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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Oaks family come from? What is the English Oaks family crest and coat of arms? When did the Oaks family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Oaks family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Oaks comes from the family having resided near a notable oak tree or near a group of oaks. The surname Oaks is derived from the Old English word ac, which means oak. The surname Oaks belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

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Oaks has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Oak, Oake, Oakes, Oke, Okes and others.

First found in Somerset where Oake is a village and civil parish that dates back to before the Norman Copnquest when it was listed as Acon in 897. The place was listed as Acha in the Domesday Book [1] and literally means "place at the oak trees" from the Old Englisk word "ac" [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oaks research. Another 137 words(10 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1662, 1645, 1631, 1681, 1640, 1675, 1680, 1680, 1681, 1644 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Oaks History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 201 words(14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oaks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Oakss to arrive on North American shores:

Oaks Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • John Oaks settled in Bristol, Rhode Island in 1820
  • John Oaks settled in South Carolina in 1822

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  • Dallin Oaks (b. 1932), American Lawyer
  • Nathaniel T. Oaks (b. 1946), American politician
  • Jenny Oaks (b. 1975), American violinist
  • Robert Oaks, member of the New York State Assembly
  • Robert C. Oaks (b. 1936), retired U.S. Air Force general


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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quercus robur salus patria
Motto Translation: The strength of the oak is the safety of our country.

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  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  2. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Papworth, J.W and A.W Morant. Ordinary of British Armorials. London: T.Richards, 1874. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  11. ...

The Oaks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oaks Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 4 November 2013 at 19:36.

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