This is an Anglo-Irish although ultimately English locational surname. It has the unusual phenomena shared with a just few others such as Piburn or Pyburn in West Cork, of apparently only being recorded in Ireland. It originates from the village of Etchingham in the county of Sussex, a place first recorded in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in the year 1158 as 'Ethreduuic' and later in 1176 in the more recognizeable form of 'Echingehamme'. According to Ekwalls famous dictionary of English Place Names, the meaning is the 'place of the Ecci people'. 'Ecci' is believed to be a development of the Olde English pre 7th century 'aec' meaning 'oak', whilst Sussex was the county of oak trees. Sadly most of these were wantonly destroyed to provide fuel for the famous Sussex iron foundries of the early Industrial Revolution of the 17th century. It may be that it was at this point that the villagers left for Ireland taking as their surname the name of their former home. The name in Ireland where it is also occasionally found as Itchingham, and was originally recorded as Edchingham, is now found almost entirely in County Wexford, although in the 19th century it was also recorded in County Cork. Examples of the early recordings include: John Edchingham, whose daughter Jane was christened at the church of St John, the Evangelist, Dublin, on December 31st 1646, and later John Etchingham and his wife Maria, nee Doran, who were witnesses on August 28th 1864 at Enniscorthy, County Wexford, a place with which the surname is probably most associated.
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