Clarkson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Clarkson has a rich and ancient history. It is an Anglo-Saxon name that was originally derived from the popular family name Clark, and means the son of Clark. The surname also has an occupational origin and was likely derived from the trade or profession of the original bearer. In this case the surname denotes that the bearer was a clerical worker or a clergyman who was employed in religious institutions to write books from old documents. The bearers of this surname were handed high status in the community because of their ability to read and write. One must remember that during the Middle Ages most of the population was quite illiterate by today's standards.

Early Origins of the Clarkson family

The surname Clarkson was first found in Yorkshire where it is "a well-known Yorkshire surname, which has spread over the North of England." [1]

The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Johannes Clerke and Thomas Clerkson, father and son; Ricardus Clerkson; Wilielmus Klereson; and Alicia Clerkson. [1]

By the early 15th century, the name appeared in Scotland. "Thomas Clerkson de Aldane was a forestaller in Aberdeen in 1402. Simon Clerici (Latin) witnessed an instrument of resignation in Brechin in 1434, and a booth was set to Besse Clerkson in Lanark in 1488." [2]

Early History of the Clarkson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clarkson research. Another 167 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1300, 1500, 1500, 1501, 1513, 1531, 1504, 1567, 1649, 1685, 1622, 1686, 1622, 1697, 1763, 1716, 1721, 1615 and 1667 are included under the topic Early Clarkson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clarkson Spelling Variations

Before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago, spelling variations of names were a common occurrence. Elements of Latin, French and other languages became incorporated into English through the Middle Ages, and name spellings changed even among the literate. The variations of the surname Clarkson include Clarkson, Clarksone, Clerkson and others.

Early Notables of the Clarkson family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Agnes Clarkson who in the 'Test' in lowland Scotland refused to acknowledge the King or his church and was hanged for Witchcraft. David Clarkson (1622-1686), was an ejected minister, son of Robert Clarkson, was born at Bradford...
Another 44 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clarkson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clarkson family to Ireland

Some of the Clarkson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Clarkson migration to the United States +

A great wave of immigration to the New World was the result of the enormous political and religious disarray that struck England at that time. Families left for the New World in extremely large numbers. The long journey was the end of many immigrants and many more arrived sick and starving. Still, those who made it were rewarded with an opportunity far greater than they had known at home in England. These emigrant families went on to make significant contributions to these emerging colonies in which they settled. Some of the first North American settlers carried this name or one of its variants:

Clarkson Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Anne Clarkson who settled in Virginia in 1638 with Jane, her sister
  • Ann Clarkson, who arrived in Virginia in 1638 [3]
  • Jane Clarkson, who landed in Virginia in 1638 [3]
  • Edward Clarkson, who arrived in Maryland in 1652 [3]
  • James Clarkson, who landed in Maryland in 1679 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Clarkson Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Robert Clarkson, who landed in Virginia in 1719 [3]
Clarkson Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Mary Rutherford Clarkson, who landed in New York in 1801 [3]
  • George Clarkson, who arrived in New York in 1833 [3]
  • William Clarkson, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1842 [3]
  • Alexander Clarkson, who landed in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1843 [3]
  • Francis Clarkson, who landed in New York, NY in 1844 [3]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Clarkson migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clarkson Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Charles Clarkson, who arrived in Fort Cumberland Nova Scotia in 1774
  • Charles Clarkson, aged 19, who landed in Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia in 1774
Clarkson Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • William Clarkson, who landed in Canada in 1816
  • John Clarkson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1848
  • Mrs. Clarkson, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1848

Australia Clarkson migration to Australia +

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

Clarkson Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Robert Clarkson, English convict from Oxford, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 29, 1828, settling in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Henry Clarkson, aged 15, who arrived in South Australia in 1849 aboard the ship "Marion" [5]
  • Henry Clarkson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [6]
  • Mary Ann Clarkson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [6]
  • Jane Clarkson, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Calphurnia" in 1849 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Clarkson 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:

Clarkson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • William Clarkson, aged 34, a farmer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Sarah Clarkson, aged 26, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Elizabeth Clarkson, aged 6, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • George Clarkson, aged 5, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • Ann Clarkson, aged 4, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Bolton" in 1840
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Clarkson (post 1700) +

  • Thaddeus S. Clarkson, American Republican politician, Postmaster at Omaha, Nebraska, 1890-95 [7]
  • Samuel James Clarkson (b. 1925), American Democrat politician, Member of Michigan State House of Representatives from Oakland County 4th District, 1959-60; Defeated, 1952, 1956, 1960; Mayor of Southfield, Michigan, 1961-67 [7]
  • Rufus Clarkson, American politician, Member of New York State Assembly from New York County, 1789-90 [7]
  • Robert L. Clarkson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Connecticut, 1892 [7]
  • Paul Clarkson, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from South Carolina, 1972 [7]
  • Matthew Clarkson (1733-1800), American politician, Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1792-96 [7]
  • Matthew Clarkson (1758-1825), American politician, Member of New York State Senate Southern District, 1793-95 [7]
  • James S. Clarkson (1842-1918), American Republican politician, Iowa Republican State Chair, 1869-71; Postmaster at Des Moines, Iowa, 1871-79; Member of Republican National Committee from Iowa, 1880-96 [7]
  • J. T. Clarkson, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1924 [7]
  • J. B. Clarkson, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 53rd District, 1931-32 [7]
  • ... (Another 25 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. ^ 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)
  3. ^ 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)
  4. ^ State Library of Queensland. (Retrieved 2014, November 24) Albion voyage to New South Wales, Australia in 1828 with 192 passengers. Retrieved from http://www.convictrecords.com.au/ships/albion/1828
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The MARION 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Marion.htm
  6. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) The CALPHURNIA 1849. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1849Calpurnia.htm
  7. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 29) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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