Peaks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Peaks came to England with the ancestors of the Peaks family in the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Peaks family 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 Peaks family

The surname Peaks 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 Peaks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Peaks 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 Peaks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Peaks Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Peaks has been recorded under many different variations, including MacPeake, Peak, Peake and others.

Early Notables of the Peaks 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 Peaks Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Peaks family to Ireland

Some of the Peaks 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.

Migration of the Peaks family

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Peakss were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: Robert Peake who settled in Virginia in 1623; Mathew Peake settled in Virginia in 1636; Mary Peake and her husband settled in Boston in 1636; Martha Peak settled in Virginia in 1698.



  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. ^ Lowe, 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


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