Where did the Scottish Polk family come from? What is the Scottish coat of arms/family crest? When did the Polk family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
Scribes in Medieval Scotland spelled names by sound rather than any set of rules, so an enormous number of spelling variations exist in names of that era. Polk has been spelled Pollock, Pollocke, Polk, Polke, Pollok, Pollick, Polloch, Pook, Pooke, Poock, Pogue, Poag, Poage, Poague, Poak and many more.
First found in Renfrewshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Rinn Frił), a historic county of Scotland, today encompassing the Council Areas of Renfrew, East Renfrewshire, and Iverclyde, in the Strathclyde region of southwestern Scotland, where they were seated from early times.
The number of Strathclyde clan families sailing for North America increased steadily as the persecution continued. In the colonies, they could find not only freedom from the iron hand of the English government, but land to settle on. The American War of Independence allowed many of these settlers to prove their independence, while some chose to go to Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots played essential roles in the forging of both great nations. Robert Pollock of Ayrshire who migrated to the United States, and was a direct ancestor of President James Knox Polk. Most Polks settled in South Carolina, New England and Upper Canada. Robert Poage settled in Virginia in 1740.
Motto Translated: Boldly and earnestly.
For more information on the last name Polk, the PDF Surname History is available for purchase as well as other products.
Suggested Readings for the name Polk
* The Genealogical Study of David Reese: with Allied Families: Polk et al. by Cynthia Jones Reese.
* The Seed of Sally Good'n: a Black Family of Arkansas (also Polk family), 1833-1953 by Ruth Polk Patterson.
Some noteworthy people of the name Polk
* Leonidas Polk (1806-1864), American soldier, who was made a major-general in the Civil War
* Willis Polk (1867-1924), American architect most well known for his work in San Francisco, California
* Albert Fawcett Polk, American lawyer and United States representative from Delaware
* Oscar Polk (1899-1949), American actor who starred in Gone with the Wind
* George Polk (1913-1948), American journalist for CBS murdered in Greece
* James R Polk, American Journalist
* Louis Frederick Polk, Sc.D., American Industrialist, Banker and Investor
* President James Knox Polk (1795-1849), of North Carolina, who was the 11th president of the U.S.A
* James G Polk (1896-1959), United States representative from Ohio
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