Shonk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Shonk surname is derived from the Upper German word "schöne," which means "beautiful."

Early Origins of the Shonk family

The surname Shonk was first found in Prussia, where the name came from humble beginnings but gained a significant reputation for its contribution to the emerging society. They became more prominent as many branches of the same house acquired distant estates, always elevating their social status and influence by their great contributions to society.

Early History of the Shonk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shonk research. Another 164 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1586, 1765, 1773, 1856, 1860, and 1865 are included under the topic Early Shonk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shonk Spelling Variations

Many cultural groups lived in the German states in medieval times. Each had its own dialect and traditions, and unique variations of popular names. Low German, which is similar to contemporary Dutch, was spoken in Westphalia. German names are characterized by additions such as regional suffixes and phrases that tell something about the origin or background of its original bearer. Further contributing to the variation in German names was the fact that there were no spelling rules in medieval times: scribes recorded names according to their sound. The recorded spelling variations of Shonk include Schoen, Schoene, Schon, Schone, Schoenemann, Shoneman, Schoeneman and many more.

Early Notables of the Shonk family (pre 1700)

Another 33 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shonk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Shonk migration to the United States +

The state of Prussia was a great influence on the shape of modern Germany. After the Second World War, Prussia's land was divided among the Soviet Union, Poland, East Germany and West Germany and the state was abolished. Some Prussians remained in those countries after the war, while many others migrated to North America in search of a new start. Philadelphia was their primary point of entry to the United States, after which many of them moved on to Ohio, Texas, Illinois, California, New York, and Maryland. A large number of Prussians also migrated to Ontario and the prairie provinces as United Empire Loyalists. Analysis of immigration records has shown some of the first Shonks to arrive in North America, and among them were:

Shonk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Christian Shonk, aged 15, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1738 [1]
Shonk Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Annie Shonk, aged 32, who landed in America from Swansea, in 1904
  • Jane Shonk, aged 3, who settled in America from Swansea, in 1904
  • Herbert B. Shonk, aged 21, who landed in America, in 1906
  • Ida E. Shonk, aged 45, who immigrated to the United States, in 1906
  • Emily W. Shonk, aged 16, who landed in America, in 1906
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Shonk (post 1700) +

  • George Washington Shonk (1850-1900), American politician, Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
  • Herbert Bronson Shonk (1881-1930), American Republican politician, Oil business; Major in the U.S. Army during World War I; Member of New York State Assembly from Westchester County 2nd District, 1923-30; Died in office 1930
  • George Washington Shonk (1850-1900), American Republican politician, U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 12th District, 1891-93


  1. ^ 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)


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