This interesting and unusual name is of medieval English origin and is a metonymic occupational name for an axe maker, or even possibly an axe bearer. The derivation is from the Old French "Hachette", a diminutive of "hache", an axe, the Middle English 12th Century "hatchet", meaning a smaller, lighter axe with a short handle, for use with one hand. A famous namebearer listed in the National Biography, is one Charles Hatchett (1765 - 1847), a chemist and treasurer of the Literary Club 1814, who discovered Columbium and Tantalium, and wrote treatise entitled "Spikenard of the Ancients" in 1836. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Denys Hatchett, which was dated June 1550, at St. Margaret's, Westminster, London, during the reign of King Edward VI, known as "The Boy King", 1547 - 1553. 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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