An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014
Where did the Welsh Clift family come from? What is the Welsh Clift family crest and coat of arms? When did the Clift family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Clift family history?The surname Clift is derived from the Old English word "clif," which means cliff, rock, or steep descent. It is thought to have been a name used for someone who lived near a sloping cliff or the bank of a river. As such, the surname Clift belongs to the class of topographic surnames, which were given to people who resided near physical features such as hills, streams, churches, or types of trees.
The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. The earliest explanation for the preponderance of spelling variations is that when Welsh surnames were in Welsh and accordingly were difficult to translate into English. It was therefore up to the priest or the scribe taking the official records to determine how the spoken name was to be made literal. As time progressed, the old Brythonic names of Wales were recorded in English, which was especially problematic since the English language had extreme difficulty recording the highly inflected sounds of Cymraeg. Spelling variations were, however, also carried out according to an individual's design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Clift have included Cliffe, Cliff, Clive, Cleeves, Cleave, Cleaves and many more.
First found in Herefordshire, where they held a family seat from early times and their first records appeared on the early census rolls taken by the early Kings of Britain to determine the rate of taxation of their subjects.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clift research. Another 275 words(20 lines of text) covering the years 1725, 1774 and 1767 are included under the topic Early Clift History in all our PDF Extended History products.
More information is included under the topic Early Clift Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.
During the latter half of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, the people of Wales journeyed to North America to find a new life. They made major contributions to the arts, industry and commerce of both Canada and the United States, and added a rich cultural heritage to their newly adopted societies. A look at the immigration and passenger lists has shown a number of people bearing the name Clift:
Clift Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century
Clift Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century
Clift Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century
Clift Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century
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: In cruce glorior
Motto Translation: I glory in the cross.
The Clift Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clift 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 25 July 2014 at 13:54.
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