100% Satisfaction Guarantee - no headaches!
An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 brought much change to the island nation, including many immigrants with new names. Among these immigrants were the ancestors of the Radcliff family, who lived in Lancashire, at Radcliffe. The name of this place translates as red cliff, from its Saxon origin and indicates that originally the town was distinguished by its proximity to such a landmark on the east side of Irwell.


The surname Radcliff was first found in Lancashire, at Radcliffe, a parish, in the union of Bury, hundred of Salford that dates back to at least the Domesday Book of 1086 where it was listed as Radecliue. [1] "In the 14th of Edward III., Richard Radcliffe held the manor for the manor of Whalley [at Wiswell]." [2] One of the oldest records of the surname was William de Radeclive, one of the knights of the Grand Inquest, 13th of John. [2] Radcliffe Tower, now in ruins, was one of the most considerable manorial seats in the county. Richard of Radclyffe Tower was listed there in the reign of Edward I; [3] as was Richard Radcliffe, High Sheriff of Lancashire, 32 Edward III. The tower was rebuilt in the reign by James de Radcliffe, Lord of the Manor of Radcliffe in 1403. Radcliffe is today a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, in Greater Manchester. Another branch of the family was found at Winmarleigh, a township in Lancashire. "The Radcliffes afterwards became lords of the manor [of Winmarleigh] by the marriage of Richard le Radcliffe with the heiress of the Plesyngtons; and the estate passed through several heirs to Anne Radcliffe, who married Sir Gilbert Gerard: by a descendant of the last-named, it is supposed to have been sold to the Pattens." [2]

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Radcliff were recorded, including Radcliffe, Radcliff, Radclyffe, Ratliffe, Ratliff, Ratlife and many more.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radcliff research. Another 437 words (31 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1050, 1476, 1547, 1813, 1194, 1485, 1608, 1654, 1628, 1629, 1609, 1606, 1625, 1697, 1655, 1705, 1689, 1716, 1650, 1714, 1593, 1657, 1599, 1657, 1633, 1621, 1629, 1611, 1673, 1646, 1673, 1652 and 1714 are included under the topic Early Radcliff History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 473 words (34 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Radcliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Radcliff family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 45 words (3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Radcliff arrived in North America very early:

Radcliff Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • James and Jane Radcliff, who settled in New England in 1685
  • Jane Radcliff, aged 20, landed in New England in 1699

Radcliff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Mary Radcliff, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1746

Radcliff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Alexander Radcliff settled in New York in 1803
  • Jerry Radcliff, who arrived in New York in 1824
  • Thomas Radcliff, who arrived in New York in 1826
  • William Radcliff, who landed in New York in 1826
  • George Radcliff, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1840

Radcliff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century

  • John J. Radcliff, aged 41, who emigrated to the United States from Carnavon, Wales, in 1905
  • Clittes Radcliff, aged 2, who settled in America from St. Croix, in 1906
  • George Radcliff, aged 33, who landed in America from London, England, in 1911
  • John (or Juan) Radcliff, aged 23, who landed in America from Stockport, England, in 1913
  • Thomas Radcliff, aged 20, who settled in America from Liverpool, in 1919

Radcliff Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Patk Radcliff, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1749

Radcliff Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century

  • Lilian Radcliff, aged 25, who emigrated to Montreal, Canada, in 1909
  • Sarah Radcliff, aged 35, who emigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 1913
  • William Radcliff, aged 55, who settled in Toronto, Canada, in 1913


  • Willard Lawson "Will" Radcliff (1939-2014), American businessman who created the Slush Puppie, a frozen slush drink
  • Dwight Radcliff, American retired sheriff of Pickaway County, Ohio who was re-elected 12 times
  • John Young Radcliff (1848-1911), American Major League Baseball player who played from 1871 to 1875
  • David Allison Radcliff (b. 1934), American freestyle swimmer at the 1956 Summer Olympics
  • Robert "Bobby" Radcliff (b. 1951), born Robert Radcliff Ewan, American blues guitarist and singer
  • Jacob Radcliff (1764-1842), American politician, 50th and 53rd Mayor of New York City (1810-1811) and (1815-1818)
  • Ryan Radcliff (b. 1990), American football quarterback
  • Benjamin Radcliff (b. 1963), American political scientist and a professor at the University of Notre Dame
  • Damaine Radcliff (b. 1979), American film actor
  • Raymond Allen "Rip" Radcliff (1906-1962), American Major League Baseball outfielder and first baseman who played from 1934 to 1943



  • The Descendants of Joseph Ratcliff of Bienville Parish, Louisiana by Jane Clancy Debenport.
  • Isaac and Mary (Presnall) Ratcliff of Henry County, Indiana, and their Descendants by Richard P. Ratcliff

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: Virtus propter se
Motto Translation: Virtue for its own sake.


Most Popular Family Crest Products
Radcliff Armorial History With Coat of ArmsRadcliff Armorial History With Coat of Arms
Radcliff Coat of Arms & Surname History PackageRadcliff Coat of Arms & Surname History Package
Radcliff Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage SeriesRadcliff Family Crest Image (jpg) Heritage Series
Radcliff Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chainRadcliff Coat of Arms/Family Crest Key-chain
Radcliff Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee MugRadcliff Coat of Arms/Family Crest Coffee Mug
Radcliff Armorial History with FrameRadcliff Armorial History with Frame
Radcliff Framed Surname History and Coat of ArmsRadcliff Framed Surname History and Coat of Arms



  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  2. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  3. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.

Other References

  1. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  2. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  3. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  4. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  5. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  6. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  7. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  8. Foster, Joseph. Dictionary of Heraldry Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees. London: Bracken Books, 1989. Print. (ISBN 1-85170-309-8).
  9. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  10. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  11. ...

The Radcliff Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Radcliff Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 3 March 2016 at 13:54.

Sign Up


100% Satisfaction Guarantee - no headaches!