This ancient English surname of STICHT was derived from the Old English word STYCCE meaning 'a piece of land'. The name was found in the Middle Ages in Cambridge and Essex dialects meaning ploughing land, and the name was applied to a man who owned or cultivated a 'stitch of land'. Other spellings of the name include STITCH, STYCH, STICHE and STITCHER. The earliest of the name on record appears to be Philip STICHER, who was recorded in Warwickshire in the year 1235, and William STECHE was documented in 1296 County Surrey. Surnames derived from placenames are divided into two broad categories; topographic names and habitation names. Topographic names are derived from general descriptive references to someone who lived near a physical feature such as an oak tree, a hill, a stream or a church. Habitation names are derived from pre-existing names denoting towns, villages and farmsteads. Other classes of local names include those derived from the names of rivers, individual houses with signs on them, regions and whole countries. Later instances of the name include John STICHE, who was recorded in Suffolk in the year 1327, and Adam STYCHE of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. In the Middle Ages the Herald (old French herault) was an officer whose duty it was to proclaim war or peace, carry challenges to battle and messages between sovereigns; nowadays war or peace is still proclaimed by the heralds, but their chief duty as court functionaries is to superintend state ceremonies, such as coronations, installations, and to grant arms. Edward III (1327-1377) appointed two heraldic kings-at-arms for south and north, England in 1340. The English College of Heralds was incorporated by Richard III in 1483-84. The eagle depicted in the crest is emblematical of fortitude and magnanimity of mind. The Romans used the figure of an eagle for their ensign, and their example has been often followed. It is the device of Russia, Austria, Germany and the United States of America.
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