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Relf History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms


Origins Available: English , Scottish


One of the most common classes of Scottish surnames is the patronymic surname, which arose out of the vernacular and religious naming traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Patronymic surnames of this type were usually derived from the personal name of the original bearer's father. The surname Relf is derived from the Old Norse given name Randolph, which itself comes from the Old German words, rat, meaning counsel, and wolf, meaning wolf.


Early Origins of the Relf family


The surname Relf was first found in the town of Nairn in Nairnshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Narann) in northern Scotland, today part of the Council Area of Highland, where they are thought to have arrived well before the invasion of Britain of Duke William of Normandy in 1066 A.D.

One of the first records of the family was Ralph (died 1144), Bishop of Orkney, whose name usually appears as Ralph Nowell, a native of York, where he became a priest. "York writers assert that, apparently about 1110, Ralph was elected (by men of the Orkneys) to the bishopric of the islands in the church of St. Peter at York." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


Early History of the Relf family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Relf research.
Another 117 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1205 and 1452 are included under the topic Early Relf History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Relf Spelling Variations


Scottish surnames are distinguished by a multitude of spelling variations because, over the centuries, the names were frequently translated into and from Gaelic. Furthermore, the spelling of surnames was rarely consistent because medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules. The different versions of a surname, such as the inclusion of the patronymic prefix "Mac", frequently indicated a religious or Clan affiliation or even a division of the family. Moreover, a large number of foreign names were brought into Scotland, accelerating accentuating the alterations to various surnames. The name Relf has also been spelled Ralph, Rolph, Rolfe and others.

Early Notables of the Relf family (pre 1700)


Another 38 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Relf Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Relf family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Relf Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Robert Relf, aged 38, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Ann Relf, aged 35, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • James Relf, aged 13, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Robert Relf, aged 11, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Sarah Relf, aged 8, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Relf (post 1700)


  • Mrs. Henry Relf, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Washington, 1944 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  • Albert Edward Relf (1874-1937), English cricketer who played for Sussex and England
  • Keith Relf (1943-1976), English pop singer, best known as the lead singer of the Yardbirds

The Relf Motto


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: Cresco crescendeo
Motto Translation: I increase by increasing.


Relf Family Crest Products



See Also



Citations


  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, December 8) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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