Fitch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The history of the name Fitch 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 Fitch 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." [1] And another claims the name was from "the Flemish, Vits; a personal name." [2]

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." [3] [4] Conversely Reaney, another noted author notes "the common derivation of Fitch and Fitchett from the polecat is untenable." [5] In this case, we agree with the latter author who postulates the name was derived from Fiche, "iron point."

Early Origins of the Fitch family

The surname Fitch was first found in Essex where "the name has long been established." [6] 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. [7]

Important Dates for the Fitch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitch 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 Fitch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitch 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 Fitch family name include Fitch, Fitchett, Fitchitt, Fittch, Fitche, Fitchet, Fitchit, Fitz, Fitts and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitch family (pre 1700)

Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Fitch family to Ireland

Some of the Fitch 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.

Fitch migration to the United States

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 Fitch or a variant listed above:

Fitch Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Matthew Fitch, who settled in Virginia in 1606
  • Enecha Fitch purchased land in Virginia in 1624
  • Thomas Fitch, who settled in Connecticut in 1630
  • Zachary Fitch, who settled in Massachusetts in 1630
  • Jeremiah Fitch, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1634 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fitch Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Fitch, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [8]
  • Tho Fitch, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • Lewis Fitch, who landed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1763 [8]
  • Rebecca Fitch, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773 [8]
Fitch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anne Fitch, who arrived in New York, NY in 1817 [8]
  • Mrs. Fitch, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [8]
  • Jabez Fitch, who landed in Texas in 1835 [8]
  • P Fitch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • A Fitch, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1850 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Fitch migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fitch Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Fitch, who arrived in Canada in 1832
Fitch Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mrs. Fitch, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • J Fitch, who landed in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907
  • Mr. Fitch, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1907

Fitch migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Fitch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

Fitch migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Fitch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Margaret Fitch, (b. 1824), aged 26, British domestic servant travelling from London aboard the ship "Randolph" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand in September 1850 [12]
  • Henry Fitch, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Asterope" in 1865
  • Charles Fitch, aged 39, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Schiehallion" in 1872
  • Mary Fitch, aged 37, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Schiehallion" in 1872
  • William F. Fitch, aged 12, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Schiehallion" in 1872
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitch (post 1700)

  • Brigadier-General Burdette Mase Fitch (1896-1977), American Adjutant to the Supreme Commander Allied Powers Japan (1945-1946) [13]
  • James P Fitch, American Scouting notable in the early history of the Boy Scouts of America
  • Admiral Aubrey Wray Fitch (1883-1978), American naval aviator and eponym of USS Aubrey Fitch (FFG-34)
  • Val Logsdon Fitch (b. 1923), American physicist awarded the 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics
  • John Fitch (1743-1798), American inventor who built the first recorded steam powered ship in the United States
  • Ashbel Parmelee Fitch (1848-1904), American politician, Representative from New York, 1887-93; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from New York, 1896 [14]
  • Asahel Fitch, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Cayuga County, 1824 [14]
  • Asa Fitch (1765-1843), American politician, Representative from New York 6th District, 1811-13 [14]
  • Arthur L. Fitch, American Democrat politician, Candidate for New Hampshire State House of Representatives from Claremont, 1938 [14]
  • Andrew M. Fitch, American politician, Member of University of Michigan Board of Regents, 1842-46 [14]
  • ... (Another 68 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Historic Events for the Fitch family

Arrow Air Flight 1285
  • Mr. David Fitch (b. 1965), American Specialist from Washington, Washington DC, USA who died in the crash [15]
HMS Hood
  • Mr. Edward G Fitch (b. 1917), English Able Seaman serving for the Royal Navy from Vauxhall, London, England, who sailed into battle and died in the sinking [16]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Charles Edward Fitch (1899-1939), British Leading Signalman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he died in the sinking [17]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Harry L. Fitch, American Ensign working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [18]
  • Mr. Simon Fitch, American Mess Attendant First Class from Texas, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [18]

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Citations

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  3. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  8. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  9. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Asia 1 voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1824 with 9 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/asia/1824
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The TRAFALGAR 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Trafalgar.htm
  11. ^ South Australian Register Thursday 26th April 1855. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Caroline 1855. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/caroline1855.shtml
  12. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  13. ^ Generals of World War II. (Retrieved 2012, February 29) Burdette Fitch. Retrieved from http://generals.dk/general/Fitch/Burdette_Mase/USA.html
  14. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  15. ^ American War Memorials - Flight 1285. (Retrieved 2016, August 24) . Retrieved from http://www.uswarmemorials.org/html/monument_details.php?SiteID=317&MemID=550
  16. ^ H.M.S. Hood Association-Battle Cruiser Hood: Crew Information - H.M.S. Hood Rolls of Honour, Men Lost in the Sinking of H.M.S. Hood, 24th May 1941. (Retrieved 2016, July 15) . Retrieved from http://www.hmshood.com/crew/memorial/roh_24may41.htm
  17. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  18. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html
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