Barcly History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the Barcly surname lived among the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. The name comes from when they lived in the parish of Berkeley in the county of Gloucestershire.

"This place, according to Sir Robert Atkyns, the historian of Gloucestershire, derives its name from the Saxon Beorc, a birch-tree, and Leas, a pasture; whence it has been inferred that the parish was formerly remarkable for the growth of birch-trees. It was always a place of considerable importance; and at a very early period it gave name to the great manor of Berkeley, which during the heptarchy was held of the crown, at £500. 17. 2. per annum, by Roger de Berkeley, a near relative of Edward the Confessor, and lord of Dursley, from whom the earliest authentic pedigree of the Berkeley family is deduced. Berkeley, notwithstanding the residence of the oldest branches of the family in their castle at Dursley. William the Conqueror, professing high regard for all the relatives of Edward the Confessor, granted the manor of Berkeley to Roger Berkeley, of Dursley, by whose descendants it was held till the reign of Henry II." [1]

Early Origins of the Barcly family

The surname Barcly was first found in Gloucestershire, where "this noble race descend from Thos, de Berkely, Lord of Berkeley castle, co. Gloucester, temp. Edward I., and fifth in lineal succession from Harding, a Dane of royal blood, and one of the companions of William the Conqueror. " [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included Egidius de Berkeleye, Oxfordshire; Seman de Berclawe, Cambridgeshire; and Maurice de Berkelay, Somerset. [3]

Henry de Barcley and Helewys' de Berkele were listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1327. [4]

Early History of the Barcly family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Barcly research. Another 135 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1306, 1400, 1598, 1924, 1475, 1552, 1509, 1648, 1690 and are included under the topic Early Barcly History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Barcly Spelling Variations

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 Barcly include Barclay, Berkeley, Barcley, Berkely, Berkley and others.

Early Notables of the Barcly family (pre 1700)

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

Ireland Migration of the Barcly family to Ireland

Some of the Barcly family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 57 words (4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Barcly family

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: Thomas Barclay who settled in Maryland in 1750; Alex Barclay settled in Norfolk, Virginia in 1822; Benjamin, George, Henry, James, Moses, Thomas and William Barclay, all settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1837 and 1864.



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


  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)


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