Origin of the Name

The Tichenor family name, in all likelihood, finds its origins in Saxon England. According to information provided to W. B. Tichenor (Columbia, Missouri) from the Reverend John Williams, Pastor St. Nicholas Church, West Itchenor, England, the following provides a rather sound historical basis for the place in which the Tichenor family name came into being.

The area in which West Itchenor is located in England goes under the generic title of the Manhood Peninsula. The area south of current Chichester was either uninhabited or almost uninhabited by the Celts. The Romans built a garrison town in what is now Chichester (Noviomagus), and ran a couple of roads through the area to allow travellers arriving in Britain from across the Channel by sea to disembark without having to make the difficult navigation of Chichester harbour.

After the Romans left, the area was invaded by Saxons, who gave us the present day place names. The Saxons, were, in the main, not interested in settling in the deserted Roman cities, but preferred to set up small farming communities in what was then virgin territory. They came in small groups, following a tribal leader, and the places where they settled were at first just informally labelled with the leader's name.

The area south of Chichester was at that time virgin forest, which the invaders called "The Main Wood". This later gradually evolved into "Manhood". The local big chief was a man called Cissa (pronounced 'Chissa'), who unusually built his dwelling near the Roman city, which became knows as 'Cissa's Ceaster' i.e. the Roman camp occupied by Cissa. He had two sons: Wlencing, who moved farther east and built his home where the costal plain starts to rise into the surrounding hills, present day Lancing, and Icca, who stayed at the place where the group had first landed in Chichester Harbour, which became known as "Iccen Ora' or 'Icca's landing place', and eventually became Itchenor. There was at one time two Itchenors, West and East, but East Itchenor disappeared during the Middle Ages, probably during the Great Plague, and no trace of it can now be found. The Itchen River is located in Sussex and its name is no doubt derived from Iccen Ora (Iccenora).

Throughout the Saxon period, life appears to have been rather disorganized and more informal than it later became, and there are very few written records of this period of time in British history. It was only when the Normans invaded in 1066 that the country really became a political unit. The Normans started making lists of people and places so that they could levy taxes. The Normans introduced sumames into England. In this way they could keep tabs on the citizens and tax them. Over the period 1100 to 1350 everybody in the country acquired a surname. At first they were quite informal, and described what a person looked like (e.g. Longshanks - long legs), hair color (e.g. Brown or Redhead), occupation (Smith or Barber) or the father's first name (e.g. Johnson - John's son; Williams, Wilson - Will's son). Later, government officials would write them down on an official roll, and if a person did not already have a surname, the official would invent one.

The most common invention was to choose the name of the place where a person originally came from. But this was only useful as a distinguishing name if the person to use it as a surname no longer lived in the village when he was given the name. After about 1350, surnames were no longer descriptive in any way. It would be reasonable to conclude that the first individual to use Itchenor or Tichenor as a surname did so when he no longer lived in Itchenor or West Itchenor.

Harold Tichenor in his book, Tichenor Families in America, also addresses this issue at page 1

It would seem that names such as Tickenor, Titchenor, Tychenor, and similar spellings are derived from Itchenor or Tichenor, rather than Tichenor being a derivative from Tickenor, etc.

American Family Line

As of this time, no record of Martin Tichenor in England has been discovered. For more detailed information on the Tichenor Family Genealogy descending from Martin Tichenor, see Tichenor Families in America, the extensive genealogy written and published by Harold Tichenor in 1988. A list of organizations and libraries that had a copy of the genealogy donated to them by Mr. Tichenor can be found here.

The Tichenor Family Line in America appears to have begun with Martin Tichenor who arrived in America by the year 1644 and settled in the New Haven Colony. He was a single man and married in 1651, Mary Charles, daughter of John Charles. At the time, the New Haven Colony was separate from the Connecticut Colony which had been established to the north of Hartford. One of the main differences between the two colonies was that the New Haven colony was an intolerant theocracy that did not permit other churches to be established while the Connecticut colony permitted the establishment of other churches.

There is record of Martin's time in New Haven as recorded in the town records from 1652.

New Haven Town Records

May 1652

Thomas Johnson, one of the viewers for fences, complained of 18 rod of Martin Tichennors fence to be naught, so as it will not keepe hoggs out of ye quartr nor some of it great cattell. Martin said he received it of William Seaward for good, and, beside, some of it belongs to M'' Gilbert. Thomas Johnson said that William Seaward told him, it was all Martin Tichennors. The Court told Martin that they must take the viewers word that the fence is not sufficient; therefore he must paye as a fine to the Towne for 18 rod of fence wich is naught 18 wich yet is not so much as is exactly to the Order ; and he must looke that the fence bee forthwith mended, else further fines will be laide, and damage required if hurt be done thereby : and if any of the fence belongs to any other man, he may helpe himselfe as well as he can.

