This unusual name is one of a number of variants of the name 'Radcliff(e)' or 'Ratcliff(e)', also found as 'Radclyffe', 'Ratliff(e)', 'Rack(c)liff(e)', 'Redicliff(e)' and 'Redclift', in addition to 'Reddecliff(e)'. All of the above are locational surnames deriving from one of the places called 'Redcliff' in Somerset, 'Radcliffe' in Lancashire and Nottinghamshire, and 'Radclive' in Berkshire. The places share the same meaning and derivation, and all are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as 'Radeclive' showing that the name is derived from the Olde English pre 7th Century 'read', red, with 'clif', cliff, slope, or riverbank. The surname development includes Robert de Radeclyf (1313, Yorkshire), Robert Racclyff (1496, Suffolk), William de Radclif (1379 Yorkshire) and Agnis Reddaclyf, (1646 Devon). One Gertrude Reddecliffe married John Connye at St. Andrew's, Plymouth on the 29th October 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Walter de Radechiva, which was dated 1182, The Devonshire Pipe Rolls, during the reign of King Henry II, The Builder of Churches, 1154 - 1189. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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