This is an ancient heraldic name which is recorded in the spellings of Kiwitz and Kivits, the latter being the French variant. The original derivation is from the German personal name "Kyta", itself a form of nickname based upon the "Kite" bird. As Kiwitz or Kivits, the surname is probably a form of patronymic which translates as "son of Kite" or "little Kite", the latter implying a relationship such as nephew or possibly even "the apprentice of Kite". The Coat of Arms is quartered and includes a rose on a gold field and a black lion rampant. Early recordings are rare but include Jacobs, son of Gerardus and Roderika (nee Hubs) Kiwitz, christened at Veen, province of Rheinland, on January 8th 1729. Meinert Kiwitz, as shown below married Katharine Elsabein Kottinges, also of Versmold. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Meinert Kiwitz, which was dated October 22nd 1690, married at Versmold in the province of Westphalia, Germany, during the reign of Emperor leopold 1, of the Holy Roman Empire, 1668 - 1705. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.