Harclay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The rich and ancient history of the Harclay family name dates back to the time of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. It comes from the given name Arkley, which is a derivative of the Old Norse name Arnketill.

One of the most famous of the family in early years was Andrew Harclay, Harcla or Hartcla (d. 1323), the son of Michael de Harclay, Sheriff of Cumberland between 1285 and 1298. "In 1303-4 Andrew fought with Edward I in Scotland, and again served in the earlier wars of Edward II against the Scots. In October 1309 he was made Captain in the West Marches, and ordered to repair to his domains to defend the north against the Scots. Between 1312 and 1315 he was Sheriff of Cumberland, but in his last year of office he discharged his duties by attorney. In 1312 he was knight of the shire for Cumberland. " [1]

Early Origins of the Harclay family

The surname Harclay was first found in Northumberland, where they held a family seat from ancient times.

Early History of the Harclay family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Harclay research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1256, 1273, 1331, 1379, 1455, 1595, 1676, 1688, 1760, 1385 and 1415 are included under the topic Early Harclay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Harclay Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Harclay have been found, including Arkley, Arkly, Arketel, Arkill, Arkell, Arkoll, Arkel, Arkle, Arcle, Arklay and many more.

Early Notables of the Harclay family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include Maria van Arkel (c. 1385-1415), the only daughter and heiress of Lord John V of Arkel and Joanna of Jülich, inherited the title to Gelderland from her maternal...
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Harclay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Harclay family

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Harclay, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were : Henry Arkle, who was recorded in Elgin County, Ontario in 1872 and Joseph Arkley, who was living in Carleton County, Ontario in 1879.



  1. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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