Sankey History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Sankey family

The surname Sankey was first found in Lancashire where the Sankeys descend from a family of considerable antiquity. The first on record is Galdridus de Sankey, who held the lands of Sankey Manga and Sankey Parva in the reign of King John. [1] Later, William de Sankey was rector of the church of St. Elphin, Warrington, Lancashire from 1298 to 1299. [2]

"The manor of Little Sankey was granted by Pain de Vilers, lord of Warrington, to Gerard de Sankey the carpenter, in the early part of the twelfth century. It was assessed as one plough-land and held by knight's service. In 1212 Robert son of Thomas was holding it; and thirty years later Robert de Samlesbury was the tenant. He or his descendants probably adopted the local surname; but little or nothing is known of the place until the end of the fifteenth century, when Randle, son of Randle Sankey, did homage and paid 10s. as his relief for one plough-land in Little Sankey. Edward Sankey died 1 December, 1602, holding the tenth part of a knight's fee in Little Sankey, Warrington, and Great Sankey; Thomas, his son and heir, was under sixteen years of age. Nothing further seems to be known of the family or manor." [2]

Early History of the Sankey family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sankey research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 119 and 1190 are included under the topic Early Sankey History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sankey Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Sankey has been recorded under many different variations, including Sankey, Sanky and others.

Early Notables of the Sankey family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sankey Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sankey Ranking

In the United States, the name Sankey is the 7,302nd most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [3]

Ireland Migration of the Sankey family to Ireland

Some of the Sankey family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 33 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 Sankey migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Sankey or a variant listed above:

Sankey Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Sankey, who settled in Boston in 1635
  • Robert Sankey, aged 30, who landed in New England in 1635 [4]
  • Roberte Sankey, aged 30, who arrived in America in 1635 [4]
  • Martha Sankey, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1683 [4]
Sankey Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Andrew Sankey, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1799
Sankey Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William T J Sankey, who landed in New York in 1836 [4]

Australia Sankey migration to Australia +

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

Sankey Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Sankey, English convict from Staffordshire, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [5]
  • Mr. John Sankey, English convict who was convicted in Liverpool, Merseyside, England for life , transported aboard the "China" on 161st January 1846, arriving in Norfolk Island, Australia [6]

New Zealand Sankey 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:

Sankey Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Richard Sankey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th June 1861 [7]
  • Miss Mary Sankey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th June 1861 [7]
  • Miss Mary Sankey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th June 1861 [7]
  • Miss Louisa Sankey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th June 1861 [7]
  • Miss Margaret Sankey, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Mersey" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 11th June 1861 [7]

West Indies Sankey migration to West Indies +

The British first settled the British West Indies around 1604. They made many attempts but failed in some to establish settlements on the Islands including Saint Lucia and Grenada. By 1627 they had managed to establish settlements on St. Kitts (St. Christopher) and Barbados, but by 1641 the Spanish had moved in and destroyed some of these including those at Providence Island. The British continued to expand the settlements including setting the First Federation in the British West Indies by 1674; some of the islands include Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Island, Turks and Caicos, Jamaica and Belize then known as British Honduras. By the 1960's many of the islands became independent after the West Indies Federation which existed from 1958 to 1962 failed due to internal political conflicts. After this a number of Eastern Caribbean islands formed a free association. [8]
Sankey Settlers in West Indies in the 17th Century
  • Ham Sankey, who settled in St. Christopher (Saint Kitts) in 1635
  • Hamblet Sankey, aged 22, who arrived in St Christopher in 1635 [4]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sankey (post 1700) +

  • Eben B. Sankey, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Missouri, 1884
  • E. J. Sankey, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1908
  • David Sankey, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State Senate 25th District, 1848-50
  • Ira David Sankey (1840-1908), American evangelist singer
  • Lieutenant General Sir Richard Hieram Sankey KCB (1829-1908), officer in the Royal (Madras) Engineers
  • Jay Sankey, Canadian magician
  • John Sankey (1866-1948), 1st Viscount Sankey, a British politician

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Vernon L Sankey, Canadian Able Seaman from Canada, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [9]

The Sankey 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: Sancta Clavis Coeli Fides
Motto Translation: Faith is the Sacred Key to Heaven.

  1. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online [accessed 21 January 2017].
  3. ^
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  6. ^ Convict Records of Australia (Retrieved 5th February 2021, retrieved from
  7. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from
  8. ^
  9. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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