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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016

Origins Available: English, Scottish


The age-old Hebrides islands and the west coast of Scotland are the ancestral home of the Clardy family. Their name comes from the personal name Leod. The Gaelic form of the surname is Mac Leoid, which means son of Leod, son of Olaf the Black, King of Man and the Northern Isles. Olaf was from a dynasty of Norse Kings, who, for centuries held the Isles. They were in turn descended from King Halfdan the Stingy, a King who was reputed to be descended from the god Frey. Leod held the island of Lewis, the mainland Glenelg and part of Skye in about 1195 AD. It was his two sons who founded the two great branches of the Siol Tormod and the Siol Torquil.

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Medieval spelling was at best an intuitive process, and translation between Gaelic and English was no more effective. These factors caused an enormous number of spelling variations in Dalriadan names. In fact, it was not uncommon to see a father and son who spelled their name differently. Over the years, Clardy has been spelled MacLeod, MacCleod, MacCloud, MacLoud and many more.

First found in on the Isle of Lewis (Scottish Gaelic: Ledhas), where the Siol Tormod branch held the territories of Harris, Glenelg and Dunvegan Castle in Skye; while the Siol Torquil branch held Assynt and Cadboll, and the Island of Ramasay. There were no title deeds for these territories as they had been considered possessions of Norway. Yet when King Haakon asserted his authority over the lands in 1263 King Alexander resisted. Although the Scottish King Alexander signed the Treaty of Perth allowing payment of rent to Norway for all these lands, it was never paid and the whole of the western Isles became Scottish possessions.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clardy research. Another 515 words (37 lines of text) covering the years 1314, 1597, 1613, 1715, 1745, and 1777 are included under the topic Early Clardy History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 75 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clardy Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Scottish settlers arrived in many of the communities that became the backbones of the United States and Canada. Many stayed, but some headed west for the endless open country of the prairies. In the American War of Independence, many Scots who remained loyal to England re-settled in Canada as United Empire Loyalists. Scots across North America were able to recover much of their lost heritage in the 20th century as Clan societies and highland games sprang up across North America. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Clardys to arrive on North American shores:

Clardy Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Mrs. Y. Clardy, aged 45, who emigrated to America, in 1909
  • George D. Clardy, aged 28, who emigrated to the United States, in 1914
  • Maria Clardy, aged 32, who landed in America from Moyle, Co Carlow, Ireland, in 1916

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  • Herman Stacy Clardy III, United States Marine Corps major general
  • Jon Clardy (b. 1943), American professor of biological chemistry and molecular pharmacology at Harvard Medical School
  • Martin Linn Clardy (1844-1914), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri (1879-1883) and (1883-1889)
  • John Daniel Clardy (1828-1918), American politician, Member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1895-1899)
  • Travis P. Clardy, American politician, Texas State Representative from District 11 (2012-)
  • Martin Linn Clardy (1844-1914), American politician, lawyer and railroad executive
  • Kit Francis Clardy (1892-1961), American politician from the state of Michigan and staunch anti-communist


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  1. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Scotch Irish Pioneers In Ulster and America. Montana: Kessinger Publishing. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Innes, Thomas and Learney. Socts Heraldry A Practical Handbook on the Historical Principles and Modern Application of the Art of Science. London: Oliver and Boyd, 1934. Print.
  4. Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Landed Gentry Including American Families with British Ancestry 2 Volumes. London: Burke Publishing, 1939. Print.
  5. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  6. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  7. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Catholic Directory For Scotland. Glasgow: Burns Publications. Print.
  9. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  10. Skene, William Forbes Edition. Chronicles of the Picts, Chronicles of the Scots and Other Early Memorials of Scottish History. Edinburgh: H.M. General Register House, 1867. Print.
  11. ...

The Clardy Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clardy 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 13 November 2013 at 15:33.

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