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2,397 study surnames with us
and a further 6,089 variant names.

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About the study

It all began during the early 1990's when with time on my hands I set out to trace my family tree, at this time I did not have the help of the computer therefore it meant that I did quite a lot of travelling during which I discovered that my seven times great grandfather was MATTHEW CLIPSTON born 1704 at Orton, Northamptonshire. At this time I was not too sure if I had the correct tree. However during the late 1990's I received correspondence from the late Ruth Clipson of Wimbourne, Dorset which confirmed my findings and with confidence I continued to expand my family tree, collecting many other CLIPSTON's on the way and now possess over 5000 references to the CLIPSTON name and its many variants

Variant names

CLIPSTON, CLIPSON, CLIPSTONE CLIPSHAM are my registered surnames, however there are others which I am considering to register, i.e. Clypson, Climpston.

Name origin

The Clipston origin is a combination of Norse-Viking and Olde English. It derives from the Norse personal name 'Klype' transposed to the later English 'Clyp' and describes a 'Sturdy fellow.' To this is added the suffix 'tun' meaning home or farm.

Historical occurrences of the name

The first recorded spelling of the family name is a William Clipston who on the 4th March 1582 was a witness at Woburn Church, Woburn, Bedfordshire.

Name frequency

Predominately there are more recorded instances of people bearing the 'CLIPSTON, CLIPSON & CLIPSTONE' surname in the county of Northamptonshire, however my research is showing that quite a number of these families are related and it seems that the variations in the spelling of the name is connected with the dialect used at the time.

In fact my own grandfather has been shown as Ernest Clipson on quite a few documents and letters when his correct surname was Clipston.

CLIPSTON, CLIPSON & CLIPSHAM appear in several counties adjacent to Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire, Rutland, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire with enclaves in and around Grimsby & North Lincolnshire leading across the Humber into Hull & East Yorkshire.

Distribution of the name

There are a number of villages situated in Bedfordshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire & Leicestershire bearing the name CLIPSTON/CLIPSTONE.

It is well known in genealogy circles that men in the early ages took the name of their birth place as and when they moved elsewhere. It is therefore my belief that some of the CLIPSTON distribution can be credited to King John.

During his reign 1199 to 1216 he spent quite a lot of his time at a location situated in Sherwood Forest named KINGS CLIPSTONE where he had a palace and from where he ruled the land. It is also recorded in Nottinghamshire historical records, that King John was known to send bacon from Nottinghamshire to an area around the Wash.

It is therefore my belief that the entourage which transported the bacon could have contained men from KINGS CLIPSTONE, who eventually left the entourage and set up families with the local girls, at or near to the aforementioned villages which are on or near to the old route taken to the Wash.


I hold most of the data collected by the late Ruth Clipson, which covers many pre-registration references of baptisms marriages, deaths and census records covering most of England, one or two references of families who have emigrated to Africa.

I am also in possession of family tree's which have originated in Northamptonshire/ Lincolnshire and settled within the commonwealth.


Because of one or two contradictions between myself and others bearing my surname and/or a variation of it so far as it relates to my forebears I had my DNA analyzed by 'Family Tree DNA' and subsequently have set up a 'CLIPSTON - Project'