Clare History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms 

The name Clare reached England in the great wave of migration following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Clare family lived in Suffolk. The family was originally from Clere, in Vexin, Normandy. The family de Clare were Norman lords who were descended from Richard fitz Gilbert, who accompanied William the Conqueror into England during the Norman Conquest. The family received huge estates including Clare, now a small town Suffolk; and Tonbridge, now a market town in Kent for their efforts. [1]

Early Origins of the Clare family

The surname Clare was first found in Suffolk where "Richard de Clare (d. 1090) held no less than ninety-five lordships in Suffolk, all attached to his chief lordship of Clare in the same county. To this family we owe the name of an English town, an Irish county, royal dukedom (Clarence), and Cambridge college." [2]

Richard fitz Gilbert (d. 1114) was referred to as "Richard of Clare" in the Suffolk return of the Domesday Survey.

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, a branch of the family was found in Cambridgeshire as that rolls listed Alan filius Clare as holding lands there at that time. The same rolls also listed: Bogo de Clare in Oxfordshire; Gilbert de Clare in Bedfordshire; Richard de Clara in Somerset; Thomas de Clare in Lincolnshire; and William de Clare in Norfolk. [2]

In 1379, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls was complied and it listed the name as both a surname and a forename: Isabella Clare; Clara Dey; and Clare Schepard. [2]

Another source confirms the wide migration os the family by the 13th century: "Clare is an ancient Oxfordshire name. In feudal times the De Clares were a very powerful family in southern England. In the 13th century the name of De Clare or De Clar' was established in Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Somerset." [3]

Some of the family were found at Waldingham in Surrey in ancient times. "This place appears to be mentioned in Domesday Book under the appellation of Wallingham; it was held at the time of the survey under Richard de Clare, and lands here were possessed by the Clares for some time subsequently." [4] And another branch was found at Yeddingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "In 1163, Roger and Helwysia de Clere founded a priory here for nine nuns of the Benedictine order, dedicated to the Virgin Mary." [4]

Important Dates for the Clare family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clare research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1793 and 1864 are included under the topic Early Clare History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clare Spelling Variations

Before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Sound was what guided spelling in the Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Clare family name include Clair, Clare, Clere, O'Clear, O'Clair and others.

Early Notables of the Clare family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Clare Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Clare family to Ireland

Some of the Clare family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clare migration to the United States

To escape the political and religious chaos of this era, thousands of English families began to migrate to the New World in search of land and freedom from religious and political persecution. The passage was expensive and the ships were dark, crowded, and unsafe; however, those who made the voyage safely were encountered opportunities that were not available to them in their homeland. Many of the families that reached the New World at this time went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations of the United States and Canada. Research into various historical records has revealed some of first members of the Clare family to immigrate North America:

Clare Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Tho Clare, who arrived in New England in 1634 [5]
  • Jo Clare, aged 26, who arrived in Barbados in 1634 [5]
  • John Clare, who settled in Virginia in 1651
  • Mark Clare, who arrived in Maryland in 1651-1658 [5]
  • Walter Clare, who arrived in Virginia in 1655 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Clare Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Francois Clare, who landed in Virginia in 1700 [5]
  • Katherine Clare, who landed in Virginia in 1701 [5]
  • George Clare, who landed in Mississippi in 1798 [5]
  • William Clare, who landed in Mississippi in 1798 [5]
Clare Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bartholomew Clare, aged 26, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1812 [5]
  • Michael Clare, who landed in New York, NY in 1817 [5]
  • Pierce Clare, aged 40, who arrived in Missouri in 1847 [5]
  • Nicholas Clare, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1848 [5]
  • Mr. Clare, who arrived in San Francisco, California in 1851 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Clare Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Henry Cristifer Clare, who arrived in Wisconsin in 1918 [5]

Clare migration to Canada

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clare Settlers in Canada in the 17th Century
  • Jean Clare, aged 35, who landed in Canada in 1642

Clare migration to Australia

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Clare Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Joseph Clare, aged Emma, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Somersetshire" in 1839 [6]
  • William Clare, aged 30, a carpenter, who arrived in South Australia in 1855 aboard the ship "Telegraph"

Clare migration to New Zealand

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Clare Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Clare, aged 33, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Comfort Clare, aged 31, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Maria Ann Clare, aged 16, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • George Clare, aged 13, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • Mary Ann Clare, aged 11, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Duchess of Argyle" in 1842
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Clare (post 1700)

  • Thomas "Tommy" Clare (1865-1929), English footballer
  • George William Burdett Clare (1889-1917), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • John Clare (1793-1864), English poet
  • Ina Clare (1933-2010), British actress, best known for her role as the background character Ina Foot in the BBC soap opera EastEnders
  • Dustin Clare, Australian actor winner of the Logie award
  • Mrs. Diana Clare Knox B.E.M.,, British recipient of the British Empire Medal on 8th June 2018, for services to the community in Wrotham, Kent [7]
  • Ms. Samantha Clare Whay-Jenkins M.B.E.,, British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to education and to the promotion of British business [7]
  • Miss Iona Clare Thomas O.B.E.,, British recipient of Officer of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to British foreign policy [7]
  • Ms. Rosamund Clare Hamilton C.B.E.,, British Director for North West, National Probation Service, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Probation and to Criminal Justice [8]
  • Prof. Julia Clare Buckingham C.B.E.,, British vice-Chancellor and President for Brunel University of London, was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to Biology and to Education [8]

Historic Events for the Clare family

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William Clare, British Assistant Steward from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [9]

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Citations

  1. ^ The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  3. ^ Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  4. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) SOMERSETSHIRE 1839. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1839Somersetshire.htm
  7. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62310, 31 October 2019 | London Gazette, The Gazette, June 2018, https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/62310/supplement/B1
  8. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  9. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from http://www.empress2014.ca/seclangen/listepsc1.html
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