Show ContentsClarque History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The name Clarque is Anglo-Saxon in origin. It was a name given to a person who concerned himself with matters of scholarly importance or of religious orders or as a secretary. The surname Clarque 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 Clarque family

The surname Clarque 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 Clarque family

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

Clarque Spelling Variations

Until the dictionary, an invention of only the last few hundred years, the English language lacked any comprehensive system of spelling rules. Consequently, spelling variations in names are frequently found in early Anglo-Saxon and later Anglo-Norman documents. One person's name was often spelled several different ways over a lifetime. The recorded variations of Clarque include Clark, Clerk and others.

Early Notables of the Clarque family (pre 1700)

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 Clarque Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clarque family to Ireland

Some of the Clarque 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.

Migration of the Clarque family

Thousands of English families boarded ships sailing to the New World in the hope of escaping the unrest found in England at this time. Although the search for opportunity and freedom from persecution abroad took the lives of many because of the cramped conditions and unsanitary nature of the vessels, the opportunity perceived in the growing colonies of North America beckoned. Many of the settlers who survived the journey went on to make important contributions to the transplanted cultures of their adopted countries. The Clarque were among these contributors, for they have been located in early North American records: Edward Clark and Joe Clark, who both settled in Virginia in 1635; as did Anne Clark in 1663; Henry Clark, who immigrated to Barbados in 1680; Donald Clark and his wife Barbara Grey, who came to Georgia in 1735 with their five children, Hugh Clark, who emigrated from Scotland to Georgia in 1757.

The Clarque 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) on Facebook