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

Where did the English Claiborne family come from? What is the English Claiborne family crest and coat of arms? When did the Claiborne family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Claiborne family history?

The ancestors of the name Claiborne date back to the days of the Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. The name is derived from their residence in Clayburn, a small parish in the county of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria). This surname was the local name for individuals who lived by the stream with clay banks.

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Claiborne has been spelled many different ways, including Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Clibborn, Cliborn, Cliburn, Cilborne, Cliburne, Clibborne, Clairborne, Claiborn, Claiborne, Clayborn, Clayborne, Claybourne, Claybourn, Clayburn, Clayburne, Cliburn, Cleburn, Cleborne, Cliburne, Cleburne and many more.

First found in Westmorland, where the Claiborne family held a family seat from very ancient times, some say well before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Claiborne research. Another 165 words(12 lines of text) covering the years 1364, 1475, 1660, 1600, 1677 and 1621 are included under the topic Early Claiborne History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 57 words(4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Claiborne Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Claiborne family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 47 words(3 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Claibornes to arrive on North American shores:

Claiborne Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century


  • William Claiborne, who arrived in Virginia in 1621

Claiborne Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Clarith Claiborne, aged 19, who landed in America, in 1894
  • Mary Claiborne, aged 15, who emigrated to America, in 1894
  • E. B. Claiborne, aged 24, who landed in America, in 1895

Claiborne Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Maud L. Claiborne, aged 22, who landed in America, in 1904
  • Francis Claiborne, who landed in America, in 1905
  • J.H. Claiborne, who settled in America, in 1906
  • Herbert A. Claiborne, aged 25, who emigrated to the United States, in 1911
  • Eleanor Claiborne, aged 24, who settled in America, in 1913


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  • Liz Claiborne (1929-2007), American founder of the Liz Claiborne Inc
  • Harry Eugene Claiborne (1917-2004), United States district court judge
  • Jerry Claiborne (1928-2000), American football player and coach
  • Craig Claiborne (1920-2000), American restaurant critic, food writer and former food editor of the New York Times
  • Nathaniel Herbert Claiborne (1777-1859), American nineteenth century politician from Virginia
  • William Charles Cole Claiborne (1772-1817), American politician, best known as the first Governor of Louisiana
  • William F. Claiborne (1860-1882), American outlaw and gunfighter in the American Old West
  • Christopher Ashone Claiborne (b. 1978), American football linebacker
  • Thomas Claiborne (1749-1812), American planter and politician
  • Robert Watson Claiborne Jr. (1919-1990), American folk singer, labor organizer and writer

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The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtus vincit invidiam
Motto Translation: Virtue overcometh envy.

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  1. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X).
  5. 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.
  6. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  7. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  8. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  9. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  10. Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. London: John Matthews, 1911. Print.
  11. ...

The Claiborne Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Claiborne Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 21 December 2012 at 12:15.

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