This is an Anglicized Transposition of the Olde Swiss German name "Clingen", itself a derivative of "Klein" a medieval nickname for a short person, and in this case meaning "the son of Klein". It is possible that there is a Huguenot association although we have not been able to probe this point. The Coat of Arms is a Black Shield charged with Gold Billets, and overall a Silver Lion rampant. The original name holders were of noble birth and held the title of Count Clingen. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Johann Clingen. which was dated C.1680, Fravenfeld, Thurgau, Switzerland. during the reign of Emperor Leopold I of the Holy Roman Empire, 1668 - 1705. 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.