Ancliff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Ancliff family
The surname Ancliff was first found in Yorkshire in the North Riding where they held a family seat as Lords of the Manor. After the Battle of Hastings in 1066, William, Duke of Normandy, having prevailed over King Harold, granted most of Britain to his many victorious Barons. It was not uncommon to find a Baron, or a Bishop, with 60 or more Lordships scattered throughout the country. These he gave to his sons, nephews and other junior lines of his family and they became known as under-tenants. They adopted the Norman system of surnames which identified the under-tenant with his holdings so as to distinguish him from the senior stem of the family. After many rebellious wars between his Barons, Duke William, commissioned a census of all England to determine in 1086, settling once and for all, who held which land. He called the census the Domesday Book,  indicating that those holders registered would hold the land until the end of time. Hence, conjecturally, the surname is descended from the tenant of the village and lands of Arncliffe in Litondale, held by Roger le Poitevin, a Norman baron, who was recorded in the Domesday Book census of 1086. This Baron also held Arcliffe, a village in the West Riding.
Important Dates for the Ancliff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ancliff research. Another 50 words (4 lines of text) covering the years 1207 and 1379 are included under the topic Early Ancliff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ancliff Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Arncliffe, Ancliffe, Antcliffe, Antliffe, Antcliff, Arncliffe, Ancliff and many more.
Early Notables of the Ancliff family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Ancliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ancliff migration to Canada
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Ancliff or a variant listed above:
Ancliff Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- John Ancliff, who was recorded in the census of Ontario, Canada in 1871
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)