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Hatch is a name derived from an old Anglo-Saxon word Hacche, meaning a door or floodgate, consisting of great stakes put up by fishermen to help in securing fish. Hacche is also a term for a bar across a woodland path to prevent deer escaping. If Henry lived near a hacche, he would be called Henry atte hacche and finally, Henry Hatch. Richard atte Hacche and Phillip de la Hacche are names in old records. The name first appears in the Domesday Book in the form of “Hache.” Hache also means a small ax among French speaking people. The Hatch (written differently ‘Hacche; Hach’) family was established as landowners in Devonshire at an early period. The Hatch family of Ardee Castle in County Louth, Ireland, has the same coat of arms as the Cornwall and Devonshire families.

— Hatch Family News, Number 1, June 1965, Ogden, Utah


A surname is a permanent family name. When families emerge into society, personal names are insufficient for identification. Personal names were usually first combined into sire-names. A nickname was often added, and if it became permanent and was handed down the nickname then became a surname. When families increased and finally settled in large cities it was impossible for people to find enough different personal names with which to distinguish themselves, and so they began to add either a tribal name, a sire-name, or a nickname, or named themselves from an office, a place of residence or a trade, followed by the first name; this added name became the surname.


Surnames were not used in the modern sense anywhere in Europe until the Crusades. At the time of William the Conqueror, who came over to England with his horde of Norman adventurers and barons in 1066, and conquered the Anglo-Saxon-Danish population, which had taken possession centuries before of the British Isles, William roughly seized the lands and properties of the Anglo-Saxons, and quartered his nobles all over the land.

Finding it necessary to secure these lands to their new owners by some sure means of identification, as well as to discover just how much landed property could be assessed in his new kingdom, William caused an extensive and minute survey of the kingdom to be made through appointed heralds of his court or tax-agents, as we would call them, which he sent out for that purpose. These heralds recorded their findings in what is know as the Domesday Book. The result of their records in this book constitutes the very foundation of surname history for the English-speaking people.

The various owners of the manors and estates, both Saxon and Norman, found it necessary to designate themselves by a surname or added title beside their given or Christian names.

It became vitally necessary for men to assume some sort of surname in order to distinguish William from William, and John from John; hence there came the nickname from the complexion of the two men, William White and William Brown. All kinds of whims, fancies and circumstances contributed to the making of surnames taken from father-name and mother-name, from the castle and manor, from the village and the town, There were trade names and place names, nick and descriptive names, prefixes and suffixes. Add to all this the influx of Scandinavian names, of French names, especially with the Huguenot refugees, of Scottish and Irish names, and you have a confusion of surname sources that constitutes almost a babel of unintelligible origins. Yet the genealogist fins his most valuable clues as to the origin of his own family line through these very surname clues.

The above information was taken from A Handbook of Genealogy. 

— Hatch Family News, Number 4, March 1966, Ogden, Utah


The earliest Hatch name that we have is Jeffery de Hatch who was born about 1200 and lived in Wolly, Devon, England. On the same pedigree chart, Thomas Hatch of Scituate1 is shown with a line going back to Thomas at Hache who was alive in 1415 in Sellings, Kent, England

— From Original Chart by Ruth A. Hatch-Hale and modified by Margaret Hatch Haycock in the 1960s