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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Origins Available: English, Irish, Scottish

Where did the English Clark family come from? What is the English Clark family crest and coat of arms? When did the Clark family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Clark family history?

The name Clark comes from one of the family having worked as a person who concerned himself with matters of scholarly importance or of religious orders or as a secretary. The surname Clark originally derived from the Latin form clericus Even today, the word and profession clerk is typically pronounced clark throughout the United Kingdom.


Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Clark have been found, including: Clark, Clerk and others.

First found in Northumberland, where the ancestral home of the Clark family is thought to be located. The family held a family seat in this county from the days before the Norman Conquest and the arrival of Duke William at Hastings in 1066 A.D.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clark research. Another 151 words(11 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1683, 1655, 1675, 1729, 1639, 1714, 1659, 1735, 1689 and are included under the topic Early Clark History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 93 words(7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clark Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the Clark family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 201 words(14 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.


Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Among the first immigrants of the name Clark, or a variant listed above to cross the Atlantic and come to North America were :

Clark Settlers in the United States in the 17th Century

  • Nic Clark, who landed in New England in 1632
  • Nico Clark, who landed in America in 1632
  • Nicholas Clark, who arrived in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1634
  • Geo Clark, aged 15, arrived in Barbados in 1635
  • Gilbert Clark, aged 19, arrived in St Christopher in 1635

Clark Settlers in the United States in the 18th Century

  • Eliza Clark, who landed in Virginia in 1701-1702
  • Zach Clark, who arrived in Virginia in 1701
  • Honnery Clark, who arrived in North Carolina in 1702
  • Ben Clark, who arrived in Virginia in 1703
  • Danll Clark, who landed in Virginia in 1704

Clark Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century

  • Zachariah Clark, who landed in America in 1801-1802
  • William Clark, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1804
  • Patrick Clark, who landed in Louisiana in 1805-1809
  • Francois Clark, who arrived in Louisiana in 1805-1809
  • Elnr Clark, who arrived in America in 1805

Clark Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century

  • George Henry Clark, who arrived in Alabama in 1917


  • Richard Wagstaff Clark (1929-2012), American four-time Emmy Award, Peabody Award and Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award (1994) winning entertainer and broadcaster who hosted "American Bandstand" for over 30 years and later host of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve, at Times Square's New Year's Eve celebrations
  • Captain Laurel Blair Salton Clark M.D. (1961-2003), former NASA astronaut who worked as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Columbia
  • Ann Nolan Clark (1896-1995), American writer
  • General Wesley Kanne Clark KBE (b. 1944), American retired Army officer and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe of NATO from 1997 to 2000 and Rhodes Scholar
  • Major General Mark Wayne Clark (1896-1984), American general during World War II and the Korean War. Among his awards and decorations are the Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Grand Croix Légion d'honneur
  • William Mansfield Clark (1884-1964), American chemist
  • Robert "Bob" Clark (1941-2007), award winning American film director, producer, and writer best known for "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • Technical Sergeant Francis J Clark (1912-1981), American Army soldier awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in 1944
  • Brigadier-General Frank Sheldon Clark (1885-1975), American Member Joint Post War Separation Committee Board (1944-1945)
  • Brigadier-General Harold Lyman Clark (1893-1973), American Commanding Officer 52nd Troop Carrier Wing (1942-1945)



  • Adam's Ancestors (including the Clark Family) by Thomas Nathan Clark.

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Fortitudo
Motto Translation: Fortitude.


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  1. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  2. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  3. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. Print.
  4. Reaney P.H and R.M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X).
  5. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
  8. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  9. Shaw, William A. Knights of England A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of all the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, Ireland and Knights Bachelors 2 Volumes. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print. (ISBN 080630443X).
  10. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  11. ...

The Clark Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clark Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 16 October 2014 at 17:46.

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