"Place name from Cleveland, Yorkshire, Eng.; a corruption of Cliff-lane,
so-called from it being steep and almost impassable with cliffs and rocks.
The family is descended from Thorkill, a Saxon who, at the time of the
Conquest, assumed the name De Cliveland from the ancient seat of the family
"The conquest of Britain was completed by the year A.D. 72, during the reign of Vespasian, by the Roman governor Julius Agricola, who penetrated north of the river Tay. By an enlightened policy, Agricola taught the Britons the arts, introduced laws and government among them, and induced them to lay aside their barbarous customs.
"The name Caluvium was given to the district (now Cleveland, Yorkshire, Eng.,) either by Agricola or the Romans at some time during this period and the final departure of the Romans from Britain, A.D. 421, in the reign of Honorius. The name Caluvium, by the time of the Norman Conquest, 1066, had become Cliveland (or the Caluvian Lands, thus becoming descriptive), but, evidently contemporaneously with the changes in the surname, it gradually became Cleveland, which name it has always since borne."
Following this description are several extracts related to the origin of the name, taken from various other references available at the time. These extracts all differ in their suggestions as to the name origin. Most of them seem to emphasize either the nature of the earth at the site of Cleveland (it was clay, the water was muddy, and the word Caleva means muddy water) or they cite the presence of nearby cliffs (the cliff land or Cliff lane) notwithstanding the presence of the area itself being on the plains.
As cited in The Cleveland Genealogy, "The district of Cleveland
in the North Riding of Yorkshire, Eng., is the original and ancient seat
of the Cleveland and Cleaveland family, and from this place the family
name is derived. Although not set down in the map as a geographical division,
Cleveland is so beautiful and popular a part of England as to have been
a subject of three histories...."
Again, citing from The Cleveland Genealogy,
"The city was named Cleaveland by the surveyors of the Connecticut Land Company, July 22, 1796, in honor of Gen. Moses Cleaveland of Canturbury, Windham co., Conn., superintendent of the surveying party, and a general agent of the Conn. Land Co., who first landed on the eastern bank of the Cuyahoga river, and founded the town, July 22, 1796, which, in 1796, contained 4 inhabitants. The village of Cleaveland was incorporated Dec. 23, 1814. According to varying tradition the name of the village was changed to Cleveland in either or both the following manners: A newspaper was established in 1830; the editor, in preparing the heading, found the name too long to fit the form, so omitted the a from the name, The Cleveland Advertizer. In 1832, William Cleveland and Aaron Porter Cleveland settled in Cleveland, O., built stores, displayed their sign, Cleveland Brothers and Co., and influence the change of the name on the bills of the Bank of Cleveland. Cleveland Village had its boundaries extended, and was incorporated, March 1836, ... by the name of the City of Cleveland."
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