August-September 1652

Martin Tichennor informed ye Court that the fenc which he was fined 18"" for, was not all his; hee was told that the viewer said it was and they must beleeve him, till he can better cleere it. The Court attached in Martin Tichennors hand 9^ 5"^ for a debt Willm Seaward owes to the Towne, and Ordered him not to paye William Seaward any rent till the Towne be satisfyed.

In 1666, Martin left New Haven to be one of the original settlers of Newark, New Jersey.  The map below shows the location of lots of the original settlers. Martin's lot was # 35.

From "Historic Newark: A Collection of Facts & Traditions" 
published in 1916 by the Fidelity Trust Co., NJ:

After long days on rough waters thirty Connecticut families sailed up "ye Pesayak river" in the month of May, 1666. Like many other settlers in other colonies, they sought civil and religious liberty. This, they knew, would be theirs when they had reared their homes in the wilderness which they approached, where then wolves and bears ranged and where Indian trails were the only highways. Captain Robert Treat may have stood that May day in the bow of his fragile craft and scanned the Jersey shores for a favorable landing-place. Josiah Ward may have drawn nearer to the side of Elizabeth Swaine, his affianced bride, and whispered of the house he would build in the Jersey wilderness. beautiful Elizabeth Swaine of nineteen summers, as she listened, may have gazed into the clear waters of the rippling "Pesayak," and afterward raised her eyes to the swaying tree-tops bending over the land where her new wild home was to be. There is a story, told and retold so many times it has become traditional, that this Elizabeth Swine was the first of the party to set foot on Jersey soil -- that she was gallantly assisted to shore by her betrothed

The following picture shows the corner of Tichenor and Broad Streets in Newark New Jersey taken in  2010. The tan and brown buildings stand where Martin's lot  probably was.

In the records of the original settlers of Newark (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~genepool/newark2.htm) there is  listed a Daniel Tichenor.  Since Martin's son Daniel was born in 1656, making him only ten years old at the founding of Newark it is unlikely that he could have been a landowner. This would  indicate that there was another adult male Tichenor at the founding  of Newark. Is it possible that this Daniel was a brother of Martin?

Tichenor Family Crests

There are three "Family crests" or "Coats-of-Arms" that have been identified with the Tichenor name. However, it should be noted that the question of whether there is a legitimate Tichenor Coat of Arms remains suspect. Copies of the three Crests are set out below. The Crest with the Boars head is the one familiar to Tichenor family members in central Missouri. The crest with the checkered pattern was provided to the webmaster by a Tichenor descendant from Bardstown Kentucky and may be quite familiar to Tichenors in that region of the country. It is the Arms which is offered as the Tichenor Arms by Historic Research Center, Inc., 1770 Lee Janzen Drive, Kissimmse, FL 34744. The Arms with the Arrow is familiar to Tichenors in other parts of the county

For purposes of further identification the three Coats of Arms will be identified as follows: (1) Boars Head; (2) Chequy and (3) Arrow. Each will be described as to the various elements that make up the Arms and explanation will be given as to various terms used.

Sources for the information provided are:

1. J. P. Brooke-Little, A Complete Guide To Heraldry, Thomas Nelson & Sons, LTD, (1969).

2. Julian Franklin & John Tanner, An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Heraldry, Pergamon Press, (1970).

3. James Parker, A Glossary of Terms Used In Heraldry, Charles E. Tuttle, Col, (1970).

4. Ruth Garrard, painter and compiler of information for the Boarís Head Arms. Ms. Garrard painted this coat of arms for William Tichenor, Napton, Missouri in 1969, five originals being paid, one for William and one for each of his four children.



Crest: A demi-lion, counter-rampant, holding a sword gules.

Motto: Pro Patria - For the Fatherland.

Explanation: Argent is the color or metal silver (representing sincerity and peace -Garrard). It is the color of the blazon (shield). The chevron is gules. Gules is the color red or crimson (representing courage and magnanimity - Garrard). The chevron is one of the Honourable Ordinaries. An ordinary is a geometric shape, being the earliest form of a heraldic device. The chevron is usually about one-third of the width of the shield, taking the form of an inverted V. In the 16th century, the chevron was enlikened to the gable end of a house and it was declared the appropriate ordinary for a civilian. The name (chevron) itself is derived directly from the French - chevron, i.e., a rafter of a roof. It is found in the earliest of the rolls of arms, and is one of the most frequently employed of the Ordinaries. It was granted to builders especially to those who erected churches and fortresses for the sovereign (Garrard).

The chevron is usually found between 4 charges, 3 in chief and 1 in base. Charge is the representation of an object, animate or inanimate, or any geometrical shape or combination of shapes appearing upon the shield and constituting the armorial device (pertaining to the coat of arms). In chief has reference to the top of the shield and base to the bottom of the shield.

