Ratliff History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Ratliff arrived in England after the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Ratliff 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 Ratliff family
The surname Ratliff 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 Ratliff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Ratliff 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 Ratliff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Ratliff 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 Radcliffe, Radcliff, Radclyffe, Ratliffe, Ratliff, Ratlife and many more.
Early Notables of the Ratliff 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...
Another 178 words (13 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Ratliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Ratliff family to Ireland
Some of the Ratliff 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.
Ratliff 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 Ratliff or a variant listed above were:
Ratliff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Edward Ratliff, who landed in Virginia in 1705 
Ratliff Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
- Douglas O. Ratliff, aged 24, who immigrated to the United States, in 1908
- Joe D. Ratliff, aged 31, who settled in America, in 1908
- Maud Ratliff, aged 52, who immigrated to the United States, in 1911
- Anna Ratliff, who landed in America, in 1913
- John Ratliff, aged 23, who landed in America, in 1920
- ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Contemporary Notables of the name Ratliff (post 1700) +
- Jeremiah "Jay" Ratliff (b. 1981), American NFL football player for the Dallas Cowboys
- Cecil Wayne Ratliff (b. 1946), American programmer who created the database program Vulcan
- Theophilus Curtis "Theo" Ratliff (b. 1973), American NBA basketball player
- William Roark "Bill" Ratliff (b. 1936), American politician, 40th Lieutenant Governor of Texas (2000 to 2003)
- William Ratliff, American political scientist at the Hoover Institution
- Ratliff Boon (1781-1844), American politician, Representative from Indiana 1st District, 1825-27, 1829-39; Presidential Elector for Indiana, 1828; Candidate for U.S. Senator from Indiana, 1830, 1832, 1836, 1838 
Related Stories +
The Ratliff 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.
Suggested Readings for the name Ratliff +
- 1101 My Ratliff Family, 1730'a-1990 by Ralph H. Ratliff, Ratliff-Keller by Carl M. Ratliff.
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html