Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Peck Name
Origins of Name:
The English surname of Peck has three possible origins. The first possible origin of this surname is a metonymic occupational name for someone who often worked with weights and measures, such as a civil official who ensured that the proper weights of goods were being sold, or a corn merchant, who sold things in “pekkes.” In medieval times, pekkes were used to measure dry goods, and were equivalent to eight quarters of twenty-eight pounds per peck. The measurement is also sometimes referred to 8 quarts, or a quarter of a bushel. This measure of dry goods was used all the way into the 20th Century in England. Another possible source for the origin of this surname of Peck was an offshoot of the word “peak” and used as a name for someone who lived near a pointed hill. Peak comes from the pre 7th Century Old English word “peac” which when translated meant “a point.” The final possible origin for this surname could be locational, and used as an identifier for someone who lived in the Peak District of Derbyshire, which was was derived from “peac-land.”
More common variations are:
Pecke, Peack, Peock, Pecka, Pieck, Pecku, Pecko, Peick, Poeck, Peeck
The first recorded spelling of the surname of Peck was Richard Pecke, who was named in the Pipe Rolls of Hampshire, dated 1187, and ordered under the ruling of King Henry II of England, who ruled from the year 1154 to the year 1189. Other early mentions of this surname appeared in the church records. In the year 1580, Edward Peck, who was the son of John Peck, was christened at St. Antholin in Budge Row. In England, most families with the surname of Peck congregated in the eastern coastal counties. It is said that a large member of those bearing the Peck surname can be found in Suffolk, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and very commonly in the city of London.
The Peck surname was brought into Ireland by English immigrants who settled in the Ulster Province during the 17th century. A large majority of these original immigrants’ descendants can be found in northern Counties and in Dublin County still to this day.
In German, the surname of Peck is spelled “Beck” but has the same derivatives. The pekke measuring system was also used in Germany during medieval times, and the name referred to a person who sold pitch. The Middle Low German variant is known as pek.
In the United States, the European Migration took full affect in the 1600’s. The first recorded settlers to arrive in the New World with the surname of Peck were Elizabeth Peck, Israel Peck, and Margery Peck, who all settled in New England in the year 1635. In the 18th Century, Johann Peck arrived in New York, New York in 1709, whole Anna Catherina Peck, Anthony Peck, Engelina Peck, and Johan Henrich Peck all landed in Pennsylvania in the year of 1733.
Australia and New Zealand:
In the 19th Century, Australia and New Zealand became the exciting new land to explore. The first recorded person with the surname Peck was William Peck, who was an English Convict from Middlesex who was transported aboard the “Albion” in 1828, and settled in New South Wales. Charles Peck and his wife Harriet Peck and Daniel Peck and his wife Elizabeth Peck, and their son Matthew Peck, who was just eight years of age, were the first recorded settlers with the surname of Peck who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship named the “Catherine Stewart Forbes” in the year 1841.
United States 48,815
South Africa 1,808
New Zealand 613
Nat Peck (1925-2015) who was a jazz trombonist from America who played with Glenn Miller from 1943 to 1945 and Don Redman in 1947
Brigadier-General Walter Raymond Peck (1896-1965) who was a Commanding General in the American 2nd Air Force in 1947
George Wilbur Peck (1840-1916) who was the 17th Governor of Wisconsin, and was an American writer and politician
Charles Horton Peck (1833-1917) who was a mycologist from American who described over 2700 species of North American fungi
Jesse Truesdell Peck (1811-1883) who was a bishop from America, and worked with the Methodist Episcopal Church
Private Archie A. Peck (1894-1978) who was a solider in the US Army and received a Medal of Honor for his service in WWI
Eldred Gregory Peck (1916-2003) who portrayed Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) who has won an American Academy Award and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
John F. Peck, who was a Candidate for the Connecticut State House of Representatives from Danbury in 1932
Peck Coat of Arms Meaning
The three main devices (symbols) in the Peck blazon are the cross formee, chevron and anchor. The three main tinctures (colors) are or, gules and argent .
The bright yellow colour frequently found in coats of arms is known to heralds as Or, or sometimes simply as Gold.. Along with, argent, or silver it forms the two “metals” of heraldry – one of the guidelines of heraldic design is that silver objects should not be placed upon gold fields and vice versa . The yellow colour is often associated with the Sun, and the zodiacal sign of Leo..
The bold red colour on a heraldic shield is known as gules. It has a long history within heraldry, it is known that one of those who besieged the scottish castle of Carlaverock in 1300 was the French knight Euremions de la Brette who had as his arms a simple red shield.. The word gules is thought to come from the Arabic gule, or “red rose” . Later writers associated it with the precious stone ruby and the metal iron , perhaps because of the red glow of iron in the heat of the blacksmith’s forge.
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) . In a sketch or drawing it is represented by plain, unmarked paper .
No other symbol appearing in heraldry is subject to as much variation as the cross . Mediaeval Europe was a deeply religious and Christian and many of the nobility wanted to show their devotion by adopting the symbol of the cross as part of the arms. Since no two arms could be identical there arose many variants of the cross, typically involving patterning along the edges , or fanciful, decorative endings to the arms of the cross . The cross formee is typical of these, (also known as a cross pattee) it has arms which broaden out in smooth curves towards the ends.
The chevron is one the major shapes used upon a shield, known as ordinaries. The inverted ‘V’ of the chevron is perhaps thought to have originated to represent a military scarf folded on the shield , or additional cross-pieces used to strengthen the shield and painted a different colour.. It has also acquired the meaning of “Protection… granted… to one who has achieved some notable enterprise” , possibly becuase of its resemblance to the roof truss of a house.
A wide variety of inanimate objects appear in coats of arms, so of them still recognisable today, others now rather obscure. The images used are often simplified and stylised, the anchor is a typical case. For any meaning, we need look no further than a nautical or sea-faring heritage. Indeed, some arms go into great detail of the colours and arrangement of the stock, stem, cables and flutes of the anchor reflecting a detailed knowledge of the form and use of this device. .