Fisk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Fisk was a nickname "the fish" for someone who was a fisherman or someone who sold fish from the Icelandic "fiskr" or the Danish "fish." [1]

The name in Middle English was spelt fiske or fyske and was typically a northern England from of the word "fish." [2]

Early Origins of the Fisk family

The surname Fisk was first found in Norfolk where "Fisc occurs as a personal name in the Domesday Book of 1086." [3] [4] [5]

Later, Ernis Fish was listed in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1202 and in Suffolk, Daniel Fisc was listed there in 1208. The Pipe Rolls of Northumberland included Robert Fisk in 1230. In Cornwall, Robert le Fysch was found there in 1297. [4]

"The Fiskes or Fisks are probably connected with the Fiskes of the parish of Cratling in the 17th century: a monument to one of the family in Cratling church bore the date of 1640 Rattlesden [Suffolk] was the home of an ancient family of Fiske, owning much property in the county last century." [6]

Early History of the Fisk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fisk research. Another 305 words (22 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1519, 1637, 1643, 1902, 1796, 1872, 1796, 1818, 1819, 1827, 1884 and 1846 are included under the topic Early Fisk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fisk Spelling Variations

The first dictionaries that appeared in the last few hundred years did much to standardize the English language. Before that time, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. The language was changing, incorporating pieces of other languages, and the spelling of names changed with it. Fisk has been spelled many different ways, including Fisk, Ffiske, Fiske, Fisc and others.

Early Notables of the Fisk family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include William Fisk (1796-1872), the English painter, born in 1796 at Thorpe-le-Soken, Essex, "the son of a yeoman farmer at Can Hall in that county, of a family which boasted of some antiquity, dating back to the days of Henry IV. Drawing very early became Fisk's favourite occupation, but his inclination to art was discouraged by his father, who sent him to school at Colchester, and at nineteen years of age placed him in a mercantile house in London. In this uncongenial profession Fisk remained for...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Fisk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Fisk Ranking

In the United States, the name Fisk is the 2,933rd most popular surname with an estimated 9,948 people with that name. [7]


United States Fisk migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families in this era began to emigrate the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. Although the passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe, those who made the voyage safely were rewarded with opportunities unavailable to them in their homeland. Research into passenger and immigration lists has revealed some of the very first Fisks to arrive in North America:

Fisk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Caspar Fisk, who settled in Delaware in 1693
  • Casper Fisk, who arrived in Delaware in 1693 [8]
Fisk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Fisk, who settled in Maryland in 1744
Fisk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • G. B. Fisk, who settled in New York in 1821
  • H Fisk, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [8]
  • Mrs. Fisk, who landed in Mobile, Ala in 1821 [8]
  • Richard Fisk, who arrived in New York in 1822 [8]
  • Paul Fisk, who landed in New York in 1840 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Fisk migration to Australia +

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

Fisk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Fisk, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on July 3, 1822, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [9]
  • Francis George Fisk, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [10]
  • Bridgett Fisk, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Prince Regent" in 1839 [10]
  • Thomas Fisk, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Royal Archer" in 1848 [11]
  • Sarah Fisk, aged 21, a domestic servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Joseph Rowan" [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Fisk 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:

Fisk Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Miss Emily Fisk, (b. 1837), aged 22, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [13]
  • Miss Edna Fisk, (b. 1840), aged 19, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Roman Emperor" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 26th January 1860 [13]
  • Miss Harriet M. Fisk, (b. 1843), aged 18, English domestic servant, from Surrey travelling from London aboard the ship "Royal Stuart" arriving in Lyttlelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 8th October 1861 [13]
  • Miss Jane Fisk, (b. 1850), aged 14, British settler travelling from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ivanhoe" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 13th June 1864 [14]
  • Clement Fisk, aged 26, a painter, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "La Hogue" in 1874
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Fisk (post 1700) +

  • Stephen Gregory "Greg" Fisk (1945-2015), American politician, 13th Mayor of Juneau, Alaska in 2015
  • Clinton Bowen Fisk (1828-1890), American merchant, miller, banker, and Union Army brigadier general, eponym of Fisk University
  • James Fisk (1910-1981), American President of Bell Telephone Laboratories
  • Jack Fisk (b. 1934), American film director and actor
  • James Fisk (1834-1872), American financial speculator
  • James Fisk (1763-1844), American politician from Vermont, member of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Eliot Fisk (b. 1954), American classical guitarist
  • Willbur Fisk (1792-1839), American clergyman and educator
  • Schuyler Fisk (b. 1982), American actress
  • Jason Fisk (b. 1972), American NFL football player
  • ... (Another 49 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Charles Porter Fisk III., American Yeoman First Class from California, USA working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he died in the sinking [15]


The Fisk 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: Macte Virtute Sic Itur Ad Astra
Motto Translation: So to the stars we go.


Suggested Readings for the name Fisk +

  • Random Recollections by Brenton H. Dickson.
  • Stories of the Fisk Families by Lalia Estey Fiske.

  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. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  3. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. Print.
  6. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  7. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  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. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2016, October 27) Arab voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1822 with 155 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/arab/1822
  10. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PRINCE REGENT 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839PrinceRegent.htm
  11. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ROYAL ARCHER 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848RoyalArcher.gif
  12. ^ South Australian Register Saturday 17th June 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Joseph Rowan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/josephrowan1854.shtml
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  15. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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