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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

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

The Anglo-Saxon name Coker comes from the family having resided in Somerset, where they lived in one of two parishes named Coker.

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Coker 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. Coker, Coaker, Cokers and others.

First found in Somerset where there is an East, and West Coker. North Coker no longer exists. The place name dates back to at least the Domesday Book where it was listed as Cocre, part of the Houdsborough hundred and was originally the name of a stream there, a Celtic river-name meaning "crooked, winding." [1] East Coker was the second poem of T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets and was directly connected to Eliot's ancestry and East Coker's church was later to house Eliot's ashes.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coker research. Another 193 words(14 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1523, 1607, 1563, 1617, 1698, 1656, 1660, 1683, 1734, 1722, 1727, 1617, 1697, 1656, 1646 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Coker History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 111 words(8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coker 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 Cokers to arrive on North American shores:

  • James Lide Coker of Darlington, South Carolina

Coker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Coker settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Robert Coker who sailed on the "Mary and John" and settled in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Robert Coker, who arrived in America in 1633
  • Jo Coker, aged 21, arrived in Virginia in 1635
  • John Coker, who landed in Virginia in 1636

Coker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Petter Coker, aged 38, landed in Pennsylvania in 1738
  • John Coker arrived in New England in 1775

Coker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • George Coker landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Samuel Coker, aged 36, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Harriet Coker, aged 37, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • William Coker, aged 8, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Harriet Coker, aged 6, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875


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  • Larry Coker (b. 1948), former head football coach of the University of Miami
  • Peter Coker, American artist
  • Major James Lide Coker (1837-1913), American founder Sonoco Products Company
  • William Chambers Coker (1872-1953), American botanist
  • Henry Coker (1919-1979), American jazz trombonist
  • George Thomas Coker (b. 1943), retired US Navy commander, recipient of the Navy Cross held prisoner of war in the "Hanoi Hilton" and a Distinguished Eagle Scout noted for his devotion to Scouting
  • Paul Coker (b. 1929), American illustrator
  • Jimmie Goodwin Coker (1936-1991), American Major League Baseball catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies
  • Daniel Coker (1780-1846), born Isaac Wright, an African American Methodist missionary to the British colony of Sierra Leone
  • Eric Michael Coker (1968-1988), American Student from Mendham, New Jersey, America, who flew aboard the Pan Am Flight 103 from Frankfurt to Detroit, known as the Lockerbie bombing in 1988 and died

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  1. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)

Other References

  1. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  2. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  3. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  5. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  10. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  11. ...

The Coker Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Coker 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 13 November 2014 at 16:22.

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