Clairbirn History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The ancestors of the bearers of the Clairbirn family name are thought have lived in ancient Anglo-Saxon England. They were first found in Cliburn, a small parish in the county of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria). The place name dates back to c. 1140 when it was listed as Clibbrun. Literally it means "stream by the cliff or bank," from the Old English words "clif" + "burna." 
Early Origins of the Clairbirn family
The surname Clairbirn was first found in Westmorland at Cliburn, a village and civil parish, in the West ward and union , now in the Eden District of Cumbria. "The parish is pleasantly situated between the rivers Eden and Lavennet, which bound it on two sides, and is intersected by the small river Lethe."  Cliburn Hall, is a three storey Pele tower built by Robert de Cliburn in 1387. Richard Cliburn made changes to the hall in 1567 and added a stone which reads "Richard Cleburn this they me called. In which my time hath built this Hall. A.D. 1567." St Cuthbert's Church dates back to the 12th century and was restored in the 19th century.
Early History of the Clairbirn family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clairbirn research. Another 83 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1364, 1475, 1660, 1600, 1677 and 1621 are included under the topic Early Clairbirn History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Clairbirn Spelling Variations
Until quite recently, the English language has lacked a definite system of spelling rules. Consequently, Anglo-Saxon surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. Changes in Anglo-Saxon names were influenced by the evolution of the English language, as it incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other languages. Although Medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, so it is common to find one person referred to by several different spellings of his surname, even the most literate people varied the spelling of their own names. Variations of the name Clairbirn include Clibborn, Cliborn, Cliburn, Cilborne, Cliburne, Clibborne, Clairborne, Claiborn, Claiborne, Clayborn, Clayborne, Claybourne, Claybourn, Clayburn, Clayburne, Cliburn, Cleburn, Cleborne, Cliburne, Cleburne and many more.
Early Notables of the Clairbirn family (pre 1700)
Another 34 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clairbirn Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clairbirn family to Ireland
Some of the Clairbirn family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clairbirn family
Searching for a better life, many English families migrated to British colonies. Unfortunately, the majority of them traveled under extremely harsh conditions: overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the ocean. For those families that arrived safely, modest prosperity was attainable, and many went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the new colonies. Research into the origins of individual families in North America revealed records of the immigration of a number of people bearing the name Clairbirn or a variant listed above: William Claybourne, who settled in Virginia in 1626; as did Edward Clayborne in 1636; Joshua Clibborn, who immigrated to Philadelphia in 1796; Eliza F. Clibborn, who sailed to New York in 1821.
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.
- Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.