Roycroft History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Roycroft is one of the many new names that came to England following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Roycroft family lived at Rycroft, in the parish of Birstall, Yorkshire. This makes Roycroft 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 Roycroft family

The surname Roycroft 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 Roycroft family

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

Roycroft 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 Rycroft, Roycroft, Raycroft and others.

Early Notables of the Roycroft 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 Roycroft Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Roycroft 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 Roycroft or a variant listed above were:

Roycroft Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Roycroft, who arrived in New York in 1841 [2]

New Zealand Roycroft migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Roycroft Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Robert Roycroft, British settler, as the 2nd Detachment of New Zealand Corps of Royal New Zealand Fencibles travelling from Gravesend aboard the ship "Minerva" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 8th October 1847 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Roycroft (post 1700) +

  • John Roycroft (b. 1954), American full contact kickboxer
  • Arthur John Roycroft (b. 1929), English chess author
  • Wayne William Roycroft AM (b. 1946), Australian two-time Olympic bronze medalist equestrian and National Eventing Coach (1988-2010)
  • Maurice Roycroft (b. 1960), birth name of Maurice Seezer, an Irish songwriter, musician, and film music composer
  • David Roycroft (b. 1947), former British diplomat, Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales in 1985
  • Sean Roycroft (b. 1985), Scottish professional footballer
  • Dan Roycroft (b. 1978), Canadian Olympic cross country skier
  • James William "Bill" George Roycroft OBE (b. 1915), Australian former Olympic equestrian champion


The Roycroft 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. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html


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