Eccles History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestors of the name Eccles date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in Eccles which was in both Norfolk and a parish near Manchester.

Early Origins of the Eccles family

The surname Eccles was first found in Lancashire where the Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed: Adam de Ecclis, of Heaton with Halliwell; and Robert de Ecclis, of Pilkington. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 listed Richard Eccles, Cambridgeshire. [1]

Eccles cakes, the round cake filled with currants and made from flaky pastry with butter originates in the English town of Eccles which was originally in Cheshire, then Lancashire and now in Greater Manchester. As to who was the originator of the famous pastry, there is much debate, but they are today sold throughout Lancashire and much of the United Kingdom.

Further to the north in Scotland, "there seems to have been two separate families of this name, one taking their surname from Eccles in Berwickshire, the other from Eccles in Dumfriesshire. Adam de Eccles witnessed a charter by Grim, son of Guido, to the Abbey of Melrose, c. 1170 (Seats Supp., 329). Johan de Eccles of Berwickshire rendered homage in 1296, and Sir Mathew del Ecles of Dumfriesshire was juror in 1304." [2]

Early History of the Eccles family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Eccles research. Another 93 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1618, 1683, 1668, 1735, 1670, 1742 and 1659 are included under the topic Early Eccles History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Eccles Spelling Variations

Eccles has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Many variations of the name Eccles have been found, including Eccles, Ecles, Eckles, Eyckles, Accles, Ackles and others.

Early Notables of the Eccles family (pre 1700)

Notables of this surname at this time include: Sir Mathew Eccles of Dumfriesshire; Solomon Eccles (Eagle) (1618-1683), an English composer; and his son, John Eccles (1668-1735), an...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Eccles Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Eccles family to Ireland

Some of the Eccles family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 64 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Eccles migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Eccless to arrive on North American shores:

Eccles Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Richard Eccles, who arrived in Virginia in 1653 [3]
  • Sylvester Eccles, who landed in Virginia in 1664 [3]
  • Anne Eccles who settled in Virginia in 1698
Eccles Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Eccles, who arrived in New York in 1784 [3]
Eccles Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Eccles, who landed in New York in 1831 [3]
  • T J Eccles, who arrived in Charleston, South Carolina in 1838 [3]
  • James, John, Mary, Robert, Samuel, Thomas, and William Eccles, all, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between 1840 and 1865

Canada Eccles migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Eccles Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. James Eccles U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1784 [4]
Eccles Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • John Eccles, aged 20, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland
  • Patrick Eccles, aged 18, a labourer, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland

Australia Eccles migration to Australia +

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

Eccles Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Eccles, British convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [5]
  • Mr. William Eccles, English convict who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Aurora" on 18th June 1835, arriving in Tasmania ( Van Diemen's Land) [6]
  • Mr. Joseph Eccles, (b. 1798), aged 40, English labourer who was convicted in Lancaster, Lancashire, England for 14 years for stealing, transported aboard the "Bengal Merchant" on 24th March 1838, arriving in New South Wales, Australia, he died in 1850 [7]

New Zealand Eccles 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:

Eccles Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • John E. Eccles, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Claramont" in 1863
  • Lititia Eccles, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Claramont" in 1863
  • James Eccles, aged 30, a printer, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875
  • Hannah Eccles, aged 27, who arrived in Otago aboard the ship "Dallam Tower" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Eccles (post 1700) +

  • Sir John Carew Eccles AC FRS FRACP FRSNZ FAAS (1903-1997), Australian Rhodes Scholar and Neurophysiologist, Recipient of Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine, in 1963
  • George S. Eccles (1902-1982), American businessman and philanthropist
  • Marriner Stoddard Eccles (1890-1977), American banker, economist, and Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1934 to 1948
  • Samuel Eccles (1788-1859), American politician, Member of Indiana State House of Representatives, 1851-52 [8]
  • Mrs. Pat Eccles, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 1952 [8]
  • Orrin V. Eccles, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from California, 1932 [8]
  • Joseph T. Eccles, American politician, Delegate to Illinois State Constitutional Convention from Fayette County, 1847 [8]
  • Joseph Merrill Eccles (1889-1945), American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Utah, 1932 [8]
  • Joseph Eccles, American politician, U.S. Consular Agent in Sligo, 1871-82 [8]
  • John D. Eccles, American politician, Member of North Carolina House of Commons, 1827-29, 1832 [8]
  • ... (Another 9 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. George Eccles, British Petty Officer, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [9]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Thomas Eccles, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse and survived the sinking [10]


The Eccles 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: Se defendendo
Motto Translation: In his own defence.


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/henry-tanner
  6. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th August 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/aurora
  7. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 13th October 2020). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/bengal-merchant
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 28) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  9. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html
  10. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listrepulsecrew.html


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