Who Are The Orcutts?

   An incredible amount of time and effort has been expended to find out.  At this point we know for certain that it has never been proven we are members of the Urquhart Clan, as no viable connection to them has ever been documented, and it has not been for lack of effort. I spent a great deal of my time the first 10 or 12 years of my own Orcutt genealogical research attempting to find one record, or proof, that William Orcutt descended from Urquharts, and to this day, some 40 years after, still haven’t found, nor seen, that one proof.

    Orcutts cannot simply be content to live vicariously through another family’s history, both noble and interesting as the Urquhart’s history is, especially when after such considerable effort on the parts of so  many persons attempting to find the proof there remains no proven connection.  We have a history that is no doubt appreciable, no matter with whom it is shared, and we need to find and prove it  for ourselves, and indication as to the Orcutt’s early origins has, no less, been before us for a very long time;

Slocums, Slocumbs, and Slocombs

Charles Elihu Slocumb M.D. & PHD, Published by the author 1882.
page 19

“Very few, if any, surnames have escaped the greatest diversity of spelling, and may have become fixed in forms different from the original. The name “Seymour” was dervied from St. Maur the name of a town in Normandy, France. Tha name Larcum was formerly Lacombe (Burke), and “Orcutt” was derived from Harcourt.”

   Charles Elihu Slocumb, in addition to being a widely published M.D & PHD, was a well established genealogist.  How, or by what information he linked the Orcutts to the Harcourt family regarding the origin of the name’s derivation isn’t explained, but obviously he had some reason to believe it so.

Engle’s Notes and Queries 1889; John C. Francis, London, England, Publisher

Page 181.

“It may be worth noting here, though somewhat wide of my present purpose, that Harcourts were in possession of lands at Kingsbury at a subsequent period, and that the name is traceable in the neighborhood at the present day, though under the corrupted form of Aucott.”

   It is evident from these two proceeding passages that both Orcutt and Aucott have been in times past, (these references in the 1880’s), considered to have been variant spellings derived  from the  name Harcourt by capable historians,  and knowledgeable individuals.

Yet another noted family historian mentioned Aucott in connection to the Orcutts;

Edsons in England and America and  Genealogy of the Edsons,

 by Jarvis Bonesteel Edson Of the City of New York,  The Knickerbocker Press

27 west 23rd street New York, New York, 1903.

Pg. 90

The Orcutt family, as the Edson, had long been seated in Warwickshire.  The surname appears to be an etymological modification of the French compound, Orcote, which in England became corrupted into Alcott, Orcutt, Aucott, and Howcote. 

   Harcourt is a very old and well established English family with numerous “cadet” branches.  In regard to Kingsbury there are entries for Horkott, Harkett, Aucott, and others, as is the one below.

New England Families, Volume 2  Lewis historical publishing Company, 1915
edited by William Richard Cutter

page 501
“The name Hackett is of great antiquity in England….” “It is a well known corruption of Harcourt.”

notes and Queriesnotes2

  It is there-fore evident that Orcutts, Hacketts, and Harcutt/Harcourts in America,  and Aucotts in Warwickshire, England must consider Harcourt, and other variations of that name, and particularly the family Horkott of  Kingsbury,  and neighboring parishes in Warwickshire, when  researching and documenting our Orcutt ancestors in England.