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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


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.

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The surname Sclater was first found in Derbyshire where the earliest records of the family were found at Barlborough near Chesterfield in Derbyshire. As an occupational name, the family name was a trade name of a roofer and was originally spelled Sclater. This spelling is still used as far north as the Shetlands and the Orkney Islands, where their territories were in Burnes. Early census records in Britain revealed Thomas le Sclatatere in Worcestershire in 1255 and Saundr le Sclattur in 1278 in Oxfordshire. [1] The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: Adam le Scatterre and Richard le Sclattere in Oxfordshire and Walter Sclatter in Buckinghamshire. [2] "The living [of Tetsworth, Oxfordshire] is a vicarage, in the gift of the Slater family: the great tithes have been commuted for 210, and the small tithes for 115." [3] The Sclaters of Hoddington, claim to have borrowed their name from the parish of Slaughter, or Schlauter in Gloucestershire where they were lords of the manor of over three hundred years. [4]

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.


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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.

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

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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.

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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

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


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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. ^ 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)
  3. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  4. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.

Other References

  1. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
  2. Humble, Richard. The Fall of Saxon England. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-88029-987-8).
  3. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  6. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  7. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  8. Hanks, Patricia and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of Surnames. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print. (ISBN 0-19-211592-8).
  9. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  10. Magnusson, Magnus. Chambers Biographical Dictionary 5th edition. Edinburgh: W & R Chambers, 1990. 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 24 February 2016 at 15:21.

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