Show ContentsNoakes History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Noakes is thought to come from the Middle English phrase "atten okes," meaning "at the oaks;" as such it was likely originally a name for someone who lived by some oak trees. [1]

"Aten Oke and Atten Oke were the original forms. When the preposition began to be dropped from this class of surnames, the final N in this instance adhered to the designation of the tree, and we obtained the form Noake, since pluralized into Noakes." [2]

Early Origins of the Noakes family

The surname Noakes was first found in Buckinghamshire where they held a family seat. This ancient Saxon name in derived from common usage from atte en Oak, a place designation, which originated in those counties surrounding London known as the home counties. including Sussex, Essex, and others. [3] [4]

By 1326 the name was well entrenched in that region and Richard Attenok is recording with estates in Buckingham in 1275, and was succeeded by Richard Noke. [1]

John atte Noke was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Sussex in 1327 and Robert atte Nokes was listed in the Subsidy Rolls for Worcestershire in 1332. [5]

Early History of the Noakes family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Noakes research. Another 43 words (3 lines of text) covering the years 1332, 1692, 1662, 1690, 1737, 1719 and 1737 are included under the topic Early Noakes History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Noakes Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Nokes, Noakes, Knoakes, Noke, Noak, Knoak, Noaks, Nokes, Knokes, Nowkes, Noekes and many more.

Early Notables of the Noakes family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include James Nokes (Noke, Noak, Noakes) (died 1692), an English actor, whose laughter-arousing genius was well known. He was one of the male actors who played female roles in the newly reopened playhouses shortly after the Restoration of Charles II. But, that practice did not last long as in 1662, Charles II ordered that only women should play female roles. William Noake (1690-1737), was a...
Another 68 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Noakes Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Noakes migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Noakes Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Henry Noakes, who landed in Virginia in 1653 [6]
  • Henry Noakes, who settled in Virginia in 1659
  • George Noakes, who arrived in Maryland in 1669 [6]

Canada Noakes migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Noakes Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Richard Noakes, who was on record in Montreal in 1848
  • Richard Noakes, aged 19, who arrived in Montreal in 1848

Australia Noakes migration to Australia +

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

Noakes Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Peter Noakes, English convict who was convicted in London, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" in May 1816, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [7]
  • Mr. John Noakes, British Convict who was convicted in Sussex, England for life, transported aboard the "Earl St Vincent" on 20th April 1826, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [8]

New Zealand Noakes 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:

Noakes Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • David Noakes, aged 21, a farmer, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Charlotte Noakes, aged 19, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "Mary Ann" in 1842
  • Mr. Noakes, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Metropolis" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 16th June 1863 [9]

Contemporary Notables of the name Noakes (post 1700) +

  • Herbert C. Noakes, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, 1932-36 [10]
  • John Noakes (1934-2017), English television presenter and personality
  • Michael Noakes (b. 1933), English artist and portrait painter
  • Robert Noakes (1947-2022), Scottish singer-songwriter, born in St Andrews, Fife
  • Tim Noakes, South African professor of exercise and sports science at the University of Cape Town
  • Kim Noakes (1982-2008), New Zealand field hockey player at the 2008 Summer Olympics
  • Sheila Noakes (b. 1949), Baroness Noakes, a British Conservative politician and former corporate executive
  • Rab Noakes (b. 1947), Scottish singer-songwriter
  • George Noakes (1924-2008), Bishop of St David's and Archbishop of Wales


  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. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  4. ^ Charnock, Richard, Stephen, Ludus Patronymicus of The Etymology of Curious Surnames. London: Trubner & Co., 60 Paternoster Row, 1868. Print.
  5. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  6. ^ 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)
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 1st March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  8. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 14th September 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/earl-st-vincent
  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 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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