Show ContentsBancroft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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. [1]

Early Origins of the Bancroft family

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." [2]

Whilst this ancient local has been lost, today there is a Bancroft in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire but this is a recent residential district.

"The well - to - do family of the Bancrofts of Chellaston resided in that village for more than 300 years, and from this stock came Bancroft the poet, who flourished in the reign of Charles I. " [3]

"The Cheshire Bancrofts have their principal homes in Cheadle, Stockport, and Marple, in which last place they have held land since the time of Elizabeth. " [3]

Early History of the Bancroft family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Bancroft research. Another 123 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1449, 1545, 1620, 1595, 1570, 1603, 1669, 1764, 1600, 1544, 1610, 1604, 1596, 1658, 1613, 1696, 1548, 1574, 1640 and 1574 are included under the topic Early Bancroft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bancroft Spelling Variations

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.

Early Notables of the Bancroft family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Richard Bancroft (1544-1610), Archbishop of Canterbury in 1604 who supervised the production of the authorized version of the Bible. Thomas Bancroft (ca. 1596-1658), was a minor 17th-century English poet who attended to St Catharine's College, Cambridge (1613.) He was a native of Swarston, a village on the Trent, in Derbyshire. John Bancroft (died 1696), an English surgeon, best known for his work in drama at the Theatre Royal (Drury Lane.) He "was...
Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Bancroft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Bancroft Ranking

In the United States, the name Bancroft is the 5,890th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. [4]

United States Bancroft migration to the United States +

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 and Jane Bancroft, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1632
  • John Bancroft, who arrived in Lynn, Massachusetts in 1632 [5]
  • Roger Bancroft, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1636 [5]
  • William Bancroft, who arrived in Virginia in 1640 [5]
  • William Bancroft, who landed in Virginia in 1640 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Australia Bancroft migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Bancroft Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Richard Bancroft, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Hooghly" in 1848 [6]

New Zealand Bancroft migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Bancroft Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Bridget Bancroft, aged 21, a housemaid, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884
  • Alfred Bancroft, aged 1, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884

Contemporary Notables of the name Bancroft (post 1700) +

  • Anne Bancroft (1931-2005), stage name of Anna Maria Louisa Italiano, the famous American actress, director, screenwriter and singer associated with the method acting school; she won one Academy Award, three BAFTA Awards, two Golden Globes, two Tony Awards, and two Emmy Awards, and several other awards and nominations
  • Edward Bancroft (1744-1821), American double agent in the American Revolutionary War, born at Westfield, Massachusetts [7]
  • Ruth Petersson Bancroft (1908-2017), American landscape designer, creator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, California
  • George Bancroft (1800-1891), American historian, statesman, Secretary of the Navy (1845-1846), U.S. Minister to Great Britain (1846-1849), Prussia (1867-1871), and Germany (1871-1874)
  • Dave Bancroft (1891-1972), American baseball player and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Aaron Bancroft (1755-1839), American theologian
  • Hubert Howe Bancroft (1832-1918), American historian & writer
  • George Bancroft (1882-1956), American actor
  • Fred A. Bancroft, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Portland, Oregon, 1903-04 [8]
  • Edgar S. Bancroft, American politician, Burgess of Darby, Pennsylvania, 1937 [8]
  • ... (Another 23 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. William Blanchard Bancroft Jr., American 2nd Class passenger from New York, New York, USA, who sailed aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking [9]

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. 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)
  3. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  5. Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  6. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HOOGHLY 1848. Retrieved from
  7. Wikisource contributors. "Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900." Wikisource . Wikisource , 4 Jun. 2018. Web. 6 June 2019
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 14) . Retrieved from
  9. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook