Oak History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The present generation of the Oak family is only the most recent to bear a name that dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name comes from having lived near a notable oak tree or near a group of oaks. The surname Oak is derived from the Old English word ac, which means oak. The surname Oak belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.

Early Origins of the Oak family

The surname Oak was first found in Somerset where Oake is a village and civil parish that dates back to before the Norman Copnquest when it was listed as Acon in 897. The place was listed as Acha in the Domesday Book [1] and literally means "place at the oak trees" from the Old Englisk word "ac" [2]

Early History of the Oak family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oak research. Another 69 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1606, 1662, 1645, 1631, 1681, 1640, 1675, 1680, 1680, 1681, 1644 and 1719 are included under the topic Early Oak History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oak Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Oak include Oak, Oake, Oakes, Oke, Okes and others.

Early Notables of the Oak family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include John Okey (1606-1662), an English soldier, Member of Parliament, one of the regicides of King Charles I; Nicholas Okes (died 1645), an English printer in London, best remembered for printing works of English Renaissance drama including works by William Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, John Webster, Thomas Middleton, Thomas...
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oak Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Oak migration to the United States +

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Oak were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records:

Oak Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jeane Oak, who landed in Maryland in 1678 [3]
Oak Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • C. Oak, who settled in San Francisco in 1851

Canada Oak migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oak Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • James Oak, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • Thomas Oak, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1750
  • William Oak, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1750

Australia Oak migration to Australia +

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

Oak Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Oak, aged 21, a servant, who arrived in South Australia in 1856 aboard the ship "Australia"

Contemporary Notables of the name Oak (post 1700) +

  • John M. Oak, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Bangor, Maine, 1898-1915 [4]
  • Ernald Oak Scattergood (1887-1932), English international footballer who played 192 times from 1907 to 1925; he represented the England National Team in 1913

Halifax Explosion
  • Miss Roselia  Oak (1910-1917), Canadian resident from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada who died in the explosion [5]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Arthur J Oak, British Boy, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [6]

The Oak Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Quercus robur salus patria
Motto Translation: The strength of the oak is the safety of our country.

  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 6) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Halifax Explosion Book of Remembrance | Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. (Retrieved 2014, June 23) . Retrieved from https://maritimemuseum.novascotia.ca/what-see-do/halifax-explosion/halifax-explosion-book-remembrance
  6. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html

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