Recorded as Kitchingman, Kitchingham, Kitchenman, and Kitchinghan, this is an English surname of pre 7th century origins. It is occupational and describes a person who was in charge of the kitchens of a noble house, or monastery. As these 'kitchens' were required to serve upto a thousand people at a sitting, it was a position of considerable responsibility. The derivation is from the Olde English word "cycene", meaning a kitchen, from the Latin word "cucina". Job descriptive surnames originally denoted the actual occupation of the namebearer, and generally only became hereditary when a son followed his father into the same line of business. In this case the development of the surname has included the following early examples: Nicholas atte Kechene in Somerset in 1327; Willemus de Kychynman in the Poll Tax Rolls of Yorkshire in 1379, Ester Kitchinman who married Willouby West at Canterbury Cathedral in Kent, in 1661, whilst in London the marriage of Lancelott Kitching and Sarah Loseby was recorded at St. James church, Dukes Place, Westminster, on November 3rd 1681. The first recorded spelling of the family name in any form is believed to be that of Henry atte Kychene. This was dated 1311, in the Parliamentary Writs of Suffolk, and suggests that there was a place called Kychene. This was during the reign of Edward 11nd, 1307 - 1327. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was sometimes known as the 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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