Hitcham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Hitcham is a name whose history is connected to the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from when the Hitcham family once lived in or beside an enclosed region. The surname Hitcham originally derived from the Old English word "hegham" which referred to an "enclosed dwelling." 
Early Origins of the Hitcham family
The surname Hitcham was first found in Norfolk at Heigham, Potter, a parish, in the hundred of Happing. 
The parish dates back to the Domesday Book of 1086 when it was recorded as Echam. 
But by 1182, the parish was known as Higham Potter and possibly meant "homestead with a hedge or hatch-gate. The affix must allude to the pot-making here at an early date." 
As far as early records of the family is concerned, Osward de Hecham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Essex in 1176 and a few years later, Hugo de Hegham was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Kent in 1198. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had three early entries for the family: Ralph de Hegham, Norfolk; Thomas de Hegham or Heyham, Kent; and Robert de Heyham, Suffolk. 
Later, Robertus de Hegham was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. "This surname is derived from a geographical locality, 'of the Hegham,' i.e. the enclosed dwelling, a spot in East Cheshire that gave rise to a surname now very familiar to the directories of the surrounding district. Also parishes in the Dioceses of Norwich, Peterborough, and Rochester, which no doubt have contributed to the list in South England." 
Early History of the Hitcham family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hitcham research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1440, 1560, 1495, 1571, 1554, 1555, 1555, 1558, 1559, 1570, 1568, 1634 and 1545 are included under the topic Early Hitcham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hitcham 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 Hitcham family name include Hyam, Hyams, Hygham, Hyham, Higham, Highams and many more.
Early Notables of the Hitcham family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Clement Higham, (also Heigham), of Barrow Hall, Suffolk, (1495-1571), a Member of Parliament, Speaker of the House of Commons (1554-1555), Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, and a Privy Councillor to Queen Mary. He was of a Suffolk family, son of Clement Heigham of Lavenham. "On 27 January 1555 he was knighted by King Philip (Machyn, Diary, p. 342), and on 2 March 1558 he succeeded Sir David Brooke as lord chief Baron of the exchequer. He received a new patent on Queen Elizabeth's accession, but on 22 January 1559 he was...
Migration of the Hitcham family
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 Hitcham surname or a spelling variation of the name include: Thomas Higham settled in Boston, Massachusetts in 1698; Farwell Higham settled in New England in 1755; Thomas Higham arrived in New York in 1822; Abel, James, and William Higham arrived in Philadelphia in 1828.