Show ContentsFitton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Fitton is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Fitton family once lived in Fitton Hall, in Cambridgeshire. 1 The place-name shows the mark of the Danish influence on England before the Middle Ages. Fitton is derived from the Old Norse word fit, which means field, and the Old English word tun, for farm or fort. It literally means "fort among the fields," and was probably the site of a Danish army camp sometime in the 9th to 10th centuries. 2

Early Origins of the Fitton family

The surname Fitton was first found in at Rufford, Lancashire which was an early homestead of the family. "A moiety of this manor appears to have been granted in the reign of Henry I., by Richard Bussel, the second Baron of Penwortham, to Richard Fitun or Fitton. John Fitton, his great-grandson, was also lord of half of Rufford; and the grandson of the latter, by a charter without date, gave the moiety of the town to his daughter Matilda, or Maud. This Matilda married Sir William Hesketh; and by the marriage of Sir William's grandson with the heiress of Edmund Fitton, lord of half Rufford, he became sole lord of the manor, which has since been vested in his descendants. " 3

"Fitton is an ancient Lancashire name now mostly characteristic of the district of Bury. The Fittons were lords of Great Harwood in the 12th and 13th centuries; and in fact in that early period the name occurred in various forms in the extensive parish of Whalley, such as, Fittun, Fitun, Fitton, Fyton, Phiton, Phitun, etc.: Roger Fitton of Martholm, Harwood, gave a bell to Stanlaw Abbey, apparently in the 16th century (W. W. and A.). The Cheshire Fittons are referred to under that county." 4

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. Richard ffyton was listed in Lancashire in 1188; Richard Fitun was found in the Pipe Rolls for Warwickshire in 1195; and Alan de Fittun was listed in Cheshire c. 1213. 1

Early History of the Fitton family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fitton research. Another 212 words (15 lines of text) covering the years 1370, 1527, 1548, 1572, 1578, 1579, 1580, 1595, 1600, 1603, 1606, 1607, 1614, 1619, 1630, 1643, 1678, 1687, 1690 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Fitton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fitton 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 Fitton family name include Fitton, Fiton, Fytton, Fyton and others.

Early Notables of the Fitton family

Distinguished members of the family include

  • Sir Edward Fitton, 1st Baronet (1572-1619); and Sir Edward Fitton (1603-1643), 2nd Baronet, of Gawsworth Hall Cheshire, who died without issue. He had seven sisters but the nearest male was his father...
  • Mary Fitton (fl. 1600), was Maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth, and alleged to be 'the dark lady' mentioned in Shakespeare's sonnets. She was the fourth child and second daughter of Sir Edward Fitton t...

Ireland Migration of the Fitton family to Ireland

Some of the Fitton family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 95 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Fitton migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, 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. Early immigrants bearing the Fitton surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

Fitton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Fitton, who landed in New England in 1750 5
Fitton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Isaac and William Fitton, who settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1823
  • Robert Fitton, who arrived in Virginia in 1861 5
  • Edmund, John, and R. G. M. Fitton, who settled in Pennsylvania between 1844 and 1873
  • James Fitton, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 5
  • H. Fitton, aged 10, who settled in America, in 1896
Fitton Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Florence Fitton, aged 16, who landed in America from Liverpool, England, in 1909
  • Catherine Fitton, aged 40, who landed in America from Haydock, England, in 1909
  • Charles Fitton, aged 24, who immigrated to America from Oldham, England, in 1909
  • Horace Fitton, aged 46, who landed in America from London, England, in 1909
  • Alice Fitton, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States from Buckley, Wales, in 1910
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Fitton migration to Australia +

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

Fitton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Andrew Fitton, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years, transported aboard the "Elphinstone" on 27th May 1837, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) 6
  • Mr. James Fitton, British Convict who was convicted in Salford, Manchester, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia 7

New Zealand Fitton 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:

Fitton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. R.J. Fitton, British settler travelling from Liverpool aboard the ship "Rokeby Hall" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 15th October 1873 8
  • Robert Fitton, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878

West Indies Fitton migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. 9
Fitton Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • William Fitton, who settled in Barbados in 1683

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitton (post 1700) +

  • James Fitton (1805-1881), American Catholic priest and missionary
  • Frederick Fitton (1905-1970), English professional association footballer
  • Hedley Fitton (1859-1929), English engraver and printmaker, noted mainly for his architectural etchings
  • John Dexter Fitton (b. 1965), former English cricketer
  • Michael Fitton (1766-1852), English lieutenant in the Royal Navy who captured some 30 to 40 enemy vessels in his career
  • Edwin Robin Fitton (1928-1970), English Grand Prix motorcycle road racer, killed at the Nürburgring during practice for the 1970 West German Grand Prix
  • Darrell "Bola" Fitton, English electronic musician from Manchester
  • George Arthur Fitton (1902-1984), English footballer
  • Darryl Fitton (b. 1962), English professional darts player
  • Gordon F. Fitton, British Antarctic Survey general assistant at Adelaide Station, 1961–1662, eponym of Fitton Rock, Antarctica
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Fitton 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: Vae duplici cordi
Motto Translation: Woe to the deceitful heart

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. 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)
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 18th March 2022). Retrieved from
  7. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  8. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
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