Rook History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Rook family lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Rook was a name given to a person who because of their physical characteristics was known as a rook. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character. In this case the surname refers to those individuals who have black hair or dark complexions.

Early Origins of the Rook family

The surname Rook was first found in Oxfordshire where Geoffrey le Roke, William le Ruk and Adam le Roc were all listed in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. A few years later during the rule of King Edward III (1312-1377), Richard le Rouke and Hugh le Rook were listed as holding lands in Somerset. [1]

Early History of the Rook family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rook research. Another 141 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1820, 1650, 1709, 1704, 1622 and 1662 are included under the topic Early Rook History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Rook Spelling Variations

Rook has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Rook have been found, including Rook, Rooke, Rookes, Rooks, Roke and others.

Early Notables of the Rook family (pre 1700)

Another 46 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Rook Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Rook migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Rooks to arrive on North American shores:

Rook Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Rook, aged 21, who landed in Barbados in 1684 [2]
Rook Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Michael Rook, who landed in Virginia in 1704 [2]
  • Sarah Rook, who arrived in Virginia in 1717 [2]
  • Joan Jacob Rook, aged 32, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1732 [2]
Rook Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anton A Rook, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1802 [2]
  • Augustine Rook, aged 31, who arrived in Kennebunk, Me in 1830 [2]
  • Frederick Rook, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1836 [2]
  • William Rook, who landed in New York in 1844 [2]
  • Henry J Rook, who arrived in Somerset County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [2]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Rook migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Rook Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Lawrence Rook, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1749
  • Joseph Rook, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Rook migration to Australia +

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

Rook Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • John Rook, English convict from Middlesex, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Thomas Rook, English convict from Worcester, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [3]
  • Thomas G. Rook, aged 42, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard" [4]
  • Mary Rook, aged 16, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Standard" [4]
  • Henry Rook, aged 19, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Stamboul"

Contemporary Notables of the name Rook (post 1700) +

  • Jerry Rook (b. 1943), American former professional basketball player
  • James M. Rook, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 16th District, 1922 [5]
  • Elmer Rook, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1956, 1960 [5]
  • Charles A. Rook, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1908, 1920; Presidential Elector for Pennsylvania, 1916 [5]
  • Susan Rook, CNN journalist and photographer
  • Jean Kathleen Rook (1931-1991), British newspaper columnist
  • Alan Rook, editor of New Oxford Poetry, one of the Cairo poets

The Rook 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: Efflorescent cornices dum micat sol
Motto Translation: Rooks will flourish while the sun shines.

  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. ^ South Australian Register Monday 18th December 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Standard 1854. Retrieved
  5. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 20) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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