OKE – my query about the OKE family – see Nov 20 2014.

This is definitely of interest:


“Jim Oke’s Home Page go into contacts

For several years now I have been researching the OKE surname both in England and in Canada.

When I was growing up, I knew of few other Oke relatives in Canada. I was told my grandfather had grown up in the small village of Morwenstowe in Cornwall and had come to Canada after serving in the Royal Navy for a number of years. So I came to believe that most of my father’s relatives were to be found in England.

I began by searching the IGI for Oke surnames in Morwenstowe where my grandfather had been born but there were few names to be found there. I decided to look next door in Devonshire and soon discovered there were dozens of Oke names in the village of Bradworthy in North Devon.  It turned out that my g-g-grandfather had been born in Bradworthy and had moved to Morwenstowe (a matter of a few miles) where his children and grandchildren had been born. While examining a transcript of the Bradworthy parish records, there were occasional notes to the effect that such and such a family had emigrated to Canada to the village of Brooklin in present day, Ontario.

Looking at census and other information I soon found that numerous Oke families had come to Canada in the period 1830-1880. These included a brother of my 5xg-grandfather who settled in Darlington Township just sough of Courtice, Ontario. He had a large family and I was pleased to discover a large number of Oke relatives living in Oshawa, Whitby and Bowmanville in the present day. So my grandfather was actually following a well established pattern when he came to Canada and I had many relatives here after all.

Other Oke families settled in the Darlington area and some later moved on to Huron county and even later west to Manitoba.  All, I believe, can be traced back to a man named Philip Oke who was born in Poundstock, Cornwall in 1601. There are indications Philip was descended from a William Oke who left a will in the parish of St. Gennys about 1575.

There were several branches of the OKE family who migrated south from Poundstock as my direct ancestors were migrating northward towards Kilkhampton, Bradworthy, Morwenstowe, and Welcombe. I have identified Oke families in St. Tudy and Launceston in Cornwall whom I feel are related and some of whom came to Canada.

Here is a list of the Oke families I have identified to date in Canada.

Known OKE Families Who Emigrated to Canada During the 1800’s

Hugh Oke & Sarah Turner   Married in Bradworthy 1807. Arrived Canada May 1832 and settled in Hope Township in (then) Upper Canada. Five sons later settled in Huron County near Exeter, Ont. and had families whose descendants still live in the area. Hugh and Sarah later retired to Hampton, Ont. and are buried there.

William Oke & Grace Bowman   William Oke was born Bradworthy 1796 and married Grace Bowman at Milton Dameral in 1829. They arrived in Darlington Twp. near Courtice about 1835. Four sons remained in Darlington Twp.

Thomas Oke & Susan Honey   Thomas Oke probably came from St. Tudy, Cornwall about 1835-40 and settled in Hope Twp. Two sons Paul Upton and Silas lived nearby in 1871.

William Oke & Elizabeth Burge  This family moved from St. Tudy. Cornwall to Cramahe Twp. abt 1845. The family later lived in Douro Twp.

William R. Oke & Elizabeth Thorn   Son of Hugh Oke & Mary Routly of Bradworthy and a nephew of William Oke of Courtice. The family came to Canada Twp. to live with William’s Oke sons near Courtice about 1874.

William Oke & Sussanah Skinner From Bradworthy, they married there in 1833 and arrived in Whitby Twp. about 1841. Fours sons later settled near Alvinston, Ont. where numerous descendants still live. 

Samuel Hopper & Jane Oke  Married Bradworthy 1816, came to Hampton, Ont. abt 1855. They lived in Hampton with Thomas Oke and Catherine Hopper

Thomas Oke & Catherine Hopper  Niece and nephew to above. Married Bradworthy in 1850 and came to Canada near Hampton, Ont soon after. Descendants remained near Hampton.

Richard Oke & Elizabeth Robins Richard Oke was born in Welcombe and married Elizabeth Robins in Morwenstowe. They came to Hampton in Darlington Twp. about 1857 where Elizabeth died. Richard then married Mary Ann (Brimacombe) Avery. Their descendants remained near Hampton and Bowmanville.

