Where did the English barclay family come from? What is the English coat of arms/family crest? When did the barclay family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the history of the family name?
It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like barclay are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name barclay include: Barclay, Berkeley, Barcley, Berkely, Berkley and others.
First found in Gloucestershire, where they held a family seat from ancient times.
Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the oppurtunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name barclay or a variant listed above: Thomas Barclay who settled in Maryland in 1750; Alex Barclay settled in Norfolk, Va. in 1822; Benjamin, George, Henry, James, Moses, Thomas and William Barclay, all settled in Philadelphia Pa. between 1837 and 1864.
Motto Translated: I trust in the cross.
Some noteworthy people of the name barclay
* Edwin James Barclay (1882-1955), Liberian politician, President of the country (1930-1944)
* Robert Barclay, Naval Commander
* William Barclay (1907-1978), Scottish author, radio and television presenter, Church of Scotland minister and Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at the University of Glasgow.
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