The history of the Toppcliffe family name begins after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. They 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 Toppcliffe family
The surname Toppcliffe 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 Toppcliffe family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Toppcliffe 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 Toppcliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Toppcliffe Spelling Variations
Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations
were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Toppcliffe family name include Topley, Topler, Topliffe, Topcliff, Topclive, Toppley, Topleif, Toplief, Toplis and many more.
Early Notables of the Toppcliffe 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 Toppcliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Toppcliffe family to the New World and Oceana
To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Toppcliffe family to immigrate 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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