McPeak History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name McPeak arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The McPeak 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. [1]

Early Origins of the McPeak family

The surname McPeak was first found in Staffordshire 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." [2] Another possible progenitor of the family could have been Uluric Pec c. 1095 who was listed in Suffolk, [3] but this is believed to be an isolated case of the surname. 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. [1]

Early History of the McPeak family

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

McPeak Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled MacPeake, Peak, Peake and others.

Early Notables of the McPeak 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 McPeak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the McPeak family to Ireland

Some of the McPeak 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.


United States McPeak migration to the United States +

Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with McPeak name or one of its variants:

McPeak Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Neal McPeak, aged 30, who arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1803 [4]
  • Thomas McPeak, aged 19, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1864 [4]
McPeak Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mary McPeak, aged 37, who immigrated to the United States from Derry, in 1905
  • Patrick McPeak, aged 20, who landed in America from Derry, in 1906
  • Edward McPeak, aged 21, who landed in America from Convoy, Ireland, in 1911
  • James Patrick McPeak, aged 36, who immigrated to America, in 1913
  • John McPeak, aged 20, who landed in America from Swateragh, Ireland, in 1914
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada McPeak migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

McPeak Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Daniel McPeak, aged 21, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Michael McPeak, aged 39, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834
  • Hugh McPeak, aged 18, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Protector" in 1834

New Zealand McPeak 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:

McPeak Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Catherine McPeak, aged 43, a housekeeper, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879
  • Mary McPeak, aged 20, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879
  • Sarah McPeak, aged 18, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879
  • Catherine McPeak, aged 13, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Maraval" in 1879

Contemporary Notables of the name McPeak (post 1700) +

  • Merrill Anthony "Tony" McPeak (b. 1936), 14th Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force
  • William "Bill" Patrick McPeak (1926-1991), American football player and National Football League coach
  • Holly McPeak (b. 1969), American beach volleyball player
  • Susan Ilene McPeak, American politician, Representative from Michigan 8th District, 1994
  • Michael J. McPeak, American politician, Representative from Michigan 1st District, 1994; Natural Law Candidate for Presidential Elector for Michigan, 2000
  • Enoch M. McPeak, American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for West Virginia, 1908
  • Tony McPeak, Scottish former professional footballer


  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. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)


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