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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Fiske family come from? What is the English Fiske family crest and coat of arms? When did the Fiske family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Fiske family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Fiske comes from when its first bearer worked as a person who worked as a fisherman or someone who sold fish. The surname Fiske also has a nickname origin, in which case the original bearer had certain characteristics that resembled a fish.


Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Fiske include Fisk, Ffiske, Fiske, Fisc and others.

First found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D. A landholder of the name Fisc is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 in the county of Suffolk near Laxfield, anciently known in Saxon geography of Suffolk as Laxefelda.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Fiske research. Another 479 words(34 lines of text) covering the years 1086, 1519, 1637, and 1643 are included under the topic Early Fiske History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Fiske Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Fiske or a variant listed above:

Fiske Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Fiske arrived in Salem Massachusetts in 1637
  • John Fiske, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1637
  • David Fiske, who landed in New England in 1638
  • David Fiske settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1640
  • Anne Fiske, who arrived in New England in 1640

Fiske Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • G S Fiske, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • Mrs. J R Fiske, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851
  • R. L. Fiske settled in San Francisco in 1853
  • Albert Fiske, aged 8, landed in New York, NY in 1893
  • Reinhold Fiske, aged 9, arrived in New York, NY in 1893


  • Bradley Allen Fiske (1854-1942), American naval officer and inventor
  • Harrison Grey Fiske (1861-1942), American critic, producer, and playwright
  • John "Edmund" Fiske (1842-1901), American philosopher and historian
  • William Geoffrey "Bill" Fiske (1905-1975), English civil servant, Leader of the Greater London Council


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.


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  1. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  2. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  3. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  4. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  5. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  6. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  9. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  10. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  11. ...

The Fiske Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Fiske 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 9 October 2014 at 00:45.

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