This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name either from the parish and village of Cliburn, near Penrith, in Westmorland, or from a now "lost" place called Clayburn or Clayborn(e), believed to have been originally situated in Norfolk because of the high incidence of early surname recordings from that county. Recorded as "Clibbrun", circa 1150, and as "Clifburn", circa 1250 in the Register of the Priory of Wetherhal, Cumberland, the Westmorland place was so named from the Olde English pre 7th Century "clif", cliff, rock, steep descent, riverbank, with "burne" (originally "brunna"), spring, brook, stream. The Norfolk place is believed to have as its component elements the Olde English pre 7th Century "claeg", clayey soil, with "burne" (as before); hence, "stream from which clay for pottery making and other purposes was collected". Locational surnames were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. In 1547, one William Clayborne was recorded in Norfolk, and in 1595, Robert Claburne married Isabel Hog in Oxborough, Norfolk. The christening of William Clabburn, an infant, took place at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, London, on September 1st 1751. A Coat of Arms granted to the family is a silver shield with a chevron voided between three black wolves' heads, on a chief of the last an escallop between two round buckles of the field, the Crest being a black wolf's head emerging from a ducal coronet. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Thomas Clabeyn, which was dated 1412, in "Medieval Records of Norfolk", during the reign of King Henry 1V, known as "Henry of Bolingbroke", 1399 - 1413. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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