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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Oaks family come from? What is the English Oaks family crest and coat of arms? When did the Oaks family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Oaks family history?

The Anglo-Saxon name Oaks comes from the family having resided near a notable oak tree or near a group of oaks. The surname Oaks is derived from the Old English word ac, which means oak. The surname Oaks 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.


Oaks has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Oak, Oake, Oakes, Oke, Okes and others.

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]


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oaks research. Another 137 words (10 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 Oaks History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 201 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oaks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Oakss to arrive on North American shores:

Oaks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Oaks settled in Bristol, Rhode Island in 1820
  • John Oaks settled in South Carolina in 1822

Oaks Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • John Oaks arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Mariner" in 1847


  • Robert C. Oaks (b. 1936), retired U.S. Air Force general
  • Robert Oaks, member of the New York State Assembly
  • Jenny Oaks (b. 1975), American violinist
  • Nathaniel T. Oaks (b. 1946), American politician
  • Dallin Oaks (b. 1932), American Lawyer


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.


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  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)

Other References

  1. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  2. 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).
  3. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  4. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  5. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  6. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  7. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  10. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  11. ...

The Oaks Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oaks 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 30 April 2015 at 20:59.

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