Show ContentsLakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the bearers of the Lakes family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found beside or close to a lake. The surname Lakes originally derived from the Old English word lacu which meant lake. Lakes is a topographic surname, which was given to a person who resided near a physical feature such as a hill, stream, church, or type of tree.

Early Origins of the Lakes family

The surname Lakes was first found in Oxfordshire where William atte Lake was first registered in the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. The same rolls included William de la Lake, Salop (Shropshire.) [1]

"The Lakes of Devonshire may take their name from a hamlet near Okehampton. In the 17th century the name was established in Bideford. There was a John Lake of Bideford in the reign of James I., and Thomas Lake in the time of William III. commanded one of the Bideford ships engaged in the Newfoundland trade. The name is still in the neighbourhood. A certain Roger de la Lake resided in the reign of Edward I. in the ancient Clifton Hundred of Devon." [2]

Some of the family were also found in nearby Cornwall. "Trevarrick, the residence of Henry Lakes, Esq. is in the vicinity of St. Austell, on its western side. It is a modern built house, and pleasantly situated. Behind it, on a winding hill, the trees which have been planted by its present possessor, thrive with much luxuriance; and the scenery around, though not extensive, is diversified with pleasing varieties." [3]

Early History of the Lakes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Lakes research. Another 115 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1263, 1656, 1640, 1569, 1626, 1561, 1630, 1598, 1633, 1617, 1621, 1609, 1680, 1660, 1679, 1624, 1689, 1682, 1684, 1684, 1685, 1685 and 1689 are included under the topic Early Lakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lakes Spelling Variations

Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Lakes include Lake, Lacke and others.

Early Notables of the Lakes family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Arthur Lake (1569-1626), and English prelate from Southampton, Bishop of Bath and Wells and a translator of the King James Version of The Bible; Sir Thomas Lake (1561-1630), Secretary of State to James I of England; and his son, Sir Arthur Lake (1598-1633), an English politician, known for the notorious Lake-Cecil feud which...
Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Lakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Lakes Ranking

In the United States, the name Lakes is the 8,913rd most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [4]

Ireland Migration of the Lakes family to Ireland

Some of the Lakes family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Lakes migration to the United States +

Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Lakes or a variant listed above:

Lakes Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Denis Lakes, aged 57, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "La Bretagne" from Havre, France [5]
  • Harold Lakes, aged 6, who arrived in New York in 1893 aboard the ship "Etruria" from Liverpool, England [5]
  • Albert W. Lakes, aged 45, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Umbria" from Liverpool & Queenstown [5]
  • Robert Lakes, aged 38, originally from London, who arrived in New York in 1896 aboard the ship "Teutonic" from Liverpool, England [5]
Lakes Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Nicolasito Lakes, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1919 aboard the ship "Maracaibo" from Mayaguez, P.R., Maracaibo, Curacao [5]
  • Nicolas Lakes, aged 25, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Mariana" from Guanica, Puerto Rico [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Lakes (post 1700) +

  • Jane Lakes Harman (b. 1945), Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Ellis Island Search retrieved 15th November 2022. Retrieved from on Facebook