Cutcliffe Family History
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Welcome to the interesting and educational history of the Cutcliffe family.

"All things to nothingness descend,
Grow old and die and meet their end;
Man dies, iron rusts, wood goes decayed,
Towers fall, walls crumble, roses fade...
Nor long shall any name resound
Beyond the grave, unless it be found
In some clerk´s book; it is the pen that
Gives immortality to men."
By: Master Wace

The genealogy, (or family history), of the Cutcliffe (Cutclif, Cutcliff, Cutliff and/or Cutlyff) family was obtained from over 350 sources. Most of the information about the Cutcliffe family in England, prior to the late eighteen hundreds, was copied from accounts of the "Family of Cutcliffe of Damage" by William Richard Drake, F.S.A., privately printed in London in 1876. Most of the information concerning Cutcliffe family members, born after the middle of the eighteen hundreds, in England, Canada, United States, Australia and Wales comes from many family members and official records.

The first Cutcliffe on the family tree is Thomas Cutcliffe. Thomas was born near the town of Hartland, county of Devon, England in 1450. In 1476 Thomas married Joane Gernoune. Through this marriage Thomas gained control of several pieces of property in North Devon. The property that gained the most notoriety for the Cutcliffe family was called "Damage Barton". Damage Barton still exists. By the middle of the seventeenth century, the Cutcliffe’s became known as the "Cutcliffe’s of Damage, parish of Ilfracombe".

The spelling of the surname Cutcliffe was probably a derivation of Cutlyff descending from Thomas Cutlyff of Hartland, County Devon circa 1450.

The Cutcliffe name was probably derived from the Latin words RUPE, meaning rock or cliff, and SCISSA, meaning cut. The Latin name "Rupescissa" translates to the English name of "Cutcliffe".

The Cutcliffe coat-of–arm, or heraldry, is described as Gules, 3 pruning hooks argent. It has a red shield with 3 silver pruning hooks. A wreath alternating red and silver tops the steel helmet. There is mantling flowing from the helmet. One side of the mantle is red and the other side is silver. The motto is on an old parchment background with sepia lettering. The Cutcliffe family motto is “Fingit Premendo” meaning “He builds by discipline” or "He fashions by restraint". The 2009 translation provided by Roger Cutcliffe, who lives in England, is “He builds by pressure”.

Until 1970, Cutcliffe family history, or family tree, was recorded in a book entitled Account of the Family of Cutcliffe, written by Wendell W. Cutcliffe in 1970. Copies of this book are located in England at Damage Barton and Lee Manor. In the United States, copies of the book are located in the United States Library of Congress and at the Mormon Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The Cutcliffe Family History is a living record. Submissions of any additions, corrections and/or new information that will improve this family history would be appreciated. If you have family stories about an individual, or information of a personal nature, that communicates the personality of an individual, please submit that information so it can be included in the family history. If you have a picture of a family member please send that picture along with their biographical information. Pictures you may have can be included with current family members that have already been put into the "Cutcliffe Family History".

I have tried to maintain the privacy of family members that are still living. If I have failed in this duty please let me know so I can comply with your wishes.

The Birth Of The Cutcliffe Name

Johannes de Rupescissa: The Latin Translation (To cut a rock or cliff).
Jean de Roquetaillade; The French Translation (Carved out of Rock).

Johannes was born in 1310 and died bat 1365. Johannes was a Franciscan Monk and alchemist at the Monastery of St. Gerald in Aurillac, France. He was also at the Orleans Monastery. He had attended the University of Toulouse.

Places in France with the name containing Roquetaillade:

  1. Chateau de Roquetaillade is a castle at 33210 Maze’res, Gironde, Aquitaine, in the South West of France. The current Chateau was built by orders of the English, King Edward I, beginning in 1306. The Leblac Family has lived in the Chateau for over 700 years. In 1100, Cardinal Gaillard de la Mothe nephew of Pope Clement V built the second Chateau. The first Chateau was built in 778 as ordered by Charlemenagne, (All Cutcliffe's are related to Charlemenagne), is and was destroyed over time. Some remnants of the older Chateau’s still remain near to the more current Chateau.
  2. Roquetaillade is a village situated in, Aude, Languedoc, in the South East of France, near the town of Limoux. This village has a population of approximately 216 inhabitants
  3. There are two more locations that have the name of Roquetaillade but these locations seem to be Bed and Breakfasts or small farms.

It is my opinion that about the time of the “Battle of Hastings” in 1066, an individual from the village of Roquetaillade joined the French army and decided to stay in England when his military service ended. It was not uncommon that a person’s sir name was derived from the place where he, or she, lived. The first English spelling of the Cutcliffe name, we know of, was “Cutteclyve”. From that point on the name has been spelled (listed in random order) as: Cutcliffe, Cutlifffe, Cutcliff, Cutley, Cuttly, Cuttley, Cutliff, Cuttlyff, Cutteclyf, Cutteclyve, Cuttlyff, Cutlif, etc. The most common spelling is “Cutcliffe”.

Please contact me at tomcutcliffe@yahoo.com if you want to:

  • Know more about your family history,
  • Send me information about your branch of the family tree.

Welcome to the interesting and educational history of the Cutcliffe family.





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Some of the many people in our ancestry includes;

  • Charles Cutcliffe of Weach
  • John Martin Cutcliffe
  • Lieut-Col John Mervin Cutcliffe, Commanding Officer of the 23rd Light Drogoons at the battle of Waterloo.
  • England’s Kings Henry the IV, V, VI
  • England’s Kings Edward IV, V
  • Clidius, King of Salian Frnace
  • Thomas (Cutlyff) Cutcliffe of Hartland 1456-1507

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