Hutchinson Surname Meaning, History & Origin

Hutchinson Surname Meaning

Hutchinson combines “Hugh” and “kin” to form Hutchin with “son.” The Scottish spelling of the name is Hutchison. Hutchinsons outnumber Hutchisons by two and a half times today.

The personal name Hugh is itself Norman French in origin from the word hug meaning “heart or soul.” St. Hugh of Lincoln founded the first Carthusian monastery in England in the late 12th century and the popularity of the name was in part due to him.  

However, some accounts give Hutchinson a much earlier Viking origin.  The Scottish Hutchison probably has this Viking origin.

Hutchinson Surname Resources on The Internet

Hutchinson and Hutchison Surname Ancestry

  • from NE England and Scotland (East Coast)
  • to Ireland, America, Canada, Caribs (Jamaica) and Australia

EnglandThe Hutchinson name in England ran down the east coast, from Northumberland in the north to Lincolnshire in the south. Hutchinsons here accounted for almost 70% of the Hutchinsons in the 1881 census.  

Durham. The Hutchinsons of Bishop Middleham near Sedgefield were first recorded in 1559, although family accounts suggest that they might have been there from a much earlier time. They were yeoman farmers who did well. Thomas Hutchinson was able to acquire Witton House near Stockton in 1705.

Tom Hutchinson, related to this family, was living in a farmhouse at Sockburn near Darlington in 1799. He was in some way also related to the poet William Wordsworth whom his sister Mary married. Wordsworth’s fellow poet Coleridge fell in love with the other sister Sara. But nothing was possible except poems as Coleridge was already married.

Another Hutchinson family can be traced to Richard Hutchinson who acquired the Dryburn estate near Durham in 1596. John Hutchinson of this line was mayor of Durham in 1714. However, the family reputation declined after that time and his grandson John sold Dryburn in 1760.

Yorkshire. One Hutchinson line was said to have begun with Squire Bernard Hutchinson in the hamlet of Cowlam in the East Riding in the early/mid 1300’s. However, other sources have Cowlam as a medieval village that had been deserted after the arrival of the Black Death around this time.

According to Perley Derby’s 1870 book The Hutchinson Family:

“The tradition of the family is that Anthony Hutchinson of Cowlam in Yorkshire, living around 1500, had eight sons. The second of these sons, Thomas, went south to Owthorpe in Nottinghamshire and founded the family from which sprung the Parliamentarian John Hutchinson who signed King Charles’s death warrant. Another son Richard went to Ireland and eventually founded the Hely Hutchinson Lord Donoughmore line.

Unfortunately, apart from tradition, proof of the above and the founding of most of the major branches of these Hutchinsons in Britain is sadly lacking.

Colonel John Hutchinson and his half brother Charles both held the Owthorpe estate, John until his death in prison, possibly from poisoning, in 1664 and Charles later afterwards. There were Hutchinson descendants from Charles Hutchinson and from a later related Hutchinson, Nicolas of Southwell in Nottinghamshire. Jeremy Hutchinson, descended from Nicolas, was made a Baron and died in 2017 at the grand age of 102.

While the above Hutchinsons may have originated in east Yorkshire, the larger numbers have been and still are in north Yorkshire. Their numbers included:  

  • Hutchinsons who first appeared in Great Ayton records in 1631. These Hutchinsons were for generations farm laborers. But by the 1850’s Thomas Hutchinson had become prosperous enough to take over the Bank House farm.  
  • Hutchnsons who were yeoman farmers at Spennithorne near Middleham in the 1670’s. John Hutchinson, born there, became a prominent Biblical scholar.  
  • the Hutchinsons in Egton near Whitby who were Catholic and therefore appeared on recusant lists. The earliest reference here was to Robert Hutchinson and his wife Barbara in 1674. The family continued to be recorded as recusants until 1780.  Hutchinson descendants emigrated to Canada in the 1830’s.  
  • the Hutchinson line at Grewelthorpe in Kirkby Malzeard parish which began with Peter Hutchinson, a yeoman farmer of Moorheads who was born around 1739. He lived to be 102 (some say 105), dying there in 1841.  
  • Sir Jonathan Hutchinson, the famous Victorian medical practitioner, who was born into a Quaker cloth-trading family at Selby in 1828.  
  • while a Hutchinson family in Ripon came originally from Alston in Cumbria. William Hutchinson qualified as a solicitor in Ripon in 1876 and began his practice there. His business passed to his son Charles and grandson Michael who each practiced for fifty years.

