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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Pitcher family come from? When did the Pitcher family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Pitcher family history?

Pitcher is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. It is a name for a caulker, one who was employed to seal the hulls of ships with pitch. Another derivation of this name suggests that it originated as a variation on the Norman French personal name Pichere. Pitcher is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.


A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Pitcher, Picher, Pichere and others.

First found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitcher research. Another 190 words(14 lines of text) covering the year 1066 is included under the topic Early Pitcher History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Pitcher Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Pitcher or a variant listed above:

Pitcher Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Pitcher, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Andrew Pitcher, who came to Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Andrew Pitcher, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Mary Pitcher, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • John Pitcher, who landed in Virginia in 1652

Pitcher Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Edward Pitcher, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Potomac in 1729
  • Will Pitcher, who was on record in Georgia in 1735
  • Thomas Pitcher, who landed in Virginia in 1735
  • James Pitcher, a bonded passenger, who came to America in 1774

Pitcher Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Carl Pitcher, his wife and their two children, who came to Philadelphia in 1816
  • William Pitcher, who was in Belfast, Maine in 1822
  • Barjew Pitcher, who landed in Maryland in 1830
  • Frederick Geo Pitcher, who arrived in America in 1887


  • Nathaniel Pitcher (1777-1836), American lawyer and politician, Governor of New York (1818)
  • Zina Pitcher (1797-1872), American physician, politician, educator, and academic administrator, who was a president of the American Medical Association, and a two-time mayor of Detroit
  • William John Charles Pitcher (1858-1925), English artist, costume and scenery designer
  • Ernest Herbert Pitcher (1888-1946), English Royal Navy sailor, recipient of the Victoria Cross for deeds in WWI
  • Henry William Pitcher (1841-1875), English recipient of the Victoria Cross for deeds in India in 1863
  • Duncan le Geyt Pitcher (1877-1944), English soldier and Royal Air Force Air Commodore



  1. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  2. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  3. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  7. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  8. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  9. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 6 September 2013 at 16:09.

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