The surname of HEDGEPETH was derived from the Old English word Hegge, a locational name meaning the dweller by the hedges, from residence nearby. Local names usually denoted where a man held land. Habitation names are derived from names denoting towns, villages, farmsteads or other named places, which include rivers, houses with signs on them, regions, or whole counties. The original bearer of the name who stayed in his area might be known by the name of his farm, or the locality in the parish; someone who moved to another town might be known by the name of his village; while someone who moved to another county could acquire the name of that county or the region from which he originated. Early records of the name mention John de le Hegge, 1273 County Kent. Henry le Hegger was documented in County Sussex, in the year of 1327. Thomas del Hedger was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377). Walter de la Hegge of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379 and Richard del Hedger was recorded in the year 1448 in County Yorkshire. Most of the European surnames in countries such as England, Scotland and France were formed in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The process had started somewhat earlier and had continued in some places into the 19th century, but the norm is that in the tenth and eleventh centuries people did not have surnames, whereas by the fifteenth century most of the population had acquired a second name.
At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment that was worn over the armour.
The name is also spelt Hedgeman, Hedgman and Hedges.