The history of the name Fetchit goes back those Anglo-Saxon
tribes that once ruled over Britain. Such a name was given to a person of iron point
which may have been made in reference to a soldier or warrior. The surname Fetchit originally derived from the Old English word Fiche
which referred to iron point.
One source claims that the name could have been Norman in origin from "Fitz or Le Fils." CITATION[CLOSE]
The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
And another claims the name was from "the Flemish
, Vits; a personal name." CITATION[CLOSE]
Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
At times, sources disagree as to the origin of a surname. This is one of those names. Regardless of the aforementioned origins noted above, Harrison and Lower, two reputable authors on the study of surnames note the name could have been derived from a nickname, as in the "polecat" from the Middle English word "fitchett" meaning "polecat." CITATION[CLOSE]
Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print CITATION[CLOSE]
Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print. Conversely Reaney, another noted author notes "the common derivation of Fitch and Fitchett from the polecat is untenable." CITATION[CLOSE]
Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X) In this case, we agree with the latter author who postulates the name was derived from Fiche, "iron point."
Early Origins of the Fetchit family
The surname Fetchit was first found in Essex
where "the name has long been established." CITATION[CLOSE]
Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
However, the Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 list scattered listings of the family by that time: Gilbert Fiz in Cambridgeshire; Walter Fiz in Bedfordshire; and William Fiz in Somerset
Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
Early History of the Fetchit family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fetchit research.Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1300, 1359, 1398, 1612, 1704, 1638 and 1673 are included under the topic Early Fetchit History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fetchit Spelling Variations
Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Fetchit family name include Fitch, Fitchett, Fitchitt, Fittch, Fitche, Fitchet, Fitchit, Fitz, Fitts and many more.
Early Notables of the Fetchit family (pre 1700)
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fetchit Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fetchit family to Ireland
Some of the Fetchit family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland
is included in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fetchit family to the New World and Oceana
For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland
, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Investigation of the origins of family names on the North American continent has revealed that early immigrants bearing the name Fetchit or a variant listed above: Matthew Fitch who settled in Virginia in 1606; fourteen years before the "Mayflower"; Enecha Fitch who purchased land in Virginia in 1624; James and Abigail Fitch who landed in Boston in 1635.
The Fetchit Motto
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 Translation: Hope.