Cliffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Cliffe 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 Cliffe 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 Cliffe family

The surname Cliffe 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. " [1]

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." [1]

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. " [2]

Important Dates for the Cliffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cliffe 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 Cliffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cliffe Spelling Variations

There are relatively few surnames native to Wales, but they have an inordinately large number of spelling variations. Early variations of Welsh surnames can be explained by the fact that very few people in the early Middle Ages were literate. Priests and the few other literate people were responsible for recording names in official documents. And because most people could not specific how to properly record their names it was up to the individual recorder of that time to determine how a spoken name should be recorded. Variations due to the imprecise or improper recording of a name continued later in history when names originally composed in the Brythonic Celtic, language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, were transliterated into English. Welsh names that were documented in English often changed dramatically since the native language of Wales, which was highly inflected, did not copy well. Occasionally, however, spelling variations were carried out according to an individual's specific design: a branch loyalty within the family, a religious adherence, or even patriotic affiliations could be indicated by minor variations. The spelling variations of the name Cliffe have included Cliffe, Cliff, Clive, Cleeves, Cleave, Cleaves and many more.

Early Notables of the Cliffe 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 Cliffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cliffe migration to the United States

Many Welsh families joined their Scottish and Irish neighbors during the late 1800s and early 1900s in seeking refuge in North America. Like the Irish and Scottish, many Welsh anxiously awaited the work, freedom, and opportunities that they believed lay in North America. Those who did journey over to the United States and what became known as Canada often realized those dreams, but only through much toil and perseverance. Whenever and however these Welsh immigrants arrived in North America, they were instrumental in the creation of the industry, commerce, and cultural heritage within those two developing nations. In the immigration and passenger lists a number of early immigrants bearing the name Cliffe were found:

Cliffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Cliffe, who arrived in Barbados in 1634
  • George Cliffe, aged 26, who landed in Barbados or St Christopher in 1634 [3]
  • Nich Cliffe, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [3]
  • Mary Cliffe, who arrived in Virginia in 1665-1666 [3]
  • Robert Cliffe, who landed in Virginia in 1665-1666 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Cliffe migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Cliffe Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mrs. Ann Cliffe, (b. 1820), aged 33, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Parsee" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 17th January 1853 [4]
  • Mr. James Cliffe, (b. 1849), aged 4, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Parsee" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 17th January 1853 [4]
  • Mr. James Cliffe, (b. 1825), aged 28, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Parsee" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 17th January 1853 [4]
  • Mr. William Henry Cliffe, (b. 1847), aged 6, Cornish settler travelling aboard the ship "Parsee" arriving in Queensland, Australia on 17th January 1853 [4]
  • George Cliffe, aged 46, a joiner, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Grand Trianon"
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Cliffe 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:

Cliffe Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Edward Cliffe, aged 28, who arrived in Lyttelton, New Zealand aboard the ship "Apelles" in 1874

Contemporary Notables of the name Cliffe (post 1700)

  • Jess Cliffe, American software computer game designer
  • Mr. James Andrew Cliffe M.B.E.,, English Manager for No Wrong Door at Stepney Road Children’s Centre for North Yorkshire County Council, was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire on 29th December 2018 for services to Children and Young People [5]
  • Michael Cliffe (1904-1964), British clothing industry worker and Member of Parliament
  • Louise Cliffe (b. 1985), British actress, singer, writer and model
  • John Cliffe Watts (1786-1873), Irish military officer and architect who designed some of the first permanent public buildings in New South Wales, Postmaster General in South Australia

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Citations

  1. ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  3. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  4. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retreived 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_australia_queensland.pdf
  5. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
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