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

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

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Radcliff family, who lived in Nottingham, at Radcliffe. The name of this place translates as red cliff, and indicates that originally the town was distinguished by its proximity to such a landmark on the east side of Irwell.


Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Radcliff were recorded, including Radcliffe, Radcliff, Radclyffe, Ratliffe, Ratliff, Ratlife and many more.

First found in Nottingham, where they had settled after the Conquest.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radcliff research. Another 359 words(26 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1050, 1476, 1547, 1194, 1609, 1606, 1625, 1697, 1655, 1705, 1689, 1716, 1650, 1714, 1593, 1657, 1599, 1657, 1633, 1621, 1629, 1611, 1673, 1646, 1673, 1652 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Radcliff History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 435 words(31 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Radcliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Radcliff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 45 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Radcliff arrived in North America very early:

Radcliff Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • James and Jane Radcliff, who settled in New England in 1685
  • Jane Radcliff, aged 20, landed in New England in 1699

Radcliff Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Radcliff, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Radcliff Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Radcliff settled in New York in 1803
  • Jerry Radcliff, who arrived in New York in 1824
  • Thomas Radcliff, who arrived in New York in 1826
  • William Radcliff, who landed in New York in 1826
  • George Radcliff, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840

Radcliff Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • John J. Radcliff, aged 41, who emigrated to the United States from Carnavon, Wales, in 1905
  • Clittes Radcliff, aged 2, who settled in America from St. Croix, in 1906
  • George Radcliff, aged 33, who landed in America from London, England, in 1911
  • John (or Juan) Radcliff, aged 23, who landed in America from Stockport, England, in 1913
  • Thomas Radcliff, aged 20, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1919


  • Robert "Bobby" Radcliff (b. 1951), American blues guitarist and singer
  • Raymond Allen "Rip" Radcliff (1906-1962), American Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman who played from 1934 to 1943
  • Damaine Radcliff (b. 1979), American film actor
  • Jacob Radcliff (1764-1842), Mayor of New York City from 1810 to 1811
  • Benjamin Radcliff (b. 1963), American political scientist and a professor at the University of Notre Dame
  • Ryan Radcliff (b. 1990), American football quarterback


  • The Descendants of Joseph Ratcliff of Bienville Parish, Louisiana by Jane Clancy Debenport.
  • Isaac and Mary (Presnall) Ratcliff of Henry County, Indiana, and their Descendants by Richard P. Ratcliff

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: Virtus propter se
Motto Translation: Virtue for its own sake.


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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  9. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Radcliff Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Radcliff 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 18 November 2013 at 06:55.

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