Shunk History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

In ancient Scotland, Shunk was first used as a surname by the descendants of the Boernician tribe. It was a name for a person with long legs, or a peculiar manner of gait. Shunk is a nickname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Nicknames form a broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, and can refer directly or indirectly to one's personality, physical attributes, mannerisms, or even their habits of dress. It derives from the Old English word sceanca, which means shin bone, or leg. While this word has survived in Scotland, it has been replaced in England, by the Old Norse word leggr, which means leg.

Early Origins of the Shunk family

The surname Shunk was first found in Midlothian, where the family held a family seat from very ancient times. They were designated as 'Shank of that Ilk" meaning an ancient Clan who possessed lands of that same name. Murdoch Shank, son of the first recorded chief of the Clan of Shank in Mid Lothian, was granted the lands of Kinghorn in Fife by a Charter from King Robert the Bruce of Scotland in the year 1319 for his allegiance and loyalty of the clan in his fight for the crown of Scotland.

Early History of the Shunk family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Shunk research. Another 133 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1426, 1490, 1489, 1490, 1643, 1725, 1636, 1620, 1630, 1635 and are included under the topic Early Shunk History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Shunk Spelling Variations

Scribes in the Middle Ages, and simply spelled according to sound. The result is an enormous number of spelling variations among names that evolved in that era. Shunk has been spelled Shank, Shanke, Schank, Schanke, Shankis, Schankis, Shanks, Shanx, Schanx and many more.

Early Notables of the Shunk family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Shank, also spelled Shanke or Shanks (died 1636), an actor in English Renaissance theatre, a leading comedian in the King's Men during the 1620s and 1630s. A long time resident in St. Giles's, Cripplegate, "he speaks...
Another 45 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Shunk Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Shunk family to Ireland

Some of the Shunk family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 60 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Shunk migration to the United States +

Most of the Boernician-Scottish families who came to North America settled on the eastern seaboard of what would become the United States and Canada. Families who wanted a new order stayed south in the War of Independence, while those who were still loyal to the crown went north to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. In the 20th century, the ancestors of these families have gone on to rediscover their heritage through Clan societies and other patriotic Scottish organizations. Research into the origins of individual families in North America has revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Shunk or a variant listed above:

Shunk Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Simon Shunk, aged 24, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1737 [1]

Contemporary Notables of the name Shunk (post 1700) +

  • Francis Rawn Shunk (1788-1848), American politician from Trappe, Pennsylvania, 10th Governor of Pennsylvania from 1845 to 1848
  • Francis Rawn Shunk (1788-1848), American politician, Secretary of the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1839-42; Governor of Pennsylvania, 1845-48 [2]

The Shunk 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: Spero
Motto Translation: I hope.

  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)
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 14) . Retrieved from on Facebook
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