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Hitchen Coat of Arms / Hitchen Family Crest

Hitchen Coat of Arms / Hitchen Family Crest

This surname HITCHEN was a baptismal name 'the son of Richard' from the nickname Hitch. The name was also of the local group of surnames meaning 'one from Hitchin' a place in Hertfordshire. Local names usually denoted where a man held his land, and indicated where he actually lived. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Completely covered in body and facial armour the knight could be spotted and known by the insignia painted on his shield, and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped garment which enveloped him. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. Early records of the name mention HICHOUN (without surname) who was recorded in County Chester in 1260. William Hychyns, 1327, County Yorkshire and John Hychyn of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Richard Hitchinson married Anne Booth at Prestbury Church, Cheshire in the year 1623. The rise of surnames, according to the accepted theory, was due to the Norman Conquest of 1066 when Old English personal-names were rapidly superseded by the new christian names introduced by the Normans. Of these, only a few were really popular and in the 12th century this scarcity of christian names led to the increasing use of surnames to distinguish the numerous individuals of the same name. Some Normans had hereditary surnames before they came to England, but there is evidence that surnames would have developed in England even had there been no Norman Conquest. The development of the feudal system made it essential that the king should know exactly what service each person owed. Payments to and by the exchequer required that debtors and creditors should be particularized, and it became official that each individual acquired exact identification. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.

Arms registered in County Oxford.


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Last Updated: Dec. 1st, 2021

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