Clere History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The name Clere reached English shores for the first time with the ancestors of the Clere family as they migrated following the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Clere family lived in Suffolk. Some say the family was originally from Clere, in Vexin, Normandy, and that it is from this location that their surname derives.
Early Origins of the Clere family
The surname Clere was first found in Suffolk where they held a family seat from very early times and were granted lands, before any of the name made their way to Ireland. They were directly descended from Gilbert Crispin whose son Richard Fitzgilbert was the first settler in England, they enjoy the same ancestors as King William Duke of Normandy. One of Fitzgilbert's descendants was Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, known as " Strongbow," who took his surname from his estate in Suffolk. He left Clair Castle in Suffolk with an army of 2,000 Norman nobles and invaded Ireland in 1172, taking many of his family with him.
Early History of the Clere family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clere research. Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clere History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Clere Spelling Variations
Spelling variations of this family name include: Clair, Clare, Clere, O'Clear, O'Clair and others.
Early Notables of the Clere family (pre 1700)
More information is included under the topic Early Clere Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clere family to Ireland
Some of the Clere family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Clere family
Some of the first settlers of this family name or some of its variants were: Nicholas Clare who settled in Barbados in 1678 with his wife and son; John Clare settled in Virginia in 1651; another John settled in Pennsylvania in 1682.
Related Stories +
The Clere 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: Virtute non verbis
Motto Translation: Deeds not words