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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Sclater family come from? What is the English Sclater family crest and coat of arms? When did the Sclater family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Sclater family history?

The Sclater family name dates back to the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. The name comes from when an early member worked as a person who covered roofs with slate. Sclater is an occupational surname, which belongs to the category of hereditary surnames. Occupational surnames were derived from the primary activity of the bearer. In the Middle Ages, people did not generally live off of the fruits of their labor in a particular job. Rather, they performed a specialized task, as well as farming, for subsistence. Other occupational names were derived from an object associated with a particular activity. This type of surname is called a metonymic surname. This surname comes from the Old English word esclate, which means splinter or slat.


Sclater has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Sclater, Slater, Slatter, Sklater and others.

First found in Derbyshire where they held a family seat from ancient times, some say before the Norman Conquest in 1066. The earliest seat of the Slaters was at Barlborough near Chesterfield in Derbyshire, anciently the family name was a trade name of a roofer and was originally spelled Sclater, and this name is still used even as far north as the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands, where their territories were in Burnes.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sclater research. Another 153 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1615, 1684, 1659, 1683, 1684, 1634, 1699, 1679, 1685, 1690, 1699, 1676 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Sclater History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 85 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sclater Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Sclater family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 57 words(4 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Sclaters to arrive on North American shores:

Sclater Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Thomas Sclater, aged 18, landed in Barbados in 1684
  • Mary Sclater, who arrived in Virginia in 1698

Sclater Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Robt Sclater, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • Robert Sclater, who landed in Virginia in 1719
  • John Sclater, who landed in Virginia in 1750


  • William Lutley Sclater (1863-1944), British zoologist and museum director


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: Crescit sub pondere virtus
Motto Translation: Virtue thrives under oppression.


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  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  2. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. Print.
  9. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  10. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  11. ...

The Sclater Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sclater Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 August 2013 at 12:56.

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