Show ContentsHawk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Hawk family name is linked to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from the Old English personal name Hafoc, which means hawk. But, the surname also evolved from a nickname, for someone with a Hawk-like, or "wild" disposition. [1] [2] [3]

It may also be an occupational surname given to a "hawker" or someone who held land in exchange for providing hawks to a lord. [4]

Lastly, the surname Hawk may be a local surname given to someone who lived in a nook or corner; in this case, the surname is derived from the Old English word halke, which means nook or corner.

On the more romantic side, one reference claims the name derives from the "bird: allusive to keenness of disposition." [2]

Early Origins of the Hawk family

The surname Hawk was first found in Hampshire where Hauok was found in 1066 at Winton. Roger Hauech was listed in the Pipe Rolls for Dorset in 1176 and later, Robert Hauk was found in the Assize Rolls for Northumberland in 1269. Walter le Hauek was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1296. [4]

This same source has another interesting entry: "Osbertus filius Hauoc c1115 [who was found as an Old English Byname in Oxfordshire] is probably to be identified with Osbern Hauoc (ibid.). His father bore the OE name of Hafoc 'hawk'." [4]

In 1130 the Pipe Rolls list Ralph Hauoc who owed the exchequer two 'Girfals', gerfalcons or hawks. Other early record from the same source include: William del Halk who was found in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk in 1188; Adam de Halk in the Assize Rolls for Cambridgeshire in 1260; and William atte Halk and Alan Hauke in the Subsidy Rolls for Suffolk in 1327. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 had only one listing for the name, that of Jocelin de Hawke, but no county was provided. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Records of 1379 list: Thomas Hauke; Thomas Hauke, cottier; Adam Hawke; and Johannes Hawke. [3]

Early History of the Hawk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hawk research. Another 113 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1577, 1601, 1705, 1781, 1705, 1718, 1719, 1725, 1727, 1703, 1759, 1720, 1722, 1725, 1747 and 1752 are included under the topic Early Hawk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hawk Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Hawk include Hawk, Hawke, Hawkes, Hauk, Hauke and others.

Early Notables of the Hawk family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Edward Hawke (1705-1781), British admiral, 1st Baron Hawke of Towton, county Yorkshire. He was "born in London in 1705, was only son of Edward Hawke, barrister, of Lincoln's Inn. His father's family was settled for many generations at Treriven in Cornwall. In 1718 his father died, and Hawke, left the ward of his uncle, Martin Bladen, entered the navy on 20 Feb. 1719 as a volunteer on board the Seahorse, commanded by Captain Thomas Durell...
Another 83 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Hawk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hawk Ranking

In the United States, the name Hawk is the 1,901st most popular surname with an estimated 17,409 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Hawk family to Ireland

Some of the Hawk family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Hawk migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Hawk were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Hawk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Mathew Hawk, who landed in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1638 [6]
Hawk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Hawk, who arrived in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania in 1743 [6]
  • Andrew Hawk, who was on record in Pennsylvania in 1743
  • John B Hawk, who arrived in New England in 1773 [6]
Hawk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Anthony B Hawk, who arrived in New York in 1819 [6]

Canada Hawk migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Hawk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Gabriel Hawk, who arrived in Canada in 1834
  • John Hawk, who landed in Canada in 1834
  • Benjamin Hawk, who landed in Canada in 1841

Australia Hawk migration to Australia +

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

Hawk Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Hawk, aged 25, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Thomas Arbuthnot"

New Zealand Hawk 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:

Hawk Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • J. Hawk, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Agra" in 1852 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hawk (post 1700) +

  • David L. Hawk (b. 1948), American management theorist, architect, and systems scientist, specializing in environmental management
  • Anthony Frank "Tony" Hawk (b. 1968), nicknamed "The Birdman," American professional skateboarder and actor; known for his pioneering work and for his licensed video game titles
  • Sergeant John Druse "Bud" Hawk (b. 1924), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1945
  • Aaron James "A. J." Hawk (b. 1984), American NFL football linebacker
  • James G. Hawk, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Armstrong County, 1926 [8]
  • Gordon L. Hawk, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Maryland, 1964 [8]
  • Fred J. Hawk, American Republican politician, Candidate for West Virginia State House of Delegates from Logan County, 1938 [8]
  • E. L. Hawk, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from California, 1908 [8]
  • C. C. Hawk, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Oklahoma, 1936 [8]
  • Larry Echo Hawk, American Democratic Party politician, Idaho State Attorney General, 1991-95; Candidate for Governor of Idaho, 1994 [9]
  • ... (Another 8 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Suggested Readings for the name Hawk +

  • Adam Hawkes (also Hawk) of Saugus, Massachusetts, 1605-1672; The First Six Generations in America by Ethel Farrington Smith.
  • Early German Hawk Families of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania by Kenneth Hawk Slaker.

  1. Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  6. 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)
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from
  9. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from on Facebook