Show ContentsCritchley History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Critchley is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from a family once having lived as dwellers at the crosslea. The surname Critchley originally derived from the Old English word cruche which meant cross or crucifix. 1

Other sources disagree. One source claims the name is from "Crickley; a location name in Gloucestershire." 2 And another claims the name is "from a geographical locality 'of Critchlow,' or 'Chritchlow,' some small spot in Lancashire, probably in the neighbourhood of Chorley. I have failed to discover it." 3

We can find no record of Chritchlow in Lancashire today.

Early Origins of the Critchley family

The surname Critchley was first found in Northumberland where Vkke de Crikelawa was listed in the Pipe Rolls of 1176. Later, John de Cruchelowe was found in Lancashire in 1342. 4

Early Cheshire records proved to be resourceful. The Wills at Chester include: Richard Crichlow, of Leyland, 1587; John Crichlowe, of Croxton, 1593; and Thomas Chrichlowe, of Leyland, 1606. The use of the spellings Critchley and Chrichlow seemed to be interchangeable as the Preston Guild Rolls record the same person with different spellings at different times: Edmund Crichlow, 1662; and Edmund Critchley, 1682. 3

The Lancashire Wills at Richmond list Anne Chrichlaw, of Ashtonliank, 1673; and William Critchley, of Lea, 1673.

In Scotland, the spelling used was typically Critchley, and was "recorded in Inverness, doubtless from Critchlow or Chritchlaw, some small spot in Lancashire." 5

Early History of the Critchley family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Critchley research. Another 91 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1150, 1200 and 1600 are included under the topic Early Critchley History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Critchley Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore,spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Critchley has been recorded under many different variations, including Critchley, Critchlie, Critchlow, Crichley, Crichlie, Crichly, Critchly, Crichlow, Crichelow, Cricheley, Crichelie, Crichely, Cretchley, Cretchlie, Cretchleigh, Critchleigh, Crichleigh, Cretchlow, Critchloe and many more.

Early Notables of the Critchley family

Notables of this surname at this time include:

  • Critchley of Lancashire

United States Critchley migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Critchley or a variant listed above:

Critchley Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Michael Critchley, aged 37, who arrived in New York in 1812 6
  • Moses Critchley, aged 1, who landed in New York in 1864 6
  • Samuel Critchley, aged 2, who arrived in New York in 1864 6
  • William Critchley, aged 35, who landed in New York in 1864 6
  • Alice Critchley, aged 35, who arrived in New York in 1864 6
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Critchley migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Critchley Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • James Critchley, who settled in Greenspond, Newfoundland in 1841 7

Australia Critchley migration to Australia +

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

Critchley Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • James Critchley, English convict from Berkshire, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia 8
  • John Critchley, aged 49, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" 9
  • James Critchley, aged 23, who arrived in South Australia in 1852 aboard the ship "Marshall Bennett" 9
  • Mr. Edward Critchley, British Convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Corona" on 13th October 1866, arriving in Western Australia, Australia 10

Contemporary Notables of the name Critchley (post 1700) +

  • Morris Arthur "Morrie" Critchley (1850-1910), American Major League Baseball pitcher who played in 1882
  • Neil Critchley (b. 1978), English footballer
  • Edward "Ted" Critchley (1903-1996), English footballer who played from 1922 to 1935
  • Alexander Critchley (1893-1974), British Conservative politician, Member of Parliament for Liverpool Edge Hill (1935-1945)
  • Jason Critchley (b. 1970), Welsh professional rugby league and rugby union footballer
  • John Owen "Jack" Critchley (1892-1964), Australian politician, Senator for South Australia (1947-1959)
  • Brigadier-General Alfred Cecil Critchley CMG, CBE, DSO (1890-1963), Canadian born, British entrepreneur and politician, Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) from 1934 to 1935
  • Laura Critchley (b. 1984), British singer-songwriter
  • Sir Julian Michael Gordon Critchley (1930-2000), British Conservative Party politician, son of MacDonald Critchley
  • MacDonald Critchley (1900-1997), British neurologist, former president of The World Federation of Neurology, and the author of over 200 published articles on neurology
  • ... (Another 3 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

RMS Lusitania
  • Mr. David Critchley, English 1st Class Cabin Bed Steward from Bootle, Lancashire, England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania (1915) and died in the sinking 11

  1. Harrison, Henry, Surnames of the United Kingdom: A Concise Etymological Dictionary Baltimore: Geneological Publishing Company, 2013. Print
  2. Barber, Henry, British Family Names London: Elliot Stock, 62 Paternoster Row, 1894. 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)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. 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)
  7. Seary E.R., Family Names of the Island of Newfoundland, Montreal: McGill's-Queen's Universtity Press 1998 ISBN 0-7735-1782-0
  8. State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from
  9. South Australian Register Tuesday 3 February 1852. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) MARSHALL BENNETT 1852. Retrieved
  10. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 24th March 2021). Retrieved from
  11. Lusitania Passenger List - The Lusitania Resource. (Retrieved 2014, March 6) . Retrieved from on Facebook