Show ContentsClench History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The ancestry of the name Clench dates from the ancient Anglo-Saxon culture of Britain. It comes from when the family lived close to a low hill. The surname Clench originally derived from the Old English word Clenc which meant lump.

Early Origins of the Clench family

The surname Clench was first found in Wiltshire, at a hamlet named Clinch and/or Clinch Common in the Vale of Pewsey to the east of Wootton Rivers, near Marlborough. [1]

We find the first record of the family here in Wiltshire in Hundredorum Rolls of 1273. John de la Clenche held lands there at that time. The same rolls included Seman Clenche, Suffolk and Richard Clenche, Suffolk. [2]

"The family of Clinch, now best represented in and around Sittingbourne, [Kent] resided in Hernehill in this county during the 17th century, where the name still remains." [3]

Early History of the Clench family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clench research. Another 90 words (6 lines of text) covering the years 1223, 1273, 1327, 1332, 1584, 1582, 1593, 1607, 1692, 1680, 1692, 1692, 1305, 1172, 1603, 1600, 1743, 1770 and 1834 are included under the topic Early Clench History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clench Spelling Variations

Spelling variations in names were a common occurrence before English spelling was standardized a few hundred years ago. In the Middle Ages, even the literate spelled their names differently as the English language incorporated elements of French, Latin, and other European languages. Many variations of the name Clench have been found, including Clinch, Clench, Clinche, Clenche, Clynch and others.

Early Notables of the Clench family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Hugh Clinche, a prominent landholder in 13th century Lincolnshire. John Clench (d. 1607), was an English judge, son of John Clench of Wetherefield, Essex, by Joan, daughter of John Amias of the same county, and grandson of John Clench of Leeds, Yorkshire. [4] Andrew Clench, M.D. (died 1692), was an English physician, Fellow of the Royal Society in 1680; he was murdered by a swindler named Henry Harrison who his mistress had lent money. He...
Another 81 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clench Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Clench family to Ireland

Some of the Clench family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 235 words (17 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Clench migration to the United States +

Families began migrating abroad in enormous numbers because of the political and religious discontent in England. Often faced with persecution and starvation in England, the possibilities of the New World attracted many English people. Although the ocean trips took many lives, those who did get to North America were instrumental in building the necessary groundwork for what would become for new powerful nations. Some of the first immigrants to cross the Atlantic and come to North America bore the name Clench, or a variant listed above:

Clench Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • John Clench, aged 24, who landed in Massachusetts in 1812 [5]

Canada Clench migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clench Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Ralfe Clench U.E. who settled in Canada c. 1783 [6]
Clench Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Freeman S Clench, who arrived in Canada in 1828

Australia Clench migration to Australia +

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

Clench Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • J.C. Clench, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Navarino" in 1849 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Clench (post 1700) +

  • William James "Bill" Clench (1897-1984), American malacologist, professor at Harvard University
  • Jim Clench (1949-2010), Canadian member of the bands April Wine and Bachman-Turner Overdrive
  • Ralfe Clench (1762-1828), Canadian farmer, judge and political figure in Upper Canada

RMS Titanic
  • George James Clench (1881-1912), Mr. George James Clench, aged 31, able seaman from Southampton, England who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and died in the sinking
  • Mr. Frederick Charles Clench (1878-1930), aged 34, English Able Seaman from Southampton, Hampshire who worked aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 12 [8]

  1. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, 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.
  4. Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print
  5. 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)
  6. Rubincam, Milton. The Old United Empire Loyalists List. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, 1976. (Originally published as; United Empire Loyalists. The Centennial of the Settlement of Upper Canada. Rose Publishing Company, 1885.) ISBN 0-8063-0331-X
  7. State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) NAVARINO 1849. Retrieved from
  8. Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from on Facebook