When the Stongbow settlers arrived in Ireland
, they quickly learned that the Irish had a pre-established system of hereditary surnames
. The name Huniake is an occupational
surname, which was primarily from the Anglo-Norman culture. There were a few Irish occupational names, however, previous to the arrival of the Strongbownians, so this Anglo-Norman tradition was not too incongruous within the island. Occupational
surnames were derived from a word describing the actual job done by the initial name bearer. The Strongbownians frequently prefixed these names with the French word le, meaning the, but this custom quickly died out in Ireland
. The surname Huniake came from a common occupational name for a valued military officer. The surname Huniake is derived from the expression Unicus Est. According to tradition, during the bitter 13th century feuds between the two powerful Anglo-Norman families of the Fitzgeralds and the Butlers, a Commander who sought help to secure a position pointed to a particularly valued captain and said Unicus Est, which means Hei is the only one to undertake this service. The name Garde was also used as a synonym.
Early Origins of the Huniake family
The surname Huniake was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times, soon after the Anglo Norman Conquest
in 1172 A.D. That this family name were Norman mercenaries seems reasonably clear. In the bitter 13th century feuds between the Fitzgeralds and the Butlers it is said that a commander, seeking help to secure a position, pointed to one of the captains and said, 'Unicus Est', meaning 'He is the only one to undertake this service'. Hence this expression not only became the family motto but it also became the basis and origin of the family name itself, Uniacke. Later some used Gard as a synonym.
Early History of the Huniake family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Huniake research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 197 and 1976 are included under the topic Early Huniake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Huniake Spelling Variations
Names were simply spelled as they sounded by medieval scribes and church officials. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, his name was often spelt in many different ways, explaining the many spelling variations
encountered while researching the name Huniake. Some of these variations included: Uniacke, Uniake, Uniack, Uniak, Garde, Gard and others.
Early Notables of the Huniake family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Huniake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Huniake family to the New World and Oceana
During the middle of the 19th century, Irish families
often experienced extreme poverty and racial discrimination in their own homeland under English rule. Record numbers died of disease and starvation and many others, deciding against such a fate, boarded ships bound for North America. The largest influx of Irish settlers occurred with Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Unfortunately, many of those Irish that arrived in Canada or the United States still experienced economic and racial discrimination. Although often maligned, these Irish people were essential to the rapid development of these countries because they provided the cheap labor required for the many canals, roads, railways, and other projects required for strong national infrastructures. Eventually the Irish went on to make contributions in the less backbreaking and more intellectual arenas of commerce, education, and the arts. Research early immigration and passenger lists revealed many early immigrants bearing the name Huniake: Edward Uniacke arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.