Radcliffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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.
Early Origins of the Radcliffe family
The surname Radcliffe 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.  "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." 
Early History of the Radcliffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Radcliffe research. Another 219 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1165, 1050, 1476, 1547, 1813, 1194, 1485, 1608, 1654, 1628, 1629, 1609, 1606, 1494, 1381, 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 and printed products wherever possible.
Radcliffe Spelling Variations
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.
Early Notables of the Radcliffe family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was William Radcliffe, Sheriff of county Lancaster in 1194; Sir Richard Ratcliffe, KG (died 1485), a close confidant of Richard III of England; Sir Alexander Radcliff (1608-1654), English politician, Member of Parliament for Lancashire (1628-1629); and John Ratcliffe (d. 1609) captain of the Discovery, one of three ships that sailed from England on December 19, 1606, to Virginia, to found a colony. He became the second president of the Jamestown colony, and was killed by the Powhatan Indians.
Sir Brian Roucliffe (died 1494) was an English judge, was eldest of the four sons of...
In the United States, the name Radcliffe is the 5,805th most popular surname with an estimated 4,974 people with that name. 
Migration of the Radcliffe family to Ireland
Some of the Radcliffe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
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
Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:
Radcliffe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
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.