This is a surprisingly rare English surname. Not recorded in any of the known dictionaries of surnames, it may have several possible origins. The first is as a shortened form of 'Hatch-(little)' a diminutive meaning son of Hatch from the popular Anglo Saxon personal name Hacche, of which the original meaning is lost. The second is locational from a now 'lost' medieval place called 'Hache wella' or similar, meaning - the hatch on the spring. There are several surviving near examples in Southern England including Hatch in the county of Hampshire, Hatch Beauchamp and West Hatch in Somerset. The place name Hatch has several possible meanings dependent on where it was found, but all refer to a 'gate or trap' of some sort. It is not known how many surviving English surnames originate from 'lost' medieval places, but a recent estimate suggested in excess of three thousand, of which the site of perhaps the majority still remain to be discovered. Another possibility is a dialectal derivative of the popular medieval surname Tachel, or the later Tatchell, from the pre 9th century times personal name Tach, again of lost meaning. Gilbert Tachel of Oxford is recorded in the Hundred Rolls of Oxford in 1273, whilst in the surviving church registers of the city of London we have the recording of William Hatchell and his wife Mary. They were christening witnesses to their daughter Mary, on June 17th 1681, at St Dunstans Stepney, in the reign of King Charles 11nd. He was known to history and with good reason as 'The merry monarch'.
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