Origin, Meaning and Family History of the Tucker Name
Tucker Surname Name Meaning, Origin, History, & Etymology
The origin of this name is not entirely certain, but it is believe to be of Saxon roots. The Saxons were a West Germanic people who lived in modern day Germany and the Netherlands and beginning in the 400s AD, made their way across the North Sea into the British Isles.
This is an occupational name for a fuller (also called a walker) who would soften freshly woven cloth by beating it with water, deriving from the Old English verb tucian, meaning “to torment”, which is etymologically related to the German word tucher, meaning “towel maker”. This was a popular and important trade during medieval times and during the Middle Ages throughout Christendom. Some fulling mills are still called “tuck mills”. It is interesting to note that in the fifteenth century AD, most of the cotton trade in Germany was controlled by the Tucher von Simmelsdorf family in the city of Nurnberg, where Tucher Castle is located. Further, in Old Dutch, the word tuch means “to tug sharply”.
In some instances, the name be an Anglicized version of the Irish or Gaelic surname O’Tuachair, which was first documented in the Annals of Ulster as Ua Tuathchair in 1126 AD. Irish historians and genealogists (Woulfe and MacLysaght) assert the name of two distinct septs, one from the midlands known as Ely-O’Carroll and another from county Mayo. The name means a “descendant of Tuachar”, an old personal (first) name consisting of the elements tuath (people) and car (dear), and hence literally translates as “beloved”. Other Anglicized spelling variants include Toher, Togher, Tougher. Other variants include O’Tuogher in county Tipperary and O’Twoghir in county Offaly.
Another theory is that the name is French in origin and derives from a nickname tout-coueu, which means “all heart”, likely a moniker given to a person who was very brave or generous.
Lastly, in some instances, it can be an Anglicized form of the Jewish surname Tocker.
Some spelling variants or names with similar etymologies include Tooker, Toker, Towker, le Toukere, Tokker, Tukker, Tuckere, and others. Similar foreign names include Tukker (Dutch), Tuckert (German), and Tyckaert (Flemish).
Popularity & Geographic Distribution
The last name Tucker ranks 139th in popularity in the United Status as of the 2000 Census. The name ranks particularly high in the following five states: Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arkansas.
The surname Tucker frequency/commonness ranks as follows in the British Isles: England (296th), Scotland (799th), Wales (122nd), Ireland (1,380th) and Northern Ireland (1,576th). In England, it ranks highest in county Devon. In Scotland, the surname ranks highest in Ross and Cromarty. In Wales, it ranks highest in Glamorganshire and Monmouthshire. In Ireland, it ranks highest in county Limerick. In Northern Ireland, it ranks highest in Londonderry.
The name is also present throughout the remainder English speaking world: Canada (471st), New Zealand (324th), Australia (303rd), and South Africa (987th).
The 1890 book Homes of Family Names by H.B. Guppy, states the following in regard to this surname: “Tucker is a very characteristic west of England name. Its great home is in Devonshire, and it is especially numerous in the Barnstaple district. It is also found in numbers in Somerset, and occurs too, but much less frequently, in Cornwall, Dorset, Hants, and Wilts. Tucker was the west of England name for a fuller as recently as the 17th century, and in some places in the west fulling – mills are still called tuck – mills or tucking – mills. Tucking – mill, a village near Camborne, in Cornwall, thus derives its name”.
Early Bearers of the Surname
The earliest known bearer of this surname was Baldin Tuckere who was documented in the Roll of the Battle Abbey in Sussex in 1236 AD. The Hundred Rolls of 1273 AD, a census of Wales and England, known in Latin as Rotuli Hundredorum lists one bearer of this surname: Roger le Tukere in county Dorset. A one Jan Tucker was recorded in the city of Breda in the Netherlands in 1368 AD. Percival le Toukere was recorded in the Writs of Parliament in 1301 AD. Robert le Tuckere was documented in the Close Rolls in 1339 AD. William le Touker was documented in the Calendarium Rotulorum Originalium. The Register of the University of Oxford lists one Charles Tooker or Tucker in 1582 AD. An early marriage involving this name was Florence Tucker to Edmund Gylman in London in 1583 AD.
