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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Jolliffe family come from? What is the English Jolliffe family crest and coat of arms? When did the Jolliffe family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Jolliffe family history?

The name Jolliffe thought to be of Norman heritage. It is a name for a person who was a happy and lively person. The surname of Jolliffe was originally derived from the Old French word joli, of the same meaning. A broad and miscellaneous class of surnames, nickname surnames referred to a characteristic of the first person who used the name. They can describe the bearer's favored style of clothing, appearance, habits, or character.

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Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Jolliffe, Jolli, Jolliff and others.

First found in Staffordshire where they were an ancient family granted lands by William the Conqueror, and "allied to some of the chief nobles of the Kingdom." A northern branch enjoyed power and affluence in Europe before the Norman Conquest, and were originally known as Jolli. This spelling changed with the years to Jollye, to Jolliff, and finally to Jolliffe.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolliffe research. Another 305 words(22 lines of text) covering the years 1824, 1613, 1680, 1660, 1679, 1660, 1750, 1734, 1741, 1697 and 1771 are included under the topic Early Jolliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 93 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Jolliffe or a variant listed above were:

Jolliffe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • John Jolliffe settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630

Jolliffe Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century


  • Mary Jolliffe settled in Georgia in 1741

Jolliffe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • William Jolliffe, aged 35, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1898

Jolliffe Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Florence M. Jolliffe, aged 27, who arrived in America from Dorset, England, in 1903
  • Albert Jolliffe, aged 39, who arrived in America from Isle of Wight, in 1905
  • Katherine Jolliffe, aged 40, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Beatrice Jolliffe, aged 24, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1907
  • Edith Rosa Jolliffe, aged 38, who arrived in America from Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1909


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  • William Jolliffe (1851-1927), English barrister, also appointed Censor of Cinematograph in 1916
  • Graham Jolliffe (b. 1937), English illustrator and cartoonist, best known for his book, Man's Best Friend in 1984
  • John Henry Jolliffe (1865-1936), English cricketer who played for Hampshire in 1902
  • Charles James Jolliffe (1861-1943), English footballer who played for Everton (1888-1889)
  • Eric Jolliffe (1907-2001), English-born, Australian cartoonist and illustrator, known for his cartoon strips, Saltbush Bill and Witchetty's Tribe to Pix Magazine
  • Steve Jolliffe (b. 1949), English musician, member of the blues-rock band Steamhammer (1969-1970)
  • Jill Jolliffe (b. 1945), Australian journalist and author
  • Edward Bigelow "Ted" Jolliffe QC (1909-1998), Canadian social democratic politician, Leader of the Ontario CCF (1942-1945), Rhodes Scholar, and lawyer
  • William George Hylton Jolliffe PC (1800-1876), 1st Baron Hylton, British soldier and Conservative politician, Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in 1852
  • Major General David David Shrimpton Jolliffe CB, FRCP (b. 1946), British retired Army officer, Director General of the Army Medical Services (2000- 2003)

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Tant que je puis
Motto Translation: As much as I can.

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  1. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  2. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  4. Lennard, Reginald. Rural England 1086-1135 A Study of Social and Agrarian Conditions. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959. Print.
  5. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  6. Virkus, Frederick A. Ed. Immigrant Ancestors A List of 2,500 Immigrants to America Before 1750. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1964. Print.
  7. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  10. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  11. ...

The Jolliffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Jolliffe Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 5 June 2014 at 10:48.

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