Cleeve History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The surname Cleeve 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 Cleeve 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.
Early Origins of the Cleeve family
The surname Cleeve was first found in Shropshire and Cheshire. The latter county "in the hundred of Northwich, is Clive, from whence their ancestor Warin assumed his name in the time of Henry II. About the reign of Edward II the family removed to Huxley, also in Cheshire, Henry de Clive having married the co-heiress. " 
The Shropshire branch claim descent from the village and civil parish so named. "James Clive with the heiress of Styche, of Styche, they settled in Shropshire at that place, which is in the parish of Moreton-Say, and has remained uninterruptedly in the Clive family." 
Henry de Cliff (d. 1334), the English judge, "is first mentioned as accompanying the king abroad in May 1313; and on 11 May 1317, as a master in chancery, he had charge of the great seal at the house of the Lord Chancellor, John de Sandale, Bishop of Winchester. There is another master in chancery in Edward II's reign of the same name, probably a brother. " 
Early History of the Cleeve family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cleeve research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1725, 1774, 1767, 1558, 1514, 1522, 1523, 1522, 1529, 1526 and 1532 are included under the topic Early Cleeve History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleeve Spelling Variations
Compared to other ancient cultures found in the British Isles, the number of Welsh surnames are relatively few, but there are an inordinately large number of spelling variations. These spelling variations began almost as soon as surname usage became common. As a result, people could not specify how to spell their own names leaving the specific recording up to the individual scribe or priest. Those recorders would then spell the names as they heard them, causing many different variations. Later, many Welsh names were recorded in English. This transliteration process was extremely imprecise since the Brythonic Celtic language of the Welsh used many sounds the English language was not accustomed to. Finally, some variations occurred by the individual's design: a branch loyalty within a family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations were indicated by spelling variations of one's name. The Cleeve name over the years has been spelled Cliffe, Cliff, Clive, Cleeves, Cleave, Cleaves and many more.
Early Notables of the Cleeve family (pre 1700)
Prominent amongst the family during the late Middle Ages was William Clyffe (d. 1558), English divine, educated at Cambridge, where he graduated LL.B. in 1514, was admitted advocate at Doctors' Commons on 16 Dec. 1522, graduated LL.D...
Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cleeve Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleeve migration to the United States +
Many Welsh joined the great migrations to North America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Like their Scottish and Irish neighbors, many Welsh families left their homeland hoping to find hope and prosperity in a land that the English did not exercise a tight rule over. Those Welsh immigrants that successfully traveled to North America went on to make significant contributions to the rapid development of both Canada and the United States in terms of the settling of land and the establishment of industry. They also added to the rich cultural heritage of both countries. An examination into the immigration and passenger lists has discovered a number of people bearing the name Cleeve:
Cleeve Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- George Cleeve (ca. 1586-1666), English settler from Stogursey, Somerset, founder of Portland, Maine who arrived in New England in 1630
Cleeve migration to New Zealand +
Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:
Cleeve Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- Mr. Thomas Cleeve, (b. 1845), aged 19, British farm labourer travelling from Gravesend, UK aboard the ship "British Empire" arriving in Lyttelton, South Island, New Zealand on 6th September 1864 
Contemporary Notables of the name Cleeve (post 1700) +
- Major-General William Frederick Cleeve CB JP (1853-1922), British Army officer, Commandant of the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich
- Lucas Cleeve (1868-1908), pseudonym of Adeline Georgiana Isabel Kingscote, English novelist of over over sixty works, best known for her The Woman Who Wouldn't in 1895
- Brian Brendon Talbot Cleeve (1921-2003), English writer who wrote twenty-one novels and over a hundred short stories
- Sir Thomas Henry Cleeve (1844-1908), Canadian-born, Irish businessman and politician, High Sheriff of Limerick City three times
- Charles Cleeve Wrench, Australian businessman
Related Stories +
The Cleeve Motto +
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.
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
- ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html