The chevron has three escallops in sable in chief and the boarís head in sable in base. Sable is the color black (representing constancy, it was used as the fur lining of royal robes - Garrard).

The escallop is a shellfish represented by its shell which was the insignia of St. James of Compostella, the patron Saint of pilgrims. Therefore, it is used in heraldry as a symbol of travel. It is generally considered to be the badge of a pilgrim, possibly suggested by pilgrimages to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The escallop is one of the most widely used heraldic charges. It is noted that the 3 escallops also appear on the Chequy Arms. Escallops were Crusader grants, made to those who did service on the Sea of Galilee on the way to the Holy Land (Garrard).

The boars head is armed and langued, that is his tusks are showing and its mouth is opened with tongue showing, the tongue being a different color. The tusks are white instead of silver (argent) and the tongue is red (gules). The head is erased. Erased indicates the head of an animal that has been torn away from the body. This is usually represented by jagged points or peaks at the place of the head being severed from the neck. No part of the neck is remaining attached. The boarís head is a token of hospitality, an important feudal offering and was often the fee mentioned as due the king or a great lord as the condition of feudal tenure (Garrard).

The demi-lion is counter-rampant holding a sword. The lion as king of beasts represents strength and courage and the sword was for preparation for military service (Garrard). Demi is a half of a beast that is couped (cut in a straight line) at the waist, with the tail also being couped on the same line. Counter-rampant means facing sinister (left) standing on the dexter (right) hind paw, with the sinister forepaw raised higher than the dexter. The tail is flourished upward and curved toward the head from its base. The lion is langued like the boar - tongue showing a different color from the lion.

According to John Matthews, Complete American Armoury and Blue Book, Heraldic Publishing Company, (1965), the Boars Head Arms was the Arms of William Ticknor - Boston, 1646 and Scituate, Mass, 1856. No other detail is given, however, no connection between Ticknor and Martin Tichenor or any other Tichenor line is known. It may be that Ruth Garrard when researching for the Tichenor Coat of Arms utilized the Boarís Head concluding that Tichenor was a variation of Ticknor or vice versa. If the Tichenor name is a place or habitation name derived from Itcheon, England, a pronouncing with a hard ck - as in tick, instead of the soft ch as in church would not be consistent with how Itcheon is now pronounced in England, as it is not pronounced as Itkeon, but with the soft ch - church sound.



Blazon of Arms: Argent (silver) and gules (red) chequy, a fess azure (dark blue) charged with three escallops or (gold)

Crest: A lion, counter-rampant, crowned.

Motto: None

Explanation: Chequy is reference to the field of the shield consisting of squares of alternating colors - a chess board. Fess is an ordinary (geometric shape), a band from flank to flank (side to side) of the shield. The fess is at the level of the visual center of the shield and its width is usually about one-third of the shield. The lion is a complete lion not couped. He holds no sword, but does have a crown. The significance of being crowned is not presently known.


Blazon of Arms: Sable (black), on a per bend dexter or (gold) charged with an arrow proper.

Crest: A sinister erect couped wing.

Motto: None

Explanation: The field of the arms or shield is black divided by a diagonal line (bend or band, stripe) which divides the shield into a dexter chief (upper right) half and a sinister base (lower left) half. The arrow proper has the head to the sinister chief (upper left end of the bend) with the end or feather part of shaft being dexter base (lower right hand end of the bend).

The wing forms the crest. The wing being a left wing, cut off in a straight line, as opposed to erased (torn off) like the boarís head. The wing proper has the tip of the wing extended upward.

This arms and crest were identified by the International Ancestry Guild as the Tichenor coat of arms in Kollerís Coats of Arms Dictionary. It appears to have a German origin. However, the arms has the sub-name of Teachenor. See Tichenor Families In America, concerning Teachenor and connection to Martin Tichenor line.

The shapes of the shields or fields have no particular significance, since the arms would be painted on a shield. The shape of each of these three arms is something that is left to the individual creating or painting the arms.


 If anyone seeing this webpage has any other family crests bearing the Tichenor name, we would appreciate receiving a copy of that for inclusion to the collection herein. Contact the webmaster Martin Tichenor

Daniel Tichenor Cemetery Club

Daniel Tichenor, Great Grandson of Martin Tichenor, is buried in a small family cemetery near Bardstown, Ky. In 1990, a Cemetery Club was organized to see to the preservation of this cemetery wherein are buried over 80 individuals, the majority being descendants or relatives of descendants of Daniel Tichenor. The Cemetery Club meets annually in Bardstown in July. The Club has restored many of the old headstones, cleared the cemetery grounds, fenced the cemetery and provides for mowing of the grounds during the spring, summer and fall. For further information contact: W. B. Tichenor, 1212 Torrey Pines Dr. Columbia, MO 65203-4824.

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