The most probable derivation of the name Metcalf is that in Craven, twelve miles southeast of Dent, are 3 hills or a small mountain with 3 peaks now called Pennegew Hills, but long ago known as the “Three Calves.”  

In A.D., 1278 (under King Edward I) it is recorded that Adam de Madekalf, that is, Adam of the middle calf, was killed by one Steynebrigge in single combat.  The prefix made is derived from the German “Mitte,” Saxon “Midd,” and English “Middle.”  This Adam of Metcalf in 1278 was the eighth in descent from the original Dane Arkefrith, who came to England with King Canute in 1016, who gave him lands in N.W. Yorkshire and made him Lord of Dent, Sudbury and Askrigg, names still to be found on the maps of Yorkshire.  It is said that the succession can be traced in an unbroken line from Arkefrith to the present time.  The following is the descent of our present Metcalfs in America:

METCALF LINE:                                                                        

from England / to Massachusetts / to New Hampshire / to Minnesota / to Missouri

[Please remember that back this far in history, there is little proof of this line.]

1.     Arkefirth, an old Danish warrior who came to England in 1016 with King Canute, (who conquered the Anglo-Saxons and in 1017 married the widow of the King of England and became the English king). King Canute made Arkefirth Lord of Dent, Sudbury and Askrigg

2.     Arkell, Lord of Dent (listed in the Doomsday book of Edward the Confessor).

3.     Gospatrick, Lord of Dent

4.     Dolfin, Lord of Dent

5.     William, Lord of Dent - "Earliest mention of the name is William Medecalf de Dent (1120-1200), a large landholder in Northumbria, near the border of Scotland, who had inherited his property from a great-grandfather, Earl Gospatric FitzMaldred, who had struggled with William the Conqueror to get and keep it. William and his family engaged in a very profitable breeding of sheep, cattle and horses. In 1174, supporting King Henry II of England, he led his troop of horsemen at Alnwick against Scotland's King William the Lion and took him prisoner. (William the Lion was later returned to Scotland and swore fealty to the English king--an example of 12th century politics.)" [quote from review of Howard H. Metcalfe's new book on the Metcalf family.]

6.     Richard, Lord of Dent

        [for about 200 years after William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of 1066, French was fashionable in England.]

7.     Adam, Lord of Dent, 1252, A.D.

8.     Adam de Madekalf in Yorkshire; killed 1278 by Steynebrigge in single combat (during reign of Edward I).  

        [By the 1300’s hereditary surnames began to spread through the common people, as it had among the nobility 100-200 years earlier.  This practice was enforced by Edward IV (1461-83)]

9.     Adam Medcalfe of Baynbridge; married daughter of James of Baynbridge

10.   Adam Medcalfe of Thornton

11.   Richard Metcalf of Baynbridge

12.  Thomas Metcalf of Baynbridge

13.   John Metcalf, married Alice of Ireby

14.   James Metcalf of Nappa in Wensleydale (1389-1472), married daughter of Gelsone (Gibson?) of Ireby Hall; was captain in the battle of Agincourt in 1415, in which Henry V's archers decisively defeated the French mounted knights.  Sons: Reginald, Brian, Myles, Thomas.

15.   Bryan Metcalfe of Beare Park (maybe born abt 1420-30); married Joanna of Boughton. Beare Park, Marrich, Wensleydale, was long a residence of the Metcalfs till it was confiscated in 1543, under Henry V's suppression of Monasteries. 

His sons were: Richard (b1450), Leonard (b 1460), Nicholas and Roger. Leonard married a Thursby and left children: Leonard, Vincent, Godfrey, Ambrose.  

16.  Leonard? Metcalf, b abt 1460. There might be another generation here also, b abt 1490.

According to the Harleian Manuscript their coat-of-arms were granted in 1483; the crest in 1487.   

17.   Leonard Metcalf of Yorkshire, (maybe born about 1520) a zealous Catholic and supporter of Mary, Queen of Scots joined an uprising in 1569 and was condemned to hand with 10 others for treason and rebellion against Queen Elizabeth. He was on a list of prisoners taken to Durham Castle in Jan, 1570. but he managed to escape execution. He had arranged for his lands and estate to be given to his wife at his death, so the Queen realized she could take his lands for treason while he was alive, but would lose them if she killed him, however she still wanted to make an example of him and the others. The Commissioners decided against it and only 4 of the 11 were executed--Metcalf went free.  After he lost his property, his family moved to Tatterford in Norwich and became Protestants. (from Metcalf Genealogy.) It's not certain whether he and the Leonard below were the same man, but probably were father and son.

18. Rev. Leonard Metcalf of Tatterford in Norwich  (1541-1616). In 1580 Leonard was Rector of the Parish of Tatterford. His son Leonard was baptized there in 1585, and son Michael, June 17, 1587.    

19.   Michael Metcalf, Sr. (1587 Eng—1664 Mass), married Sarah Elwyn. He was a non-conformist (Puritan) and emigrated to Massachusetts to escape religious persecution in England

20.   Michael Metcalf, Jr(1620 Eng—1654 Mass), married Mary Fairbanks, emigrated with his father (Mary's brother Jonathan Fairbanks was an ancestor of President George W. Bush)

21.   Eleazer Metcalf (1653 Mass—1704 Mass), marries Meletia Fisher

22.   Michael Metcalf (1687 Mass—1754 Mass), married Abiel or Abigail Colburn

23.   Samuel Metcalf Sr. (1739 Mass—1817 NH), married Lois Kingsbury; Lt in Rev War.

24.   Obed Metcalf (1763 Mass—1836 NH), married Abigail Park; Obed was a captain in the Revolutionary War.

25.   Moses Metcalf (1793 NH—aft 1880 MN), married Nancy Williams; died in Minnesota.

26.   Susan Mariah Metcalf (1823 NH—1896 Mo), married Miles Pease; moved to Minnesota1855, then to Missouri 1859.

27.   Myron Metcalf Pease (1855 NH—1940 Mo), married Winnie Johnson & Eva White

28.   Myrtle Nora Pease (1881 Mo—1957 Calif); married John Ira Lindesmith

          [my great-grandparents]