Your ancestors presented some difficulty to research. Hopefully I got it (mostly) right.
Megan — Just wanted to let you know the article you previously read at the Digging History blog has been entirely re-written and expanded (going from 1100-word article to 5000+) and published in the November-December 2019 issue of Digging History Magazine. There are very few articles published at the blog these days. Instead I publish stories in a digital magazine format (PDF), available by single-issue purchase or subscription. In case you’re interested, here’s the link for the November-December issue: https://digging-history.com/store/?model_number=novdec-2019.
William Finlay or Finley father middle name is dinsmore… Lycurgus Dinsmore Bigger his wife Martha Caroline loomis