Origin of the Name Clifford
family history was found in the allfamilycrests.com archives. Clifford is a locational name from parishes in Hereford, Gloucester and Bristol, and a Township near Leeds in Yorkshire. This name is of Anglo-Saxon descent spreading to the Celtic countries of Ireland , Scotland and Wales in early times and is found in many mediaeval manuscripts throughout these countries. Examples of such are a Margaret de Clifford, County Oxfordshire, a Roger de Clifford, County Wiltshire, and a John de Clyfford, County Gloucestershire, who were all recorded in the 'Hundred Rolls', England , in the year 1273. A family of this name trace their descent from Walter de Clifford, eldest son of Richard Fitzpons, in the year 1154. He acquired the surname from Clifford Castle near Hayon-Wye, which was bestowed on him on the occasion of his marriage to the daughter of Ralph de Toeni.
In Ireland this name and its variants were introduced into Ulster Province by settlers who arrived from England and Scotland , especially during the seventeenth century. It was the 'Plantations of Ireland ' in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that marked the end of Gaelic supremacy in Ireland . While the influx of settlers in the wake of the earlier Anglo-Norman invasion of the twelfth century resulted in a full integration into Irish society of the new arrivals, the same never occurred with the Ulster Planters who maintained their own distinct identity.
Clifford is sometimes an anglicized form of the Gaelic O'Clumhain name of County Cork, which was also changed to Coleman.
The Clifford coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eleventh century although a form of Proto-Heraldry may have existed in some countries prior to this. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms, including all Clifford descendants.