Cleville History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
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Early Origins of the Cleville family
The surname Cleville was first found in Dorset where Walter de Clavile was listed as a tenant in chief in Dorset and Devon in the Domesday Book.  "His male descendants continued to possess lands in the former county till 1774." 
A few years later, John Clavel was listed in the Pipe Rolls of Sussex in 1218, Robert Clauel and William Clauel were listed in the Subsidy Rolls of Sussex in 1296 and 1327 respectively.
The name is derived form the Old French word "clavel," which means "keystone of an arch, lintel over a fireplace, especially a beam of wood so used." 
The family claim descent from "a baronial family near Clavel, near Rouen [Normandy]. Walter de Clavel held 37 lordships in barony, Devon. In 1165, Walter de Clavel held 10 fees of the Honour of Gloucester. Lomen-Claville was the seat of the barony in Devon. Ralph de Clavel of this family held a fief in Dorset from Alured de Lincoln [in the] 13 century. Various branches of the family continued for ages in Dorset. " 
Clavell Tower, also known as Clavell Folly or the Kimmeridge Tower, is a Tuscan style tower built in 1830 by Reverend John Richards Clavell of Smedmore House as an observatory and folly. Born John Richards, the Reverend changed his name to John Richards Clavell after inheriting the estate in 1817. Clavell Tower was the site where Thomas Hardy, the novelist, often took his first love Eliza Nicholl and the tower was the inspiration for Baroness P. D. James's prize winning 1975 novel The Black Tower. Clavell Tower is now owned by The Landmark Trust.
Early History of the Cleville family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cleville research. Another 157 words (11 lines of text) covering the years 1218, 1296, 1327, 1510, 1600, 1451, 1166, 1539, 1455, 1487, 1632, 1711, 1711, 1601, 1643, 1625, 1627, 1627, 1639, 1677 and 1677 are included under the topic Early Cleville History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleville Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Clavill, Clavell, Claville, Clavile, Clefell, Clafell, Clafile, Clavall, Claville, Clafall, Clavel, Clevell, Cleville, Clevill and many more.
Early Notables of the Cleville family (pre 1700)
Distinguished members of the family include Robert Clavell (1632-1711), a London bookseller, born at Steeple, Dorset. He also authored treatises. He died at Islington in 1711 and in his will, he was listed as a "citizen and stationer of London."
John Clavell (1601-1643) was an English highwayman, author, lawyer, and doctor. In 1625, Clavell was imprisoned in King's Bench Prison as a convicted felon. After serving his time in 1627, he was apprehended, found guilty and sentenced to death. He was pardoned in 1627, thanks to the King and Queen. He fled to Ireland where he married a Dublin heiress, who was...
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cleville Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cleville family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: the name represented in many forms and recorded from the mid 17th century in the great migration from Europe. Migrants settled in the eastern seaboard from Newfoundland, to Maine, to Virginia, the Carolinas, and to the islands..
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- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ 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)