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

Where did the English Pitcher family come from? What is the English Pitcher family crest and coat of arms? 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?

When the ancestors of the Pitcher family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066, they brought their name with them. 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.

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Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled 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.


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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.

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

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To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants 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

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  • 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


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Perseverentia et labore
Motto Translation: By perseverance and labour

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  3. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. 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. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  9. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  10. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  11. ...

The Pitcher Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Pitcher 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 6 September 2013 at 16:09.

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