Cluffe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The distinguished surname Cluffe is of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin. It is derived from the Old English "cloh," meaning "ravine" or "steep-sided valley," and was first used to refer to a "dweller in the hollow." [1]

Early Origins of the Cluffe family

The surname Cluffe was first found in Denbighshire, where the most prominent branch of the family held a family seat from the 13th century. [2]

"The Cloughs of Plas Clough [Denbighshire] claim a Norman origin, from the Seigneurs de Rohan, and appeal to their name and arms for proof." [3]

By the 14th century the name was scattered throughout ancient Britain. The Lay Subsidy Rolls of 1332 listed Alicia del Clogh and Robert del Clogn in Lancashire. Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed Thomas del Clogh and Henricus de Cloghe. [4]

Exploring this last entry for Yorkshire, "the Cloughs belonged to an old gentle family of Thorp Stapleton, a member of which was a justice of the peace in the reign of James I. [Crabley] Clough is a West Riding hamlet." [5]

Early History of the Cluffe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cluffe research. Another 143 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1270, 1570, 1730 and 1570 are included under the topic Early Cluffe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cluffe Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years the English language had no fixed system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations occurred commonly in Anglo Norman surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Cluffe were recorded, including Clough, Cluf, Cluffe, Cluff, Cloughe, Clow, De Clue and many more.

Early Notables of the Cluffe family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Richard Clough (d. 1570), Welsh "merchant and factor for Sir Thomas Gresham, came of a family which had been long seated in North Wales. His father, Richard Clough, was of...
Another 37 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cluffe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Cluffe migration to the United States +

The unstable environment in England at this time caused numerous families to board ships and leave in search of opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad in places like Ireland, Australia, and particularly the New World. The voyage was extremely difficult, however, and only taken at great expense. The cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels caused many to arrive diseased and starving, not to mention destitute from the enormous cost. Still opportunity in the emerging nations of Canada and the United States was far greater than at home and many went on to make important contributions to the cultures of their adopted countries. An examination of many early immigration records reveals that people bearing the name Cluffe arrived in North America very early:

Cluffe Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Joseph Cluffe, who settled in New England in Boston with his brothers John and Richard in 1635
  • Jo Cluffe, aged 22, who landed in America in 1635 [6]


The Cluffe 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: Sine macula
Motto Translation: Without spot.


  1. ^ Arthur, William , An Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names. London: 1857. Print
  2. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  3. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  4. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  6. ^ 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)


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