Henclay History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Henclay originated with the Anglo-Saxon tribes that once ruled Britain. It is derived from Haneca, an Old English personal name. Patronymic surnames arose out of the vernacular and religious given name traditions. The vernacular or regional naming tradition is the oldest and most pervasive type of patronymic surname. According to this custom, names were originally composed of vocabulary elements from the local language. Vernacular names that were derived from ancient Germanic personal names have cognates in most European languages. For example, the court of Charlemagne (742-814) was Christian and Latin-speaking, but the Frankish dialect of Old German was commonly used for personal names. Vernacular names were widespread throughout Normandy. Accordingly, many typical English and French names are in fact, originally of Germanic origin and often have cognates in other European countries.
Alternatively, the name could have been "a modification of Hankin, the nickname or diminutive of Randolph, prevalent in some of the oldest families of Cheshire. The existing families of this surname derive from that county, and the name was borne there in the rank of gentry in the XV. century."  Another source agrees: "variant of Hankin. All the same a spot must be looked for in Cheshire, styled Hankey, which may have given birth to a local surname." 
Early Origins of the Henclay family
The surname Henclay was first found in Cheshire in the village of Churton where it was found "in the beginning of the 16th century."  "The Hankeys were seated here for many generations." 
Early records in Cheshire revealed: Jonn Hanky, of Churton in 1533, according to Earwaker's East Cheshire; and the Wills of Chester listed Hugh Hankey, of Churton in 1562 and Robert Hankey, of Darnell in 1610. 
Early History of the Henclay family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Henclay research. Another 104 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 1770 and 1761 are included under the topic Early Henclay History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Henclay Spelling Variations
One relatively recent invention that did much to standardize English spelling was the printing press. However, before its invention even the most literate people recorded their names according to sound rather than spelling. The spelling variations under which the name Henclay has appeared include Hankey, Hankie, Hanky and others.
Early Notables of the Henclay family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Henclay Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Henclay family
At this time, the shores of the New World beckoned many English families that felt that the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. Thousands left England at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. A great portion of these settlers never survived the journey and even a greater number arrived sick, starving, and without a penny. The survivors, however, were often greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. These English settlers made significant contributions to those colonies that would eventually become the United States and Canada. An examination of early immigration records and passenger ship lists revealed that people bearing the name Henclay arrived in North America very early: John Hankey, who settled in Carolina in 1724.