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

Where did the English Hitchens family come from? What is the English Hitchens family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hitchens family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hitchens family history?

The name Hitchens has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived from the baptismal name Richard. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.


Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Hitchens include Hitchins, Hitchen, Hitchens, Hitchin, Hitchings, Hitchins, Hitching and many more.

First found in Oxfordshire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hitchens research. Another 123 words(9 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1665, 1675 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Hitchens History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hitchens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Hitchens Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Arthur Hitchens settled in Maine in 1616
  • John Hitchens settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Margaret and Anne Hitchens settled in Barbados in 1663

Hitchens Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Richard Hitchens, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • William Hitchens, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • Richard and William Hitchens settled in New England in 1761


  • Julia Clara Catharine Dolores Birk Olsen Hitchens (1907-1973), better known as Dolores Hitchens, an American mystery novelist who wrote under the pseudonyms D. B. Olsen, Dolan Birkley and Noel Burke
  • Gerry Hitchens (1934-1983), English footballer
  • Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979), English painter, member of the 'London Group' of artists
  • Christopher Eric Hitchens (1949-2011), British author, journalist and literary critic
  • Peter Hitchens (b. 1951), British author, journalist and broadcaster
  • Timothy Mark "Tim" Hitchens CMG, LVO (b. 1962), British diplomat, Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen, British Ambassador to Japan (2012-)


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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  4. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  5. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  6. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  7. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  10. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  11. ...

The Hitchens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hitchens Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 26 August 2013 at 16:10.

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