Origins of the Hite Surname

The Hite surname cannot claim a unique ethnic identity because in the United States, it was derived from two distinct nationalities:

1. German origins of the surname - derived from the surname Heydt (variations include Heyd, Hayd, Haydt, Heid, Heidt, Heide, Heyt, Heytt, Heit). The most common spelling of this name in present-day Germany is Heidt. The derivation of the surname is similar to the meaning of the English surname Heath, which refers to a dweller in an open field (as opposed to a more enclosed area).

2. English origins of the surname - derived from the surname Haight (variations include Hight, Height, even Hoyt). The name refers to a dweller on a hill or at the crest of a hill.

Obviously, the two European surnames that most commonly evolved into Hite in the American colonies and later, the United States, differ drastically in meaning as well as nationality. The only real similarity is that both surnames are locational in nature, meaning that their origin lies in the type of area that their original bearers lived in. This fact alone demonstrates that not everyone in the United States whose surname is Hite is related.

A more detailed article on this subject appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of the Hite Family Association newsletter.

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