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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Hitchens family come from? What is the English Hitchens family crest and coat of arms? When did the Hitchens family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Hitchens family history?

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.

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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.

First found in Hertfordshire at Hitchin, a market town and parish, and the head of a union, in the hundred of Hitchin and Pirton. [1] 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. " [2] 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. [3]


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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.

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Another 33 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hitchens Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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


  • Arthur Hitchens settled in Maine in 1616
  • John Hitchens settled in Virginia in 1654
  • Margaret and Anne Hitchens settled in Barbados in 1663

Hitchens Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Richard Hitchens, who landed in America in 1760-1763
  • William Hitchens, who arrived in America in 1760-1763
  • Richard and William Hitchens settled in New England in 1761

Hitchens Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Joseph Hitchens arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Santipore" in 1848
  • Mary Ann Hitchens arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Santipore" in 1848
  • John Hitchens, aged 25, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"
  • Thomas Hitchens, aged 24, arrived in South Australia in 1857 aboard the ship "Burlington"

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  • Julia Clara Catharine Dolores Birk Olsen Hitchens (1907-1973), better known as Dolores Hitchens, an American mystery novelist who wrote under the pseudonyms D. B. Olsen, Dolan Birkley and Noel Burke
  • Gerry Hitchens (1934-1983), English footballer
  • Ivon Hitchens (1893-1979), English painter, member of the 'London Group' of artists
  • Christopher Eric Hitchens (1949-2011), British author, journalist and literary critic
  • Peter Hitchens (b. 1951), British author, journalist and broadcaster
  • Timothy Mark "Tim" Hitchens CMG, LVO (b. 1962), British diplomat, Assistant Private Secretary to the Queen, British Ambassador to Japan (2012-)


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  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  3. ^ Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  3. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  4. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  5. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  8. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

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.

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