The ancient family name Rockcliffe derives its name from Rockcliff(e), a village and civil parish in the City of Carlisle district of Cumbria
(Cumberland.) Rockcliffe Castle is a township, in the parish of Rockcliff, union of Carlisle, ward and E. division of Cumberland
, 5 miles from Carlisle. "Some remains are still visible of a small castle built by the lords Dacre, which was garrisoned by Leonard Dacre, when in rebellion against Elizabeth, in 1570, and was taken by Lord Hunsdon for the queen." CITATION[CLOSE]
Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
literally means "red cliff or bank," from the Viking word "rauthr" + the Old English word "clif." CITATION[CLOSE]
Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
The local was first recorded as Rodcliua in 1185.
Early Origins of the Rockcliffe family
The surname Rockcliffe was first found in Cumberland
, where they held a family seat
on the English/Scottish border. After the Norman Conquest
many of Duke William's rebellious Barons moved north. The border became a convenient but turbulent no-man's land where the persecuted Many were given land by King Malcolm Canmore and later by King David of Scotland
. Some were native Scots. In the 16th century they became known as the 'unruly clans'. The name was first recorded in England
less than ten miles south of the border, about four miles from Carlisle where Elsi de Routecliua (1170) and John de Rouclief (1332) was recorded soon after the Norman Conquest.
Early History of the Rockcliffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Rockcliffe research.Another 173 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 149 and 1497 are included under the topic Early Rockcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Rockcliffe Spelling Variations
of this family name include: Rockcliffe, Rockliff, Rockliffe, Rowcliffe, Roclyff and many more.
Early Notables of the Rockcliffe family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Rockcliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Rockcliffe family to the New World and Oceana
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: James Rowcliffe, who arrived in Ontario in 1871; Edwin Rowcliffe, who came to Ontario in 1871; Robert Rowcliffe, who came to Quebec sometime between 1880 and 1980.