Hookay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Hookay is an Anglo-Saxon name. The name was originally given to a person who made hooks or an agricultural worker who used hooks. The name Hookay was also applied to someone who lived near a bend or hill-spur. The surname Hookay is derived from the Old English word hoc, which means hook. 
"The original name of the family was Vowell, but in the fifteenth century members of it called themselves Vowell alias Hooker or Hoker, and in the sixteenth century the original name was generally dropped." 
One other source confirms this name change, but it should be noted that only one branch did so. "The original name was Vowell or Fowell, and the family had been seated at Fowelscombe t. Henry IV. or earlier; and a younger son marrying an heiress assumed the name of Hooker." 
Early Origins of the Hookay family
The surname Hookay was first found in the source Liber Elienis where Osmundus cognomento Hocere was recorded c. 975. From this earliest entry in Latin and in Saxon times, we move to Norfolk where William, Osbert Hoker(e) was found in the Pipe Rolls of 1199, and later in the Assize Rolls for Lincolnshire in 1219. John le Hoker, le Houker was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and 1332. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 revealed Robert le Hoker, Kent; and Hugh Hoker, Norfolk. 
Early History of the Hookay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Hookay research. Another 82 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1199, 1558, 1526, 1601, 1526, 1529, 1554, 1600, 1553, 1493, 1537, 1490, 1529, 1586 and 1647 are included under the topic Early Hookay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Hookay Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Hookay has appeared include Hooker, Hookers and others.
Early Notables of the Hookay family (pre 1700)
Notables of the family at this time include John Hooker alias Vowell (1526?-1601), English antiquary and Chamberlain of Exeter, born there in or about 1526, being the second son of Robert Hooker, who was Mayor of Exeter in 1529. 
Richard Hooker (1554?-1600) was a noted English theologian who wrote "The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity." he was born at Heavitree, Exeter, probably in March 1553-4. The original name of the family was Vowell, but in the fifteenth century members of it called themselves Vowell alias Hooker or Hoker, and in the sixteenth century...
Migration of the Hookay family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Hookay arrived in North America very early: John Hooker and his son settled in Barbados in 1678; Joanna, John, Mary, Robert, Samuel, Sarah, Susannah, and Thomas Hooker settled in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1633.