clifford_largeClifford is of Old English origin that applies to a number of individuals or places. It simply means “ford by a cliff.”

From the Clifford Association: “The Clifford family in Britain started with the invasion by William the Conqueror when the five FitzPons brothers came across from Normandy. Once described as one of the most interesting families in the ‘history of these islands’ an in depth look at the members of THE CLIFFORDS shows there is good reason for this. Walter de Clifford took his name from the Castle built near Hay on Wye, being built on a Cliff overlooking a ford.”

An extensive history of our Cliffords, the ancestors and many descendents of Charles and Jane Gordon Clifford can be found at “Cliffords from New Jersey to Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, and beyond” by Hugh Fleming Clifford.

  • Our earliest Cliffords in America were George and James Clifford (1701-1782).  They were once thought to be father & son, but are now thought to be brothers.  They were born in Yorkshire England and immigrated during the early 1700’s.  They settled in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
  • James’ son, Charles Clifford (1730-1816) and his wife Jane Gordon settled in Ligonier Valley, Pennsylvania before the Revolutionary War.  He was captured by Indians in April of 1779 and taken north (See story in “Ancestors during the Revolutionary War.”)
  • Charles’ son Thomas Clifford was married to Catherine Lawson, who immigrated from Donegal, Ireland sometime around 1800.
  • Thomas’ son William Clifford, my Great-Great Grandfather, moved to Montgomery County Kansas, via Indiana, between 1860 and 1875, after selling the property he inherited from his father and paying his siblings the amounts stipulated in his fathers will.