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About the study
A project which began simply as a search for my Newark roots has, many years later, turned into a study of the name and its variant, Newrick, wherever and whenever it is found. Various source regions for the name have been identified and a hypothesis for its origin and spread has been formulated.
The NEWRICK name is a sub-group of the Newark name and appears to have originated due to the peculiarities of Suffolk pronounciation. From personal observation, a number of present day individuals in Norfolk and Suffolk, England who spell their name Newark nevertheless pronounce it as Newrick. In the past, both spellings were commonly recorded in those counties for the same individual. As time went by the majority use of Newark emerged but a significant number of others use the variant Newrick. The name Newrick itself also underwent a change in a small number of cases to become NEWRUCK. The variant Newrick is associated with the name Newark and developed originally in Norfolk/Suffolk, England and from there migrated to County Durham. In other source regions of the country with one exception, only the name Newark is found. The exception is Sussex where the name Newark was found in the 17th century with some families spelling their name as NEWICK. By the 18th century the spelling Newick predominated in Sussex and parts of neighbouring Kent and the spelling Newark disappeared.
The family name Newark originated in England hundreds of years ago and is derived from the place named Newark (a 12th century 'new work' as contrasted to the 'old work' castle of 1073) in Nottinghamshire. Influential individuals in the church and in the Royal court from Newark in all likelihood spread the name by means of their dealings in land and church business, their vassals and tenants becoming known by the name Newark. There are numerous records of a Newark family wielding just such power and influence. It existed in Yorkshire from the 1200s to about 1700 when it seems to have died out.
Historical occurrences of the name
Richard de NEWERK, cordwainer, earliest record of the name in 1275/6.
Henry de NEWARK, Archbishop of York (1298-1299).
Marion de NEWERK, 1318, petitioned the King for a remedy against William Dogel of Mountsorrel, Leicestershire, claiming that he attacked and imprisoned her, and had committed many other felonies without punishment.
Henry NEWARK, 1381, one of the leaders of the Wat Tyler Rebellion in Yorkshire.
Alan NEWARK, 1408, (also known as Alani de Newark) appointed as Archdeacon of Durham.
William NEWARK, see 1509, (also known as William de Newerk) was appointed gentleman of the Chapel in the royal household and master of the boys of the Chapel, during (the monarch's) pleasure.
Walter NEWARK, 1535, accused of enjoying immoral relations with single women at Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire.
Roger NEWARK , 1553, was instituted to the vicarage of Acomb, Yorkshire.
Robert NEWARKE, 1575, served as a constable of the City of Norwich, Norfolk.
Peter NEWARK of Acomb, York, 1575, described as an esquire of the body to Queen Mary.
Henry NEWARK, Lord of the Manor of Acombe (Yorkshire), 1609, by letters patent granted by King James.
Jno NEWARK, single, arrived in Virginia, 1635.
William NEWARK(e), 1665, Factor of St Michael Bassishaw, City of London.
Family genealogy of the Newarks of Acham (Acomb), was compiled in 1665 by a herald (Sir William Dugdale) commissioned by the College of Arms to visit Yorkshire.
William NEWARK, 1682, served as Mayor of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
Daniel NEWARK, 1732, served as Mayor of Grimsby, Lincolnshire.
William Wright NEWARK, 1750, was indicted on a number of charges at the Old Bailey, London including bigamy, theft, burglary and accessory after the fact to murder.
Thomas NEWARK enlisted at Philadelphia as a Private with the 4th Regt of Foot in the service of the USA. Thomas took the Oath of Allegiance in Philadelphia in 1782.
Henry Valentine NEWRICK (1832 - c1918) immigrant from Suffolk, England, served in the US civil war (Co. 3, Mich Cavalry) and survived to become a cowboy in Kansas.
Algernon NEWARK A turn of the 20th century repertory actor who performed with Henry Irving and Herbert Beerbohm Tree, both of whom were England's top actors. Newark was his stage name.
Professor Francis Headon NEWARK, C.B.E., LL.D., B.C.L., M.A. (Oxon). 1907-1976 Barrister at Law and constitutional expert on Northern Ireland.
Derek NEWARK (1933-1998), a character actor well known for his dramatic roles in numerous TV shows and movies.
Roughly one person in England out of every 150,000 is named NEWARK while only one person out of 300,000 (very roughly) is named NEWRICK. Wherever the name Newark is found it is uncommon (for example in Canada there are approximately only 25 individuals with this name). Newrick is even less common (for example only a handful in Canada). In the 1930 US federal census there are 252 by the name Newark. Newrick appears only 17 times in the 1910 cenus.
Distribution of the name
Clusters of Newark families have been located in Lincolnshire, the West Midlands, London, East Anglia and a few other English counties besides Yorkshire. These groups are probably all unrelated to each other.
In the US most people named Newark (but not all) are actually descendants of 19th century European immigrants from Prussia, Poland, Bavaria etc whose names (such as Neuwart) were anglicized to Newark.
The Newrick variant had its roots in Suffolk and from there spread to Durham and Cheshire. Those by the name Newrick, no matter where in the world they live, are almost certainly a descendant of James and Ann NEWARK (late 17th and early 18th century farm family of Burgh Castle which was originally in Suffolk, England). All are almost certainly related, albeit distantly, to anyone else by the name Newrick and to the Newricks who still live in Suffolk today. The exception are descendants of a family from Poland named Neurick whose name was anglicized when they emigrated to England and then elsewhere.
In modern times the Newark/Newrick name has spread from Britain to New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Gibraltar, Argentina and the USA.
There are 1229 connected Newark/Newrick individuals in my database with many more whose relationship at present remains unknown. The 1881 census for England and Wales lists 218 people with the name Newark and 53 with the name Newrick. The 1901 England and Wales census lists 208 with the name Newark and 108 with the name Newrick.