Waker History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancient name of Waker finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from a name for a fuller, whose job it was to scour and thicken raw cloth by beating it and trampling it in water. The surname Waker is derived from the Old English word wealcere, which means fuller. "In the North of England, fullers' earth is called 'walker's clay,' and a fulling-mill a 'walk-mill.' In Scotland, to walk, still means to full cloth." [1]

Early Origins of the Waker family

The surname Waker was first found in Yorkshire, where they were believed to be descended from a very ancient tribe called the Wealceringas, and the name is considered to be one of the oldest in England. Their early records have been obscured but in the 12th century, they were recorded as landholders in Yorkshire.

"This name is mainly characteristic of the midlands and of the north of England. It is comparatively infrequent in the counties between the Wash and the Thames. It is absent or rare in the southern part of England south of a line joining the mouths of the Thames and the Severn. Its great home in the midlands is in the counties of Derby and Nottinghamshire. In the north it is most frequent in Durham and Yorkshire." [2]

One of the first records of the family was Richard le Walker, rector of the church of St. Elphin, Warrington, Lancashire in 1396. [3]

Early History of the Waker family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Waker research. Another 128 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1248, 1260, 1324, 1361, 1725, 1563, 1611, 1677, 1676, 1597, 1673, 1640, 1643, 1661, 1673, 1599, 1658, 1665, 1616, 1699, 1676, 1688, 1704, 1744, 1618 and are included under the topic Early Waker History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Waker Spelling Variations

Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Waker family name include Walker, Walkere and others.

Early Notables of the Waker family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Sir Edward Walker (1611-1677), Garter King of Arms in 1676; Robert Walker (c. 1597-1673), an English merchant and politician who sat in the House of Commons of England (1640-1643) and (1661-1673), a strong Royalist during the English Civil War; Robert Walker (1599-1658), an English portrait painter, notable for his portraits of the "Lord...
Another 59 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Waker Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Waker family to Ireland

Some of the Waker family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 101 words (7 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Waker migration to the United States +

For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, the Canadas, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Waker surname or a spelling variation of the name include :

Waker Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Waker, who landed in Maryland in 1660 [4]
  • William Waker, who arrived in Maryland in 1662 [4]
  • Mary Waker, who arrived in Maryland in 1665 [4]
Waker Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Eliza Waker, who arrived in Virginia in 1701 [4]
  • Hans Mical Waker, aged 17, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741 [4]
  • Yergen Zemen Waker, aged 45, who landed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1741 [4]
  • John Waker, who landed in New York, NY in 1774 [4]
Waker Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Waker, aged 40, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1804 [4]


The Waker 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: Honesta Quam Magna
Motto Translation: How Great are Honourable Deeds.


  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  3. ^ 'Townships: Scarisbrick', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1907), pp. 265-276. British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/lancs/vol3/pp265-276 [accessed 21 January 2017].
  4. ^ 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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