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

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

Toke is a name that first reached England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Toke family lived in Kent. Their name, however, is a reference to Touques, Normandy, the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

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The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Toke has been recorded under many different variations, including Tooke, Tocque, Took, Touque, Tuck and others.

First found in Kent where they held a family seat from early times after the Norman Conquest in 1066. They were descended from Le Sire de Touques from Pont-le-Eveque where the castle stood. Wace, the historian, mentions the Baron Touque as amongst the Companions of Duke William, at Hastings in 1066. The ancient family of Touque of Godington of Kent claim descent from this Norman Lord. We would be remiss if we did not address the legendary Friar Tuck. Two royal writs in 1417 refer to Robert Stafford, a Sussex chaplain who had assumed the alias of Frere Tuk. Little more is known about him other than this "Friar Tuck" was still at large in 1429.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toke research. Another 173 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1580, 1657, 1615, 1674, 1663, 1673, 1732 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Toke History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 165 words(12 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Toke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Tokes were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1623; another James Tooke settled in Virginia in 1637; Ann Took settled in Dominica in 1774.

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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: Militia mea multiplex
Motto Translation: My warfare is manifold.

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  1. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  2. 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.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  8. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  9. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  11. ...

The Toke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Toke 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 7 October 2013 at 13:32.

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