Peake History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Peake family, who lived in Staffordshire. The surname of Peak derives from the Old English word pekke, indicating the top of a mountain or hill, and was a local name distinguishing a person who lived by a prominent peak. [1]

Early Origins of the Peake family

The surname Peake was first found in Suffolk where Uluric Pec was listed at Bury St Edmunds c. 1095, nine years after the Domesday Book of 1086. Oxfordshire is the next entry: Richard de Pec who was listed at Eynsham in 1192. [2]

As noted, most sources point to Staffordshire as to where the family hails. Staffordshire was where "among the earliest known bearers of the name are Richard del Pech or del Pek (d. 1196), son of Ranulf, Sheriff of Nottingham, and Willielmus Piec, who was in Winchester in 1194." [3] "The Peakes of Staffordshire were represented in Shropshire in the 13th century by the Piks and Pickes." [4]

And two sources note Derbyshire, where the name was derived from "a pointed hill, as the Peak in Derbyshire" [5] and "one who came from Peak (hill), in Derbyshire." [6] "The Peak District, Derbyshire, is referred to as Peac lond in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, A.D. 924." [7]

"The Peakes of Llewenny, co. Denbigh, have been seated there apparently from the XIV. century, and there is little doubt of their extraction from Thomas del Peke, to whom Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln, about the year 1284, granted a burgage, &c., within the walls of Denbigh. As Llewennie was included within De Lacy's barony, it seems probable that it was granted at the same period. The family went into Wales in 1283, with King Edward I., doubtless as feudatories of the De Lacys. Harl. M.S. 1933. See B.L.G. The etymology of the name is the same as that of Peak." [5]

Early feudal rolls provided the king of the time a method of cataloguing holdings for taxation, but today they provide a glimpse into the wide surname spellings in use at that time. William de Peke was listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 and William atte Peke was listed in Devon in 1321. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 lists: Isabell del Pek; and Martyn del Pek. [1]

Early History of the Peake family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peake research. Another 101 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1284, 1283, 1551, 1619, 1592, 1667 and 1668 are included under the topic Early Peake History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peake Spelling Variations

A multitude of spelling variations characterize Norman surnames. Many variations occurred because Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England also had a pronounced effect, as did the court languages of Latin and French. Therefore, one person was often referred to by several different spellings in a single lifetime. The various spellings include MacPeake, Peak, Peake and others.

Early Notables of the Peake family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir William Peake of Achurch; Robert Peake the Elder (c. 1551-1619), an English painter; and Sir Robert Peake (ca. 1592-1667), English print-seller and Royalist, he was exiled for refusing...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Peake Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peake Ranking

In the United States, the name Peake is the 5,653rd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [8]

Ireland Migration of the Peake family to Ireland

Some of the Peake family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 32 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Peake migration to the United States +

Many English families left England, to avoid the chaos of their homeland and migrated to the many British colonies abroad. Although the conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and some travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute, once in the colonies, many of the families prospered and made valuable contributions to the cultures of what would become the United States and Canada. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Peake or a variant listed above:

Peake Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Peake who settled in Virginia in 1623
  • Robert Peake, who arrived in Virginia in 1623 [9]
  • William Peake, who arrived in New England in 1633 [9]
  • Marie Peake, aged 15, who landed in New England in 1635 [9]
  • Christopher Peake, who landed in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1635 [9]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Peake Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Lamp Peake, aged 25, who arrived in South Carolina in 1812 [9]
  • Herman Peake, who arrived in Mississippi in 1876 [9]

Australia Peake migration to Australia +

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

Peake Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. James Peake who was convicted in Kent, England for life, transported aboard the "Elizabeth" on 3rd October 1831, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [10]
  • Mr. Michael Peake, (b. 1811), aged 22, English labourer who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for life, transported aboard the "Fairlie" on 14th October 1833, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1838 [11]
  • Charles Peake, aged 31, a blacksmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"
  • Henry Peake, aged 39, a blacksmith, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"
  • Mr. William Peake, (b. 1832), aged 26, Cornish labourer departing from Plymouth aboard the ship "Ascendant" arriving in Moreton Bay, New South Wales, Australia on 19th June 1858 [12]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Peake 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:

Peake Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Jane Peake, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [13]
  • Mr. Herbert Peake, (b. 1857), aged 5 months, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [13]
  • Mr. Thomas Peake, (b. 1830), aged 28, British farmer travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [13]
  • Mr. William Peake, (b. 1855), aged 3, British settler travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Maori" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 14th April 1858 [13]
  • Mr. Francis T. Peake, (b. 1874), aged 5, Cornish settler departing on 19th July 1879 aboard the ship "Rangitiki" arriving in Lyttelton, Canterbury, New Zealand on 14th October 1879 [14]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Peake (post 1700) +

  • James Benjamin Peake (b. 1944), American former United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs (2007-2009), 40th Surgeon General of the United States Army
  • Patrick Michael "Pat" Peake (b. 1973), American retired NHL hockey player for the Washington Capitals
  • Willis Royal Peake (1836-1901), American Republican politician, Member of Vermont State House of Representatives from Bristol, 1876; Member of Vermont State Senate from Addison County, 1888 [15]
  • R. F. Peake, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Kentucky, 1896 [15]
  • J. H. Cameron Peake, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Buenos Aires, 1945-46 [15]
  • Giles Peake, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Wadena, Minnesota, 1878-86 [15]
  • George W. Peake Jr., American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Georgia, 1972 [15]
  • Frederick T. Peake (b. 1855), American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Suez, 1905-16 [15]
  • Elisabeth Strang Peake (b. 1888), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Pennsylvania, 1940 [15]
  • Alvah G. Peake, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Wadena, Minnesota, 1874-75 [15]
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  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. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges, A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8)
  4. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  6. ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
  7. ^ Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  8. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  9. ^ 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)
  10. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 9th March 2022). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/elizabeth
  11. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 21st September 2022). https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/fairlie
  12. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_nsw_1850_59.pdf
  13. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  14. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 2018, April 30). Emigrants to Lyttelton 1858-84 [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/new_zealand_assisted.pdf
  15. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 7) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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