Tucker Family Tree & Tucker Genealogy
Tucker of Coryton Park
This family has been seated at Devonshire for several generations. A one William Tucker or Tooker had a son named William. This son William married a woman named Agnes and had a son with her, also named William. This William Tucker married Joane Tooker, and had a son with her named William. This son William was an Esquire of Westwater who was born in 1618. He in turn had a son whose name was William. This William Tucker was an Esquire of Westwater, who in 1686, married Agnes Hollings, and had a son with her, also named William. His son William, in 1716, married Mary, only daughter of Thomas Marwood of Widworthy, and had six sons and five daughter with her. His fourth son was Benedictus Tucker, an Esquire and High Sheriff of Devonshire in 1763 who build the present mansion at Coryton Park. He married Frances, daughter of Revered John Pester, and he had six children with her as follows: William, Reverend Marwood (Vicar of Harpford-cum-Venn, married Charlotte Jane Davy and had issue with her named William, Charles, and Marwood), Charles, Benedictus, John, and Harriett. His eldest son was William Tucker, who in 1792, married Elizabeth, daughter of John Bragge of Sadborow, and had no issue with her. In 1813, he married Charlotte Lewis, daughter of Nathaniel Elias Peloquin Cosserar, and had a son with her named William. This William Tucker was an Esquire of Coryton Park and a Justice of the Peace who was born in 1815. He did not have surviving posterity and when he died in 1863, he was succeeded by his cousin, Charles. Charles Tucker was an Esquire of Coryton Park, and Marlands, county Devon, England, as well as a Justice of the Peace, born in 1799. In 1850, he married Hemana Drew, daughter of Edward Wright Band of Wookey House. The Tucker Coat of Arms (erroneously called the Tucker Family Crest) was blazoned in heraldry as follows: Azure, on a chevron between three sea-horses argent as many hearts gules. Crest: A demi sea-horse regardant argent holding in his paws a heart gules. Motto: Auspice Teucro.
Tucker of Trematon Castle
John Jervis Tucker was an Esquire of Trematon Castle, Cornwall who was an Admiral in the Royal Navy and a Justice of the Peace. In 1830, he married Sabine Anne, daughter of Vice Admiral James Young of Barton End, and had issue with her: Jervis (Captain of the Royal Army, born 1833) and Sabine (married Thomas Jervis Edwards). He was the son of Benjamin Tucker and Janet Lyne. He was born in 1800.
Other Tucker Pedigree & Family Trees
The earliest ancestor of this family was Percival le Toukere who was born in France in 1301 AD. He had a son named John Percivale le Toukere who was born in France in 1329 AD. He in turn had a son named Percival le Toukere who was born in France in 1358. He went to England. He in turn had a son named John Percival le Toukere, or Sir John Tucker, who was born in Devon, England in 1358. He had a son named Stephen John Tucker who was born in Devon, England in 1410. He had two sons: John and William. John was born in Tavistock, England in 1430 and the following is a pedigree from him:
John Tucker (born in Throwley, Devon in 1458)
William Tucker (born in Throwleigh, Devonshire in 1495)
John Tucker (born in Milton Next, Gravesend, Kent around 1525)
Thomas Tucker (London, Middlesex, England in 1571)
Thomas Tucker (born around 1580)
Arthur Tucker (born in St. Olave, London in April 1602)
John Tucker was born in Westbury, Wiltshire, England around 1546. He married Alice Pelharm and had a son with her named William. Captain William Tucker was born in Kent, England in 1589 and he went to colonial America where he died in Elizabeth, Virginia in 1645. He had the following issue: Memory, Ann, Thomas, Samuel, and Sarah. His son was named Thomas “John” Tucker who was born in Westmoreland, Virginia in 1626 AD. He married a woman named Rose and had two issue: Robert and Sarah Mary. His son Robert was born in Charles City, VA in 1652. He married Elizabeth France Coleman Pettipool and they had four issue together: Robert, Elizabeth, Joseph, and William. His son Captain Robert Rucker was born in the same city in 1676. He married twice: Elizabeth Parham and Martha Epps. He had four issue: Robert Jr., George Sr., Daniel, and Sarah. His son Daniel was born in Prince George, Virginia around 1724. He married Elizabeth Clay and fathered two children: Paschal Sr. and Pleasant. His son Paschal Tucker Sr. was born around 1753 in Virginia. His son was Paschal Jr. who was born in Surry, VA in 1784. He married Polly Penticost and had a son with her named Pascal III. Pascal III was born in Kentucky in 1811. He married Elizabeth Ann George and had the following issue with her: Letha Ann, Richard E., Charles Stanton Mahead, Paschal Hayden, Luann J., and Ellen Frances. His son Richard E. Tucker was born in Kentucky in 1846 and he married Sarah Jane Spillman, with whom he fathered the following issue: Priscilla, Claude, Crosby Allen, Pernie, Thelma R., and Vernon. His son Claude was born in Green County, KT and he married Edna Blanch Glass and had the following issue with her: Ruth, Allen Ray, Pauline, Bertha Lucie, and Mary Bernice. His son Allen Ray Tucker was born in Tipton, Indiana in 1907. Allen married Sylvania Bernice Gunkel.
Early American and New World Settlers
Captain William Tucker came in 1610 AD aboard the Mary and James at the age of 36. His wife Mary came in 1623 aboard the George at the age of 26. Their daughter Elizabeth Tucker was born in Virginia. He owned 150 (or 650?) acres of land in Elizabeth Cittie.
Thomas Tucker, age 21, came to Virginia aboard the Globe in August 1635.
