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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
The name Duke is part of the ancient legacy of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Duke was a name used for a person who behaved in a regal or noble manner, like a Duke. The surname Duke is derived from the various Old English words duc, duk, duke, douc, and doke, which all came from the Old French word duc. This ultimately came from the Latin word dux, which means leader, and is a derivative of the verb ducere, which means to lead. Undoubtedly, this was often a nickname, since many captains or leaders of military forces were titled landholders who would have derived their surnames from their estates. Nevertheless, it may have also been applied as an occupational name to a military leader or to someone employed in a ducal household.
The surname Duke was first found in Devon where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.
Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Duke include Duke, Dukes, Dook, Dooke, Dooks, Dookes and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Duke research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1604, 1671, 1640, 1632, 1705, 1679, 1658, 1711, 1563, 1590 and are included under the topic Early Duke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Notables of the family at this time include Sir Edward Duke, 1st Baronet (c.1604-1671), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England in 1640; and his son, Sir John Duke, 2nd Baronet (1632-1705), an English politician, Member of Parliament for Orford in 1679; Richard Duke (1658-1711), an...
Another 50 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Duke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Some of the Duke family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 145 words (10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Duke were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:
Duke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Duke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Duke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Duke Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
Duke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Duke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
The Duke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Duke 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 31 July 2016 at 11:55.