An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Hitchens has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally 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.
The surname Hitchens 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. 
Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Hitchens include Hitchins, Hitchen, Hitchens, Hitchin, Hitchings, Hitchins, Hitching and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hitchens research. Another 151 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1321, 1279, 1332, 1665, 1675 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Hitchens History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hitchens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:
Hitchens Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Hitchens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Hitchens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
The Hitchens Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Hitchens Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 4 May 2015 at 13:12.