Clemence History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Clemence name is an important part of the history of the ancient Anglo-Saxon tribes of Britain. Clemence is derived from the given name Clement which means the son of Clement. The name is from Latin origin and applies to a mild or merciful individual. It gained popularity in Medieval Europe when it was borne by an early saint who was a disciple of St. Paul, and later when the name was used by several early popes.

Early Origins of the Clemence family

The surname Clemence was first found in Brecknock, in the Welsh princedom of Powys, located in the border country between Wales and England. A bearer of Clement is said to have arrived in the Norman Conquest of England with Bernard Newmarche. Together they later fought in Brecon where they conquered the Lordship of Caron; after this battle Clement was given land at Llangorse Lake and at Cathedine.

There is a record of a grant of these lands to Geoffrey Clement made at Westminster by Edward 1 on the 10th February 1290. There has also long been a family of this name in Oxfordshire, where record of the Knights Templar show William and Richard Clement in 1153, and Robertus Clemens in 1155. [1]

The name was "enormously popular in the 13th century. Hence as a surname itself and its variants will be immortalized in our directories." [2]

The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 included: Eustace filius Clement, Oxfordshire; Hugh Clement, Cambridgeshire; Richard Clemence, Huntingdonshire; Matthew Clemens, Oxfordshire; Peter filius Clement, Salop (Shropshire); and Clemens Janitor, Norfolk. [2]

Later the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 listed: Clemens Alius Elenoe; Johannes Clement; and Petrus Clementson as all holding lands as that time. [2]

Early History of the Clemence family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clemence research. Another 166 words (12 lines of text) covering the years 1162, 1210, 1233, 1273, 1379, 1489, 1685, 1742, 1258, 1594, 1660, 1660, 1508, 1570, 1508, 1572, 1626, 1797 and are included under the topic Early Clemence History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clemence Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Clemence were recorded, including Clements, Clement, Clemens, Climer and others.

Early Notables of the Clemence family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Clement of Dunblane (d. 1258), a Dominican friar, and close associate of King Alexander II of Scotland, who was made Bishop of Dunblane; and Gregory Clement (1594-1660), an English Member of Parliament (MP) and one of the regicides of King Charles I, he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Charing Cross on 17 October 1660. Margaret Clements or Clement (1508-1570), was a learned lady, whose maiden name was...
Another 74 words (5 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clemence Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clemence family to Ireland

Some of the Clemence family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 123 words (9 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Clemence migration to the United States +

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Clemence family emigrate to North America:

Clemence Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Clemence, who arrived in Massachusetts in 1642 [3]
  • William Clemence, who arrived in Virginia in 1657 [3]
  • Ambrose Clemence, who landed in Maryland in 1665 [3]
  • George Clemence, who arrived in Maryland in 1666 [3]
Clemence Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • Nicholas Clemence, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1748 [3]
Clemence Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Clemence, who landed in New York in 1837 [3]

Canada Clemence migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clemence Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Mr. William Clemence, (b. 1811), aged 44, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [4]
  • Mrs. Caroline Clemence, (b. 1811), aged 44, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she survived the sinking [4]
  • Miss Mary A. Clemence, (b. 1834), aged 21, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she survived the sinking [4]
  • Miss Caroline Clemence, (b. 1838), aged 17, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, she survived the sinking [4]
  • Mr. Elizabeth Clemence, (b. 1842), aged 13, Cornish settler, from Wadebridge, Cornwall, UK departing from Falmouth destined for Quebec, Canada aboard the ship "Barque John" on 3rd May 1855 which sank after striking the reef, he survived the sinking [4]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)
Clemence Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Mr. Charles George Clemence, (b. 1882), aged 23, Cornish carpenter travelling aboard the ship "New York" arriving at Ellis Island, New York on 9th May 1905 en route to Toronto, Ontario, Canada [5]

Australia Clemence migration to Australia +

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

Clemence Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • George Clemence, aged 25, who arrived in South Australia in 1854 aboard the ship "Lord Raglan" [6]

Contemporary Notables of the name Clemence (post 1700) +

  • Gerald Maurice Clemence (1908-1974), American astronomer
  • Stephen Neal Clemence (b. 1978), retired English football midfielder
  • Raymond Neal "Ray" Clemence MBE (b. 1948), retired English football goalkeeper
  • Mrs. Jayne Anne Clemence M.B.E., British recipient of Member of the Order of the British Empire on 8th June 2018, for services to the Magistracy and to the community in Colebrook, Devon [7]
  • Joseph Clemence Arts (1878-1935), American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 1912 [8]
  • Clemence Dane (1891-1965), pseudonym of Winifred Ashton, English novelist and playwright


  1. ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  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. ^ 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. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/wreck_of_emigrant_ship_john_1855.pdf
  5. ^ Cornwall Online Parish Clerks. (Retrieved 3rd May 2018). Retrieved from http://www.opc-cornwall.org/Resc/pdfs/emigration_ellis_island_1892_on.pdf
  6. ^ South Australian Register Wednesday 25th October 1854. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) Lord Raglan 1854. Retrieved http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/australia/lordraglan1854.shtml
  7. ^ "Birthday and New Year Honours Lists (1940 to 2019)." Issue 62507, 28 December 2018 | London Gazette, The Gazette, Dec. 2018, www.thegazette.co.uk/honours-lists
  8. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, October 2) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html


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