Select Tucker Miscellany



Here are some Tucker stories and accounts over the years:

Tucker Origins


It is believed that the first of the family in England was John Tucker, who came with William the Conqueror in the year 1066, fought in the battle of Hastings, and was assigned large estates in Devon. 

Among the earliest records of the family in England are those of Roger le Tukere of Dorset in 1273; those of Percival le Toukere in 1301 as a man who made a substantial living in cleaning and thickening woollen cloth; those of Robert le Tuckere in 1321; and those of William le Touker around the same time.


Conflict in Bermuda

The home once owned by President Tucker in St. George is another museum operated by the Bermuda National Trust.  A pamphlet informs visitors that President Tucker moved into the house in 1775 and was quickly embroiled in a major crisis.

On the night of August 14 that year, a group of Bermudians brought several whale boats into Tobacco Bay on the north shore of St. George's parish.  They crept up the hill to the small building which served as Bermuda's arsenal, broke into it and stole gunpowder, sending it to the revolutionary American forces besieging Boston.   

President Henry's father, the colonel, was alleged to have been part of the conspiracy.  So was the President's brother, St. George.  

The powder was stolen because the Continental Congress had declared a ban on exports to all British colonies not taking part in the revolt.  The 13 mainland colonies were the granary for Bermuda and the ban was a shrewd blow.  An unofficial Bermuda delegation to Philadelphia asked that the ban be lifted, but the Congress refused unless Bermuda supplied the gunpowder to the colony's magazine.  This the Bermudians did and the ban was eventually lifted.


Tom Moore's Love Poem to Hester Tucker

The poet Tom Moore stayed in Bermuda in 1804.  He met William Tucker and his charming young wife Hester who lived next door.  Hester became Nea, the lady of his dreams, to whom he wrote thirteen odes during his stay.  This is one excerpt: 

"Nay, tempt me not to love again,
There was a time when love was sweet;
Dear Nea! Had I known thee then,
Our souls had not been slow to meet!
But oh! this weary heart hath run,
So many a time, the rounds of pain,
Not ev'n for thee, thou lovely one!
 Would I endure such pangs again."

Old Dan Tucker

Old Dan Tucker is a popular American song.  Its origins remain obscure.  The first sheet music of the song was published in 1843.

A story dating back to 1965 claims that Old Dan Tucker was written by slaves about a man named Daniel Tucker who lived in Elbert County, Georgia.  Tucker was a farmer, ferryman, and minister who appears in records from the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  The story, as related by Mrs. Guy Rucker the great-great-granddaughter of one of Tucker's neighbors, claims that Tucker became quite well liked by the slaves in his area through his ministry to them.


George and Annis Tucker in Australia

George and Annis tucker arrived in Sydney on the Harbinger in 1849 and settled at Mid-Lorn, near Maitland, growing lucerne for hay and chaff, corn, potatoes and vegetables.

The family were staunch adherents to the Church of England, and, rain or shine, they went to church at St. Mary's in Church Street, Maitland.  One of the heavy draught farm horses was harnessed to the heavy farm dray and planks were put across on which the family sat.  The draught horse walking and the dray, with no springs, rattling along over the rough roads with George and Annis sitting up front driving and the pack of children sitting on the rough seats behind them, all dressed up in their best clothes to go to church as was the custom.  George always dressed in a long black frock-coat, with a stiffly starched white shirt, a peaked white collar, and a black bow tie which hitched up at the back.  Annis wore a small black hat and a white silk shawl which fell over her shoulders.

When spring-vans came, George was the first to buy one and when phaetons later were introduced, he again was first to have one.  These vehicles were four-wheeled, with the front wheels very small.  They seated two people in upholstered seats and also had a hood which folded down if sunshine was desired and pulled up quite simply when it began to rain.  The family, of course, was still accommodated in the spring-cart.

George prospered and went in for breeding heavy draught horses which were the main means of transport at that time.



