Took History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Took reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Took family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Took family lived in Touques in the arrondissement of Pont L'Evesque, at the mouth of the river so called in Normandy. "Le Seigneur de Touque appears on the list of those who fought under William the Conqueror both in the Norman Chronicle and in the Romati de Rou." [1]

Early Origins of the Took family

The surname Took was first found in Yorkshire where Toc or Toka (no forename) was listed in the Domesday Survey of 1086. [2] Wace, the historian, mentions the Baron Touque as amongst the Companions of Duke William, at Hastings in 1066.

Other early entries for the family include: Rogerus filius Toke, who was listed in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1214; Wrange Tocha in the Pipe Rolls for Norfolk in 1166; Henry Thoche in Lincolnshire in the 12th century; Robert Toke in the Pipe Rolls for Suffolk in 1200; William Toke in the Curia Regis Rolls for Northumberland in 1211; and Robert Touk, who was found in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1325. [3]

"The surname is found spelled in 17 different ways. One of the most ancient is Toke, as preserved in the Godington family for many centuries. The Tookes of Hurston Clays, co. Sussex, of London, Herts, Dorset, &c., proven descendants of that house, have employed this orthography from the XVI. century." [4]

"In Nottinghamshire the Toukes were to be found for about three hundred years. William de Tulc, or Tuke, during the reign of Stephen, held of Ralph Silvain in Kelham, part of the great Richmond Fee, and was a benefactor of Rufford Abbey. His son William confirmed and added to his gifts, and he gave account of two marks, for having his land again, whereof he was disseized for being in Nottingham Castle, as most of our Nottinghamshire gentry were at that time, with Earl John." [1]

Henry, his heir, was living in 1218, and was followed by two Sir Walters, father and son, then by another Henry, and a Simon, mentioned in 1337.

There is a Kentish family of this name, derived from Robert de Toke, who was present with Henry III. at the battle of Northampton in 1264. His greatgrandson was seated at Westcliffe in Kent; and from him, in the fifth generation, descended John Toke of Bere, living in the reigns of Henry V. and Henry VI.

We would be remiss if we did not address the legendary Friar Tuck. Two royal writs in 1417 refer to Robert Stafford, a Sussex chaplain who had assumed the alias of Frere Tuk. Little more is known about him other than this "Friar Tuck" was still at large in 1429.

Early History of the Took family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Took research. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1130, 1175, 1545, 1498, 1580, 1657, 1615, 1674, 1663, 1595, 1675, 1598, 1673, 1732 and 1698 are included under the topic Early Took History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Took Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Took family name include Tooke, Tocque, Took, Touque, Tuck and others.

Early Notables of the Took family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Brian Tuke (d. 1545), secretary to Henry VIII, he was apparently son of Richard Tuke (d. 1498?); Thomas Tuke (c.1580-1657), an English clergyman and controversial writer, of Royalist views in later life; Sir Samuel Tuke (c.1615-1674), 1st Baronet, English officer in the Royalist army during the English Civil War and a notable playwright, best known for his 1663 play "The Adventure of...
Another 71 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Took Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


West Indies Took 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. [5]
Took Settlers in West Indies in the 18th Century
  • Ann Took, who settled in Dominica in 1774

Contemporary Notables of the name Took (post 1700) +

  • Steve Peregrin Took (1949-1980), born Stephen Ross Porter, an English musician and songwriter, member of the duo Tyrannosaurus Rex
  • Barry Took (1928-2002), English comedian, writer and television presenter, best known for his long writing partnership with Marty Feldman
  • Steve Peregrin Took (1949-1980), born Stephen Ross Porter, an English musician, active in the 1960s through the 1980
  • Charlie Took Essome (b. 1993), Cameroonian footballer


The Took 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: Militia mea multiplex
Motto Translation: My warfare is manifold.


  1. ^ Cleveland, Dutchess of The Battle Abbey Roll with some Account of the Norman Lineages. London: John Murray, Abermarle Street, 1889. Print. Volume 3 of 3
  2. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  3. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  5. ^ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_West_Indies


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