Hichen History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The origins of the name Hichen are from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It is derived from the baptismal name Richard. As the naming tradition grew in Europe baptismal names began to be introduced in many countries. Baptismal names were sometimes given in honor of Christian saints and other biblical figures. There are very few Christian countries in Europe that did not adopt surnames from these religious figures.
Early Origins of the Hichen family
The surname Hichen was first found in Hertfordshire at Hitchin, a market town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Hitchin and Pirton.  The place name pre-dates the Norman Conquest as the first record the place was found c. 945 as Hiccam. By the time of the Domesday Book, the town was known as Hiz, and literally meant "place in the territory of the tribe called Hicce. "  The river Hiz is nearby and no doubt the river's name was derived from the same. As far as the surname is concerned, the first record of the name was John Hichum who was listed in the Rotuli Hundredorum of 1279 in Oxfordshire. A few years later, the name Hichoun was listed in the Assize Rolls of Cheshire in 1286. 
Early History of the Hichen family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hichen research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1279, 1332, 1665, 1675 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Hichen History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hichen 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 Hichen family name include Hitchins, Hitchen, Hitchens, Hitchin, Hitchings, Hitchins, Hitching and many more.
Early Notables of the Hichen family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Hichen Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Hichen family
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. Early immigrants bearing the Hichen surname or a spelling variation of the name include: John Hitchens settled in Virginia in 1654; Arthur Hitchens settled in Maine in 1616 four years before the "Mayflower"; Margaret and Anne Hitchens settled in Barbados in 1663.
Related Stories +
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)