Transferred use of the surname, recorded as a given name from the 17th century. There are several places (e.g. in Glos., Herefords., and Yorks.) so named, from Old English clif ‘cliff, slope, riverbank’ + ford ‘ford’.
English: topographic surname for someone who lived near a church. The word comes from Old English cyrice, ultimately from medieval Greek kyrikon, for earlier kyriakōn (dōma) ‘(house) of the Lord’, from kyrios ‘lord’.