Is your Surname registered?

Our 2,768 members have registered
2,405 study surnames with us
and a further 6,120 variant names.

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About the study

This is a place holder for this One-Name Study profile page.

Variant names

Surname variants that have been registered with the Guild are PIKE and PYKE.

Name origin

The origins of the surname are not entirely clear. Individuals may have adopted the surname based on an association with pike (the fish), pike (the weapon), or a turnpike (one of the early meanings of which was a turning pike, a horizontal timber that was mounted so as to be able to spin or turn; such turnpikes apparently served as barriers to prevent horses from accessing foot paths, and in other instances to block passage until a toll had been paid). It has also been speculated that the name PIKE might be derived in some instances from the word 'peak', such as when somebody resided at the peak of a hill (note, for instance, the usage of the word 'pike' in the name of Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain).

Historical occurrences of the name

The earliest known reference to the PIKE surname involves an Aelfric PIKE who is listed in the Domesday Book in Devon in 1086.

In 1311, a Sir Richard PIKE was present at Pedwell Manor near Aschott, Somerset. Sir Richard's family was also involved with Moorlinch Manor in the parish of Moorlinch.

In 1332, a Nicholas PIKE was sheriff of London.

In 1440, a Thomas PIKE was sheriff of London.

In 1549, a William PIKE was mayor of Bristol.

In 1562, a John PIKE was mayor of Bristol.

In 1584, a Walter PIKE was mayor of Bristol.

In 1693, a William PIKE was mayor of Poole (he had previously been sheriff in 1689).

Name frequency

In the United States, PIKE is the 1138th most common surname (based on the 1990 census).

In England and Wales, PIKE is the 513th most common surname (based on a Sept 2002 database of the Office for National Statistics).

In Newfoundland, PIKE is especially common, ranking 22nd among all surnames there (based on the 1955 voters list, as reported by E.R. SEARY in his book 'Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland').

Distribution of the name

The PIKE surname has historically tended to be most common in the English West Country, especially in the counties of Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire.

A map showing the 1881 distribution of the PIKE surname in Great Britain is shown near the top right of this webpage (clicking on this map will enlarge it for better viewing).


An ever-growing collection of information about the PIKE surname can be found on the website of David PIKE, who is coordinating the PIKE One-Name Study. Noteworthy among this collection are:

  • PIKE entries in Newfoundland church records
  • photos of PIKE gravestones (in Newfoundland and in the UK)
  • transcriptions of PIKE wills from the UK

With the help of the Guild, David has also been able to gather information on PIKE marriages in the UK between 1837 and 1911 for several registration districts, including:

  • Axminster
  • Bridport
  • Cheltenham
  • Derby
  • Dorchester
  • Eton
  • Honiton
  • Orsett
  • St. George Hanover Square
  • Tewkesbury
  • West Ham

David also has electronic access to most census records from Canada, the UK and the USA.


A DNA Project for the PIKE surname and its variants was started in 2004 and now has over 150 participants. The project is global in scope and has so far found evidence of at least 49 genetically different (and therefore not directly paternally related) PIKE family lines. Approximately 25% of all project members have been found to belong to one large PIKE family that appears to have its origins in the vicinity of Hampshire and Wiltshire.

All PIKEs are welcome to join this project. Those from PIKE families that are not yet involved are especially welcome and (if we have some funds available) may be eligible for some subsidy of the cost of the DNA analysis.

Note that it is particularly important to test the DNA of PIKE men in cases where the family is on the verge of 'daughtering out' or otherwise having its direct male line go extinct. Because the portion of DNA we are using is only found in PIKE men, if all the PIKE men in a family pass away without having sons, then there is no way for us to later determine the family's genetic signature.

The process of DNA collection involves a painless cheek swab which is then sent by post for analysis.

The DNA project has its own website at: