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Ratcliffs History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms



The history of the Ratcliffs family name begins after the Norman Conquest of 1066. They 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 Ratcliffs family


The surname Ratcliffs 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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
"In the 14th of Edward III., Richard Radcliffe held the manor for the manor of Whalley [at Wiswell]." [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
One of the oldest records of the surname was William de Radeclive, one of the knights of the Grand Inquest, 13th of John. [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
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]CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.

Early History of the Ratcliffs family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ratcliffs 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 Ratcliffs History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ratcliffs Spelling Variations


Anglo-Norman names tend to be marked by an enormous number of spelling variations. This is largely due to the fact that Old and Middle English lacked any spelling rules when Norman French was introduced in the 11th century. The languages of the English courts at that time were French and Latin. These various languages mixed quite freely in the evolving social milieu. The final element of this mix is that medieval scribes spelled words according to their sounds rather than any definite rules, so a name was often spelled in as many different ways as the number of documents it appeared in. The name was spelled Radcliffe, Radcliff, Radclyffe, Ratliffe, Ratliff, Ratlife and many more.

Early Notables of the Ratcliffs 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); John Ratcliffe (d. 1609) captain of the Discovery, one...
Another 194 words (14 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ratcliffs Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ratcliffs family to Ireland


Some of the Ratcliffs 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 and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Ratcliffs family to the New World and Oceana


Because of the political and religious discontent in England, families began to migrate abroad in enormous numbers. Faced with persecution and starvation at home, the open frontiers and generally less oppressive social environment of the New World seemed tantalizing indeed to many English people. The trip was difficult, and not all made it unscathed, but many of those who did get to Canada and the United States made important contributions to the young nations in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers with Ratcliffs name or one of its variants: James and Jane Radcliff, who settled in New England in 1685; Alexander Radcliff settled in New York in 1803; John Radcliffe settled in Philadelphia in 1775.

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


Ratcliffs Family Crest Products



See Also



Citations


  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.

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