Gleave History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Gleave 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 Gleave 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 Gleave family

The surname Gleave 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]

Early History of the Gleave family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Gleave research. Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1725, 1774, 1767, 1558, 1514, 1522, 1523, 1522, 1529, 1526, 1532, 1711, 1728, 1729, 1731 and 1734 are included under the topic Early Gleave History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Gleave Spelling Variations

Although there are comparatively few Welsh surnames, they have a great many spelling variations. Variations of Welsh names began almost immediately after their acceptance within Welsh society. In the Middle Ages, it was up to priests and the few other people that recorded names in official documents to decide how to spell the names that they heard. Variations that occurred because of improper recording increased dramatically as the names were later transliterated into English. The Brythonic Celtic language of Wales, known by natives as Cymraeg, featured many highly inflected sounds that could not be properly captured by the English language. 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 were all indicated by the particular variation of one's name. The spelling variations of the name Gleave have included Cliffe, Cliff, Clive, Cleeves, Cleave, Cleaves and many more.

Early Notables of the Gleave 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. in 1523, was commissary of the diocese of London between 1522 and 1529. In 1526, he was appointed Archdeacon of London and three years later, Prebendary of Fenton in the church of York in 1532. [2] Catherine Clive, daughter of William Raftor, an Irish gentleman, was born in London in 1711. Displaying a natural aptitude for...
Another 92 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Gleave Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Gleave migration to the United States +

Many people from Wales joined the general migration to North America in the 19th and 20th centuries, searching for land, work, and freedom. Like the many other immigrants from the British Isles, they made a significant contribution to the development of Canada and the United States. The Welsh and their descendents added a rich cultural tradition to the newly developed towns, cities, and villages. An investigation of the immigration and passenger lists has revealed a number of people bearing the name Gleave:

Gleave Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • George Gleave, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1682 [3]

Contemporary Notables of the name Gleave (post 1700) +

  • Frederick "Fred" Gleave, English professional rugby league footballer who played for Wigan (1903-1914) and for the England National Team in 1913
  • Alfred Pullen Gleave (1911-1999), Canadian politician, Member of Parliament for Saskatoon-Biggar (1968-1974)
  • Group Captain Thomas Percy "Tom" Gleave CBE (1908-1993), British fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain; he was shot down and due to his injuries became the first and only Chief Guinea Pig when he had experimental reconstructive plastic surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead, Sussex
  • Elliot John Gleave (b. 1982), known by his stage name Example, is an English pop singer
  • Lisa Gleave (b. 1976), Australian actress and model, known for her work as a Barker's Beauty on The Price Is Right

HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. John Gleave, British Marine, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and survived the sinking [4]


The Gleave 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.


  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. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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