Polk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
Among the the peoples of ancient Scotland, the first to use the name Polk were the Strathclyde- Britons. Polk was a name for someone who lived at Pollok (Gaelic: Pollag), a large district on the south-western side of the city of Glasgow, home to Crookston Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was once held. The name of the town has Gaelic origins, from the word 'poll', meaning "pool" or "pit".
Early Origins of the Polk family
The surname Polk was first found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Friù), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where the first occurrence of the name is Peter, son of Fulbert or Fulburt who was granted the lands of Upper Pollock by the High Steward, and who took the surname from the lands, making him the first Pollock. Peter gave the church of Pulloc and its pertinents to the monastery of Paisley, sometime between 1177 and 1199. Within that same period of time, he also confirmed the charter of his brother Helias of Perthic to the same house. Peter also possessed lands in Moray and circa 1175, he witnessed the charter by William the Lion granting Burgin to the Abbey of Kinlos. 
Circa 1230, Murial de Polloc, a daughter of Peter, gifted her land of Inuerorkel and all its pertinents for the benefit of the hospital erected beside the bridge of Spey for the reception of travelers. Continuing this pattern of generosity, Robert de Pollok granted to the monastery of Paisley, during the reign of Alexander II, alms of twelve pennies a year from the rents he earned from his lands. Other important Pollocks include John Pollok who was both steward of the Abbey of Arbroath and sheriff of Forfar. 
In England, Pook was a popular variant and in this case, the family was probably from Puckney Gill in the parish of Charlwood, County Surrey, so called from the Old English word "puca" (goblin) and "eg" (island).  The surname is first found in Sussex in 1332 as atte Pukenegh, and occurs also in County Surrey at about the same date. From the fourteenth to the seventeenth century the name was largely confined to a small central area of central Sussex, around West Grinstead. The name was also occasionally used as a nickname 'the puk' from the complexion of hair or dress, a colour between russet and black. 
William Puch was documented in the year 1166, and appears to be the first of the name on record. William le Puk of County Somerset, was documented during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and John Pouk was recorded in County Somerset at the same time. 
Early History of the Polk family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Polk research. Another 220 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1272, 1590, 1603, 1827, 1660 and are included under the topic Early Polk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Polk Spelling Variations
Medieval Scottish names are rife with spelling variations. This is due to the fact that scribes in that era spelled according to the sound of words, rather than any set of rules. Polk has been spelled Pollock, Pollocke, Polk, Polke, Pollok, Pollick, Polloch, Pook, Pooke, Poock, Pogue, Poag, Poage, Poague, Poak and many more.
Early Notables of the Polk family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Polk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
In the United States, the name Polk is the 1,062nd most popular surname with an estimated 27,357 people with that name. 
Migration of the Polk family to Ireland
Some of the Polk family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Polk migration to the United States +
Many Scots were left with few options other than to leave their homeland for the colonies across the Atlantic. Some of these families fought to defend their newfound freedom in the American War of Independence. Others went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. The ancestors of all of these families have recently been able to rediscover their roots through Clan societies and other Scottish organizations. Among them:
Polk Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Robert Polk, who settled in Maryland between the years 1672 and 1680
Polk Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Alexander Polk, who settled in Delaware in 1813
- N. Polk, who arrived in San Francisco in 1850
Polk Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- David Peale Polk, aged 25, who immigrated to the United States, in 1905
- Amy Polk, aged 57, who immigrated to the United States, in 1907
- Christine Polk, aged 43, who landed in America, in 1913
- Anne Polk, aged 51, who settled in America from Watchet, England, in 1919
- Anna Polk, who landed in America, in 1922
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Polk migration to Canada +
Some of the first settlers of this family name were:
Polk Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Mr. John Polk, aged 36 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Junior" departing from the port of Junior, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle in July 1847 
- Mr. Joseph Polk, aged 20 who immigrated to Canada, arriving at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec aboard the ship "Araminta" departing from the port of Araminta, Liverpool but died on Grosse Isle in August 1847 
- Mr William Polk, aged 22, a Sutler's Clerk at the Grosse Isle Quarantine Station in Quebec but died there in October 1847 during the typhus epidemic 
Contemporary Notables of the name Polk (post 1700) +
- Louis Frederick Polk Sc.D., American Industrialist, Banker and Investor
- James R Polk, American Journalist
- George Polk (1913-1948), American journalist for CBS murdered in Greece
- Oscar Polk (1899-1949), American actor who starred in Gone with the Wind
- Albert Fawcett Polk, American lawyer and United States representative from Delaware
- Willis Polk (1867-1924), American architect most well known for his work in San Francisco, California
- Leonidas Polk (1806-1864), American soldier, who was made a major-general in the Civil War
- Alex J. Polk (1883-1950), American Republican politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Wayne County 1st District, 1947-48 
- Albert Fawcett Polk (1869-1955), American Democratic Party politician, U.S. Representative from Delaware at-large, 1917-19 
- Albert F. Polk, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1964 
- ... (Another 33 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Related Stories +
The Polk 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: Audacter et strenue
Motto Translation: Boldly and earnestly.
Suggested Readings for the name Polk +
- The Genealogical Study of David Reese: with Allied Families: Polk et al. by Cynthia Jones Reese.
- The Seed of Sally Good'n: a Black Family of Arkansas (also Polk family), 1833-1953 by Ruth Polk Patterson.
- ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Dickinson, F.H., Kirby's Quest for Somerset of 16th of Edward the 3rd London: Harrison and Sons, Printers in Ordinary to Her Majesty, St, Martin's Lane, 1889. Print.
- ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 51)
- ^ Charbonneau, André, and Doris Drolet-Dubé. A Register of Deceased Persons at Sea and on Grosse Île in 1847. The Minister of Canadian Heritage, 1997. ISBN: 0-660-198/1-1997E (p. 61)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html