John Oke & Mary Trick  A brother of Richard Oke of Hampton and born at Welcombe, Devon in 1835. Came to Canada about 1864 first living at Ingersoll, Ont. where Mary died soon afterwards. John then married Elizabeth (Lambert) Salsbury  in Lobo Township about 1866. Later lived at Petrolia, Ont. and died in 1919 in Detroit where some of his family had moved.

Walter Oke  Born Bradworthy 1817. Came to Canada about 1845-50 where he married Louisa Trimble and lived in Darlington Twp. Descendants later lived in Port Perry.

Edward Oke Born in Eng. about 1835, location unknown, and reportedly came to Canada as an orphan. He married Elizabeth Brooks in Darlington Twp. about 1856, raised a family there and then went west to homestead near Darlingford, Man. about 1880.

Thomas Oke & Mary Hart   Married in Bradworthy 1831 and came Canada about 1857. Suspect Thomas was a brother or related to William Oke of Courtice. Lived initially in Darlington Twp. and later in Huron Co. near Goderich. One son Samuel Hart Oke homesteaded near Boissevain, Man. in the 1880s.

Richard Oke & Damarias Hamley Married Welcombe, Devon 1833 and came to Canada about 1857. Richard died soon afterward in Whitby, Ont. Damarias and sons remained in Whitby.

John Oke & Ann Fish  A brother to Richard, John Oke settled in Whitby and later in Brock Twp. His family lived in the Beaverton, Ont. area.

Thomas Oke & Eleanor Fishleigh  Married 1843 in Milton Dameral, to Canada in 1857. Settled near Sparta, Ont. A son (Rev.) John H. Oke later preached and married in Darlington Twp. and served as a Methodist Clergyman in southern Ontario.

John Oke & Gertrude Hamley  A brother to Thomas above, to Canada about 1855 but disappeared soon after. His son Samuel Oke lived in Bowmanville and numerous descendants still live there.

William Oke & Mary Locke: Another brother to Thomas & John above. Came to Sparta, Ont. about 1856. Numerous descendants in area. Another brother and two sisters also came to Sparta briefly and then continued on to Mineral Point, Wisc.

Thomas Oke & Margaret Tremeer  To Canada abt 1855 however Margaret was widowed by the 1861 census in Bowmanville. Son William Tremeer Oke married in Bowmanville 1880. Thomas was a nephew of William Oke of Courtice.

Thomas Martin Oke   Son of James Oke & Anne Martin of Bradworthy. Arrived on his own about 1855 and married Mary Jane Witheridge in Darlington Twp. in 1860. Was a hotelkeeper on the 1871 census in Tooley’s Corners (now Blackstock, Ont.) and later a streetcar conductor in Toronto.

John James & Elizabeth Oke  Married Bradworthy 1847 and came to Canada about 1853. Their son Moses A. James was the publisher of the Canadian Statesman newspaper for many years and was Mayor of Bowmanville in 1903.

Marwood Oke Related to Bradworthy Okes and came to Darlington Twp. about 1885. Married Ida Witheridge in 1895 and later moved to North Dakota and then Washington state.

Thomas Oke Came to  to Brooklin, Ont. abt 1856 and married Susan Babcock about 1864 and later lived at Erneston, Ont. (near Kingston). Most probably related to the Bradworthy Oke line but unable to establish a clear link at this time.

William Oke Born in Devon 1860 and probably related to the Courtice Okes. He married Dinah Burridge in Oshawa in 1892. Later lived in Lake Forest, Illinois, near Chicago.

Charles, Richard, and William Oke These three brothers were born in Welcombe, Devon and came to Canada about 1855 and first farmed in Huron County. By 1871 they were all settled with families in London, Ont.

I am aware of an Oke family in Newfoundland which originated in Dorset and is likely not related to the Poundstock Okes. 

I would be glad to correspond with others concerning OKE or the other names above. I can be reached via e-mail at wjoke@shaw.ca  “

Last updated 20 Sep 2007


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