Show ContentsJolliffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Jolliffe thought to be of Norman heritage. It is a name for a person who was a happy and lively person. The surname of Jolliffe was originally derived from the Old French word joli, of the same meaning. [1]

The name is derived from the "Old English, jolif, French joli, which Cotgrave defines as 'jollie, gay, trim, fine, gallant, neat, handsome, well-fashioned-also livelie, merrie, buxome, jocund.' " [2]

Early Origins of the Jolliffe family

The surname Jolliffe was first found in Staffordshire where they were an ancient family granted lands by William the Conqueror, and "allied to some of the chief nobles of the Kingdom." A northern branch enjoyed power and affluence in Europe before the Norman Conquest, and were originally known as Jolli. This spelling changed with the years to Jollye, to Jolliff, and finally to Jolliffe.

One of the first records of the family was John Jolif who was listed in the Hundredorum Rolls for Huntingdonshire in 1219. [3]

"In 1295 William Jolyf was bailsman for the M.P. for Thirsk, and 1305 Robert Jolyf for the M.P. for Arundel." [4]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Robertus Jolf and Alicia Jolyff as holding lands there at that time. [5]

Early History of the Jolliffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Jolliffe research. Another 153 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1824, 1573, 1523, 1524, 1527, 1554, 1554, 1555, 1555, 1613, 1680, 1660, 1679, 1660, 1750, 1734, 1741, 1697, 1771, 1621, 1658, 1621, 1637, 1640, 1643 and 1643 are included under the topic Early Jolliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Jolliffe Spelling Variations

Anglo-Norman names are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. When the Normans became the ruling people of England in the 11th century, they introduced a new language into a society where the main languages of Old and later Middle English had no definite spelling rules. These languages were more often spoken than written, so they blended freely with one another. Contributing to this mixing of tongues was the fact that medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, ensuring that a person's name would appear differently in nearly every document in which it was recorded. The name has been spelled Jolliffe, Jolli, Jolliff and others.

Early Notables of the Jolliffe family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Henry Joliffe (d. 1573), Dean of Bristol, educated at the university of Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1523-1524, and M.A. in 1527. On 9 Sept. 1554 Joliffe was installed Dean of Bristol. He was present at the sitting of the commissioners on 24 Jan. 1554-1555 when sentence of excommunication and judgment ecclesiastical was pronounced against Hooper and Rogers; and he attended Archbishop Cranmer's second trial at Oxford in September 1555. On the accession of Elizabeth he was deprived of all his ecclesiastical preferments. He escaped to the continent, and settled at Louvain...
Another 142 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Jolliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Jolliffe migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that plagued their homeland made the frontiers of the New World an attractive prospect. Thousands migrated, aboard cramped disease-ridden ships. They arrived sick, poor, and hungry, but were welcomed in many cases with far greater opportunity than at home in England. Many of these hardy settlers went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Among early immigrants bearing the name Jolliffe or a variant listed above were:

Jolliffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • John Jolliffe, who settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1630
Jolliffe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Mary Jolliffe, who settled in Georgia in 1741
Jolliffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Jolliffe, aged 35, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1898
Jolliffe Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Florence M. Jolliffe, aged 27, who arrived in America from Dorset, England, in 1903
  • Albert Jolliffe, aged 39, who arrived in America from Isle of Wight, in 1905
  • Katherine Jolliffe, aged 40, who arrived in America, in 1906
  • Beatrice Jolliffe, aged 24, who arrived in America from Liverpool, England, in 1907
  • Edith Rosa Jolliffe, aged 38, who arrived in America from Newport, Isle of Wight, in 1909
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Jolliffe migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Jolliffe Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Gordon H. Jolliffe, aged 32, who arrived in America from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1919
  • Isabella Jolliffe, aged 28, who arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, in 1919

Australia Jolliffe migration to Australia +

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

Jolliffe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Simon Jolliffe, (b. 1831), aged 23, Cornish agricultural labourer departing from Plymouth on 2nd August 1854 aboard the ship "Panama" arriving in Portland, Victoria, Australia on 23rd October 1854 [6]
  • Mrs. Jane Jolliffe, (b. 1828), aged 26, Cornish settler departing from Plymouth on 2nd August 1854 aboard the ship "Panama" arriving in Portland, Victoria, Australia on 23rd October 1854 [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Jolliffe (post 1700) +

  • Hylton Jolliffe (1773-1843), English politician, Member of Parliament for Petersfield (1796–1797) and (1802-1830)
  • Charles James Jolliffe (1861-1943), English footballer who played for Everton (1888-1889)
  • John Henry Jolliffe (1865-1936), English cricketer who played for Hampshire in 1902
  • Graham Jolliffe (b. 1937), English illustrator and cartoonist, best known for his book, Man's Best Friend in 1984
  • William Jolliffe (1851-1927), English barrister, also appointed Censor of Cinematograph in 1916
  • Jill Jolliffe (1945-2022), Australian journalist and author who reported on East Timor since 1975, known for her book Finding Santana and Balibo, Senior Australian of the Year award in 2010
  • Anne Comrie Jolliffe (1933-2021), first Australian woman animator, best known for her work on the film Yellow Submarine (1967–68) and the 48th Academy Award winning Great! (1975)
  • William Jolliffe (1745-1802), British Member of Parliament
  • William George Hylton Jolliffe (1800-1876), 1st Baron Hylton, a British soldier and Conservative politician, Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in 1852 and Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury (1858-1859)
  • Hylton George Hylton Jolliffe (b. 1862), 3rd Baron Hylton, a British peer and Conservative politician
  • ... (Another 12 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Jolliffe 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: Tant que je puis
Motto Translation: As much as I can.

  1. Dixon, Bernard Homer, Surnames. London: John Wilson and son, 1857. Print
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook