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The Irish name Rourke has a long Gaelic heritage to its credit. The original Gaelic form of the name Rourke is O Ruairc, which means descendant of Ruairc and; Ruairc is a personal name
imported by Norse settlers.
The surname Rourke was first found in counties Cavan and Leitrim
(Irish: Liatroim) anciently the western half of the kingdom of Breifne, located in Northeastern Ireland
, in Leinster
Within the archives researched, many different spelling variations of the surname Rourke were found. These included One reason for the many variations is that scribes and church officials often spelled an individual's name as it sounded. This imprecise method often led to many versions. O'Rourke, O'Rorke, O'Rork, O'Rourk, O'Roark, Rourke, Rorke, Rourk, Roarke and many more.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rourke research. Another 240 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1046, 1172, and 1771 are included under the topic Early Rourke History in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
More information is included under the topic Early Rourke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
To escape the religious and political discrimination they experienced primarily at the hands of the English, thousands of Irish left their homeland in the 19th century. These migrants typically settled in communities throughout the East Coast of North America, but also joined the wagon trains moving out to the Midwest. Ironically, when the American War of Independence
began, many Irish settlers took the side of England
, and at the war's conclusion moved north to Canada. These United Empire Loyalists, were granted land along the St. Lawrence River and the Niagara Peninsula. Other Irish immigrants settled in Newfoundland, the Ottawa Valley, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The greatest influx of Irish immigrants, however, came to North America during the Great Potato Famine
of the late 1840s. Thousands left Ireland
at this time for North America and Australia
. Many of those numbers, however, did not live through the long sea passage. These Irish settlers to North America were immediately put to work building railroads, coal mines, bridges, and canals. Irish settlers made an inestimable contribution to the building of the New World. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the Irish name Rourke or a variant listed above, including:
Rourke Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Daniel Rourke, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1773
Rourke Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Hugh Rourke, who arrived in America in 1801
- Patrick Rourke, who landed in America in 1802
- Henry Rourke, aged 26, landed in Missouri in 1841
- Robert Rourke, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842
- Thomas Rourke, aged 21, landed in Mobile, Ala in 1848
Rourke Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- John Rourke, aged 20, landed in Red River, Canada in 1811
- Ellen Rourke, who arrived in Canada in 1823
- Patrick Rourke, who arrived in Canada in 1823
- Patrick Rourke, aged 38, a weaver, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833
- Christopher Rourke, aged 5, arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick aboard the ship "Sea Horse" in 1833
Rourke Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- Patrick Rourke, a weaver, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
- Daniel Rourke, a smith, arrived in Van Diemen’s Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832
- Mary Rourke, aged 18, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Rodney"
- Patrick Rourke, aged 26, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Lismoyne"
- Lawrence Rourke, aged 28, a sawyer, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"
Rourke Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Michael Rourke arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
- Elizabeth Rourke arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "John Masterman" in 1857
- Elizabeth Rourke arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Golconda" in 1859
- Owen Rourke, aged 22, a labourer, arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
- Ellen Rourke, aged 29, a servant, arrived in Taranaki aboard the ship "Hermione" in 1878
- Russell A. Rourke (1931-2003), American government administrator; Secretary of the Air Force 1985–86
- Philip Andre "Mickey" Rourke (b. 1952), American film actor, recipient of a Golden Globe award and a BAFTA award, nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award and an Academy Award
- Constance Rourke (1885-1941), American author and educator
- Thomas J. Rourke, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Farmington, 1902
- Russell A. Rourke, American Republican politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from New York 36th District, 1974
- Robb Rourke, American Libertarian politician, Candidate for Texas State House of Representatives 144th District, 2012
- Peter Rourke, American politician, Socialist Labor Candidate for Governor of Massachusetts, 1915
- Patrick H. Rourke, American politician, U.S. Attorney for North Dakota, 1898-1911
- Joseph T. Rourke (b. 1906), American Democrat politician, Member of Connecticut State Senate 10th District, 1939-40
- John F. Rourke (b. 1861), American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from Rensselaer County 1st District, 1922-23; Defeated, 1923
- Mr. Stanley Rourke, English Lift Attendant from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking
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:
Serviendo gubernoMotto Translation:
I govern by serving.
- Woulfe, Rev. Patrick. Irish Names and Surnames Collected and Edited with Explanatory and Historical Notes. Kansas City: Genealogical Foundation, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-940134-403).
- Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
- Donovan, George Francis. The Pre-Revolutionary Irish in Massachusetts 1620-1775. Menasha, WI: Geroge Banta Publsihing Co., 1932. Print.
- The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
- Read, Charles Anderson. The Cabinet of Irish Literature Selections from the Works of the Chief Poets, Orators and Prose Writers of Ireland 4 Volumes. London: Blackie and Son, 1884. Print.
- Fitzgerald, Thomas W. Ireland and Her People A Library of Irish Biography 5 Volumes. Chicago: Fitzgerald. Print.
- 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).
- Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
- Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
- MacLysaght, Edward. The Surnames of Ireland 3rd Edition. Dublin: Irish Academic, 1978. Print. (ISBN 0-7165-2278-0).
The Rourke Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Rourke 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 10 November 2015 at 09:05.
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