Lincolnshire.  John Hutchinson, born around 1515, was the mayor of Lincoln in 1564. His son Edward, living in Alford, was a mercer. After his death in 1632 Edward’s widow Susanna and five of his nine surviving children departed for New England.

Scotland. Hutchison is the spelling in Scotland, also found on the east coast – in Fife primarily before extending inland to Edinburgh and Glasgow. Among those from Fife were:

  • Thomas Hutchison who was born in Kinghorn in 1796, the son of a cattle breeder. He made his money as a wine merchant in Leith outside of Edinburgh. In 1850 he bought the Carlowrie estate in West Lothian and had built there a large castle in Scottish baronial style. His grandson Thomas was Provost of Edinburgh in 1921. 
  • Hutchison’s which was established in Fife in 1830 when Robert Hutchison began trading in grain, flax, butter and flour from the harborside at Kirkcaldy. They were flour millers there from the 1850’s until the company was sold in 1972.  
  • and Alexander Hutchison who was a farmer and corn merchant born in Kirkcaldy in 1838. His son Robert, created Baron Hutchison of Montrose, was a World War One general and Liberal MP.

Orkneys.  Hutchison is also a name of the Orkney islands. An early example was Robert Hutchison who was born in Orphir in 1715. Four generations of Hutchisons manned the lighthouse at Fair Isle, from 1840 to 1988.

Ireland. Hutchinsons in Ireland were generally of Scottish or English extraction.

Scottish.  William Hutchinson came to Stranocum in north Antrim from Glasgow as early as 1598.  His descendant George Hutchinson was active in putting down the United Irish Rebellion of 1798, earning him locally the nickname of Bloody Hutchinson. Stanocum Hall stayed with the family until 1856.

Francis Hutcheson was born in county Down in 1694, the son of a Scots-Irish Presbyterian minister. He is considered one of the philosophical founding fathers of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment.

English.  Edward Hutchinson arrived from England sometime in the 1660’s and made his home at Knocklofty House near Clonmel in Tipperary. Although his direct male line ended, the Hutchinson name was maintained through Christiana Nickson, heiress to this estate. Her son was created Baron Hutchinson in 1801.

Francis Hutchinson, who wrote a famous book in England debunking witchcraft persecutions, arrived in 1721 as the Bishop of Down and Connor. His son Samuel was the Bishop of Killala, his grandson Sir Francis of Castle Sallagh in Wicklow created a baronet in 1782.

America. The early Hutchinson arrivals were into New England.

New England. William and Anne Hutchinson who came with their family from Lincolnshire in 1634 were important figures in the early development of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Anne’s strong religious convictions proved to be at odds with the established Puritan clergy there and she and William departed in 1638 to form a new settlement in what would become Rhode Island.

Both William and Anne had died by 1643 and their son Edward then returned to Boston to make peace with the authorities there. He was the forebear of a family of Boston merchants that culminated in Thomas Hutchinson, the Loyalist Governor of Massachusetts who was forced into exile in England in 1774.

Another New England immigrant, Richard Hutchinson from Nottinghamshire, also arrived in 1634 and made his home in Salem, Massachusetts. His son Joseph was one of the principal prosecutors of the Salem witch trials. The Hutchinsons remained in Salem until 1734 and the main line then settled in Milford, New Hampshire.

  • one line through Samuel Hutchinson moved in the 1760’s to Norwich, Vermont.
  • while another later line out of Massachusetts led to Benjamin Hutchinson, a grain speculator and banker in Chicago in the 1870’s. His son Charles helped found the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1900’s.

George Hutchinson meanwhile had arrived on the Arabella with the Winthrop fleet in 1630. His descendants settled in Lebanon, Connecticut. Holmes Hutchinson moved to Utica, New York in 1819 and worked as an engineer in the building of the Erie canal. His son Charles was the mayor of Utica in 1875.

