Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
In an effort to understand the origin of our name, below please see articles from many Scottish publications whom show the name JACK or JAK. These are laid out in no date order and some of the translation will be hard to understand, I have not removed all of the errors as yet from this 1st draft.
In Black's Surnames of Scotland; it says 'the surname was not uncommon in Aberdeen in the seventeenth century'. It does mention a few other folk of that name though, such as Robert Jack, merchant and burgess of Dundee who was 'hangit and quarterit for false coin' in 1567; Gilbert Jack in Uddingston in 1498; a John Jack in Glasgow around the same time; and a Wil. Jak, tenant of the mill of 'Kethek' in 1473.
If you also look at the surname JACKSON in this early literature it was spelt JAKSOUNE. My assumption is that the surname JACK came from JAK originally. Although this does not dispel the surname JACQUE/S which first appeared in Scotland around 1700 and has almost disappeared today, many having changed the spelling to JACK.
The story I have included from Jim Jack on his families claim to a connection to the Chiefs of the MacIan Clan certainly is plausible, further investigation will be carried out.
David Jack, Timaru, NZ.
This interesting surname is of early medieval English origin, and is a surname formed from either one of two male given names, Jacob or John. Jacob derives from the Hebrew 'aqob' meaning 'supplanter' or, 'following-after'. In the Bible, this is the name of the younger twin brother of Esau, who took advantage of the latter's hunger and impetuousness to part with his birthright 'for a mess of potage'. The forename James is f identical origin, and both appear as 'Jacobus' in the Latin. The Old French given name 'Jacques', the usual French form of 'Jacobus', was introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066, and was Anglicized variously as 'Jake', 'Jacke' and 'Jeke'. The personal name John derives from the Hebrew 'Yochanan' meaning 'Jehovah has favoured (me with a son)'.
The popularity of this name throughout Europe is borne out by the wide variety of diminutive and pet forms it generated, including Jakke, Jak and Jack. One Petrus filius (son of) Jake was noted in the 1195 Pipe Rolls of Cornwall. The surname is first recorded in the mid 13th Century (see below) and William Jake was a witness in the Assize Court Rolls of Cambridgeshire (1260).
One of the earliest settlers in the New World was John Jack (27 yrs.), who departed from the Port of London, aboard the 'Amitie', bound for St. Christopher's in the Barbados, in October 1635. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a shield divided per saltire silver and black, with two green leaves in pale and two gold acorns in fesse, the Crest being a green pear tree, fructed gold.
The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Jagge, which was dated 1251, in the 'Chartulary of Ramsey Abbey', during the reign of King Henry 111, known as 'The Frenchman', 1216 - 1272. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to 'develop' often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
Pronounced: Jak Derived from Jacklin (earlier Jakin) a medieval pet form of John.
Scottish and English: from a Middle English personal name, Jakke, from Old French Jacques, the usual French form of Latin Jacobus, which is the source of both Jacob and James. As a family name in Britain, this is almost exclusively Scottish.
English and Welsh: from the same personal name as 1, taken as a pet form of John.
German (also Jack): [I:from a short form of the personal name Jacob.Americanized form of one or more like-sounding Jewish surnames.]
Read more: http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Jack#ixzz0tWpoZtrg
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: John Jack who settled in St. Christopher in 1635; Ezekiel Jack settled in Virginia in 1663; Morris and John Jack settled in Boston Mass. in 1763; William Jack arrived in Boston Mass. in 1849. James Jacks who settled in Maryland in 1774; J. Michael Jacks settled in Philadelphia Pa. in 1740; R.C. Jacks settled in San Francisco Cal. in 1850; Andrew Jack settled in the Barbados in 1745.
In Scotland first found in Renfrewshire where they held a family seat at Woodall between Langbank and the Port of Glasgow from ancient times.
Index to JACK (JAK) listings in the following publications held by David Jack
Jack DNA project
You may find our other Guild websites of interest: