Raycraft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Raycraft family lived at Rycroft, in the parish of Birstall, Yorkshire. This makes Raycraft a local name, indicating that the original bearers once lived, or held land in that area. Generally, local names were adopted after a family left one area, and moved to another. This was an effective means of distinguishing between people with the same given name. This became particularly important as people began to settle closer to one another.

Early Origins of the Raycraft family

The surname Raycraft was first found in Yorkshire at Ryecroft, a hamlet in the township of Tong, and parish of Birstall. [1] There are several smaller communities that bear this name including locals in Greater Manchester and the West Midlands. But it is from Yorkshire that one of the first records of the name was found: Margareta de Rycroft who was listed there in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. The same rolls list Ricardus Rycroft. [1]

Early History of the Raycraft family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Raycraft research. Another 114 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1650, 1690, 1895 and 1646 are included under the topic Early Raycraft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Raycraft Spelling Variations

Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Rycroft, Roycroft, Raycroft and others.

Early Notables of the Raycraft family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Richard Rycroft of Everlands. Samuel and Thomas Roycroft, made books in London from about 1650-1690 and from them the term "Roycroft" was born. Elbert Hubbard founded a community in 1895 in the village of East Aurora, Erie County, New York, near Buffalo. It was there that people were...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Raycraft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Raycraft migration to the United States +

Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Raycraft or a variant listed above:

Raycraft Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • John F. Raycraft, aged 23, who arrived in New York in 1920 aboard the ship "Panama" from Cristobal via Haiti [2]
  • Richard James Raycraft, aged 48, who arrived in New York in 1924 aboard the ship "Athenia" from Cobh (Queenstown) [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Raycraft (post 1700) +

  • Janet Raycraft, American actress, known for Tentacles (1977)
  • Alysia Raycraft, American costume designer, known for The Invitation (2015), Get Smart (2008)
  • Richard Raycraft, English Labour Party political candidate for Grove in the Swale Borough Council election, 2011

The Raycraft 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: Faythe hathe no fear
Motto Translation: Faith has no fear.

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