George Tucker, age 22, came to Virginia aboard the Safety in August 1635.
Henry and Georg Tucker was listed in the names of the governing council and assembly in the Sommer Islands in 1673.
Other early settlers in colonial America bearing this surname include John Tucker (Maine 1602), Daniel Tucker (Virginia 1607), and William Tucker (Maine 1621).
In Canada, some of the earliest settlers were John and Richard Tucker, who came from Teignmouth in Devon, England, who came to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1676 AD. In Australia, one of the first bearers of this last name was Thomas Tucker, a convict from Lancaster, England, who came to New South Wales (then a penal colony) aboard the Agamemnon in April of 1820. In New Zealand, one of the first settlers was Josiah Tucker, a 36 year old blacksmith, who came to the city of Wellington aboard the Duke of Roxburgh in 1840. He brought several children with him, including William H., Eliza Ann, Samuel J., and Josias.
Early Americans Bearing the Tucker Family Crest
Charles Bolton’s American Armory (1927) contains two entries for this surname:
1) [Azure] a chevron [or] bet 3 sea horses naiant [argent]. Crest: a lion’s gamb erased [gules?] grasping a battle axe [or] head [argent]. Engr. on chalice from Robert Tucker, 1722, Christ Church, Norfolk, Va. Also bookplate Richard Tucker, Va. and Bermuda. The family came from Milton, Co. Kent, Eng. Church of St. Peter at St. George’s, Bermuda, monumental inscriptions of Va. Tucker family. The motto is: Suspice Teucro. A Tucker bookplate has: Auspice te ucro.
2) Vert a chevron argent between 3 sea horses. Crest: an eagle rising. Bookplate Ichabod Tucker, Salem, Mass., lawyer, 1765-1846.
Crozier’s General Armory (1904) contains two entries for this surname:
1) Daniel Tucker of Virginia, 1616. From Devonshire, granted in 1558. Barry wavy of ten argent and azure on a chevron embattled and counter embattled or, between three sea-horses naint of the first, five gouttes de poix. Crest: A lion’s gamb, erased gules charged with three billets in plae or, and holding a battle-axe or, head, azure.
2) Robert Tucker of Milton, Massachusetts, 1662. Barry wavy of ten argent and azure, on a chevron embattled, between three horses naissant or, five gouttes de poix. Crest: A lion’s gamb, erased and erect gules, charged with three billets in pale or, clutching a battle-axe argent, handle or.
Matthew’s American Armoury (1907) and Bluebook does not contain an entry for this last name.
I have identified five Tucker family mottoes:
1) Patet ingeniis campus (The field lines open to talent)
2) Auspice Teucro (Under the auspices of Teucer)*
3) Providentia tutamen
4) Nil desperandum*
5) Vigilate (Watch)
*These are derived from a line from the famous Roman lyric poet Horace’s work Odes and Epodes.
We have 14 coats of arms for the Tucker surname depicted here. These 13 blazons are from Bernard Burke’s book The General Armory of England, Ireland, and Scotland, which was published in 1848. The bottom of this page contains the blazons, and in many instances contains some historical, geographical, and genealogical about where coat of arms was found and who bore it. People with this last name that bore an Tucker Coat of Arms (or mistakenly called the Family Crest)
1) William Tucker of Coryton Hall, county Devon, 16 January 1721
2) Tucker to A’Deane, of county Gloucestershire, and New Zealand, 1865
There are hundreds of notable people with the Tucker surname. This page will mention a handful. Famous people with this last name include: 1) Abraham Tucker (1705-1774) who was an English philosopher from London, 2) Lieutenant General Sir Charles Tucker (1855-1935) who was a British Army office who served in the Zulu War and Second Boer War, 3) Charlotte Maria Tucker (1821-1893) who was an English writer and poet who was born in Barnet, Middlesex and wrote under the pseudonym ALOE (meaning a Lady of England), 4) Christopher Tucker (1971) who is an American actor and comedian from Atlanta Georgia known for his roles in Friday, Jackie Brown, and Rush Hour, 5) Daniel Tucker (1740-1818) who was a Methodist minister, farmer, ferryman, and Captain in the American Revolution who preached to slaves, and might be the source for the son “Old Dan Tucker”, 6) Darcy Tucker (1975) who is a retired professional hockey player from Alberta, Canada who played for four different NHL teams from 1995-2010, 7) Cynthia Delores Tucker (1927-2005) who was an American civil rights and political activist from Philadelphia, PA who was known for his opposition to gangsta rap music, 8) George Tucker (1775-1861) who was an American attorney, politician (member of US House of Representative from Virginia) and author who was born in Bermuda and immigrated to Virginia, 9) Sir Henry James Tucker (1903-1986) who was the first Governor or Premier of Bermuda, and 10) Jeffrey Albert Tucker (1963) who is an American economist and writer from the Austrian School who was born in Fresno, California and is associated with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and the Acton Institute.