An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The ancestors of the Rook family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Rook was a name given to a person who because of their physical characteristics was known as a rook. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. In this case the surname refers to those individuals who have black hair or dark complexions.
The surname Rook was first found in Oxfordshire where Geoffrey le Roke, William le Ruk and Adam le Roc were all listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. A few years later during the rule of King Edward III (1312-1377), Richard le Rouke and Hugh le Rook were listed as holding lands in Somerset. 
Rook 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. Rook, Rooke, Rookes, Rooks, Roke and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rook research. Another 281 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1820, 1650, 1709, 1704, 1622 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Rook History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rook Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
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 Rooks to arrive on North American shores:
Rook Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Rook Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Rook Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Rook Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
Rook Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
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: Efflorescent cornices dum micat sol
Motto Translation: Rooks will flourish while the sun shines.
The Rook Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rook 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 2 March 2016 at 10:00.