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

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

Radcliffe is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Radcliffe family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Radcliffe family 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.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Radcliffe have been found, 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 Radcliffe 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 Radcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products.


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


Some of the Radcliffe 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.


For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Radcliffe were among those contributors:

Radcliffe Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Philip Radcliffe, who landed in Massachusetts in 1631
  • James Radcliffe, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1684
  • Richard Radcliffe, aged 21, arrived in Pennsylvania in 1685
  • Robert Radcliffe, who landed in New England in 1686

Radcliffe Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • John Radcliffe settled in Philadelphia in 1775

Radcliffe Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Radcliffe, aged 23, arrived in New York, NY in 1803
  • John W Radcliffe, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1820
  • Thomas Radcliffe, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1869


  • Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe (1902-2005), American baseball player
  • Mark Radcliffe (1918-2012), one of the last surviving American members of the legendary Devil's Brigade, a joint US/Canadian task force during World War II
  • James "Jimmy" Radcliffe (1936-1973), American soul singer and composer
  • Philip FitzHugh Radcliffe (1905-1986), English composer, musicologist, and writer
  • Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), English novelist
  • Sir Sebastian Radcliffe (b. 1972), 7th Baronet Radcliffe
  • Daniel Radcliffe (b. 1989), English actor, best know in his role as "Harry Potter"
  • Mark Radcliffe (b. 1958), English broadcaster
  • Paula Radcliffe MBE (b. 1973), English twelve-time gold, six-time silver and two-time bronze medalist long-distance runner
  • Sir Joseph Radcliffe (1744-1819), 1st Baronet of Milnsbridge House, County of York, English peer



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. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  5. 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.
  6. Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
  7. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds. Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Radcliffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Radcliffe 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 25 February 2014 at 00:38.

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