Fetchitt History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Fetchitt is an ancient name dating from the times of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It was a name for a person who was a person of iron point which may have been made in reference to a soldier or warrior. The surname Fetchitt 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." 
And another claims the name was from "the Flemish, Vits; a personal name." 
At times, sources disagree as to the origin of a surname. This is one of those times. 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."   Conversely, Reaney another noted author notes "the common derivation of Fitch and Fitchett from the polecat is untenable."  In this case, we agree with the latter author who postulates the name was derived from Fiche, "iron point."
Early Origins of the Fetchitt family
The surname Fetchitt was first found in Essex where "the name has long been established."  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. 
While Essex was a stronghold for the family other counties listed Hugh, Roger, William Fiche in the Assize Rolls for Somerset in 1243, the Subsidy Rolls for Yorkshire in 1297 and the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. 
Exploring the Fichet variant in more detail, we found this quote of value: "After the Conquest the Manor of Spaxton was held of the Castle of Stowey, for many generations, by the family of Fichet. In the time of Henry II., Robert the son of Hugh, the son of another Hugh Fichet, is certified to hold it of Philip de Columbers, by the service of one knight's fee." 
Stowey Castle was a Norman motte-and-bailey castle, built in the 11th century, in the village of Nether Stowey on the Quantock Hills in Somerset.
Continuing, "there were Fitchetts in Leicestershire [where] Dominus Fychet de Pakst witnesses a deed of Hugh de Craucumb's in Oxfordshire about 1230." 
Some were found in Tavistock, Devon: "The gatehouse of the mansion of the Fitzes of Fitzford, noted in local history as the scene of a duel between Sir John Fitz (1570-1605) and Sir Nicholas Slanning, in which the latter was killed, had to be removed, but it was carefully rebuilt."  The fully restored Fitzford Gatehouse stands today complete with its imposing gated entrance as a holiday cottage.
Early History of the Fetchitt family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fetchitt research. Another 144 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1300, 1359, 1398, 1583, 1606, 1583, 1601, 1612, 1704, 1638, 1673 and 1517 are included under the topic Early Fetchitt History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Fetchitt Spelling Variations
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Fetchitt include Fitch, Fitchett, Fitchitt, Fittch, Fitche, Fitchet, Fitchit, Fitz, Fitts and many more.
Early Notables of the Fetchitt family (pre 1700)
Notables of this surname at this time include: Ralph Fitch (fl. 1583-1606), English traveller in India, who "was among the first Englishmen known to have made the overland route down the Euphrates Valley towards India. He left London on 12 Feb. 1583 with other merchants of the Levant Company, among whom were J. NewBerry, J. Eldred, W. Leedes, jeweller, and J. Story, a painter. How far Fitch's travels and experience in the East may have contributed to the establishment of...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fetchitt Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fetchitt family to Ireland
Some of the Fetchitt family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 67 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Fetchitt family
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Fetchitt were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: 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 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.
- ^ 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)
- ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
- ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 2 of 3
- ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital