MITCHELL was a baptismal name 'the son of Michael', an old font name which was originally from the Middle English given name MICHAEL. This is ultimately from the Hebrew MICHA-EL 'Who is like God?', a name borne by various minor biblical characters as well as by an archangel, the protector of Israel (Dan. 10:13). In Christian tradition, MICHAEL was regarded as the warrior archangel, conqueror of Satan, and the given name was correspondingly popular throughout Europe, especially in knightly and military families. The name has numerous variants which include MIKHELSON, MICHEL, MICHEAU, MIGUEL, MICHAL. Early records of the name mention Hugh filius Michael of the County of Lincolnshire in 1273. Johannes Michelson of Yorkshire was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. The name was introduced early into Scotland. Robert Michael de Hytmanston was a charter witness in 1438. John Mitchell had a remission granted him in 1498 for his part in holding Dumbarton Castle against the King. John Mitsell held land in Glasgow in the year 1496. The first people in Scotland to acquire fixed surnames were the nobles and great landowners, who called themselves, or were called by others, after the lands they possessed. Surnames originating in this way are known as territorial. Formerly lords of baronies and regalities and farmers were inclined to magnify their importance and to sign letters and documents with the names of their baronies and farms instead of their Christian names and surnames. The abuse of this style of speech and writing was carried so far that an Act was passed in the Scots parliament in 1672 forbidding the practice and declaring that it was allowed only to noblemen and bishops to subscribe by their titles. Later instances of the name include John Thomas Michel was baptised at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in 1563. William Mitchel and Elizabeth Herring were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in 1754.
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