Blazons & Genealogy Notes
1) (Hengrave, co. Suffolk). This coat was granted 13 Feb. 1568, by Dethick, Garter, to Thomas Kitson, Esq., of Hengrave, being an alteration from the coat borne by his ancestors, which was confused, and greatly needed correction. The older coat (granted to Thomas Kitson, 14 April, 1527) was, sa. three lucies in pale ar. on a chief or, a lion ramp. of the first guttée d’or betw. two pellets, the dexter charged with a martlet, and the sinister with an anchor or. Sa. three lucies hauriant ar. a chief or. Crest—A unicorn’s head ar. attired and maned or, environed with palisadoes gold. Another Crest—On a mount or, in flames ppr. a unicorn’s head sa.
2) Paly of six ar. and az. on a chief gu. three bezants.
Origin, Meaning, Family History and Kitson Coat of Arms and Family Crest
Origins of Kitson:
This interesting and uncommon surname is of English origin and is a surname of the pet name Kit, itself coming from the female Greek given name “Katharos” which means “genuine” or “clean”, or from the old given name Christopher which means “agent of Christ”, which acquires from the Greek “Khristas” which means “Christ”, and “phor” which means “carry”. The surname is sometimes dated back to the middle of 14th Century. More documentation contains one Thomas Kytson (1357) “The Lands of Crowland Abbey, Cambridgeshire,” and Thomas Ketson (1379) “The Census Tax documents of Yorkshire.” Differentiation in the phrase of the spelling contain as Kidson, Kytson, Kittson, etc. Frances Kytson was named in September 1562, at St. Gregory by St. Paul, London. Anthony Kitson married Mary Wood in February 1570, at St. Thomas the Apostle, London, and Elisabeth Kitson married Robert Wilson in February 1585, at St. Antholin Budge Row, London.
More common variations are: Kittson, Kaitson, Kitsona, Khitson, Kitsony, Kittison, Kaittson, Kitteson, Kidson, Kitsen.
The origins of the surname Kitson appeared in Yorkshire where people held a family seat from early times. Someone say better before the invasion of Normans and the entrance of Duke William at Hastings 1066 A.D.
The very first recorded spelling of the family was shown to be that of William Kittesson dated about 1340, in the “Estates of Crowland Abbey” Cambridgeshire. It was during the time of King Edward III, who was known to be the “The Father of the Navy,” dated 1327-1377. The origin of surnames during this period became a necessity with the introduction of personal taxation. It came to be known as Poll Tax in England.
Many of the people with surname Kitson had moved to Ireland during the 17th century.
United States of America:
Individuals with the surname Kitson landed in the United States in three different centuries respectively in the 17th, 18th, and 19th. Some of the people with the name Kitson who arrived in the United States in the 17th century included Merma Kitson who came to Virginia in 1636. Marmaduke Kitson and Marmaduke Kitson, both settled in Virginia in the same year 1639.
People with the surname Kitson who landed in the United States in the 18th century included Mary Kitson, who settled in Virginia in 1768.
The following century saw more Kitson surnames arrive. Some of the people with the name Kitson who arrived in the United States in the 19th century included Mark Kitson, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1827. Nathan Kitson, who landed in Indiana in 1834. George, James, Nathan and Thomas Kitson, all came to Philadelphia between the years 1840 and 1860.
Some of the individuals with the surname Kitson who landed in Australia in the 19th century included John Kitson arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship “Sultana.” Henry Kitson arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship “Confiance.” Bridget Kitson arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship “Confiance.”
Some of the population with the surname Kitson who arrived in New Zealand in the 19th century included John Kitson landed in Wellington, New Zealand in 1840. Robert Kitson arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship “Nimroud” in 1860.
Here is the population distribution of the last name Kitson: England 3,350; United States 2,264; Ghana 879; Australia 784; Canada 512; Jamaica 410; New Zealand 310; Scotland 269; Northern Ireland 227; South Africa 201.
Alison Kitson was a famous nurse.
Arthur Kitson is a British financial expert.
Barry Kitson is a British comic book artist.
Charles Herbert Kitson is an English musician.
Daniel Kitson is a British comedian.
Dave Kitson is an English football player.
David Kitson was a Cricket player.
Frank Kitson was a British officer and writer, famous as a theorist of low-intensity conflict.
Harold Kitson was a South African tennis player.
Henry Hudson Kitson is an American artist.
Jill Kitson is an Australian Radio announcer.
Kitson Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Kitson blazon are the unicorn, lucie and paly. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and azure .
Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” . Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun . In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ .
Gules, the heraldic colour red is very popular, sometimes said to represent “Military Fortitude and Magnanimity”. It is usually abbreviated as gu and in the days before colour printing was shown in a system known as hatching by vertical lines . Although it may look like a French word it is normally pronounced with a hard “g” and may be derived either from the Latin gula (throat) or Arabic gule (rose).
Azure is the heraldic colour blue, usually quite a deep, dark shade of the colour (there is a lighter blue that sometimes occurs, known as celestial azure). If colour printing is not available then it can be represented by closely spaced horizontal lines in a scheme known as “hatching” . The word is thought to originate from the Arabic lazura and it represents the colour of the eastern sky. It is also said to be the colour associated by the Catholic Church with the Virgin Mary and hence of particular significance .
In the mediaeval period there was no real percieved difference between real and mythical animals, after all, much of the world remained unknown and who was to say what strange and magical creatures existed in distant lands? As heraldry developed a whole menagerie of imagined creatures came into being, and their various representations became more or less standardised in form and appearance. The unicorn is an intresting example that is still part of our own mythology today. The unicorn as illustrated on even the most ancient coat of arms is still instantly recognisable to us today, and shares many of the same poses that both lions and horses can be found in. . Wade, the 18th century heraldic writer suggested that were adopted as symbols because of “its virtue, courage and strength”.
Fish in great variety abound in Heraldry, many different species inhabit coats of arms , although truth be told many of the actual images are sometimes indistinguishable, being shown as a stylised, and easily recognised “trout” shape that a child might draw. The actual name used in the coat of arms may be some play-on-words or allusion to the family name, as in the famous arms of the de Lucy family, being “Gules, three lucies or”, this being an ancient name for the fish we call today a “pike”. It is possible that the lucie has been used in this fashion, or it may simply relate to some fishing activity in the history of the family.
Play is what is known as a treatment, a regular patterning, usually over the whole background of the shield. The word comes from the pale, the major vertical stripe that appears on some shields, paly is obvious its little cousin, consisting of, typically, 6 or more vertical stripes, alternately coloured . The stripes can be any combination of the heraldic tinctures, an early example is that of GURNEY, being simply paly of six, or and argent. Paly can be combined with other effects, such as decorative edges on each stripe, or overlaid with other treatments such as bendy, and these can be very effective and pleasing to the eye .