Clif History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The surname Clif 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 Clif 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 Clif family
The surname Clif 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 Clif family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clif 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 Clif History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Clif Spelling Variations
The Welsh have an extremely large amount of spelling variations of their native surnames to their credit. 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 Clif have included Cliffe, Cliff, Clive, Cleeves, Cleave, Cleaves and many more.
Early Notables of the Clif 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 Clif Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clif family
North America in the 1800s and 1900s saw the arrival of many Welsh people hoping to share in the wealth of land, work, and freedom that they felt North America held. Those who made the journey often attained those expectations, but only through an enormous amount of hard work, perseverance, and often a bout of good luck. These immigrants helped contribute to the growth of industry, commerce, and culture of both Canada and the United States. Discovered in the immigration and passenger lists were a number of people bearing the name Clif: Thomas Cleaves who settled in Virginia in 1653; George Cleeves settled in Portland Maine in 1630 with his wife Joan; Daniel and Sarah Cliff arrived in New York in 1823 with six children.
Contemporary Notables of the name Clif (post 1700) +
- Clif Norrell, American two-time Grammy-nominated record producer, recording engineer, music mixer, and musician
- Clif Sams (b. 1940), American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 2004, 2008 
- Clif Larson, American Democrat politician, Iowa Democratic State Chair, 1971; Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1972 
Related Stories +
The Clif 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
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 22) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
- ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 25) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html