Vick Surname Genealogy

There are English origins and German origins for the surname Vick.
English. Vick
is a localized English surname, coming initially from
Gloucestershire. Its English origins are obscure. It
could be a nickname, from
the Norman French l’eveske,
meaning “the bishop,” from which came the names Levesque and Levick; or
it could come from a place-name Vic in southern France; or it could
come from the Old English wic,
meaning “settlement,” which became a surname Wyk and then somehow
Vick. None of these explanations is very satisfactory.
German. Vick is
also a localized German surname, coming initially from
north Germany on the border with Denmark and in the area between
Hamburg and Schwerin.
Its root here seems to have been the German personal name
Friedrich. Friedrich became in pet form Fick and Vick in some

Vick Resources on

Vick Ancestry

The Vick name may have started with one or a few families in
Gloucestershire. Ricard Vicke left a will dated 1565 in Kings
Stanley. Thomas
lived in Randwick near Stroud and he died
and was buried there in 1574. His son was James Vyke, mason to
Sir Raplh Dutton, and Elizabeth Vick was recorded as James’s widow in
1642. Their descendants remained in Randwick through the 17th and
18th centuries.

There were other Vicks in Gloucestershire by the 18th century. At
Elmore church near Stroud there are family monuments to Silvanus Vick
who died there in 1776 and his son Daniel who died in 1810. On
his death in 1754 William
a Bristol wine merchant, left money to
fund the construction of a bridge across the Avon Gorge. This
eventually became the Clifton suspension bridge.

By the time of the 1841 census, more than half of the Vicks in England
were to be found in Gloucestershire:

  • Gloucestershire, 53%
  • Hampshire, 18%
  • Sussex, 14%
  • and elsewhere, 15%

One family lineage has been traced from James Vick, born in Portsmouth
around 1785, and another from Charles Vick, born in Chichester in
Sussex in 1826.

Isle of Man.
There were also Vicks on the Isle of Man. These seemed to have
been the descendants of Johann Ficke from Germany who arrived there in
the late 1700’s. Ficke became Fick and then Vick at Malew about

America. The English
immigrant Joseph Vick was the progenitor of many of the Vicks in
America. He was a planter in Virginia who
had arrived there around 1670. The book Joseph
Vick of Lower Parish, Isle of Wight County,
edited by John Beatty and
Di Ann Vick described the first five generations of this family.

One line of descent passed through Shadrach Vick who fought in the
Revolutionary War and then left Virginia for Livingston county,
Kentucky in the early 1800’s (his son John Leonidas Vick wrote a
history of this line in 1895). Other Vicks were to be found in
North Carolina. Dr. Joshua Vick of
Greensboro, North Carolina gave his name to Vick’s VapoRub, the
which made its name during the flu epidemic of 1918. Edmund Vick
left North Carolina for Alabama and Texas in the 1860’s and 70’s.

Newit Vick, a planter and Methodist minister from Virginia, had
obtained title to the lands of the Walnut Hills in Mississippi about
1811 with the intention of founding a town there. But he died in
1819 before he had time to implement his plan. The town did
materialize in 1825 and was named Vicksburg. The house of Newit’s
daughter Martha, built in 1830, still stands in the town. Henry
, his grandson, died in a duel in 1859, just before his
wedding day.

There was another English Vick who came to America. James Vick
had arrived with his parents from Portsmouth in 1833. He founded
the Vick Seed Company in Rochester, New York. He was to be one of
the most successful horticultural seedsmen, writers, and merchandisers
of his day.

German Vicks.
But the largest number of Vicks came from Germany. They included:

  • Hans
    Peter Vick
    from Holstein in German-speaking Denmark.
    He arrived in Minnesota in 1869. He taught dancing lessons in
    Minneapolis where he met his wife. They settled in
    Richland, North Dakota in the 1880’s.
  • Peter Christian Vick from Godenstorf near Hamburg who came to
    Dickinson, Iowa in the 1870’s.
  • and Heinrich
    from Mecklenberg who came to Michigan also in the

Some immigrants from
other places
changed their names to Vick. Jonas Vik from Norway became Vick in
1880 Minnesota census and Jan Nepomuk Vich from the present-day Czech
Republic became John Vick in the Wisconsin 1910 census.

Vick Miscellany

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

Select Vick Names

Dr. Joshua Vick from
North Carolina gave his name to Vick’s VapoRub, the medicine which made
its name during the flu epidemic of 1918.
Michael Vick is a star
American football quarterback who has controversially spent time in
prison for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring.

Select Vicks Today

  • 1,000 in the UK (most numerous
    in Gloucestershire)
  • 5,000 in America (most numerous in North Carolina)
  • 1,000 elsewhere (most numerous in Canada)




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