This interesting and unusual surname is of Old French origin, and is a diminutive of Fidge, or its variant Fitch. The name derives from the Old French "fiche", a stake (a derivative of "ficher", to fix, plant); in this case, however, it means an "iron point", and would have been a metonymic occupational name for a workman who used an iron-pointed implement, one who used a spear or lance, or someone who made the implement or eapon. Job-descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and later became hereditary. Other sources suggest that the name is derived from a nickname, from the early modern English "fitch", a polecat; however, this has been dismissed as a likely source for the name, on the grounds that the word is not found in this form until the 16th Century. The surname has many variant spellings ranging from Fitchet(t), Fickett and Fitchell, to Fitchen and Ficken. On July 6th 1662, Thomas, son of Thomas and Mary Fidgett, was christened at St. Botolph without Aldgate, London, and Thomas Fidgett married Mary Manning on July 26th 1692, at St. James', Colchester, Essex. The Coat of Arms most associated with the family depicts a gold lion rampant on a black shield, over all an ermine bend, the Crest being an erminois lion rampant, ducally crowned gold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Hugh Fichet, which was dated 1176, in the "Pipe Rolls of Dorset", during the reign of King Henry 11, known as "The Builder of Churches", 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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