The name Toppcliff came to England
with the ancestors of the Toppcliff family in the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Toppcliff 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 Toppcliff family
The surname Toppcliff 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 Toppcliff family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toppcliff 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 Toppcliff History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Toppcliff 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. Toppcliff has been recorded under many different variations, including Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.
Early Notables of the Toppcliff 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... Another 61 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Toppcliff Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Toppcliff family to the New World and Oceana
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. Toppcliffs were some of the first of the immigrants to arrive in North America: 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.
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