Coker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Coker arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Coker family lived in Somerset, where they lived in either East or West Coker. Both are parishes, in the union of Yeovil, hundred of Houndsborough. [1]

It is generally believed that the family was originally Norman and claim descent from the "Mandevilles from the castle and barony of Manneville or Magneville, in the Cotentin. Geoffry de Manneville came 1066 to England, and received a great barony in Essex. " One of his sons, William Mandeville of Coker, Somerset, paid scutage for that lordship in 1203. "Sir John de Mandeville was Lord of Coker 1275, and had Robert de Mandeville, whose sister and heir sold Coker to the Courtenays. Robert de Coker, brother of Sir John, witnessed a charter of Robert de Mandeville regarding Coker. His descendants long held Coker. " [2]

Early Origins of the Coker family

The surname Coker was 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." [3]

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.

A scan of early rolls revealed John de Coker, Somerset, 1 Edward III; and William de Coker, Somerset, 1 Edward III (during the first year of the reign of King Edward III.) [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 also included Thomas Coker, Somerset; and Adam Coker, Essex. [5]

Early History of the Coker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Coker research. Another 97 words (7 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Coker 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 Coker, Coaker, Cokers and others.

Early Notables of the Coker family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was John Coker (c. 1523-1607), of Mappowder, Dorset, Member of Parliament for Bletchingley in 1563. He "describes himself in his 'Survey of Dorsetshire ' as belonging to the younger branch of 'the antient and well-respected familie of Cokers,' who were beholden to Coker in Somersetshire for their name, but who were then dwelling at Mappowder in Dorsetshire (Survey, p. 98). According to the pedigree of the Cokers of Mappowder, inserted in Hutchins's 'Dorset...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Coker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Coker 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 Coker or a variant listed above:

Coker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Coker, who 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 [6]
  • Jo Coker, aged 21, who arrived in Virginia in 1635 [6]
  • John Coker, who landed in Virginia in 1636 [6]
Coker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Petter Coker, aged 38, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [6]
  • John Coker, who arrived in New England in 1775
Coker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Lide Coker of Darlington, South Carolina

Australia Coker migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Coker Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Coker, (b. 1819), aged 29, English farm labourer who was convicted in Buckingham, Buckinghamshire, England for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 1st January 1850, arriving in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia, he died in 1883 [7]

New Zealand Coker migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Coker Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • George Coker, who landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1840
  • Mr. John Coker, (b. 1832), aged 27, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [8]
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Coker, (b. 1835), aged 24, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [8]
  • Miss Elizabeth Ann Coker, (b. 1858), aged 1, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mary Anne" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 4th August 1859 [8]
  • Mr. Frederick Coker, (b. 1864), aged 9 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Indian Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd July 1865 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Coker (post 1700) +

  • Corky Coker, American businessman, founder and CEO of Corker Tire, a manufacturer of vintage tires for collector automobiles in Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • John Coker (1789-1851), American hero of the Texas Revolution and founder of Coker, Texas
  • John Coker (b. 1971), American basketball player
  • Paul Coker (b. 1929), American illustrator
  • LaMarcus Coker (b. 1986), American football player
  • Eddie Coker (b. 1960), American singer and songwriter of Children's musicer (1927–1983), American jazz pianist and composer
  • David Robert Coker (1870-1938), American agricultural reformer, son of Major James Lide Coker
  • "Major" James Lide Coker (1837-1918), American businessman, merchant, industrialist, philanthropist, founder of Sonoco Products Company and Coker College
  • Coleman Coker (b. 1951), American architect from Memphis Tennessee, best known for his work at the Bridges Center in 2005
  • Charles "Charlie" Westfield Coker (b. 1933), American businessman, former president and CEO of Sonoco Products Company
  • ... (Another 11 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Pan Am Flight 103 (Lockerbie)
  • 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 [9]
  • 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 [9]
USS Arizona
  • Mr. Charles W. Coker, American Lieutenant working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [10]


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  4. ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  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. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 11th September 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/australasia
  8. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  9. ^ Pan Am Flight 103's victims: A list of those killed 25 years ago | syracuse.com. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/12/pan_am_flight_103s_victims_a_list_of_those_killed_25_years_ago.html
  10. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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