Show ContentsFitchett History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fitchett is an ancient Anglo-Saxon name that was given to a person who was a person of iron point which may have been made in reference to a soldier or warrior. The surname Fitchett 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 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." [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 Fitchett family

The surname Fitchett 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]

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. [5]

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." [8]

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." [8]

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." [9] The fully restored Fitzford Gatehouse stands today complete with its imposing gated entrance as a holiday cottage.

Early History of the Fitchett family

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

Fitchett Spelling Variations

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Fitchett has undergone many spelling variations, including Fitch, Fitchett, Fitchitt, Fittch, Fitche, Fitchet, Fitchit, Fitz, Fitts and many more.

Early Notables of the Fitchett 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 Fitchett Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitchett Ranking

In the United States, the name Fitchett is the 12,637th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [10]

Ireland Migration of the Fitchett family to Ireland

Some of the Fitchett 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.

United States Fitchett migration to the United States +

To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Fitchett were among those contributors:

Fitchett Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Fitchett, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [11]
  • Jon Fitchett, who arrived in Virginia in 1637 [11]
Fitchett Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William and Rebecca Fitchett, who settled in Philadelphia in 1773
Fitchett Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Fitchett, who settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1856
  • Joseph Fitchett, who landed in Alabama in 1858 [11]
  • Alfred Fitchett, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1860 [11]
Fitchett Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • William Fitchett, aged 26, who landed in America from Arbroath, in 1903
  • Winifred Fitchett, aged 30, who immigrated to America from London, in 1905
  • William Fitchett, aged 29, who landed in America from London, in 1906
  • Joseph Fitchett, aged 49, who settled in America from Sheffield, England, in 1907
  • Allan Fitchett, aged 17, who landed in America from Sheffield, England, in 1907
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Fitchett migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Fitchett Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Fitchett U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [12]
  • Mr. James Fitchett Sr., U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1784 [12]

New Zealand Fitchett 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:

Fitchett Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Ashton Fitchett, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship London
  • John Fitchett, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship London
  • William Fitchett, who landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840 aboard the ship London
  • John Fitchett, aged 33, a painter, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • Louiza Fitchett, aged 32, who arrived in Port Nicholson aboard the ship "London" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitchett (post 1700) +

  • Keith Fitchett (b. 1946), English Liberal Democrat politician in the London Borough of Lambeth
  • John Fitchett (1776-1838), English poet, his first work at the age of 18 "Bewsey, a Poem" had considerable success
  • John Fitchett (b. 1880), English footballer
  • William Henry Fitchett (1841-1928), Australian journalist, minister, newspaper editor, educator and founding president of the Methodist Ladies' College, Melbourne
  • Frederick Fitchett (1854-1930), New Zealand Member of Parliament from Dunedin, Otago
  • The Right Reverend William Alfred Robertson Fitchett (1872-1952), New Zealand Anglican priest, Bishop of Dunedin (1934 to 1952)
  • Michael Fitchett (b. 1982), New Zealand professional basketball player
  • Michael King Fitchett (b. 1927), Australian former first-class cricket and Australian rules football player
  • Keith Fitchett (b. 1946), British Liberal Democrat politician

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. Edward Fitchett (d. 1914), British Fireman from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [13]

The Fitchett 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: Esperance
Motto Translation: Hope.

  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. Lower, 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. 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
  9. Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  10. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  11. 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)
  12. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  13. Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from on Facebook