Sutcliffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Sutcliffe is an old Anglo-Saxon name. It comes from when a family lived in the area known as Sutcliffe which had three locations in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Sutcliffe 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 sùd 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 Sutcliffe family

The surname Sutcliffe 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.

Early History of the Sutcliffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sutcliffe research. Another 116 words (8 lines of text) covering the years 1550 and 1629 are included under the topic Early Sutcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sutcliffe Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Sutcliffe were recorded, including Sutcliff, Sutcliffe, Sutliff, Southcliffe and many more.

Early Notables of the Sutcliffe family (pre 1700)

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

United States Sutcliffe migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Sutcliffe family emigrate to North America:

Sutcliffe Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • James Sutcliffe, who settled in Virginia in 1729
Sutcliffe Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Sutcliffe, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1817 [1]
  • George, John, Joseph, Samuel, and William Sutcliffe, who arrived in Philadelphia between 1841 and 1876
  • Auther Sutcliffe, who landed in Texas in 1850-1906 [1]

Australia Sutcliffe migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sutcliffe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Henry Sutcliffe, British convict who was convicted in Lancaster, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Henry Tanner" on 27th June 1834, settling in New South Wales, Australia [2]
  • Joseph Sutcliffe, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Anson" on September 23, 1843, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia [3]
  • John Sutcliffe, aged 33, a miner, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" [4]
  • John Sutcliffe, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Sir Edward Parry" in 1849 [4]

New Zealand Sutcliffe 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:

Sutcliffe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Richard Sutcliffe, aged 22, a shoemaker, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Sarah Sutcliffe, aged 28, who arrived in Nelson, New Zealand aboard the ship "New Zealand" in 1842
  • Mr. William Sutcliffe, 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 [5]
  • Mr. Thomas Sutcliffe, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "Harwood" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 4th November 1858 [5]
  • W.H. Sutcliffe, British settler travelling from London aboard the ship "John Scott" arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on 7th March 1858 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Sutcliffe (post 1700) +

  • Charles Inigo "Butch" Sutcliffe (1915-1994), American Major League Baseball player
  • Elmer Ellsworth "Sy" Sutcliffe (1862-1893), American Major League Baseball catcher who played from 1884 to 1892
  • Richard Lee "Rick" Sutcliffe (b. 1956), nicknamed "The Red Baron," American former Major League Baseball starting pitcher, current television sportscaster, winner of the National League Cy Young Award in 1984
  • Harry Sutcliffe (b. 1972), American-British sound engineer, songwriter and musician
  • Robert C. Sutcliffe, American fighter pilot and flying ace in the U.S. Army Air Forces, during World War II, credited with 5 aerial victories
  • Thomas Sutcliffe (1790-1849), English adventurer, son of John Sutcliffe of Stansfield, parish of Halifax, Yorkshire, great-grandson of John Kay of Bury, the inventor; he was severely wounded at the Battle of Waterloo and died in great indigence in lodgings at 357 Strand on 22 April 1849, aged 59
  • Irene Sutcliffe (b. 1930), English actress, best known for playing Maggie Clegg on Coronation Street (1968-1975)
  • William "Billy" Herbert Hobbs Sutcliffe (1926-1998), English amateur first-class cricketer
  • Tom Sutcliffe (b. 1943), English opera critic, author and journalist
  • Francis Meadow "Frank" Sutcliffe (1853-1941), English photographic artist
  • ... (Another 19 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

The Sutcliffe 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

  1. ^ 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)
  2. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 7th January 2020). Retrieved from
  3. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2015, January 8) Anson voyage to Van Diemen's Land, Australia in 1843 with 499 passengers. Retrieved from
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The SIR EDWARD PARRY 1849. Retrieved from
  5. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from on Facebook
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