Preston Tucker and the '48 Tucker


The Tucker '48 automobile, the brainchild of Preston Tucker, represented one of the last attempts by an independent car maker to break into the high-volume car business.  Preston Tucker was one of the most recognized figures of the late 1940's, as controversial and enigmatic as his namesake automobile.  His car was hailed as the first completely new car in fifty years.  Indeed, the advertising promised that it was "the car you have been waiting for."

Much of the appeal of the Tucker automobile was the man behind it.  Six feet tall and always well-dressed, Preston Tucker had an almost manic enthusiasm for the automobile.  Born in 1903 in Michigan, he spent his childhood around mechanics' garages and used car lots, later working at Cadillac and the Ford Motor Company.

During Christmas 1946, Tucker commissioned Alex Tremulis to design his car and ordered the prototype to be ready in a hundred days.  The first car, completely hand-made, was affectionately dubbed "the tin goose."  It pioneered in June 1947 at the Tucker plant before the press, dealers, distributors, and brokers.

However, production of the automobile, called the Torpedo, was later shut down amidst scandal and accusations of stock fraud.  The jury did find Tucker and his co-defendants innocent of any attempt to defraud.  But the verdict was a small triumph.  The company was already lost.  The remaining assets, including the Tucker automobiles, were sold at 18 cents on the dollar. 


Reader Feedback - Early Tuckers in Devon

I have read sources that claim that a Tucker did come to England with William the Conqueror.  But the reported Stephen Tucker was not his son.   According to The Visitations of Cornwall, Stephen Tucker of Lamartyn was granted to privilege of wearing his hat in the presence of the king by Henry VIII.  This happened on July 2, 1519, according to my calculations.

Tom Clark (ca00932@windstream.net)


Reader Feedback - Tucker as a Dutch Surname

I really would appreciate it when you add some line about the Dutch Tukkers who originally wrote their name as Tucker.  

The first one occurs in the archive of the barony of Breda as Jan Tucker when he sold a house in 1368. Breda at that time held a wool manufacturing and trade position in Brabant (situated at the northern border of Flanders).  The lineage of this Jan Tucker has a gap until 1440, but from thereon there is a lineage up into these times.  There still is one family in the Netherlands spelling there name as Tucker and coming straight from this line. 

My name is Tukker, but was spelled as Tucker as well up into the 18th century.  As far as we know now the name came into the male family line in the 16th century, by maternal heritage.  In other words, one of my 16th century female forebears had Tucker as a family name.  Her children took this name and from there on there was another Tucker branch.  I have this lineage all the way up to me, starting in 1530. 

In the Eastern part of Holland, in a part of the country we call Twente (province of Overijssel) next to the German border people born there are called Tukker(s) (until the early 20th century written as Tucker(s)).  As far as we know they started calling themselves this way in the second part of the 19th century, when the industrialized wool manufacturing grew into a serious business here.  This originally was a very poor part of the country where they speak a dialect that is lower Saxon of origin.  This wool manufacturing not only made them less poor, it gave them back their self-esteem.  Therefore they call themselves Tukker(s) as a special breed, coming form Twente and being proud about that.  

So the name Tucker (Tukker) is very common in the Netherlands and has been for about seven centuries. 

Kees Tukker (kees.tukker@unet.nl)


Reader Feedback - Tucker's Irish Origins

The Tucker surname may have English, Norman, German, Jewish, or Irish origins.

According to Patrick Wouffe in his book Irish Names and Surnames, the Tucker surname arose from the Gaelic O'Tuachair, or more correctly Ui Tuathchair, meaning "people dear," and was anglicized to Tucker, Togher, Tougher, Tooker etc.  He said the name arose in the Ely-O'Carroll region of Tipperary and Offaly and migrated to surrounding counties.  The name O'Tuachair appeared in The Annals of Ulster as early as 1126, thereby predating the arrival of the Normans.

The arms of O'Tuachair of Dublin are the same as the arms of Thomas Tucker who was born in 1628 in Fingles parish, Dublin.  They are a simple blue shield with a silver chevron and three seahorses.

Tracy Edward Tucker
Co-Administrator of the Tucker Surname Project at Family Tree DNA (tracytucker3B@msn.com)

 


Return to Top of Page
Return to Tucker Main Page