What does the name mean?
Everybody wonders at some time what the origin of their Surname might be, I can only offer the following;-
The Penguin book of English Surnames Pg. 176 "Hatcher (L) -- dweller by the hatch" & "Hatch--Gate, forestgate, sluice, locality in Bedfordshire -Hampshire- Somerset -Wiltshire" (Note from Bob H.-- in Somerset, Hatch Beauchamp, Hatch Green and West Hatch spring to mind as place names). (L) Local name.
Understanding English Surnames has Pg. 30 "Hatcher from a hatch or gate" in the section on names of South East England.
PH Reaney The origins of English Surnames has Pg. 200 Hatch, Hatcher, Hatchman "Gate" Earliest reference Hachman 1196 --However he does not quote the document.
Finally, this comes from "Our Kith and Kin, the Genealogy of Some of the Early Families Who Made History in the Founding and Development of Bedford County, Virginia" by Mary Denham Ackerly and Lula Eastman Jeter Parker. Published by the J. P. Bell Company, Inc., Lynchburg, Virginia. 1930.
There are two accounts given of the derivation of the name Hatcher, both of which are likely correct. In Norman French the word "hache"meant a light battle axe. The name was applied to one who wielded such a weapon. After the Norman invasion of England, the word was anglicised into the present form.---( I have my doubts about this explanation--Bob H)
In ancient England, a gate was frequently built across the highway in forest districts to prevent the escape of deer. This gate was called a "hatch." The suffix "er" means "at" or "near." Hence "Hatcher" was the name given to one who resided at or near the gate.
(Note the modern use in Serving HATCH or Loft HATCH, my understanding is that the suffix "ER" can also mean 'maker of' as in Fletcher someone who makes Fletches (arrows) -So HATCHER could mean a maker of gates-Bob H)