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Clerke History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms


Origins Available: English , Scottish


Although the Clerke surname has long been born in Scotland, the name itself is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It is derived from the Old English "clerec," which is itself derived from the Latin "clericus," meaning "priest." The term "clerec" originally denoted a member of a religious order; however, as these were the only people who were taught to read and write, the term eventually came to refer to any literate man. [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
Thus, the name Clerke may have originally referred to a scholar, a scribe, a secretary, or a member of a religious order. The name in Gaelic was Mac a' Chleirich. Even today, the word and profession "clerk" is typically pronounced "clark" throughout the United Kingdom.


Early Origins of the Clerke family


The surname Clerke was first found in the counties on both sides of the border between England and Scotland. Early Scottish records show Roger Clericus held a land between 1174 in Kelso, Thomas Clericus was one of those appointed in 1246 to determine the right marches of Wester Fedale and James the clerk was witness to a charter by Richard de Bancori of land in Dumfriesshire in 1249. A few years later, "nine persons named 'le clerk,' rendered homage for their possessions, 1296." [1]CITATION[CLOSE]
Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)

The Clarks were not a full-fledged clan; rather they were probably a sept of the ecclesiastic Clan MacPherson, although the Camerons also show a tie with the Clarks and Clarksons. Even though Clerk or Clark was primarily a name given to those of a specific occupation, the Celtic Church of the north would undoubtedly have assumed an order that was very clan-like.

The Clarks would also have been amongst the most educated and wise people to have lived in Scotland, and as conveyors of the Christian faith their power and authority would have often matched that of chiefs. The Feudal System initiated by Ceanmore in southern Scotland, was more fully implemented by the Norman King David I, who often made abbots as powerful as Chiefs, granting them extensive tracts of land and power. Clarks, then, would have certainly held a special role of authority as individuals, if not as a clan.


Early History of the Clerke family


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clerke research.
Another 138 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1296, 1406, 1599, 1683, 1675, 1729, 1775, 1859, 1770, 1838 and are included under the topic Early Clerke History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clerke Spelling Variations


Spelling variations of this family name include: Clark, Clerk and others.

Early Notables of the Clerke family (pre 1700)


Notable amongst bearers of this family name during their early history was Richard Clark of Montrose, who became vice-admiral of Sweden in the 17th century; Sir James Clark, a physician to the King; Samuel Clarke (1599-1683), an English clergyman and significant Puritan biographer; Samuel Clarke...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clerke Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Clerke family to Ireland


Some of the Clerke family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 82 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Clerke family to the New World and Oceana


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clerke Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Richard Clerke, who landed in Virginia in 1646 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Robert Clerke, who landed in Virginia in 1650 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • William Clerke, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Joseph Clerke, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • Mary Clerke, who arrived in Virginia in 1652 [2]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Clerke Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Mr. Francis Clerke U.E. who settled in Eastern District [Cornwall], Ontario c. 1783 [3]CITATION[CLOSE]
    Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X

Contemporary Notables of the name Clerke (post 1700)



    Historic Events for the Clerke family



    HMS Prince of Wales

    • Mr. Arthur Roy Clerke, British Ordinary Seaman, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales and died in the sinking [4]CITATION[CLOSE]
      HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html

    The Clerke Motto


    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: In Deo speravi
    Motto Translation: In God have I trusted.


    Clerke Family Crest Products



    See Also



    Citations


    1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
    2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
    3. ^ Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
    4. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from http://www.forcez-survivors.org.uk/biographies/listprincecrew.html


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