Elsewhere.  The Hutchinsons who came to Charleston, South Carolina sometime in the 1670’s were descended from Colonel John Hutchinson, the regicide. Dr. John Hutchinson was a prominent physician in the town in the early 1700’s. His descendant Mathias founded in the late 1700’s what became the town of Summerville, South Carolina. Hutchinsons later dispersed. Some remained in South Carolina, others departed for Kentucky and Texas.

William and Ann Hutchinson were recorded as living in Milford, New Jersey from the early 1700’s. Ann Hutchinson, born in 1699, lived to be 101. Four of her grandchildren became Methodist ministers.

John Hutcheson later Hutchinson, Scots Irish from Ulster, arrived in Philadelphia around 1730 and was an early settler in Augusta county, Virginia. By 1746 he was operating a grist mill at Christians Creek there. Another Scots Irish family, headed by William Hutchinson, came to South Carolina in the 1770’s and settled in what became Laurens county. Their history was told in Frederick Hutchinson’s 1947 book The Hutchinson Family of Laurens County.

Canada.  Hutchinsons in Canada could be of English, Scottish or Irish origin.

John Hutchinson and his family from north Yorkshire had originally emigrated to America but, being Loyalists, diverted themselves to Nova Scotia in 1788. Their descendants settled in Morristown NS in the 1830’s. George Hutchinson became well known as a traveling architect in the early 1900’s. The Hutchinson orchards are showplaces in Morristown today.

Dr. John Hutchison, a newly accredited surgeon in Scotland, arrived in Canada in 1818 and was an early settler in Peterborough, Ontario. His stone house there, built in 1837, has been preserved as a museum. John died during the typhoid epidemic in 1847. Meanwhile George Hutchinson, Scots Irish from county Cavan, came to Argenteuil, Quebec with his family in the late 1820’s.

Caribbean. Scottish Hutchisons made an early impression in Jamaica. Lewis Hutchison arrived in the 1760’s to head an estate there known as Edinburgh Castle. But he soon became known as the Mad Master of Edinburgh Castle because of his killing sprees. David Hutchison from Ayr meanwhile owned the Coffee Grove plantation in Manchester, Jamaica in the early 1800’s.

Australia.  William Hutchinson from London was a classic example of a convict in Australia who made good. Transported to Australia on the Hillsborough in 1799, he was soon convicted of theft in Sydney and dispatched to the penal settlement on Norfolk Island. But he later became a successful businessman in Sydney and had extensive land holdings as well. He died in 1846 a rich man.

Hutchinson Surname Miscellany

Hutchinsons and Hutchisons Today

Numbers (000’s) Hutchinson Hutchison Total
(English) (Scottish)
UK    32     9    41
America    18    10    28
Elsewhere    20     8    28
Total    70    27    97

Reader Feedback – Hutchison of Viking Origin in Scotland.  You have not found out the origin of the Hutchisons in Scotland!

There appears to have been two families of Hutchison.  Both are of Viking origin.  It seems that they came to Britain from different directions – one came from Scandinavia from the North and the other from Normandy in France where they were of Viking origin.  Their names are constantly mixed up.

Hutchison is purely Scottish.  I have no English DNA, although In England and Ireland my name would be spelled Hutchinson due to the phonetic sounding.

James Hutchison (

The Hutchinsons of Bishop Middleham in Durham.  The story goes that Hutchin was a Viking noble who had accompanied Harold Harfager to England around the year 900.  He settled on the northeast coastline at what was then a fortified place in Durham and later became the village of Bishop Middleham.

The early spelling was Hutcheson, the name that could be found in the first parish register of Bishop Middleham in 1559. It was recorded as following in early marriages:

  • 1573.  Robert Hutcheson married Katherine Askue
  • 1576.  Thomas Hutcheson married Agnes Hopper
  • 1606.  Robert Hutcheson married Agnes Morland
  • 1630.  Robert Hutcheson married Janet Grenell
  • 1633.  Thomas Hutcheson married Elizabeth Richardson
  • 1638.  John Hutcheson married Elizabeth Bedford
  • 1648.  William Hutchinson married Ann Woodhouse.

