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Blazons & Genealogy Notes

1) (Copley, co. Bedford, Paxton, co. Durham, and co. Huntingdon). (Woodend, co. Bedford). Ar. a buglehorn sa. stringed gu. Crest—A bull's head az. attired or, betw. two wings endorsed gold.
2) (co. Cornwall). Gu. on a chief sa. three martlets ar. Crest—An escallop ppr.
3) (Glasgow and Greenfield, Scotland; granted 1749). Motto—Strenue insequor. Ar. on a bend az. surmounted by a buglehorn sa. three buckles or, on a chief paly of three of the first and second, in the centre as many bells of the fourth, on the dexter and sinister a saltire engr. of the third betw. four mullets gu. Crest—A bull’s head ppr. winged or.
4) Quarterly, 1st and 4th, ar. a buglehorn sa. stringed vert; 2nd and 3rd, gu. a fleur-de-lis ar. Crest—An archer shooting with a bow ppr.
5) (Luke, co. Nottingham). Sa. nine annulets or, four, three, two, and one.
6) (Screveton, co. Nottingham). Ar. on a saltire engr. sa. nine annulets or, within a bordure also engr. of the second, charged with eight crosses pattée of the third.

Origin, Meaning, Family History and Luke Coat of Arms and Family Crest


The name Luke is derived from the Latin given name “Lucas”. It is believed the name or any variation of its spelling came to Britain by way of France. French soldiers returning from the Crusades in the Holy Lands are thought to have imported the Latin given name “Lucas” upon their return. The name Lucas is the Latin stylized version of the Greek name “Loucas”, which is topographical; as it was used in reference to a citizen of a region of southern Italy once known as Lucania.

Surnames in Britain prior to the Norman conquest were largely unheard of. In the small settlements and villages which existed during earlier times, residents found little need for surnames as everyone in these communities knew each other and a given name would usually suffice. However, with the passage of time, population growth and expansions of communities as villages gave way to towns and cities, it became necessary to add a qualifier to a people's names to distinguish them, one from another. Therefore one person may have been identified by their given name plus their occupation while another may have been identified by their given name and one of their parent's names. The introduction of surnames by the Norman aristocracy after the invasion seemed to be the next logical step in this evolution. There was a boundless supply from which surnames could be formed, in addition to the use of patriarchal/matriarchal names or reference to the individuals occupation, there were things such as defining physical traits, a familiar geographical location or a topographical landmark found near the individuals home or birthplace, the name of the village in which the person lived, and so much more. Soon, surnames would come not just to represent an individual but whole families.

There often exists variations in spelling of many surnames, as with many given names which date back to the early centuries. The variation in spelling of both given and surnames during this time period can be attributed to a lack of continuity regarding guidelines for spelling which was compounded by the diversity of languages in use in European countries at this time. The variations in the spelling of the surname Luke include but not limited to; Luke; Lucke; Luck; Louk; Louke; and Loucks among others.

The earliest record of any variation of this surname is that of Euerards Lucas which appears in the Knights Templar Registry in London tax rolls from 1153. The London tax rolls show records of Lucas de Luke from London in 1274. These rolls, were a series of census and tax records kept by the English Treasury by order of King Henry I, with the oldest dating back to the 12th century. They hold the distinction of being the oldest consecutive set of records detailing English governance in the United Kingdom. These records span a period of over 700 years and have proven invaluable to researches over the years. Additionally, the marriage of Christopher Lucas and Margaret Medcalfe appear in church records found in London dated 1571.

The first recorded immigrant to America bearing the surname or any variation of the spelling was William Luke who arrived in 1654 and settled in Virginia. Edward Luke landed and settled in Maryland in 1665 and Sarah Luke arrived and settled in Maryland in 1665.

There were also many immigrants to the British Common Wealth countries of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand bearing the surname Luke. Thomas Luke landed in 1749 and settled in Canada as did brothers, Nicholas and Philip Luke as did 1784. Christina Luke landed in 1838 and settled in Adelaide, Australia. Samuel Luke landed and settled in Adelaide, Australia in 1848. William and Jane Luke landed in 1864 and settled in Auckland, New Zealand. Louisa Luke landed and settled in Wellington, New Zealand in 1874.

