MacPhach History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
MacPhach is one of the thousands of new names that the Norman Conquest brought to England in 1066. The MacPhach family lived in Staffordshire. The surname of Peak derives from the Old English word pekke, indicating the top of a mountain or hill, and was a local name distinguishing a person who lived by a prominent peak. 
Early Origins of the MacPhach family
The surname MacPhach was first found in Suffolk where Uluric Pec was listed at Bury St Edmunds c. 1095, nine years after the Domesday Book of 1086. Oxfordshire is the next entry: Richard de Pec who was listed at Eynsham in 1192. 
As noted, most sources point to Staffordshire as to where the family hails. Staffordshire was where "among the earliest known bearers of the name are Richard del Pech or del Pek (d. 1196), son of Ranulf, Sheriff of Nottingham, and Willielmus Piec, who was in Winchester in 1194."  "The Peakes of Staffordshire were represented in Shropshire in the 13th century by the Piks and Pickes." 
And two sources note Derbyshire, where the name was derived from "a pointed hill, as the Peak in Derbyshire"  and "one who came from Peak (hill), in Derbyshire."  "The Peak District, Derbyshire, is referred to as Peac lond in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 924." 
"The Peakes of Llewenny, co. Denbigh, have been seated there apparently from the XIV. century, and there is little doubt of their extraction from Thomas del Peke, to whom Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, about the year 1284, granted a burgage, &c., within the walls of Denbigh. As Llewennie was included within De Lacy's barony, it seems probable that it was granted at the same period. The family went into Wales in 1283, with King Edward I., doubtless as feudatories of the De Lacys. Harl. M.S. 1933. See B.L.G. The etymology of the name is the same as that of Peak." 
Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. William de Peke was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 and William atte Peke was listed in Devon in 1321. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Isabell del Pek; and Martyn del Pek. 
Early History of the MacPhach family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our MacPhach research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1284, 1283, 1551, 1619, 1592, 1667 and 1668 are included under the topic Early MacPhach History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
MacPhach Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled MacPeake, Peak, Peake and others.
Early Notables of the MacPhach family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Peake of Achurch; Robert Peake the Elder (c. 1551-1619), an English painter; and Sir Robert Peake (ca. 1592-1667), English print-seller and Royalist, he was exiled for refusing...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early MacPhach Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacPhach family to Ireland
Some of the MacPhach family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the MacPhach family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name MacPhach or a variant listed above: Robert Peake who settled in Virginia in 1623; Mathew Peake settled in Virginia in 1636; Mary Peake and her husband settled in Boston in 1636; Martha Peak settled in Virginia in 1698.
Related Stories +
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
- ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print