Hatchet History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Strongbownians added their own naming traditions to the eastern region of Ireland to which they arrived. The impact of this new tradition was not extremely disruptive to the pre-existing Irish tradition because the two had many similarities. Both cultures made significant use of hereditary surnames. And like the Irish, the Strongbownians often used prefixes to build patronymic surnames, which are names based on the given name of the initial bearer's father or another older relative. Strongbow's followers often created names that were built with the prefix Fitz-, which was derived from the French word fils, and ultimately from the Latin filius, both of which mean son. They also used diminutive suffixes such as -ot, -et, -un, -in, or -el, and occasionally even two suffixes combined to form a double diminutive such as -el-in, -el-ot, -in-ot, and -et-in, to build patronymic names. The surname Hatchet is derived from the medieval given names Hack or Hake. These English names were derived from the Old Norse name Haki, which is a cognate of the English name Hook and was originally given to someone with a hunched figure or a hooked nose. Before being imported to Ireland, the surname Hatchet was chiefly popular in the western midlands of England. The Gaelic form of the name Hatchet is Haicéid.

Early Origins of the Hatchet family

The surname Hatchet was first found in County Kilkenny (Irish: Cill Chainnigh), the former Kingdom of Osraige (Ossory), located in Southeastern Ireland in the province of Leinster, where they had been granted lands by Strongbow for their assistance in the invasion of Ireland in 1172.

They were also granted lands in counties Carlow, Kildare and one branch moved into Connacht where "they formed a distinct if small sept which was known as MacHackett, their seat being Castle Hackett, six miles south-east of Tuam." [1]

They were originally from Harcourt in Normandy and their name appears on the Honour Roll of the Battell Abbey as being present at the Battle of Hastings. "The Hackets of Niton on the Isle of Wight were descendants of Haket on the Battle Abbey Roll. The eventual heiress, Agnes, dau. of John Hackett, Esq. of Niton, m. John Lye, Esq., of Dorsetshire, and was mother of Anne Lye, wife of Sir James Woraley, constable of Carisbrook Castle." [2]

"Dominus Paganus de Haket, another soldier at Hastings accompanied Henry II to Ireland where he acquired broad lands and seigneuries there; and his descendants, generation after generation, were parliamentary Barons, and potent Magnates in the sister kingdom. "[2]

Early History of the Hatchet family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hatchet research. Another 54 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1180, 1195, 1676, 1601, 1625, 1626, 1566, 1592, 1670, 1592, 1559 and 1621 are included under the topic Early Hatchet History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hatchet Spelling Variations

During the Middle Ages, a single person often had their name recorded by church officials and scribes many different ways. Names were typically spelt as they sounded, which resulted in many different spelling variations. The many versions of the name Hatchet to have been recorded over the years include: Hackett, Hackert, Hacket, Halkett and others.

Early Notables of the Hatchet family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family up to this time was Peter Hackett, Archbishop of Cashell; John-Baptist Hackett (Hacket, Hacquet, Hecquet) (died 1676), Irish theologian born at Fethard, County Tipperary; and Humphrey Haggett (born 1601), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1625 and 1626. John Securis (fl. 1566) was a medical writer, born in England. His name was a Latinized version of the surname Hatchett. [3] John Hacket (1592-1670), was Bishop...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hatchet Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hatchet migration to the United States +

In the 1840s, Ireland experienced a mass exodus to North America due to the Great Potato Famine. These families wanted to escape from hunger and disease that was ravaging their homeland. With the promise of work, freedom and land overseas, the Irish looked upon British North America and the United States as a means of hope and prosperity. Those that survived the journey were able to achieve this through much hard work and perseverance. Early immigration and passenger lists revealed many bearing the name Hatchet:

Hatchet Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Hatchet, aged 19, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [4]


The Hatchet 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: Spes mea Deus
Motto Translation: God is my hope.


  1. ^ MacLysaght, Edward, Irish Families Their Names, Arms and Origins 4th Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1982. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2364-7)
  2. ^ Burke, John Bernard, The Roll of Battle Abbey. London: Edward Churton, 26, Holles Street, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  4. ^ 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)


Houseofnames.com on Facebook