Starks History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The earliest origins of the Starks surname date from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. Their name reveals that an early member was a person who is firm, or resolute. Starks is a nickname surname, 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. The surname Starks comes from the Old English word stark, which means firm, and was given to someone who was powerful or resolute. This family was established in Suffolk since the early Middle Ages.

Early Origins of the Starks family

The surname Starks was first found in Suffolk, where the Starks family held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Starks family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Starks research. Another 159 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1222, 1273, 1314, 1376, 1540, 1544, 1677, 1728, 1745, 1757, 1794, and 1822 are included under the topic Early Starks History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Starks Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Starks are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Starks include: Stark, Starck, Starke, Starckman, Sterke, Sterk, Starkey, Starkie and many more.

Early Notables of the Starks family (pre 1700)

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


United States Starks migration to the United States +

Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Starks or a variant listed above:

Starks Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Harriet A. Starks, aged 44, arrived in New York in 1894 aboard the ship "Spree" from Southampton, England [1]
Starks Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Albert Starks, aged 18, arrived in New York N.Y. in 1919 aboard the ship "Saramacca" from Port Limon, Costa Rica [2]
  • James Starks, aged 28, arrived in New York City in 1919 aboard the ship "Lake Wilson" from St. Marc, Haiti [3]
  • Frank K. Starks, aged 17, arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Lake Narka" from St. Marc, Haiti [4]

New Zealand Starks 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:

Starks Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Starks, (b. 1832), aged 26, English agricultural labourer from Oxfordshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1859 [5]
  • Mrs. Matilda Starks, (b. 1836), aged 22, English settler from Oxfordshire travelling from London aboard the ship "Strathallan" arriving in Lyttelton, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand on 21st January 1859 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Starks (post 1700) +

  • John Henry "Jabo" Starks (1938-2018), American funk and blues drummer, best known for his work with James Brown
  • Max Starks (b. 1982), American professional football offensive tackle
  • Duane Lonell Starks (b. 1974), former American NFL football cornerback

USS Arizona
  • Mr. Don H. Starks, American Machinist's Mate First Class working aboard the ship "USS Arizona" when she sunk during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7th December 1941, he survived the sinking [6]


The Starks 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: Fortiorum fortia facta
Motto Translation: The brave deeds of brave men.


  1. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JXMH-BP5 : 6 December 2014), Mrs. Harriet A. Starks, 02 Aug 1894; citing departure port Southampton, arrival port New York, ship name Spree, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  2. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J677-LYQ : 6 December 2014), Albert Starks, 22 Apr 1919; citing departure port Port Limon, Costa Rica, arrival port New York N.Y., ship name Saramacca, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  3. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J67C-8X7 : 6 December 2014), James Starks, 04 May 1919; citing departure port St. Marc, Haiti, arrival port New York City, ship name Lake Wilson, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  4. ^ "New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J68L-83T : 6 December 2014), Frank K. Starks, 11 Oct 1920; citing departure port St. Marc, Haiti, arrival port New York, ship name Lake Narka, NARA microfilm publication T715 and M237 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  6. ^ Pearl Harbour: USS Arizona Casualties List Pearl Harbour December 7, 1941. (Retrieved 2018, July 31st). Retrieved from http://pearl-harbor.com/arizona/casualtylist.html


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