This unusual surname is a diminutive of Fitch, which has had varying suggestions as to its origin. The most likely, however, is French, from a metonymic occupational name for a workman who used an iron-pointed implement, derived from the Old French "fiche", stake, a derivation of "ficher", to fix, plant, originally from the Latin "figere", in this case; however, it means an "iron point". 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 is unlikely as this word is not found in this form until the 16th Century, whereas the byname or surname Fitchet is found as early as the 12th Century. Early recordings of the surname include: Robert Fichet in the 1183 Pipe Rolls of Northumberland; Hugh Fiche, witness in the Assize Rolls of Somerset; and Roger Fiche in the 1297 Subsidy Rolls of Yorkshire. The marriage was recorded in London of Lawrence Fitchett and Katerine Lisence on June 19th 1632, at St. Mary on the Hill. A Coat of Arms granted to a Fitchett family is a black shield, with a gold lion rampant, overall a bend ermine, the Crest being a lion rampant erminois, 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", 1153 - 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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