Show ContentsCoke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Coke was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. Coke is a name for a purveyor of cooked meats. The derives from the word cok, which means to cook, and was brought to England shortly after the Norman Conquest of 1066. [1]

Early Origins of the Coke family

The surname Coke was first found in Derbyshire at Barrow, a parish, in the union of Shardlow, partly in the hundred of Appletree. "An estate here, which had been parcel of the manor of Melbourne, was annexed to the see of Carlisle before 1273, and was held on lease, under the bishops, by the family of Coke. This estate was enfranchised by act of parliament in 1704." [2]

Another ancient branch of the family was found at Billingford in Norfolk. "At Beck Hall, in the parish, the birthplace of Chancellor Bacon, and the ancient seat of the Coke family, an hospital, with a chapel dedicated to St. Thomas a Becket, was founded in the beginning of the reign of Henry III." [2]

Further to the south in Cornwall, another branch of the family was found. "In the reign of Charles I. the college estate [in the parish of Probus] belonged to the Cokes of Trerice; after which it became successively the property of Lewis, Goldingham, and Luttrell; and it is now in the possession of Mr. Johns." [3]

Early History of the Coke family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coke research. Another 196 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1206, 1340, 1576, 1592, 1613, 1750, 1552, 1634, 1563, 1644, 1582, 1591, 1661, 1624, 1642, 1607, 1650, 1640, 1650, 1563, 1644, 1656, 1653, 1692, 1685, 1674 and 1727 are included under the topic Early Coke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coke Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include Coke, Cokes, Coik, Coike, Coak, Coake, Coeke and others.

Early Notables of the Coke family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), Solicitor General of England, considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. He was "commonly called Lord Coke (or Cooke as the name was pronounced and frequently written in his own day), ' the name of pre-eminence which he hath obtained in Westminster Hall ' " [4] Sir John Coke (1563-1644), was Secretary of State and the second son of Richard Coke of Trusley, near Derby. "Being one of a family of eleven children, and his father dying in 1582, John Coke began life with nothing...
Another 150 words (11 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Coke Ranking

In the United States, the name Coke is the 9,586th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [5]

United States Coke migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Coke or a variant listed above:

Coke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jo and Robert Coke, who settled in Virginia in 1635
  • Elizabeth Coke, aged 20, who arrived in Isla de Providencia in 1635 aboard the ship "Expectation" [6]
  • Jo Coke, aged 27, who arrived in New England in 1635 [6]
  • Marie Coke, (Cope), aged 14, who arrived in New England in 1635 aboard the ship "Hopewell" [6]
  • Robert Coke, aged 25, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Plain Joan" [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Coke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Coke, who landed in Virginia in 1767 [6]
Coke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • George Coke, who landed in Maryland in 1802 [6]
  • Henry Coke, aged 21, who arrived in Missouri in 1841 [6]

Canada Coke migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Coke Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Philip Coke, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Zealous" departing from the port of London, England but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 [7]

West Indies Coke migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Coke Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Mr. Richard Coke, (b. 1596), aged 38, British settler travelling from London, UK arriving in St Christopher (St. Kitts) on 5th January 1634 [6]
  • Mr. John Coke, (b. 1613), aged 22, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Anne and Elizabeth" arriving in Barbados in 1635 [9]
  • Mr. Adrian Coke, (b. 1608), aged 27, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Peter Bonaventure" arriving in Barbados and St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [9]
  • Mr. Thomas Coke, (b. 1605), aged 30, British settler travelling from London, England aboard the ship "Peter Bonaventure" arriving in Barbados and St Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635 [9]
  • Adrian and Henry Coke, who settled in Barbados in 1635
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Coke (post 1700) +

  • Richard Coke Jr. (1790-1851), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Virginia (1829-1833)
  • Richard Coke (1829-1897), American lawyer, farmer, and statesman, United States Senator from Texas (1877-1895), 15th Governor of Texas (1874-1876)
  • Phillip Douglas "Phil" Coke (b. 1982), American Major League Baseball left-handed pitcher for the Chicago Cubs
  • Richard Townshend "Toby" Coke (b. 1954), English politician, UKIP leader in Norfolk County Council
  • Giles Christopher Coke (b. 1986), English footballer who plays for Bolton Wanderers
  • Edward Douglas Coke CBE, DL (1936-2015), 7th Earl of Leicester, an English nobleman
  • Mr. William Coke, British sheriff, held the joint position of Sheriff of Nottingham, England from 1534 to 1535
  • Thomas William Coke (1754-1842), 1st Earl of Leicester, British politician and agricultural reformer, eldest son of Robert Wenman (who on succeeding to the estate of his maternal uncle, Thomas Coke, earl of Leicester, assumed the surname and arms of Coke) [10]
  • Thomas Coke (1747-1814), Welsh cleric, the first Methodist Bishop
  • Major General John Talbot Coke (1841-1912), British Army officer who wrote a family history book called "Coke of Trusley, in the County of Derby, and Branches Therefrom; a Family History" in 1880
  • ... (Another 7 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Coke Motto +

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: Prudens qui patiens
Motto Translation: He who is patient is prudent.

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  7. Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 19)
  9. Pilgrim Ship Lists Early 1600's. Retrieved 23rd September 2021 from
  10. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook