Show ContentsHawks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Hawks is from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of the Britain and 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 Hawks 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 Hawks family

The surname Hawks 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 Hawks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hawks 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 Hawks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hawks 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. Hawks has been spelled many different ways, including Hawk, Hawke, Hawkes, Hauk, Hauke and others.

Early Notables of the Hawks 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 Hawks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Hawks Ranking

In the United States, the name Hawks is the 2,623rd most popular surname with an estimated 12,435 people with that name. [5]

Ireland Migration of the Hawks family to Ireland

Some of the Hawks 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 Hawks 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 Hawkss to arrive in North America:

Hawks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Hawks, who landed in Maryland in 1668 [6]
Hawks Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Jeffry Hawks, who landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1720 [6]
Hawks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Hawks, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [6]
  • Robert Hawks, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [6]
  • Samuel Hawks, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [6]
  • James Hawks, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1876 [6]

Australia Hawks migration to Australia +

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

Hawks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Hawks, English convict from Sussex, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [7]
  • William Hawks, aged 29, a bricklayer, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Cheapside" [8]
  • Thomas Hawks, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1851 aboard the ship "Thetis" [9]
  • Mary Tabitha Hawks, aged 14, a nurserymaid, who arrived in South Australia in 1853 aboard the ship "Shackamaxon" [10]

Contemporary Notables of the name Hawks (post 1700) +

  • John Hawks (1731-1790), British-born, American architect active in North Carolina
  • John Twelve Hawks, American pseudonym for the author of the 2005 dystopian novel The Traveler and its sequels, The Dark River and The Golden City
  • John Hawks, American associate professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Cicero Stephens Hawks (1812-1868), American first Episcopal bishop of Missouri
  • William Bellinger Hawks (1901-1969), American film producer
  • Howard Winchester Hawks (1896-1977), American Academy Award nominated film director, producer and writer, awarded an Honorary Academy Award as "a master American filmmaker whose creative efforts hold a distinguished place in world cinema," known for such movies as Scarface (1932), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), Sergeant York (1941) and many more
  • Private First Class Lloyd C Hawks (1911-1953), American soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944 for his actions in World War II
  • Frank Monroe Hawks (1897-1938), American Lieutenant Commander in World War I and a record holding aviator setting 214 point-to-point records in the United States and Europe, inspiration for the popular saying at the time, "Don't send it by mail... send it by Hawks"
  • Dr. Francis Lister Hawks (1798-1866), American priest of the Episcopal Church
  • William T. Hawks (b. 1944), American politician

HMS Royal Oak
  • F.L. Hawks, British Telegraphist with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak (1939) when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [11]

  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. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Argyle voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1831 with 251 passengers. Retrieved from
  8. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CHEAPSIDE 1849. Retrieved from
  9. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) THETIS 1851. Retrieved
  10. South Australian Register Thursday 20 January 1853. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SHACKAMAXON 1853. Retrieved
  11. Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from on Facebook