Shillaker Family Web Site

The Shillaker Family


Richard Shelakar, born about 1616 in Loddington, Leicestershire, is the earliest known person with the name. It is likely that all modern Shellaker and Shillaker families are descended from him. Early families spread along a line drawn roughly between Leicester and Peterborough in the East Midlands of England. The origin of the name is the subject of much debate: family anecdotes suggest a Dutch origin, navvies who came from Holland to dig dykes to drain the fenland.


In the 1841 census, there were three Shillaker families in Rutland and five in and around Market Deeping, Lincolnshire, in two distinct branches. There were five Shellaker families in Leicestershire and Rutland, and two who had moved from that area to London. By 1901 families of both names had spread widely around central and southern England. In the early twentieth century a Shillaker family moved to Canada and one to Australia. We estimate that there are about 10 Shellakers and 150 Shillakers living today.


Shillakers have traditionally been farmers and shopkeepers. In 1881 there were three substantial farmers, a grocer, a baker and draper in the Market Deeping area alone. The most famous Shillaker was James Frederick, who was elected a Labour MP in 1929.

The Shillaker One-Name Study

This project aims to collect as much information as possible about all Shillakers and Shellakers who have ever lived. Take a look at the Genealogy page to see what has been done so far. If you are a family member or you think you may be related to us, go to the Join Us page and become a member: you will be able to see much more.