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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The origins of the Bancroft name lie with England's ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. It comes from when the family lived at or near an enclosure at a slope deriving its origin from the Old English phrase of the bank-croft.


The surname Bancroft was first found in Cheshire and south east Lancashire in the vicinity of Manchester where William and Henry Bancroft established estates, and erected monuments to the Bancrofts at various locations. Early records revealed that Bancroft was located "near Warrington, Cheshire" and the family were "a branch of the Lords of Boteler of Warrington." [1] Whilst this ancient local has been lost, today there is a Bancroft in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire but this is a recent residential district.

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Bancroft were recorded, including Bancroft, Bancrofte, Bamcroft and others.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bancroft research. Another 75 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1600, 1544, 1610, 1604, 1596, 1658, 1613 and 1696 are included under the topic Early Bancroft History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 109 words (8 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bancroft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Bancroft family emigrate to North America:

Bancroft Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • John Bancroft who settled in Lynn Massachusetts in 1632
  • John and Jane Bancroft settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1632
  • John Bancroft, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632
  • Roger Bancroft, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636
  • William Bancroft, who arrived in Virginia in 1640

Bancroft Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Richard Bancroft arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1848

Bancroft Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • Bridget Bancroft, aged 21, a housemaid, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884
  • Alfred Bancroft, aged 1, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884


  • Mr. William Blanchard Bancroft Jr. (d. 1915), American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania and died in the sinking
  • George Bancroft (1800-1891), American historian, statesman, and Secretary of the Navy (1845-1846)
  • Dave Bancroft (1891-1972), American baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Edward Bancroft (1744-1821), American double agent in the American Revolutionary War
  • Edgar Addison Bancroft (1857-1925), American Republican politician,Presidential Elector for Illinois, 1888; U.S. Ambassador to Japan, 1924-25
  • Dorothy Bancroft, American Republican politician, Member of New York Republican State Committee, 1961
  • Charles C. Bancroft, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Massachusetts, 1900
  • Edgar S. Bancroft, American politician, Burgess of Darby, Pennsylvania, 1937
  • Fred A. Bancroft, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Portland, Oregon, 1903-04
  • George Bancroft (1800-1891), American Democrat politician, U.S. Collector of Customs, 1832-34; U.S. Secretary of the Navy, 1845-46; U.S. Minister to Great Britain, 1846-49; Prussia, 1867-71; Germany, 1871-74



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  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)

Other References

  1. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  2. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  3. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  4. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  9. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  10. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  11. ...

The Bancroft Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Bancroft 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 14 January 2016 at 15:36.

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