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

Origins Available: English, German


The Anglo-Saxon name Cleek comes from when the family resided in the region of Clegg in Rochdale in the county of Lancashire. In some cases, this name was derived from the Gaelic MacLiagh, meaning "son of the physician." One source claims that the name was "Old Norse, kleggi, a compact mass. There was a Northman with this surname in the Landnamabok." [1]

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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 Cleek include Clegg, Clegge, Cleg, Claig, Claigg, Claige, Cleig, Cleigg, Clegges, Clegs, Cllege, Cleagg, Cleagge and many more.

First found in Lancashire where "almost all our Cleggs hail from Clegg, or Clegg Hall, in the parish of Rochdale." [2] "Clegg was the name of a very ancient family of Clegg Hall near Rochdale; but the estate passed out of the family by marriage in the reign of Edward VI. The name is common in the Rochdale registers of the 16th century, and it is still in the town." [3] Early rolls revealed: Nicholas de Clegg and Mathew de Clegg in Lancashire in 1360. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list: Ricardus de Cleghe and Henricus de Cloghe. Much later, the Wills of Chester list Thomas Clegg as a tanner in Middleton, Lancashire in 1581 and the same listing included Arthur Clegg, of Fieldhouse in the parish of Rochdale in 1608. [2]


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cleek research. Another 185 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1679, 1755 and are included under the topic Early Cleek History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 23 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cleek Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Some of the Cleek family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 169 words (12 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products.

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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:

Cleek Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Michael, Mathias, and Jacob Cleek, who came to America in 1732 (their brother Baltas Cleek died on route)

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  1. ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  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.

Other References

  1. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  2. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  3. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  4. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  5. Chadwick, Nora Kershaw and J.X.W.P Corcoran. The Celts. London: Penguin, 1790. Print. (ISBN 0140212116).
  6. Hitching, F.K and S. Hitching. References to English Surnames in 1601-1602. Walton On Thames: 1910. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0181-3).
  7. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  8. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  9. Hanks, Hodges, Mills and Room. The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002. Print. (ISBN 0-19-860561-7).
  10. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
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This page was last modified on 19 April 2016 at 09:18.

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