Show ContentsDicks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The roots of the name Dicks are found among the Pictish clans of ancient Scotland. The name comes from the given name Richard. [1] Dick is a diminutive of this personal name.

One source explains the origin more clearly: "In Scotland it has been variously written at different periods, as Dicson, Dykson, Dikson, Diksoun, Diksoune, Dixson, and Dickson. They are descended from one Richard Keith, said to be a son of the family of Keith, earls-marshal of Scotland, and in proof thereof they carry in their arms the chief of Keith Mareschal. This Richard was commonly called Dick, and his sons, with the carelessness of that age, were styled 'Dickson.' It is probable that he was the son of the great Marshal, Hervey de Keth, (ob. 1249,) by his wife Margaret, daughter of William, third lord Douglas." [2]

Early Origins of the Dicks family

The surname Dicks was first found in Edinburghshire, a former county, now part of the Midlothian council area where William de Dyck was first magistrate of Edinburgh in 1296. John Dic, was a witness in Ayr, 1490, Wille Dic was 'dekin of the bakstaris' of Stirling in 1526. John Dyk or Dik was bailie of David, Earl of Craufurd in Perthshire in 1547 and Alexander Dik was archdean of Glasgow in 1555. [3]

Some of the family were found in Northern England in later years. Yorkshire records for 1563 listed: William Dycks; and William Dix. [4] In Norfolk, Thomas Dykkes, was rector of Bodney, Norfolk in 1431, and William Dykk was rector of Godwick in 1420. [5]

Early History of the Dicks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dicks research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1526, 1658, 1678, 1681, 1580, 1655, 1618, 1618, 1631, 1638, 1639, 1703, 1785, 1703, 1725, 1741, 1728 and are included under the topic Early Dicks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dicks Spelling Variations

Although Medieval Scotland lacked a basic set of spelling rules, which meant that scribes recorded names according to their sounds it was not uncommon for the names of a father and son to be recorded differently. As a result, there are many spelling variations of Scottish single names. Dicks has been written Dick, Dyck, Dic and others.

Early Notables of the Dicks family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was Sir William Dick (1580?-1655), Provost of Edinburgh, the only son of John Dick, who held a large proprietor in the Orkneys, and who had acquired considerable wealth by trading with Denmark, and was a favourite of James VI. "In 1618 he advanced 6,000l. to defray the household expenses of James VI when he held a parliament in Scotland in 1618. Through his influence with the government he greatly increased his wealth by farming the customs and excise; he extended the trade of the Firth of Forth with the Baltic and Mediterranean ports, and...
Another 312 words (22 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dicks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dicks Ranking

In the United States, the name Dicks is the 6,404th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [6] However, in Newfoundland, Canada, the name Dicks is ranked the 211st most popular surname with an estimated 202 people with that name. [7]

Ireland Migration of the Dicks family to Ireland

Some of the Dicks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Dicks migration to the United States +

Thousands of Scots left their home country to travel to Ireland or Australia, or to cross the Atlantic for the North American colonies. The difficult crossing was an enormous hurdle, but those who survived found freedom and opportunity in ample measure. Some Scots even fought for their freedom in the American War of Independence. This century, their ancestors have become aware of the illustrious history of the Scots in North America and at home through Clan societies and other organizations. Passenger and immigration lists show many early and influential immigrants bearing the name Dicks:

Dicks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Dicks, aged 30, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Elizabeth" [8]
  • Elizabeth Dicks, aged 18, who landed in Virginia in 1635 aboard the ship "Assurance" [8]
  • Edward Dicks, who arrived in Virginia in 1648 [8]
  • Augustine Dicks, who landed in Maryland in 1662 [8]
  • Ann Dicks, who arrived in Maryland in 1678 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Dicks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Tho Dicks, who landed in Virginia in 1703 [8]
  • Robert Dicks, who arrived in Virginia in 1714 [8]
  • Abraham Dicks, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1786 [8]
Dicks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Dicks, aged 22, who arrived in Maryland in 1813 [8]

Australia Dicks migration to Australia +

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

Dicks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Samuel Dicks, (b. 1819), aged 22, English convict who was convicted in Somerset, England for 15 years for house breaking, transported aboard the "David Clarke" on 3rd June 1841, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [9]

New Zealand Dicks 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:

Dicks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Sophie Dicks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Rakaia" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 10th August 1881 [10]

West Indies Dicks 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. [11]
Dicks Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • John Dicks, who landed in Jamaica in 1711 [8]

Contemporary Notables of the name Dicks (post 1700) +

  • Norman DeValois "Norm" Dicks (b. 1940), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington (1977-2013)
  • John Dicks, American politician from Florida
  • Richard Dicks, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Michigan, 1964 [12]
  • Norman DeValois Dicks (b. 1940), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Washington 6th District, 1977-; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Washington, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 [12]
  • John L. Dicks, American politician, Mayor of Plant City, Florida, 1999-2000, 2005-07 [12]
  • John F. Dicks, American politician, Representative from Michigan 7th District, 1974 [12]
  • Terence Patrick "Terry" Dicks (1937-2020), British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington (1983-1997)
  • Peter F. Dicks (b. 1942), English investment manager and venture capitalist, co-founder of Abingworth PLC, former chairman of Sportingbet PLC
  • Philip John Dicks (b. 1962), former English cricketer
  • Arthur Frederick Dicks (1935-1994), Australian actor and theater designer
  • ... (Another 10 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Dicks 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: At spes infracta
Motto Translation: Yet my hope is unbroken.

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Rye, Walter, A History of Norfolk. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, 1885. Print
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. The order of Common Surnames in 1955 in Newfoundland retrieved on 20th October 2021 (retrieved from Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland by E.R. Seary corrected edition ISBN 0-7735-1782-0)
  8. 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)
  9. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from
  10. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  12. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook