Lucas Surname Genealogy

Lucas is a Latin personal name meaning “man from Lucania,” a region in
southern Italy. It owed its great popularity in medieval Europe
to St. Luke the Evangelist. It was also probably a Crusader

Lucas is a common surname in France and Spain, as well as in
England. Variations of the name are Luca in Italy, Luk and Lukas
in Germany, Lukas in Czech, Lukasz and Lukasik in Poland, and Lukovic
in Croatia.

Lucas Resources on

Lucas Ancestry

The main Lucas numbers today in Europe are:

  • in France, around 40,000, mainly to be found in Brittany
  • in Spain, around 30,000, with the largest numbers in Murcia in SE
  • in England, around 30,000, with a historical concentration in the
  • and in Germany (as Lukas), around 10,000.

In addition, the Lucas surname also occurs in Luxemburg.

Lucas held land at Westley near Bury St. Edmunds in
1180 and his descendants were aldermen and bailiffs at various times
during the 13th and 14th centuries. It
was Thomas Lucas of Saxham Hall who, under the patronage of the Duke of
rose to be Solicitor General to Henry VII in 1504.
Later Lucases from this family established
themselves at Colchester in Essex. Three Lucas brothers
John, Sir Charles, and Sir Thomas – fought on the Royalist side during
Civil War. These Lucases became the Lucases of Shenfield.

A Lucas
family originated in Hitchin in Hertfordshire where they can be traced
back to
the 16th century as maltsters and millers and later as brewers. They
were early
members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Phebe Lucas, born
there in 1816,
wrote an account of her early life, entitled Phebe’s
Hitchin Book
. Her
elder brother Samuel was an enthusiastic painter.

A line of this family was to be found in the London outskirts,
Stapleton Hall in Hornsey and Upper Tooting. The
distinguished Victorian geologist Joseph
Lucas came from this family. Another line
was to be found in Sussex – with Edward Lucas, a
Southwick, and E.V. Lucas the writer.

also a Lucas Quaker family in Wandsworth, London.
Samuel Lucas was a Quaker corn merchant there
in the early 19th century. His sons
Samuel and Frederick were abolitionist campaigners.
Frederick converted to Catholicism.

By the late 19th century, the distribution of the Lucas surname formed
two clusters, one in the southeast around London and the second in the
northeast where the largest number was to be found in Lancashire.

Ireland. Two
Lucas lines in
Ireland were from England and came from Suffolk:

  • Benjamin
    Lucas arrived with Cromwell and was
    granted lands in Kings county (now Offaly). He
    built his Mount Lucas mansion there in
    1669. There was a line of this family at Loughburke
    in county
    included the anti-Catholic politician and pamphleteer Charles Lucas. Mount
    stayed with the Lucas family until 1922.
  • In 1683 Francis Lucas took possession of
    Castle Shane in county Monaghan. Subsequent
    Lucases of this family moved to county Cavan and
    emigrated in 1822 to Canada.

America. The first Lucas in America was probably Captain Thomas
Lucas who arrived from Surrey in 1641 and was one of the earliest
settlers in
Rappahannock county. He was a man of
some wealth as he left diamond rings and pearl necklaces in his will of
1673. Annabelle Kemp’s 1964 book Lucas Genealogy covered his and other
early Lucas lines in America.

Lucases in North Carolina included Charles Lucas
of Robeson county, John Lucas of Wayne county, and Lewis Lucas of
county. They probably had the same
forebears. Descendants of Charles Lucas
(as traced in Rev. Silas Lucas’s 1959 book The
Dotsons of SW Virginia
) later migrated to the southern
states. John Lucas was a patriot during the Revolutionary
War. Later Lucases of this line were Baptist and Methodist

Wiltshire came the Quaker Robert Lucas to Bucks county, Pennsylvania in
1679. His descendants moved to
Virginia. A later Robert Lucas, who
headed west to Ohio as a young man in the early 1800’s, rose to become
Governor of
that state and then of what was then Iowa territory.
He was known for his quick temper, almost
causing a war each time over boundary disputes with neighboring states.

The name
of Lucas ranks high in the early plantation history of South Carolina. John Lucas, a planter in the
Caribbean, had
bought land at Wappoo Creek near Charleston.
His grand-daughter Eliza took
over the plantation there in the late 1730’s and oversaw the
development of the
dye indigo
as a
cash crop. Meanwhile Jonathan
Lucas, the son of a wealthy English mill-owner in Cumberland, was a
arrival in Charleston in 1783. He was a
skilled millwright and over the years developed various rice mill
prototypes in
the area, culminating in his first steam-powered rice mill in 1817. His descendants still live in Charleston.

There were Lucases who came to America from other counties in

  • Daniel
    Lucas arrived in Philadelphia from the German Palatine in 1740 on
    the Lydia. He made his
    home in Schuykill county, Pennsylvania.
  • and Theodore Lucas who came to
    from Luxemburg on the Clifton in 1854
    and eventually settled in Illinois.

Canada. Andrew
and his family (including his brother John and uncle
James) emigrated to Canada from county Carlow in Ireland in 1815 on the
of a free land grant. They ended up in
Lanark county, Ontario. Andrew later
moved to Lambton county. He is reported
to have over 14,000 descendants.

Australia. Nathaniel
, a London carpenter, was transported to Australia on
the First
Fleet in
1788. He died of drink in 1818. In
1988 four
hundred descendants of Nathaniel and his wife Olivia
Gascoigne met for a reunion. Peter McKay’s 2004 book The Lucas Clan in Australia estimated
that there were in total 54,000 descendants of the couple.

Lucas was also
on the First Fleet

Lucas Miscellany

If you would like to read more, click on the miscellany page for
further stories and accounts:

Lucas Names

The Lucas brothers were prominent
builders in Victorian England.
Paul Lukas was a Hungarian-born
Hiollywood actor of the 1930’s and 40’s.
Jerry Lucas was a Hall of Fame
basketball player for the New York Knicks and other clubs.
George Lucas was the creator of
the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series of films.

Select Lucases Today

  • 30,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Lancashire)
  • 36,000 in America (most numerous in California)
  • 18,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Australia)



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