Topcliffe is a name that came to England
in the 11th century wave of migration that was set off by the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Topcliffe family lived in Yorkshire
. The name is derived from a combination of the Old English personal name Topp,
and the word leah,
meaning wood or clearing,
and indicates that the original bearer lived near a wood or clearing owned by someone named Topp.
Early Origins of the Topcliffe family
The surname Topcliffe was first found in Yorkshire
where they are conjecturally descended from a junior branch of the Percys. Topcliff or Topclive was granted to a Norman Baron
named William Percy who later became the Earl of Northumberland
and one of the most senior mighty nobles of the land. At the time of the Conquest, Topcliff consisted of a church and a mill on the side of the banks of the River Swale.
Early History of the Topcliffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Topcliffe research.Another 363 words (26 lines of text) covering the years 1391, 1832, 1834, 1451, 1740 and 1778 are included under the topic Early Topcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Topcliffe Spelling Variations
in names were a common occurrence in the eras before English spelling was standardized a few hundred
years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate regularly changed the spellings of their names as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Topcliffe have been found, including Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.
Early Notables of the Topcliffe family (pre 1700)
Another 25 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Topcliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Topcliffe family to the New World and Oceana
For many English families, the social climate in England
was oppressive and lacked opportunity for change. For such families, the shores of Ireland
, and the New World beckoned. They left their homeland at great expense in ships that were overcrowded and full of disease. Many arrived after the long voyage sick, starving, and without a penny. But even those were greeted with greater opportunity than they could have experienced back home. Numerous English settlers who arrived in the United States and Canada at this time went on to make important contributions to the developing cultures of those countries. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Topcliffe were among those contributors: William Topleife who settled in Barbados in 1635; Henry Topley arrived in Philadelphia in 1866; Thomas Topley arrived in Philadelphia in 1867; J. Topliff settled in Boston Massachusetts in 1822.