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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


The ancestry of the name Oakland dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in one of the various settlements named Oakley throughout England, or in Oakley Street in Gloucestershire, Oakleigh in Kent, or Ockley in Surrey. The surname Oakland belongs to the large category of Anglo-Saxon habitation names, which are derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads.

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The surname Oakland was first found in Shropshire where this "ancient family descended from Philip, who is the reign of Henry III., was Lord of Oakley in the parish of Bishop's Castle, from whence he assumed his name, and which has ever since been the inheritance of his descendants." [1] [2] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Walter de Oclee in Wiltshire; Godwin de Ocle in Suffolk; and Robert de Ocle in Oxfordshire. The Feet if Fins of 1415, list Thomas Acle or Ocle as Sheriff of Norwich at that time. [3]

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Oakland have been found, including Oakley, Oakeley, Oakly, Okly, Ockley and others.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oakland research. Another 281 words (20 lines of text) covering the years 1500, 1327, 1362, 1380, 1541, 1660, 1653, 1624, 1635, 1695, 1659, 1660, 1678 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Oakland History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 119 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oakland Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Oakland, or a variant listed above: George Oakley, who came to Virginia in 1654; Francis Oakley, who arrived in Barbados in 1669; John Oakeley, who settled in Virginia in 1773; Alice Oakley, who settled in Virginia in 1729.

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  • Ben Oakland (1907-1979), American composer, lyricist and pianist most active from the 1920s through the 1940s, inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
  • Velma L. Oakland, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 1996


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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: Non timeo sed caveo
Motto Translation: I do not fear, but am careful.

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  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)

Other References

  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  3. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  4. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  5. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  8. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  9. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  11. ...

The Oakland Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oakland Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 20 January 2016 at 14:30.

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