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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Origins Available: English, Scottish

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

The origins of the Barclay name come from when the Anglo-Saxon tribes ruled over Britain. The name Barclay was originally derived from a family having lived in the parish of Berkeley in the county of Gloucestershire.

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Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Barclay include Barclay, Berkeley, Barcley, Berkely, Berkley and others.

First found in Gloucestershire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barclay research. Another 320 words(23 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1400, 1475, 1509, 1552, 1598, 1648, and 1690 are included under the topic Early Barclay History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 34 words(2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Barclay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Barclay family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 143 words(10 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Barclay Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Thomas Barclay, who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts in 1707
  • Nicholas Barclay, who landed in Virginia in 1715
  • James Barclay, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1729
  • William Barclay, who arrived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1732
  • Henry Barclay, who arrived in Virginia in 1737


Barclay Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Charles Barclay, who arrived in Washington County, Pennsylvania in 1802
  • David Barclay, who arrived in America in 1805
  • John Barclay, aged 29, arrived in New York in 1812
  • Richard Barclay, who landed in New York, NY in 1817
  • Thomas Barclay who landed in New York state in 1822


Barclay Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century


  • Mr. John Barclay U.E who settled in New Brunswick c. 1783
  • Mr. Thomas Barclay U.E born in New York, USA who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 he was the son of Henry Barclay DD

Barclay Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • John James Barclay arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1837
  • Rebecca Barclay arrived in Holdfast Bay, Australia aboard the ship "Katherine Stewart Forbes" in 1837
  • William Barclay arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Moffatt" in 1839
  • A. Barclay arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Childe Harold" in 1849
  • Alexander Barclay, aged 25, a labourer, arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Dirigo"

Barclay Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Robert Ross Barclay arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Berar" in 1865
  • Thomas Barclay, aged 35, a joiner, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1878
  • Agnes Barclay, aged 29, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1878
  • Mary Barclay, aged 3, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1878
  • Elizabeth Barclay, aged 1, arrived in Nelson aboard the ship "Edwin Fox" in 1878

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  • Joan Barclay (1914-2002), American film actress of the 1930s and 1940s
  • Paris K.C. Barclay (b. 1956), two-time Emmy winning American television director and producer
  • Robert Barclay (1843-1913), English banker
  • Edwin James Barclay (1882-1955), Liberian politician, President of the country (1930-1944)
  • William Barclay (1907-1978), Scottish theologian and religious writer
  • Barry Barclay MNZM (1944-2008), New Zealand filmmaker and writer
  • Alfred Richard Barclay (1859-1912), New Zealand Member of Parliament from 1899 to 1902
  • James Gillespie Barclay (1882-1972), New Zealand politician of the Labour Party
  • John Barclay (1734-1798), Scottish divine
  • Mr. Victor Nathaniel Barclay (1918-1941), Australian Supply Assistant from Ivanhoe, Victoria, Australia, who sailed into battle aboard HMAS Sydney II on the 19th November 1941 and died during the sinking

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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: In cruce spero
Motto Translation: I trust in the cross.

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  1. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  2. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  3. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  4. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  5. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  6. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  7. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. ...

The Barclay Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Barclay 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 16 May 2015 at 19:17.

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