Show ContentsClarkin History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Clarkin finds its origins with the ancient Anglo-Saxons of England. It was given to one who worked as a person who concerned himself with matters of scholarly importance or of religious orders or as a secretary. The surname Clarkin originally derived from the Latin form clericus. Even today, the word and profession clerk is typically pronounced clark throughout the United Kingdom.

The name may have been Norman in origin, having descended from the name Le Clerc and generally means "a learned person-that is, one who could in old times read and write-accomplishments. " [1]

Indeed, the name was seen in early rolls in both Normandy and England. "Twenty of the name occur in 1198; of these, nine also occur in England 1199; and the families of the name generally seem to have had members in both countries." [2]

Early Origins of the Clarkin family

The surname Clarkin was first found in Hampshire where Richerius clericus was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. A few years later, Willelm le Clerec was listed in Somerset in 1100 and Reginald Clerc was listed in the Curia Rolls of Rutland in 1205. [3]

"Absent in Wales, and scarce in most of the counties on the Welsh border. Best represented in Buckinghamshire, Essex, Leicestershire, Rutlandshire, and Nottinghamshire. " [4]

"As a surname, Clarke appears frequently to have aliased some other appellative; for instance the Baronet family, Clarke of Salford, originally Woodchurch, from the parish of that name in Kent, soon after the Conquest became Clarkes (Le Clerc) in consequence of a marriage with an heiress, and the family for some generations wrote themselves "Woodchurch alias Le Clerc," and vice versa." [1]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 proved the widespread use of the name in both Latin and early English forms: Boniface Clericus, Lincolnshire; Thomas le Clerk, Lincolnshire; Batekyn Clericus, Essex; Gilbert le Clerk, Oxfordshire; and Tomas le Clerck, Buckinghamshire. [5]

Yet just over one hundred years later, the "Le" prefix was dropped and the Latin form of the name was deprecated as seen in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 which listed: Robertus Clarke; Beatrix Clerc; and Henricus Clerk. [5]

Early History of the Clarkin family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clarkin research. Another 76 words (5 lines of text) covering the years 1599, 1639, 1655, 1659, 1669, 1675, 1683, 1689, 1693, 1695, 1700, 1704, 1714, 1729, 1735 and 1890 are included under the topic Early Clarkin History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clarkin Spelling Variations

The English language only became standardized in the last few centuries; therefore, spelling variations are common among early Anglo-Saxon names. As the form of the English language changed, even the spelling of literate people's names evolved. Clarkin has been recorded under many different variations, including Clark, Clerk and others.

Early Notables of the Clarkin family

Distinguished members of the family include Sir James Clark, a physician to the King; Samuel Clarke (1599-1683), an English clergyman and significant Puritan biographer; William Clerk, LL.D...
Another 26 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clarkin Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clarkin family to Ireland

Some of the Clarkin family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 107 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Clarkin migration to the United States +

For many English families, the political and religious disarray that shrouded England made the far away New World an attractive prospect. On cramped disease-ridden ships, thousands migrated to those British colonies that would eventually become Canada and the United States. Those hardy settlers that survived the journey often went on to make important contributions to the emerging nations in which they landed. Analysis of immigration records indicates that some of the first North American immigrants bore the name Clarkin or a variant listed above:

Clarkin Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Bridt Clarkin, aged 20, who arrived in New York in 1854 [6]
  • Ellen Clarkin, aged 9, who arrived in New York in 1854 [6]
  • Elizabeth Clarkin, aged 20, who landed in New York in 1862 [6]

Canada Clarkin migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clarkin Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Ann Clarkin, aged 40, who arrived in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1834 aboard the brig "Betsy Heron" from Belfast, Ireland

New Zealand Clarkin 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:

Clarkin Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Mr. Owen Clarkin, (b. 1840), aged 34, Irish shepherd from Meath travelling from London aboard the ship "Tweed" arriving in Port Chalmers, Dunedin, Otago, South Island, New Zealand on 4th September 1874 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Clarkin (post 1700) +

  • Theresa C. Clarkin, American Democratic Party politician, Alternate Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Rhode Island, 1936 [8]
  • Robert J. Clarkin, American Republican politician, Candidate for Rhode Island State House of Representatives 18th District, 2002 [8]
  • Golda Clarkin, American Republican politician, Alternate Delegate to Republican National Convention from Colorado, 1960 [8]
  • Franklin Clarkin, American politician, U.S. Vice Consul in Harbin, 1919 [8]
  • John-Paul Clarkin (b. 1978), New Zealand polo player, son of Paul Clarkin
  • Paul Clarkin (1953-2004), New Zealand polo player
  • John Clarkin (b. 1872), Scottish footballer
  • Anthony "Tony" Michael Clarkin (b. 1946), British musician, best known as the guitarist of the rock band Magnum

The Clarkin 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: Fortitudo
Motto Translation: Fortitude.

  1. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  2. 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)
  3. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  6. 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)
  7. New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 26th March 2019). Retrieved from
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from on Facebook