This most interesting and unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is either a topographical or a locational name from the same source. It may be of topographical origin for a dweller at or by the crossroads, from the Olde English pre 7th Century element "twitchen", meaning a place where two roads, routes meet, plus the diminutive suffix "-et". It may also be of locational origin from either of the places called Twitchen in Shropshire and Devonshire, the latter recorded as "Twechon" in 1442 in the Patent Rolls. Other surnames from this source include Twitchen, Twitching, Twitchings, Tutchings, Tutchener and Titchener. Early recordings include Gilbert ate Thuychene in 1297 in documents found in "Minister's Accounts of the Earldom of Cornwall"; and Richard Twichener, in Kent in 1432. Other early examples in London include: the marriage of Mary Twichet and Thomas Cartwright on March 26th 1691 at Allhallows, London Wall; the christening of James, son of Robert and Margaret Twitchit, on November 16th 1794 at St. Luke's, Old Street, Finsbury; and the marriage of William Twitchett and Elizabeth Applegarth on May 14th 1798 at St. Giles Cripplegate. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas de la Twichene, which was dated 1275, in the "Subsidy Rolls of Worcestershire", during the reign of King Edward 1, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. 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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