Hitch History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Hitch family

The surname Hitch was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book, [1] indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the lands of Hitch who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086.

Early History of the Hitch family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hitch research. Another 132 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1198, 1279, 1510, 1600 and 1139 are included under the topic Early Hitch History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hitch Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Hitche, Hitch, Hitches, Hytch, Hyche, Hyches and others.

Early Notables of the Hitch family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Hitch Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Hitch migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Hitch or a variant listed above:

Hitch Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Peter Hitch, who landed in Indiana in 1848 [2]
  • E Hitch, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1855 [2]

Australia Hitch migration to Australia +

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

Hitch Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • O.J. Hitch, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "John Woodall" in 1849 [3]
  • Henry James Hitch, aged 27, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"
  • Joseph Hitch, aged 23, a farm labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Carnatic"

New Zealand Hitch 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:

Hitch Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Jane Hitch, (b. 1834), aged 25, English settler from Gloucestershire travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 [4]
  • Mr. John Hitch, (b. 1835), aged 24, English tin plate worker from Gloucestershire travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th November 1859 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hitch (post 1700) +

  • Charles J. Hitch (1910-1995), American Assistant Secretary of Defense (1961 to 1965), President of the University of California (1967–1975)
  • Frederick Hitch VC (1856-1913), English recipient of the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Rorke's Drift
  • John William "Bill" Hitch (1886-1965), English cricketer who played for Surrey and England from Radcliffe, Lancashire
  • Brian Hitch (1932-2004), British diplomat, High Commissioner to Malta (1988 through 1991)
  • Frederick Brook Hitch (1897-1957), British sculptor, Fellow of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, son of Nathaniel Hitch
  • Nathaniel Hitch (1845-1938), British sculptor, known for his work in Cathedrals including Bristol Cathedral, Canterbury Cathedral, Lincoln Cathedral and more
  • Neon Hitch (b. 1984), British singer and songwriter from Nottingham
  • Bryan Hitch (b. 1970), British comic book artist, known for his work on Ultimate Avengers (2006) and Doctor Who (2005)
  • Professor Graham Hitch, British Professor of psychology at the University of York, best known for co-developing the Working Memory Model
  • Paul Hitch Roney (1921-2006), United States federal judge


  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) JOHN WOODALL 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849JohnWoodall.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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