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Tucker Family History

Updated September 1, 2005


The meaning of the family name of Tucker would lead us to believe the accepted proposition that those names ending in "r" or particularly "er" are derived from the occupation followed by the person who originally embraced the name as his designation, and accordingly Tucker signifies the old-time calling of a fuller, practically a clothdresser, for the word "tuck" means a fold of cloth. Others would have us believe, mainly because of the sound in pronouncing it, that Tucker was once identified with the ancient "Teucer," which was the name of the first king of Troy, to be found in the writings of Virgil. There was a man Tyrker on the voyage with Leif, the Icelandic or Norse explorer, said to have approached Narragansett Bay in the year 1000; but even if there were, nothing is to be gained, for no authentic record connects the family in America with him or his people, and records, to be of any purpose, should be authentic, or at the least have the best reason to continue to find expression in the pages of a reputable work. However, the form of spelling "Tooker" may be considered an equivalent of Tucker, and Tuckerman is a compounded form of the same family name.

The Tucker family arms are as follows: Barry wavy of ten, argent and azure; on a chevron embattled and counterbattled or, between three seahorses variant of the first, five guttées--de poix. Crest: A lion's gamb, erased and erect, gules, charged with three billets in pale, or, holding in the foot a battle-axe azure, handle or. Motto: Nil desperandum.

If one were intent upon a study of the family when it existed in England, considerable information may be unearthed. It would lead to the counties of Cornwall and Devon. John Tucker would be found as of South Tavistock, county Devon, six generations previous to the departure of the "Mayflower" for New England. He married the widow of Treeareth, and they had a son named Stephen, of Lamertin, near Tivistock, who established two distinct lines, first by marrying the daughter and heir of Foxcomb, of Trenchard, and secondly, by his later marriage to the daughter and co-heir of Barlow, viz., Nicholas Tucker by the former, and John Tucker by the latter. That is according to the visitation of Heralds. A. D. 1573. In the visitation of Kent, taken by John Philpott, one finds Willielmus Tucker, of Thornley, county Devon, Arms, 1079; married Josea, daughter of William Ashe, of Devon; by whom: George, Thomas, John Josea and Maria.

John Tucker came to England and fought at the battle of Hastings, October 14, 1066, under William the Conqueror. He seized the estates of all who fought against him, and conformed the use of heraldic symbols. John Tucker was granted a coat-of-arms in 1070 by William the Conqueror, and was assigned the estate of South Tavislock, county Devonshire. As above, he married the relict of "Trecareth," and their son, Stephen Tucker, in 1110, received from King Henry I, a permit to wear his hat or bonnet in his presence.


Alexander McKeldin Tucker
13017 Turkey Branch Pkwy
Rockville, MD 20853-3344
United States
alex.tucker@verizon.net

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