The spelling did change around 1650 from Hutcheson to Hutchinson.  It might be remembered that Colonel John Hutchinson of another Hutchinson line became well known at that time for signing the King’s death warrant.

These Hutchinsons were a yeoman farming family at Bishop Middleham and nearby Cornforth.  Thomas Hutchinson, born there in 1698, was a clergyman and classical scholar.  One line through another Thomas Hutchinson moved out of the area in 1705 to Whitton House in Whitton near Stockton.

Reader Feedback – Hutchinson in Westmoreland. I am trying to trace my family back beyond John Hutchinson of Dufton, Appleby in Westmoreland.  He was a farmer and married to Elizabeth Robinson.

Mike Hutchinson (

Colonel John Hutchinson and His Half Brother Charles.  The first edition of Lucy Hutchinson’s memoirs of her late husband Colonel John Hutchinson was edited by the Rev. Julius Hutchinson and published in 1806.  This edition included a pedigree of the Hutchinson family “taken from a very handsome emblazoned genealogy in the possession of the editor, originally traced in 1712.

There were two branches of the Hutchinson family considered here. First there were the descendants of Colonel John Hutchinson whose mother was a Byron; and second there were the descendants of his younger half brother Charles whose mother was a Stanhope.  The first branch did not fare well after the Restoration; whereas the second branch flourished.

In his preface Julius stated the following:

“The pedigree shows that Colonel Hutchinson left four sons, of which only the youngest John left issue.  There is a tradition in the family that these last two descendants of Colonel Hutchinson emigrated, one to the West Indies or America and the other to Russia.”

Concerning the Stanhope side of the family, Julius had the following to say:

“Charles Hutchinson, only son of Sir Thomas Hutchinson by Lady Catharine Stanhope, married one of the daughters and co-heiresses of Sir Francis Boteler, a zealous royalist.

After the death of Colonel Hutchinson in 1664, Charles purchased his Nottinghamshire estate at Owthorpe.  This joined to what his father had given him and to what he had obtained by his marriage and raised him to more opulence than his father ever possessed.

His son Julius seems to have bestowed a very rational and well deserved attention on the writings of Mrs. Lucy Hutchinson.  There is a tradition in the family that, although he had many children of his own, he treated with kindness and liberality the last descendants of his uncle the Colonel.”

His descendant the Rev. Julius Hutchinson, the editor of the Memoirs, visited Owthorpe Hall in 1775, shortly after the estate had been sold.  Two portraits of Colonel John and Lucy Hutchinson were removed at that time and are still preserved.

St. John Hutchinson, descended from Nicolas Hutchinson of Southwell, Notts was said in a letter dated 1919 to have held all the family pictures and Owthorpe furniture.

Hutchinsons in the 1881 English Census

County ‘000’s Percent
Northumberland    0.9     6
Durham    2.9    18
Yorkshire    4.6    28
Lancashire    2.2    14
Lincolnshire    0.4     3
Sub-Total   11.0    69
Elsewhere    5.0    31
Total   16.0   100

The 1881 census showed concentrations of the Hutchinson name:

  • in Horsforth, Ecclesfield, and Hunslet in Yorkshire
  • and in Bishopwearmouth, Monkwearmouth, Darlington
    and Stockton in Durham.

William and Anne Hutchinson.  William Hutchinson was described by Governor John Winthrop of the Massachusetts Bay Colony as being mild tempered, somewhat weak, and living in the shadow of his dominant and outspoken wife Anne.

Back in Lincolnshire Anne had become enamored with the Puritan preachings of the Rev. John Cotton.  His views were opposed by the established church in England and he was forced into hiding.  In 1633 he fled to New England.

Anne was so distraught to lose her mentor that she and her family intended to sail with him on the Griffin.  However, Anne’s 14th pregnancy prevented that.  They did make the journey on the same vessel a year later.

The family first resided at Boston and Anne’s strong religious convictions were soon at odds with the established Puritan clergy there. Her popularity and charisma helped create a theological schism that threatened to destroy the Puritans’ religious community in New England.

