Show ContentsDukes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of England produced the name of Dukes. It was given to a person who behaved in a regal or noble manner, like a Duke. The surname Dukes 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.

Early Origins of the Dukes family

The surname Dukes was first found in Devon having descended from Osmond le Duc, Alexander and Robert le Duke who were listed in the Magni Rotuli Scaccarii Normanniae 1180-98. [1] Roger le Duke was Lord Mayor of London from 1227 to 1230.

"Duke was the name of an old influential Sussex family dating back to the reign of Henry VI.. There are also a few of the name in Dorset. Duke is also a widely - spread name amongst the gentry of the south of England, many of the families being connected and bearing the same arms. From the Dukes of Power Hayes and Otterton, Devon, sprang the Dukes of Wiltshire. " [2]

The Duke baronets are now both extinct but Sir Edward Duke, 1st Baronet (c.1604-1670) was the first Duke of Benhall, Suffolk (1661) and Sir James Duke, 1st Baronet (1792-1873), was Duke of London (1849.)

Early History of the Dukes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Dukes research. Another 58 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1604, 1671, 1640, 1632, 1705, 1679, 1563, 1590, 1658, 1711, 1670 and are included under the topic Early Dukes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dukes Spelling Variations

One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Dukes has appeared include Duke, Dukes, Dook, Dooke, Dooks, Dookes and others.

Early Notables of the Dukes family (pre 1700)

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; and Edmund Duke (1563-1590), English Roman Catholic priest and martyr who was found in the presence of Richard...
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Dukes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Dukes Ranking

In the United States, the name Dukes is the 1,398th most popular surname with an estimated 22,383 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Dukes family to Ireland

Some of the Dukes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Dukes migration to the United States +

At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Dukes arrived in North America very early:

Dukes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Sarnil Dukes, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [4]
  • Jone Dukes, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [4]
  • Francis Dukes, who landed in Maryland in 1660 [4]
  • Robert Dukes, who landed in Maryland in 1666 [4]
Dukes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Dukes, who arrived in Mobile, Ala in 1822 [4]
  • Alfred Dukes, who settled in Pennsylvania in 1872

Australia Dukes migration to Australia +

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

Dukes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Dukes, British convict who was convicted in Hertford, Hertfordshire, England for life, transported aboard the "Calcutta" in February 1803, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Dukes, English convict who was convicted in Birmingham, England for 7 years, transported aboard the ""Blenheim"" on 24th July 1850, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) and Norfolk Island, Australia [6]
  • James Dukes, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Aztec" in 1851 [7]
  • John Dukes, aged 18, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Epaminondas" [8]

New Zealand Dukes 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:

Dukes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • James Dukes, aged 22, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Strathnaver" in 1874
  • James Dukes, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Escocesa" in 1876

Contemporary Notables of the name Dukes (post 1700) +

  • Kevin Dukes (b. 1976), American guitarist
  • Bill J. Dukes (1927-2014), American politician, Member of the Alabama House of Representatives (1994-2010)
  • Clifford Dukes (b. 1981), American Arena football defensive lineman
  • Noble Jan Dukes (b. 1945), American former Major League Baseball pitcher
  • Gordon Dukes (1888-1966), American track and field athlete
  • Michael Francis Dukes (1936-2008), American collegiate and professional football player
  • Elijah David Dukes Jr. (b. 1984), American professional baseball player
  • Chad Dukes (b. 1978), American radio personality
  • David Dukes (b. 1945), American actor
  • Ashley Dukes (1885-1959), English playwright, critic, and theatre manager
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

  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. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  4. 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)
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th November 2020). Retrieved from
  6. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 25th October 2020). Retrieved from
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) AZTEC 1851. Retrieved
  8. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) EPAMINONDAS 1852. Retrieved on Facebook