Sclater History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

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.

Early Origins of the Sclater family

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]

Early History of the Sclater family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sclater research. Another 77 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1550, 1575, 1626, 1620, 1717, 1576, 1626, 1615, 1684, 1659, 1683, 1684, 1623, 1699, 1634, 1699, 1679, 1685, 1690, 1699, 1676 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Sclater History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sclater Spelling Variations

Sclater has been spelled many different ways. 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. Many variations of the name Sclater have been found, including Sclater, Slater, Slatter, Sklater and others.

Early Notables of the Sclater family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Sclater (1575-1626), rector of Pitminster, the second son of Anthony Sclater, of ancient Northumbrian descent, who is said to have held the benefice of Leighton Buzzard in Bedfordshire for fifty years, and to have died in 1620, aged 100. William Sclater (d. 1717?), was an English nonjuring divine, born at Exeter, the only son of William Sclater, rector of St. Peter-le-Poer, and grandson of William Sclater...
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sclater Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Sclater family to Ireland

Some of the Sclater family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Sclater migration to the United States +

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, who landed in Barbados in 1684 [5]
  • Mary Sclater, who arrived in Virginia in 1698 [5]
Sclater Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Sclater, who arrived in Virginia in 1704 [5]
  • Robert Sclater, who landed in Virginia in 1719 [5]
  • John Sclater, who landed in Virginia in 1750 [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Sclater (post 1700) +

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

HMS Royal Oak
  • Claude E.L. Sclater, British Lieutenant with the Royal Navy aboard the HMS Royal Oak when she was torpedoed by U-47 and sunk; he survived the sinking [6]


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


  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.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ Ships hit by U-boats crew list HMS Royal Oak (08) - (Retrieved 2018 February, 9th) - retrieved from https://uboat.net/allies/merchants/crews/ship68.html


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