Show ContentsFawkes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Fawkes family, who lived in Essex. The name, however, derives from the family's place of residence prior to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066, Vaux, Normandy. [1]

Early Origins of the Fawkes family

The surname Fawkes was first found in Essex where Robert de Vals, de Valibus, de Vaux was first listed shortly after the Conquest. [2]

However, the name was scattered throughout early Britain due to their strong Norman ancestry. Aitard de Vaux held estates in Norfolk in 1086 as did Randulph de Vaux in Cumberland. [1]

In part, this was due to the origin of the name "Vaux," a fairly common French place name which is plural of the word "val" which means in English "valley." [2] The "V" and "F" prefix was interchangeable at this time.

Early History of the Fawkes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fawkes research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1570, 1606, 1605, 1675 and 1732 are included under the topic Early Fawkes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fawkes Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Fawkes were recorded, including Faux, Fawkes, Fauks and others.

Early Notables of the Fawkes family (pre 1700)

Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fawkes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Fawkes migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Fawkes arrived in North America very early:

Fawkes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Fawkes, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1635 [3]
  • Win Fawkes, who arrived in Virginia in 1654 [3]
  • John Fawkes, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]
Fawkes Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • John Fawkes, who settled in Virginia in 1739
Fawkes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Daniel Fawkes, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1835 [3]

New Zealand Fawkes 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:

Fawkes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Martha Fawkes, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Golconda" in 1859
  • Miss Caroline M. Fawkes, (b. 1850), aged 20, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 23rd December 1870 [4]
  • Edwin Fawkes, aged 19, a bricklayer, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name Fawkes (post 1700) +

  • Guy Fawkes (1570-1606), also known as Guido Fawkes, infamous English revolutionary who planned the failed Gunpowder Plot of 1605; the failure is commemorated each year by a bonfire and fireworks display [5]
  • Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth Fawkes (1769-1825), born Walter Ramsden Hawkesworth, English landowner in Yorkshire, Member of Parliament (MP) for Yorkshire (1806 to 1807), High Sheriff of Yorkshire (1823) [5]
  • Francis Fawkes (1720-1777), English poet and author of the well-known song, The Brown Jug
  • Richard Fawkes (b. 1944), English writer and director from Camberley, Surrey
  • Chris Fawkes, English weather forecaster for the BBC
  • Walter Ernest "Wally" Fawkes (1924-2023), also known as Trog when signing cartoons, Canadian jazz clarinettist and satirical cartoonist from Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Major Frederick Hawksworth Fawkes (1870-1936), British Conservative Party politician and soldier, Member of Parliament for Pudsey & Otley (1922-1923)
  • Admiral Sir Wilmot Hawksworth Fawkes GCB KCVO (1846-1926), British Royal Navy officer, Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth
  • Sir Randol Francis Fawkes (1924-2000), Bahamian politician, trade unionist and lawyer, Speaker of the House
  • Barbara Noel Fawkes OBE, FRCN (1914-2002), British nurse and nursing educator, Chief Education Officer, General Nursing Council for England and Wales (1959 to 1974)
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Fawkes 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: A Deo et Rege
Motto Translation: From God and the king.

  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. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. 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)
  4. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  5. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 30 June 2020 on Facebook