Monks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Monks family migrated to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The surname Monks is for a monk. Further research showed the name was derived from the Old English word munuc, of the same meaning, and would indicate that the original bearer was a Monk in the medieval period (celibacy among monks was not generally adopted until the later Middle Ages, so some of them would have had families). On the other hand, the surname may be a nickname to describe someone who was perhaps a recluse.

Early Origins of the Monks family

The surname Monks was first found in Devon where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor of Potheridge and descended from a Norman noble, Le Moyne, who attended Duke William at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Conjecturally they are descended from the holder of the lands of Potheridge at the time of the taking of the Domesday Book in 1086, Aubrey from Baldwin the Sheriff of Devon, who held a mare and three clusters of horses at Great and Little Potheridge and Potheridge Gate. William Le Moyne's principal seat was at Dunster Castle. From this distinguished family name are descended the ancient and ardent royalist house of the Dukes of Albermarle.

"The parish of Merton is celebrated as containing the manor of Potheridge, the home for many descents of the family of Monk, made illustrious in their descendant, the famous General. There is some little confusion as to the exact place of [Col. Thomas] Monk's birth (1608), arising from the fact that he was baptized, not at Merton, but at Landcross, a parish some miles distant, adjoining Bideford. Hence he has been variously regarded as being born at Potheridge and at Landcross. However, Potheridge was both the seat of his family and became his own chief residence. The mansion was rebuilt by him for that purpose ; but in greater part was destroyed after the death of the widow of his son Christopher, the second and last duke, in 1734." [1]

Moynes Court is a building in the village of Mathern, Monmouthshire, Wales, which dates back to c. 1609. The original manor dates back to c. 1254.

Early History of the Monks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Monks research. Another 37 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1608, 1670, 1660, 1653, 1688, 1610, 1661, 1659, 1701, 1689, 1690, 1715, 1627 and 1797 are included under the topic Early Monks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Monks Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Monks family name include Monk, Monks, Monck, Moncks, Monckes and others.

Early Notables of the Monks family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle (1608-1670), English general and statesman, instrumental in the restoration of Charles II to the English throne in 1660; Christopher Monck, 2nd Duke of Albemarle, KG, PC (1653-1688), an English soldier and politician; Nicholas Monck (c...
Another 48 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Monks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Monks Ranking

In the United States, the name Monks is the 11,488th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [2]

Ireland Migration of the Monks family to Ireland

Some of the Monks family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Monks migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Monks family to immigrate North America:

Monks Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Thomas Monks, who settled in Nevis in 1660
Monks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Monks, aged 20, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • Robert Monks, aged 22, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • Thomas Monks, aged 17, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1803 [3]
  • James Monks, aged 68, who landed in Rhode Island in 1812 [3]
  • Matthew Monks, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1831 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Monks migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Monks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Miss Judith Monks, (b. 1809), aged 17, Irish house maid who was convicted in Dublin, Ireland for 7 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Brothers" on 3rd October 1826, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • John Monks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Delhi" in 1839 [5]
  • Miss Isabella Monks, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth and Henry" on 14th September 1846, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Michael Monks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1848 [7]
  • Charles Monks, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Stebonheath" in 1849 [8]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Monks 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:

Monks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Bridget Monks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [9]
  • Miss Catherine Monks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [9]
  • Mr. William Monks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Egmont" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th June 1858 [9]
  • Miss Susanna Monks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 [9]
  • Miss Bridget Monks, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Lord Ashley" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 14th October 1858 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Monks (post 1700) +

  • W. Harry Monks, American politician, Mayor of Fall River, Massachusetts, 1927-28 [10]
  • Thomas E. Monks, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1932 [10]
  • Robert A. G. Monks, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Senator from Maine, 1976 [10]
  • Bruce L. Monks (b. 1923), American Democratic Party politician, Supervisor of Clinton Township, Michigan, 1961-65; Member of Michigan State House of Representatives 71st District, 1965-66; Defeated, 1966 [10]
  • John Cherry Monks Jr. (1910-2004), American author, actor, playwright, screenwriter and director
  • Joseph M. Monks (b. 1968), American writer and blind film director
  • George Howard Monks (1853-1933), American surgeon and dentist, former Professor of Oral Surgery at Harvard Dental School
  • George Derek Monks (b. 1929), English former first-class cricketer from Sheffield, Yorkshire
  • Neale Monks (b. 1971), English former paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London
  • Mr. Charles Monks M.B.E., British HM Immigration Inspector for the Home Office, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Immigration Enforcement [11]
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  2. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd November 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/brothers
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DELHI 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Delhi.htm
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth-and-henry
  7. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) BOLTON 1848. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1848Bolton.htm
  8. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) STEBONHEATH 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Stebonheath.htm
  9. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  10. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  11. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists


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