The English surname Clifton is an habitational name from any of numerous places named Clifton, from Old English term clif meaning “ a slope” and tunmeaning “ an enclosure or a settlement.” The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Gilbert de Clifton, which was dated 1273, in the "Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire." Latert recordings include: the marriage of Margery Clyffton and Thomas Molle at Cropredy, in 1546; the marriage of John Clefton and Elinor Mechell in 1591, at Great Milton; and the marriage of Richard Clifton and Mary Hedges in 1556, at Waterberry. An early settler in the New World Colonies was Thomas Clifton, aged 25 yrs., who sailed from London on the "Primrose", bound for Virginia in July 1635. Today there are approximately 25,000 bearers of the name Clifton living in the United States.
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