Karslake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Anglo-Saxon England, the ancestors of the Karslake surname lived near a stream in which a substantial quantity of the edible plant cress or watercress grew. The surname Karslake is derived from the Old English words cærse, which means cress, and lacu, which means stream. [1] The surname Karslake belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Karslake family

The surname Karslake was first found in Devon at Kerslake, a hamlet near Tiverton. "Burgesses of that town bore this name in the reign of James I., and Abraham Kerslake was a Tiverton churchwarden in the time of Charles II." [2]

The "C" and "K" prefix for the name has always been interchangeable, as the first record of the family was actually found in Somerset. The Assize Rolls of Somerset in 1279 listed Ranulph de Carselak. [3]

Early History of the Karslake family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Karslake research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1279, 1295, 1586, 1677, 1821 and 1881 are included under the topic Early Karslake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Karslake Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Karslake are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Karslake include: Karslake, Carslake, Kerslake, Carselak, Karslack and others.

Early Notables of the Karslake family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Karslake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Karslake migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Karslake or a variant listed above:

Karslake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Constance Karslake, aged 13, who immigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • Dorothy Karslake, aged 4, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Frank Karslake, aged 40, who settled in America, in 1892
  • Gertrude Karslake, aged 10, who landed in America, in 1892
  • Harold Karslake, aged 12, who immigrated to the United States, in 1892
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Karslake 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:

Karslake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. J. K. Karslake, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Gananoque" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 9th May 1860 [4]
  • Mr. W.W.C. Karslake, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Zealandia" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand in 1869 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Karslake (post 1700) +

  • Sir John Burgess Karslake (1821-1881), English lawyer and politician, second son of Henry Karslake, solicitor, by his wife, a daughter of Richard Preston, Q.C., an eminent conveyancer and M.P. for Ashburton, born at Bencham, near Croydon [6]
  • Paul Karslake FRSA (b. 1958), English artist
  • John Karslake Karslake (b. 1872), New Zealand politician, Member of Parliament in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand
  • John Karslake Karslake (b. 1872), New Zealand politician, Member of Parliament in the Canterbury Region of New Zealand


The Karslake Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Ad finem fidelis
Motto Translation: Faithful to the end.


  1. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 26 October 2020


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