Pitcher History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

When the ancestors of the Pitcher family arrived in England following the Norman Conquest of 1066, they brought their name with them. It is a name for a caulker, one who was employed to seal the hulls of ships with pitch. Another derivation of this name suggests that it originated as a variation on the Norman French personal name Pichere. Pitcher is a classic example of an English polygenetic surname, which is a surname that was developed in a number of different locations and adopted by various families independently.

Early Origins of the Pitcher family

The surname Pitcher was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands by Duke William of Normandy, their liege Lord, for their distinguished assistance at the Battle of Hastings in 1066 A.D.

Early History of the Pitcher family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Pitcher research. Another 74 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 106 and 1066 are included under the topic Early Pitcher History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Pitcher 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 Pitcher, Picher, Pichere and others.

Early Notables of the Pitcher family (pre 1700)

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


United States Pitcher 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 Pitcher or a variant listed above:

Pitcher Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Pitcher, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Andrew Pitcher, who settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1641
  • Andrew Pitcher, who arrived in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1641 [1]
  • Mary Pitcher, who arrived in Virginia in 1650
  • John Pitcher, who landed in Virginia in 1652 [1]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Pitcher Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Edward Pitcher, a bonded passenger, who arrived in Potomac in 1729
  • Will Pitcher, who was on record in Georgia in 1735
  • Thomas Pitcher, who landed in Virginia in 1735 [1]
  • James Pitcher, a bonded passenger, who settled in America in 1774
Pitcher Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Carl Pitcher, his wife and their two children, who settled in Philadelphia in 1816
  • William Pitcher, who was in Belfast, Maine in 1822
  • Barjew Pitcher, who landed in Maryland in 1830 [1]
  • Frederick Geo Pitcher, who arrived in America in 1887 [1]

Canada Pitcher migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Pitcher Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Richard Pitcher, who settled in Trinity Bay, Newfoundland in 1769 [2]
  • John Pitcher, who settled in New Perlican, Newfoundland in 1789 [2]
Pitcher Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Richard Pitcher and John Pitcher, who were both fisherman in Heart's Content, Newfoundland in 1800 [2]

Australia Pitcher migration to Australia +

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

Pitcher Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Richard Pitcher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [3]
  • Charlotte Pitcher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [3]
  • Robert Pitcher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [3]
  • Ann Pitcher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [3]
  • Janet Pitcher, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Pitcher 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:

Pitcher Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. George Pitcher, (b. 1836), aged 38, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [4]
  • Mrs. Hannah M. Pitcher, (b. 1839), aged 35, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [4]
  • Mr. George J. Pitcher, (b. 1863), aged 11, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [4]
  • Mr. Frederick Pitcher, (b. 1866), aged 8, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [4]
  • Mr. Albert E. Pitcher, (b. 1868), aged 6, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Peter Denny" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 26th July 1874 [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Pitcher (post 1700) +

  • Zina Pitcher (1797-1872), American physician, politician, educator, and academic administrator, who was a president of the American Medical Association, and a two-time mayor of Detroit
  • Nathaniel Pitcher (1777-1836), American lawyer and politician, Governor of New York (1818)
  • O. O. Pitcher, American politician, Member of Minnesota State House of Representatives 17th District, 1868-69 [5]
  • Nathaniel Pitcher (1777-1836), American Democrat politician, Member of New York State Assembly, 1805-06, 1814-15, 1816-17; Lieutenant Governor of New York, 1827-28; Governor of New York, 1828 [5]
  • Molly Pitcher, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Maine, 2000 [5]
  • Lynn Pitcher, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Colorado, 1972 [5]
  • John Pitcher (1795-1892), American politician, Representative from Indiana, 1837; Member of Indiana State Senate, 1841-44; Candidate for Presidential Elector for Indiana, 1848 [5]
  • James Pitcher (1792-1844), American politician, Mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, 1835-38 [5]
  • J. Reese Pitcher, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1888, 1900 (alternate) [5]
  • David W. Pitcher Sr., American Republican politician, Member of Connecticut State House of Representatives from Lebanon; Elected 1930 [5]
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Halifax Explosion
  • Mr. Regional C. L.  Pitcher (1895-1917), English Wireless Operator aboard the SS Picton from Maidenhead, England, United Kingdom who died in the explosion [6]
HMS Royal Oak
  • Alfred T. Pitcher, British Leading Seaman with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [7]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Walter Giles Pitcher, American Gunner's Mate First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [8]


The Pitcher Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Perseverentia et labore
Motto Translation: By perseverance and labour


  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MOFFATT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Moffatt.htm
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 21) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  6. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  7. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html
  8. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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