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

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

The name Sutliff has a long Anglo-Saxon heritage. The name comes from when a family lived in the area known as Sutcliffe which had three locations in the county of Yorkshire. The surname Sutliff 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 sd 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.


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 Sutliff have been found, including Sutcliff, Sutcliffe, Sutliff, Southcliffe and many more.

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.


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


Another 67 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Sutliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


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 Sutliff, or a variant listed above:

Sutliff Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Abraham Sutliff, who arrived in Virginia in 1704

Sutliff Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • Edward Sutliff, who landed in New York, NY in 1811
  • Henry Sutliff, who arrived in New York in 1825


  • H.W. Sutliff, American founder of the Sutliff Tobacco Company in San Francisco, California in 1849
  • Bobby Sutliff, America musician, co-founder of the singing group The Windbreakers, an American power-pop group from Mississippi
  • Milton Sutliff (1806-1878), American Republican politician and jurist, Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court (1858-1863)
  • Phebe T. Sutliff, American Democrat politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Ohio 19th District, 1924
  • Milton Sutliff, American Republican politician, Justice of Ohio State Supreme Court, 1858-61; Delegate to Republican National Convention from Ohio, 1860
  • Lloyd G. Sutliff, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Winnipeg, 1916-19
  • Henry Sutliff Jr., American Republican politician, Presidential Elector for Virginia, 1972
  • Calvin G. Sutliff, American politician, Mayor of Lockport, New York, 1900
  • Michael Sutliff (b. 1975), English retired cricketer who played from 1999 to 2002


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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  1. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  2. Fairbairn. Fairbain's book of Crests of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland, 4th Edition 2 volumes in one. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1968. Print.
  3. MacAulay, Thomas Babington. History of England from the Accession of James the Second 4 volumes. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1879. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
  5. 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).
  6. Bullock, L.G. Historical Map of England and Wales. Edinburgh: Bartholomew and Son, 1971. Print.
  7. Marcharn, Frederick George. A Constitutional History of Modern England 1485 to the Present. London: Harper and Brothers, 1960. Print.
  8. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  9. 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.
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Sutliff Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Sutliff 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 8 December 2015 at 10:56.

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