When the Stongbow settlers arrived in Ireland
, they quickly learned that the Irish had a pre-established system of hereditary surnames
. The name Uniyke is an occupational
surname, which was primarily from the Anglo-Norman culture. There were a few Irish occupational names, however, previous to the arrival of the Strongbownians, so this Anglo-Norman tradition was not too incongruous within the island. Occupational
surnames were derived from a word describing the actual job done by the initial name bearer. The Strongbownians frequently prefixed these names with the French word le, meaning the, but this custom quickly died out in Ireland
. The surname Uniyke came from a common occupational name for a valued military officer. The surname Uniyke is derived from the expression Unicus Est. According to tradition, during the bitter 13th century feuds between the two powerful Anglo-Norman families of the Fitzgeralds and the Butlers, a Commander who sought help to secure a position pointed to a particularly valued captain and said Unicus Est, which means Hei is the only one to undertake this service. The name Garde was also used as a synonym.
Early Origins of the Uniyke family
The surname Uniyke was first found in County Cork
(Irish: Corcaigh) the ancient Kingdom of Deis Muin (Desmond), located on the southwest coast of Ireland
in the province of Munster
, where they held a family seat
from ancient times, soon after the Anglo Norman Conquest
in 1172 A.D. That this family name were Norman mercenaries seems reasonably clear. In the bitter 13th century feuds between the Fitzgeralds and the Butlers it is said that a commander, seeking help to secure a position, pointed to one of the captains and said, 'Unicus Est', meaning 'He is the only one to undertake this service'. Hence this expression not only became the family motto but it also became the basis and origin of the family name itself, Uniacke. Later some used Gard as a synonym.
Early History of the Uniyke family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Uniyke research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 197 and 1976 are included under the topic Early Uniyke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Uniyke Spelling Variations
During an investigation of the origin of each name, it was found that church officials and medieval scribes spelled many surnames as they sounded. Therefore, during the lifetime of a single person, a name could be spelt numerous ways. Some of the spelling variations
for the name Uniyke include Uniacke, Uniake, Uniack, Uniak, Garde, Gard and others.
Early Notables of the Uniyke family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Uniyke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Uniyke family to the New World and Oceana
went through one of the most devastating periods in its history with the arrival of the Great Potato Famine
of the 1840s. Many also lost their lives from typhus, fever and dysentery. And poverty was the general rule as tenant
farmers were often evicted because they could not pay the high rents. Emigration to North America gave hundreds of families a chance at a life where work, freedom, and land ownership were all possible. For those who made the long journey, it meant hope and survival. The Irish emigration to British North America and the United States opened up the gates of industry, commerce, education and the arts. Early immigration and passenger lists have shown many Irish people bearing the name Uniyke: Edward Uniacke arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1852.