Anne was eventually tried and convicted, then banished from the colony in 1638 with many of her supporters.  They decamped to what would become the colony of Rhode Island. At the same time William’s sister Mary, married to John Wheelwright, also departed with their supporters to form a new colony in Exeter, New Hampshire.

After William’s death in 1641, threats of Massachusetts taking over Rhode Island compelled Anne to move outside of the reach of Boston into the lands of the Dutch.  In 1642 she settled with her younger children on Pelham Neck on the East River in what later became the Bronx.

Tensions were high at the time with the local Siwanoy Indian tribe.  A year later Anne and six of her children were massacred by these Siwanoys.  The Hutchinson river there was later named after her.

Ann Hutchinson of Milford, New Jersey.  Her contemporary Bishop Asbury had this to say about Ann Hutchinson:

“At about eighty she, to a great degree, lost her sight; about ninety it returned.  Her hair changed a few years ago from white to dark brown.  I have seen her and conversed with her.  At this advanced age she did not appear to be weary of the world.”

Then, much later in 1857, the following story appeared in the Village Record of Hightstown, New Jersey:

“On a farm near Milford there is an ancient burial ground wherein several of the old owners of the soil thereabout found the last resting place of their earthly remains.  From a grave marker in that place I copied the following:

‘Sacred to the memory of Ann Hutchinson, relict of William Hutchinson, who departed this life on January 4, 1801 aged 101 years nine months and seven days.

She was mother of 13 children, and grandmother and great grandmother and great great grandmother of 375 persons.’

She was born on March 17, 1699 and consequently lived in three different centuries – i.e. she was born on the 17th, lived through the whole of the 18th, and died in the 19th century. She was the wife of William Hutchinson Esq, a Justice of the Peace under the Crown and Government of England.  Ann Hutchinson retained her faculties to the last and could see to thread a needle or read without spectacles when in her 101st year.

The family have been remarkable for longevity. Her son Joseph Hutchinson lived on the place where William R. Hutchinson now lives. I well recollect the old gentleman myself. He was a very exemplary and pious man and between 1780 and 1790 was one of a very small class of society in Milford.

The history of the old Hutchinson family is identified with the early history of Methodism in this part of the country.  William Hutchinson, another son of Ann, had four sons, all of whom turned out to be Methodist preachers Ezekiel, Robert, Sylvester and Aaron Hutchinson.

Reader Feedback – Joseph Hutchinson, Irish in West Virginia?  I am wondering if I am a descendant of one of the lines here.

My great grandfather was Joseph A Hutchinson born in 1865.  His father was, I believe, William Hutchinson who came from Ireland but I am having a hard time tracing this line. Joseph lived in West Virginia and was married to my great grandmother Sarah M. Akers about 1899.  Joseph may also have lived in New York or Kansas. I will continue researching though till I hopefully solve the puzzle.

Ora Hutchinson (

Reader Feedback = William Hutchinson in South Africa.  I am the great granddaughter of William Hutchinson who served in the British Army during the Boer War. He was born in 20th December 1836 and died 24th December 1930 in the Transvaal. How can I trace his family line?

Sandra Hutchinson (

Hutchinson Names

  • Anne Hutchinson was an important Puritan spiritual leader of early New England, later banished for her beliefs to Rhode Island. 
  • Francis Hutcheson, born in Ulster, is considered one of the philosophical founding fathers of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment.
  • William Hutchinson, a mariner and marine inventor based in Liverpool, helped establish the world’s first lifeboat station at Formby in Lancashire in the late 1700’s. 
  • The Hutchinson Family Singers were an American family singing group from New Hampshire who became the most popular American entertainers in the 1840’s. 
  • Charles Hutchinson was a prominent Chicago business leader best remembered today as the founding president of the Art Institute of Chicago in the early 1900’s.

Hutchinson Numbers Today

  • 41,000 in the UK (most numerous in Yorkshire)
  • 28,000 in America (most numerous in Texas)
  • 28,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)

Hutchinson and Like Surnames  

Patronymic surnames can be with either the “-son” or the shorter “s” suffix to the first name.  The “son” suffix is more common in northern England than in the south and in lowland Scotland.  Here are some of these surnames that you can check out.


Written by Colin Shelley

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