Cliffton History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
- Origins Available:
The name Cliffton was carried to England in the enormous movement of people that followed the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Cliffton family lived in Lancashire despite the fact that there are numerous places so named throughout Britain. The reason for the popularity of the place name is drawn from the fact that Clifton means "farmstead on or near a cliff or bank," from the Old English words "clif" + "tun."  The Bedfordshire local seems to be the oldest as it was recorded as Cliftune in 944.
Many are listed in the Domesday Book with various spellings including Clistone (Avon), Cliftone (Bedfordshire + Nottinghamshire + Buckinghamshire), Cliftune (Derbyshire), Cliftune (Staffordshire), Cliptone (Warwickshire) and so on. 
Early Origins of the Cliffton family
The surname Cliffton was first found in Lancashire where the surname was first found at Kirkham, where William de Clifton held ten carucates of land in the 42nd year of Henry III. He was Collector of Aids for the county. His son Gilbert, Lord of Clifton, died in the seventeenth of Edward II. 
Westby with Plumptons in Lancashire was an ancient home to the family. "Westbi and Plunton are mentioned in the Domesday Survey, and as early as Edward I.'s reign were held by the family of Clifton, of whom William de Clifton had a charter for free warren in Clifton and Westby from Edward II." 
In Nottinghamshire, "Gervase de Clifton, living in the fifth of John, is the patriarch of this honourable family, who took their name from the manor of Clifton, which was the inheritance of Sir Gervase Clifton, in the ninth of Edward II."  "Westbi [(Wesby)] and Plunton are mentioned in the Domesday survey, and as early as Edward I.'s reign were held by the family of Clifton, of whom William de Clifton had a charter for free warren in Clifton and Westby from Edward II." 
Clifton Hall is a country house that dates back to the 11th century and was held by the Clifton family until the mid 20th century. In 2008, the new millionaire owner, Anwar Rashid, and his family left the house and stopped paying the mortgage because they believed it was haunted. The property was then repossessed by the bank and at the time of writing is still up for sale.
Early History of the Cliffton family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cliffton research. Another 233 words (17 lines of text) covering the years 1066, 1257, 1278, 1368, 1414, 1666, 1587, 1666, 1614, 1666, 1626, 1670, 1659, 1612, 1675, 1663, 1686, 1683 and 1686 are included under the topic Early Cliffton History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cliffton Spelling Variations
Multitudes of spelling variations are a hallmark of Anglo Norman names. Most of these names evolved in the 11th and 12th century, in the time after the Normans introduced their own Norman French language into a country where Old and Middle English had no spelling rules and the languages of the court were French and Latin. To make matters worse, medieval scribes spelled words according to sound, so names frequently appeared differently in the various documents in which they were recorded. The name was spelled Clifton, Clyfton, Clyftoun, Cliffton, Cliffeton, Clifftown, Cliffetown, Cliftown, Cliftoun, Clifftoun, Clifftone and many more.
Early Notables of the Cliffton family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Gervase Clifton, 1st Baronet (1587-1666), an English politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1614 and 1666, supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War; Sir Clifford Clifton (1626-1670)...
Another 42 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cliffton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cliffton family
Because of this political and religious unrest within English society, many people decided to immigrate to the colonies. Families left for Ireland, North America, and Australia in enormous numbers, traveling at high cost in extremely inhospitable conditions. The New World in particular was a desirable destination, but the long voyage caused many to arrive sick and starving. Those who made it, though, were welcomed by opportunities far greater than they had known at home in England. Many of these families went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Cliffton or a variant listed above: were the Cliftons who settled in Austin, Rhode Island, about the year 1636. Dr. John Clifton, of London, England, settled in Maine in 1709; and many more..
Related Stories +
The Cliffton 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: Tenez le droit
Motto Translation: Guard the Right.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Shirley, Evelyn Philip, The Noble and Gentle Men of England; The Arms and Descents. Westminster: John Bower Nichols and Sons, 1866, Print.
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.