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


The Clegg name has descended through the generations from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture. Their name comes from having lived 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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The surname Clegg was 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]

Only recently has spelling become standardized in the English language. As the English language evolved in the Middle Ages, the spelling of names changed also. The name Clegg has undergone many spelling variations, including Clegg, Clegge, Cleg, Claig, Claigg, Claige, Cleig, Cleigg, Clegges, Clegs, Cllege, Cleagg, Cleagge and many more.


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

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Some of the Clegg 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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To escape the unstable social climate in England of this time, many families boarded ships for the New World with the hope of finding land, opportunity, and greater religious and political freedom. Although the voyages were expensive, crowded, and difficult, those families that arrived often found greater opportunities and freedoms than they could have experienced at home. Many of those families went on to make significant contributions to the rapidly developing colonies in which they settled. Early North American records indicate many people bearing the name Clegg were among those contributors:

Clegg Settlers in United States in the 17th Century


  • John Clegg who settled at Pennaquid, Maine in the year 1687

Clegg Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Edward Clegg, who arrived in Virginia in 1703

Clegg Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Benjamin Clegg, aged 22, landed in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • Benjamin, and George Clegg settled in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • George Clegg, aged 26, arrived in Baltimore, Maryland in 1804
  • Joseph Clegg, who landed in New York, NY in 1816
  • Hannah Clegg, who arrived in New York, NY in 1847


Clegg Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century


  • Thomas Clegg, English convict from York, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on September 21, 1826, settling in New South Wales, Australia
  • Richard Clegg, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
  • Alice Clegg, aged 23, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"
  • Elizabeth Clegg, aged 43, a servant, arrived in South Australia in 1858 aboard the ship "Sir Thomas Gresham"

Clegg Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century


  • Lewis Clegg, aged 27, a joiner, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • Isabella Clegg, aged 25, arrived in Hawkes Bay aboard the ship "Hudson" in 1879
  • Alexander Clegg, aged 30, a watchmaker, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884
  • Elizabeth Clegg, aged 28, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884
  • Elizabeth Clegg, aged 6, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Rangitikei" in 1884


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  • Douglas Clegg (b. 1958), American horror and dark fantasy author
  • Charles M Clegg Jr. (1916-1979), American author, photographer, and railroad historian
  • Michael Jamie Clegg (b. 1977), English former professional footballer whop played from 1995 to 2004
  • Sir John Charles Clegg (1850-1937), English footballer and later Chairman and President of the Football Association
  • Henry Clegg (1850-1920), English first-class cricketer who played six matches for Yorkshire County Cricket Club in 1881
  • Donald "Don" Clegg (1921-2005), English footballer who played from 1946 to 1951
  • Brian Clegg (b. 1955), English science writer
  • Sir Alexander Bradshaw "Alec" Clegg (1909-1986), English Chief Education Officer of the West Riding of Yorkshire County Council from 1945 to 1974
  • Sir William Clegg (1852-1932), English footballer and politician, Lord Mayor of Sheffield in 1898
  • John Clegg (b. 1934), English actor, known for his work on Bridget Jones's Diary (2001), It Ain't Half Hot Mum (1974) and A Merry War (1997)

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  • The Cleggs of Old Chatham by W. Harold Broughton.
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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: Qui potest capere capiat
Motto Translation: Let him take who can take.

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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. Library of Congress. American and English Genealogies in the Library of Congress. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1967. Print.
  2. Weis, Frederick Lewis, Walter Lee Sheppard and David Faris. Ancestral Roots of Sixty Colonists Who Came to New England Between 1623 and 1650 7th Edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0806313676).
  3. Le Patourel, John. The Norman Empire. New York: Oxford University Press, 1976. Print. (ISBN 0-19-822525-3).
  4. Colletta, John P. They Came In Ships. Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1993. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Bowman, George Ernest. The Mayflower Reader A Selection of Articales from The Mayflower Descendent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  7. Crispin, M. Jackson and Leonce Mary. Falaise Roll Recording Prominent Companions of William Duke of Normandy at the Conquest of England. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  8. Dunkling, Leslie. Dictionary of Surnames. Toronto: Collins, 1998. Print. (ISBN 0004720598).
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Holt, J.C. Ed. Domesday Studies. Woodbridge: Boydell, 1987. Print. (ISBN 0-85115-477-8).
  11. ...

The Clegg Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clegg Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

This page was last modified on 19 April 2016 at 09:18.

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