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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2014

Where did the English Clevenger family come from? When did the Clevenger family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Clevenger family history?

The name Clevenger is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a person who worked with wood. The surname is derived from the Old English word cleofan which means to cleave or split.

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Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Clevenger include Cleever, Cleaver, Clever, Kleever, Kleaver, Cleevar, Cleavar, Cliver, Cleiver, Clivar, Cleevor, Clearvor, Cleevare, Clevenger, Kleevare, Cleavare, Kleavare and many more.

First found in Norfolk where some say they held a family seat well before the Norman Conquest in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clevenger research. Another 389 words(28 lines of text) covering the years 1273, 1332, 1379, and 1790 are included under the topic Early Clevenger History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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More information is included under the topic Early Clevenger Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Clevenger were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Henry Cleaver who settled in Barbados in 1680 with his servants; Thomas Cleaver settled in Maryland in 1775; Charles Cleaver settled in New England in 1744.

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  • Dale Clevenger, Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1966
  • Craig Clevenger (b. 1964), American author of contemporary fiction
  • Zora G. Clevenger (1881-1970), American football, basketball, and baseball player, coach, and pioneering athletic director
  • Truman Eugene "Tex" Clevenger (b. 1932), former Major League Baseball relief pitcher
  • Cliff Clevenger (1885-1960), United States Representative from Ohio
  • Raymond Charles Clevenger (b. 1937), American jurist on the United States Court of Appeals
  • Steven Scott Clevenger (b. 1986), American Major League Baseball catcher
  • Vern Clevenger (b. 1955), noted American climber and landscape photographer
  • Dr. John Clevenger, Professor of Computer Science at California State University


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  1. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  2. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
  5. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. Burke's Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry: Including American Families with British Ancestry. (2 Volumes). London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  7. Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
  8. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin . Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8).
  9. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  10. Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
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