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The ancestry of the name Sutcliff dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived in the area known as Sutcliffe which had three locations in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Sutcliff is a habitation name that was originally derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. The surname originated as a means of identifying individuals from a particular area. In the Middle Ages people often assumed the name of the place that they originally lived as their surname during the course of travel. In this case the surname was originally derived from the Old English words sýd meaning south and clif meaning slope or cliff. Therefore the original bearers of the name were referred to as the dwellers by the south cliffs.

Early Origins of the Sutcliff family


The surname Sutcliff was first found in Lancashire where they held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D. The name was originally spelled Cartcliff, later becoming Skatcliffe, late Scaytcliffe, later Scaitliffe, later Scaytcliffe, later Skaitcliff, and later particularly when the branches included Yorkshire, Sutcliffe. From about 1470 the Crossleys acquired Skatclyffe Hall in the parish of Rochdale in Lancashire, and continued a series of intermarriages with their cousins in Yorkshire.

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Early History of the Sutcliff family

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Early History of the Sutcliff family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sutcliff research.
Another 231 words (16 lines of text) covering the years 1550 and 1629 are included under the topic Early Sutcliff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Sutcliff Spelling Variations

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Sutcliff Spelling Variations


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Sutcliff have been found, including Sutcliff, Sutcliffe, Sutliff, Southcliffe and many more.

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Early Notables of the Sutcliff family (pre 1700)

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Early Notables of the Sutcliff family (pre 1700)


Another 39 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sutcliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

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Migration of the Sutcliff family to the New World and Oceana

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Migration of the Sutcliff family to the New World and Oceana


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Sutcliff, or a variant listed above:

Sutcliff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Sara and William Sutcliff and their 21 year old son Robert, who settled in New York in 1820

Sutcliff Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Zechariah Sutcliff, a brick-maker, who arrived in Van Diemenís Land (now Tasmania) sometime between 1825 and 1832

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Contemporary Notables of the name Sutcliff (post 1700)

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Contemporary Notables of the name Sutcliff (post 1700)


  • Edna May Bowman Sutcliff (1880-1951), American artist
  • Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992), English historical fiction author
  • Walter Sutcliff, Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Maryland

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The Sutcliff Motto

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The Sutcliff 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: Foy en tout
Motto Translation: Faith in all


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Sutcliff Family Crest Products

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Sutcliff Family Crest Products



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