Show ContentsReycroft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Reycroft was brought to England by the Normans when they conquered the country in 1066. The ancestors of the Reycroft family lived at Rycroft, in the parish of Birstall, Yorkshire. The surname literally means "dweller by the ryecroft," from the Old English words "ryge, croft." 1

Early Origins of the Reycroft family

The surname Reycroft was first found in Yorkshire at Ryecroft, a hamlet in the township of Tong, and parish of Birstall. 2 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. 2

While there is no doubt of the Yorkshire origin of the name, we would be remiss if we did not include a couple of early entries for the name, that of: Richard de Riecroft at Barnewall, Cambridgeshire c. 1230; and Richard de Ruycroft in the Assize Rolls for Staffordshire in 1325. 1

By the 16th century, the family had branched to Cheshire where the Wills at Chester listed Margaret Rycroft, of Haigh, widow, 1582 and George Minshull, of Rycroft, yeoman, 1586. 2

Early History of the Reycroft family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Reycroft research. Another 131 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1646, 1650, 1690, 1779 and 1895 are included under the topic Early Reycroft History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Reycroft Spelling Variations

It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, Anglo-Norman surnames like Reycroft are characterized by many spelling variations. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages such as Norman French and Latin, even literate people regularly changed the spelling of their names. The variations of the name Reycroft include Rycroft, Roycroft, Raycroft and others.

Early Notables of the Reycroft family

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 Reycroft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Reycroft family

Faced with the chaos present in England at that time, many English families looked towards the open frontiers of the New World with its opportunities to escape oppression and starvation. People migrated to North America, as well as Australia and Ireland in droves, paying exorbitant rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, but those who did see the shores of North America were welcomed with great opportunity. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America carried the name Reycroft, or a variant listed above: Henry Ryecroft who arrived in New England in 1760.

The Reycroft 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.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6) on Facebook