An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Radcliffe is a name that was brought to England by the ancestors of the Radcliffe family when they migrated to the region after the Norman Conquest in 1066. The Radcliffe family 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.
Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Radcliffe have been found, including Radcliffe, Radcliff, Radclyffe, Ratliffe, Ratliff, Ratlife and many more.
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.  "In the 14th of Edward III., Richard Radcliffe held the manor for the manor of Whalley [at Wiswell]."  One of the oldest records of the surname was William de Radeclive, one of the knights of the Grand Inquest, 13th of John.  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;  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." 
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radcliffe 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 Radcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products.
Another 473 words (34 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Radcliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
Some of the Radcliffe 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.
For many English families, the social climate in England was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland, Australia, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Radcliffe were among those contributors:
Radcliffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
Radcliffe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
Radcliffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
Radcliffe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
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.
The Radcliffe Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Radcliffe 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 29 March 2016 at 06:23.