Houker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Houker finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a person who made hooks or an agricultural worker who used hooks. The name Houker was also applied to someone who lived near a bend or hill-spur. The surname Houker is derived from the Old English word hoc, which means hook. [1]

"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." [2]

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. " [3]

Early Origins of the Houker family

The surname Houker 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. [4]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 revealed Robert le Hoker, Kent; and Hugh Hoker, Norfolk. [5]

Early History of the Houker family

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

Houker Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Houker family name include Hooker, Hookers and others.

Early Notables of the Houker 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. [2] 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...
Another 91 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Houker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Houker family

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Houker surname or a spelling variation of the name include : 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.



  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  5. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)


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