Recorded in many spellings including Cund, Cunde, Cundy, and locationals such as Cuncliffe, Cundall, Cundale, Cundliffe, Condliffe, and Cunnliffe, this is an English surname. It is either topgraphical for somebody who lived by a naarow valley or locational from Cunliffe, a hamlet north west of Rishton in the county of Lancashire. This is recorded "Kuneclive" in the Pipe Rolls of Lancashire for the year 1246, and later as "Cundcliff", being so called from the Olde English pre 7th century word "cunde", meaning a cleft, plus "clif", a steep slope. Locational surnames were often given either to the local lord of the manor or developed when former inhabitants of a place moved to another area, usually to seek work, and were best identified by the name of their birthplace. In this case early examples of recordings include those of Adam de Cuncliffe, in Baines History of Lancashire for the year 1317; Margaret Cund married Harry Kethis at St Mary Abbbotts, Kensington, on October 8th 1542, whilst Christabal Conliffe, of Altham, a widow, appears in the Wills Records at Chester in 1595, Nicholas Cunliffe, of Lancashire, who was a student at Oxford University in 1606, and Alice Cuncliffe was christened at Altham, on July 14th 1614. A coat of arms granted to the family has the blazon of a black shield charged with three silver conies, the crest being a silver greyhound, and the motto, Fideliter, meaning Faithfully. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robert de Cundeclif. This was dated 1273, in the Hundred Rolls of Yorkshire, during the reign of King Edward 1st, known as "The Hammer of the Scots", 1272 - 1307. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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