Fitts History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Fitts. It was given to a person of iron point which may have been made in reference to a soldier or warrior. The surname Fitts 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 Fitts family

The surname Fitts 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]

Early History of the Fitts family

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

Fitts Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Fitts has appeared include Fitch, Fitchett, Fitchitt, Fittch, Fitche, Fitchet, Fitchit, Fitz, Fitts and many more.

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

Ireland Migration of the Fitts family to Ireland

Some of the Fitts 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 Fitts migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Fitts arrived in North America very early:

Fitts Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Alice Fitts, who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Alice Fitts, who landed in Virginia in 1623 [8]
  • Thomas Fitts, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [8]
  • Robert Fitts, who landed in Jamestown, Va in 1624 [8]
  • Zachary Fitts, who landed in Reading, Massachusetts in 1638 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Fitts Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • R Fitts, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1860 [8]

Australia Fitts migration to Australia +

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

Fitts Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Paulo Fitts, (b. 1810), aged 38, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 14 years for fraud, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, he died in 1869 [9]
  • James Fitts, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Confiance" [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Fitts (post 1700) +

  • Buron Rogers Fitts (1895-1973), American politician, 29th Lieutenant Governor of California (1927 to 1928)
  • Rick Fitts, American television and film actor, known for his numerous appearances in shows such as Star Trek: The Next Generation, Knight Rider, Simon & Simon, The A-Team, Hill Street Blues, Jake and the Fatman and many more
  • Paul M. Fitts (1912-1965), American psychologist at Ohio State University
  • Jon Fitts, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 6th District, 2010 [11]
  • John H. Fitts, American Republican politician, Elected Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hampton 1926 [11]
  • James R. Fitts, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 2008 [11]
  • Henry L. Fitts (b. 1862), American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Calgary, 1926-31 [11]
  • George R. Fitts, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1920 [11]
  • Fred H. Fitts, American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hampton; Elected 1920 [11]
  • Clarke C. Fitts (b. 1870), American Republican politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives, 1904; Vermont State Attorney General, 1904-08 [11]
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


The Fitts 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. ^ 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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/australasia
  10. ^ South Australian Register Tuesday 30th November 1858. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Confiance 1858. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/confiance1858.shtml.
  11. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, February 24) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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