Toplis History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Toplis 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 Toplis 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 Toplis family

The surname Toplis 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 Toplis family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toplis research. Another 182 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1391, 1832, 1834, 1451, 1740, 1778, 1532, 1604, 1532, 1593, 1598, 1603 and 1604 are included under the topic Early Toplis History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Toplis Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries. For that reason, spelling variations are common among many Anglo-Norman names. The shape of the English language was frequently changed with the introduction of elements of Norman French, Latin, and other European languages; even the spelling of literate people's names were subsequently modified. Toplis has been recorded under many different variations, including Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.

Early Notables of the Toplis family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was George Topcliff, Member of Parliament for Scarborough (1451); and Augustus Montague Toplady (1740-1778), an Anglican clergyman and hymn-writer. Richard Topcliffe (1532-1604), was a persecutor of Roman Catholics, born, according to his own account, in 1532, was the eldest son of Robert Topcliffe of Somerby, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. "Topcliffe's name...
Another 56 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Toplis Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Toplis migration to the United States +

To escape the uncertainty of the political and religious uncertainty found in England, many English families boarded ships at great expense to sail for the colonies held by Britain. The passages were expensive, though, and the boats were unsafe, overcrowded, and ridden with disease. Those who were hardy and lucky enough to make the passage intact were rewarded with land, opportunity, and social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families went on to be important contributors to the young nations of Canada and the United States where they settled. Topliss were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America:

Toplis Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Toplis, who arrived in Philadelphia in 1864

Australia Toplis migration to Australia +

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

Toplis Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Thomas Toplis, English convict who was convicted in Derby, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "David Lyon" on 29th April 1830, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [1]

New Zealand Toplis 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:

Toplis Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Christopher Toplis, aged 25, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Jane Toplis, aged 28, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Jessie Toplis, aged 8, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875
  • Maria Toplis, aged 3, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Collingwood" in 1875

Contemporary Notables of the name Toplis (post 1700) +

  • William G. Toplis, American politician, Candidate for U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania 7th District, 1922, 1926 [2]


  1. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 3rd June 2021). Retrieved from https://convictrecords.com.au/ships/david-lyon
  2. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 12) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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