Worldwide, the highest concentration of people with the surname Luke are found in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada . By state, the largest percentile of those with the surname Luke live in Mississippi and Utah.

There are many persons of note who bear the surname Luke. Yudell Luke was born in Kansas City Missouri and was a respected and mathematician. During his life time he earned a masters degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois, where he became a professor, he served in the U.S. Military during World War II, and was one of the foremost contributors of research at MRIGlobal.

MRIGlobal was a not for profit research organization preformed not only independent research but also operated facilities for the Department of Defense as well as the Department of Energy.

Luke Coat of Arms Meaning

The four main devices (symbols) in the Luke blazon are the buglehorn, bull, escallop and annulet. The three main tinctures (colors) are sable, or and argent .

Sable, the deep black so often found in Heraldry is believed to named from an animal of the marten family know in the middle ages as a Sabellinœ and noted for its very black fur 1. In engravings, when colors cannot be shown it is represented as closely spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and appropriately is thus the darkest form of hatching, as this method is known 2. Although it may seem a sombre tone, and does indeed sometimes denote grief, it is more commonly said to represent Constancy 3.

Or is the heraldic metal Gold, often shown as a bold, bright yellow colour. It is said to show “Generosity and elevation of the mind” 4. Later heralds, of a more poetic nature liked to refer to it as Topaz, after the gemstone, and, for obvious reasons associated it with the Sun 5. In drawings without colour it is usually represented by many small dots, or by the letter ‘O’ 6.

Argent is the heraldic metal Silver and is usually shown as very pure white. It is also known more poetically as pearl, moon (or luna) 7. In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper 8.

The hunting horn, or bugle horn has a distinctive shape, being curved almost into a semi-circle, it can be decorated with bands of a different colour and typically hangs from a string, also coloured. 9. Apart from its obvious reference to the pursuit of hunting, it has also been used in allusion to the name of the holderr (HUNTER of Hunterston) and Woowward suggests it is also associated with those who have rights or obligations to the forest. 10

Bulls, and their close relations, cows, calves, oxen and the buffalo are relatively recent additions to the art of heraldry (and it is not always possible to distinguish between them in their renderings). 11 They can be found in a variety of poses and may have horns, hooves and collared in a different colour. The writer Guillim noted that the prescence of a bull could signify ”valour and magnanimity”. 12

The escallopoccurs often in arms, represented as the outside of the shell, sometimes “fluted” of a different colour 13. It has been part of heraldic tradition almost from the beginning of the art, Henry III of England awarded Gules, 3 escallopes argent to Herbert de CHAMBERLEYNE in the 13th century, and it is present in the heraldry of almost all countries 14. It is believed that they were adopted as badges of those going to the Holy Land and can be found in the arms of many a crusading family. Hence Wade’s suggested association of the scallop with those that “complete long journeys to far countries” 15.

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  • 1 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Sable
  • 2 Boutell’s Heraldry, J.P. Brooke-Little, Warne, (revised Edition) London 1970, P 26
  • 3 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 4 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P35
  • 5 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 6 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P76-77
  • 7 Understanding Signs & Symbols – Heraldry, S. Oliver & G. Croton, Quantum, London, 2013, P53
  • 8 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1847, P11
  • 9 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:hunting horn
  • 10 A Treatise on Heraldry, J. Woodward, W & A.K Johnston, Edinburgh & London, 1896, P400
  • 11 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Bull
  • 12 A Display of Heraldry, J. Guillim, Blome, London, 1679, P117
  • 13 A Glossary of Terms used in British Heraldry, J.H. Parker, Oxford, 1894, Entry:Escallop
  • 14 A Complete Guide to Heraldry, A.C. Fox-Davies, Bonanza (re-print of 1909 Edition), New York, 1978, P299
  • 15 The Symbolisms of Heraldry, W. Cecil Wade, George Redway, London, 1898 P91
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