Starbuck Surname Genealogy

Starbuck name is believed to have originated from the village of Starbeck,
a hamlet between Ripon
and Knaresborough in north Yorkshire and, in medieval times, within the
royal hunting forest of Knaresborough. Its earliest appearance as
a surname was a Robertus Starbok in the poll tax returns for Yorkshire
in 1379. Starbeck and Starbok over time became Starbuck.

Resources on

Starbuck Ancestry

The Starbuck name came from Yorkshire.  There are still traces
of the name in Wakefield, but little elsewhere in the county.  The Starbuck
name distribution in England
has instead been mainly
centered further south, around the counties of Leicestershire and
Nottinghamshire, with some spillover into Lincolnshire and

The Starbuck name was to be found in Leicestershire in the mid 1600’s
in the village of Lubenham near Market Harborough.  These
Starbucks apparently earned their living from the river trade.
The name appeared later in villages in the vale of Belvoir such as Long
Clawson, Stathern,, Harston, and Branston.  One Leicestershire
line began in 1687 with Joseph Starbuck from Hose.

John Starbuck was born in Deeping St. James, Lincolnshire in
1810.  Another John Starbuck started a photography business in
Boston, Lincolnshire in the 1850’s.  A third John Starbuck, from
Sutton St. Edmond in Lincolnshire, emigrated with his family to
Australia in the 1850’s.

Kent  There has
been a Starbuck outpost in the southeast, in Gravesend in
Kent.  J&R Starbuck is a family business of ship chandlers
founded soon after 1634 when William Starbuck, a Quaker, arrived in
Gravesend from Leicester.  The earliest documentary evidence of
the business is recorded in the Gravesend archives in February 1718
when Will’s grandson Isaac took on an apprentice ropemaker, William
Bland, from the workhouse.  J&R Starbuck has continued
and passed to Sally Starbuck in 1993.

  Edward Starbuck from Derbyshire
brought his name
to America and
New England in 1635. Tradition has it that Edward Starbuck was a man of
commanding presence, very adept in dealing with the local
Indians.   He and Tristram Coffin sailed to Nantucket island
Cape Cod in 1661 with other settlers to establish a colony there.
His son Nathaniel married Tristram’s daughter Mary.
It was Mary
Coffin Starbuck
, sometimes called
“the Great Mary,” who
introduced Quakerism into the island.

The late 18th century saw Nantucket’s rise as a whaling port.
Joseph Starbuck was perhaps the richest and most successful whale oil
merchant of his time.  He built three identical federal style
mansions on Main Street for his three sons.  His story is narrated
in Will Gardner’s 1948 book Three
Bricks and Three Brothers.
The overall genealogy of the
Nantucket Starbucks is covered in James Carlton Starbuck’s
1984 book Starbucks All.

When the whaling industry began to decline, some Starbucks moved from
Nantucket to North Carolina and then onto Indiana.  One line has
traced there to Wayne county, another to the town of Salem.  There
were also Starbucks in Tennessee and Missouri by the 1850’s and
1860’s.  William H. Starbuck was a 19th century railroad financier
from New
York.  It would appear that he gave his name to Starbuck,
Minnesota and to Starbuck,

Hermann Melville named one of his characters in Moby Dick
Starbuck after the
Nantucket Starbuck whaling family.  And the coffee chain Starbucks
was then named after this Starbuck.
It was not
because Starbuck had any affinity for coffee.  Starbuck was
in fact chosen after
Pequod, the name of his ship,
had been rejected by one of the co-founders of the chain.  In
response Facebook spawned a “Starbuck is our name, not our coffee
shop” group of Starbucks in Britain and America.

Starbuck Miscellany

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

Select Starbusk Names

and Obed Starbuck
were early 19th century whalers from the
Starbuck family.
JoJo Starbuck from California
won Olympic gold in pair figure skating in 1968 and 1972.

Select Starbucks

  • 1,300 in the UK (most numerous
    in Leicestershire)
  • 800 in America (most numerous
    in Vermont)




Click here for return to front page

Leave a Reply