Show ContentsClews History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Clews comes from the family having resided in Cheshire in an area that was described by the Old English word as cloh, which means that the bearers of this surname lived near a ravine or hollow. It also could be described as the place that was set back from the town or village.

Early Origins of the Clews family

The surname Clews was first found in Yorkshire where the first record of the family was Willelmus de Clowe who was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379. [1]

Early History of the Clews family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clews research. Another 122 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1649, 1645, 1595, 1725, 1450, 1543, 1604, 1582, 1648, 1605 and 1616 are included under the topic Early Clews History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clews Spelling Variations

Clews has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Clowes, Clowe, Clows and others.

Early Notables of the Clews family (pre 1700)

Distinguished members of the family include William Clowes the Elder (c.1543-1604), an early English surgeon and author. He was the "son of Thomas and grandson of Nicholas Clowes, both of Kingsbury in Warwickshire, and great-grandson of Geffrey Clowes of Tutbury in Staffordshire, all of them gentlemen bearing tokens and arms of honour, helm, mantle, and...
Another 54 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clews Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Clews migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Clewss to arrive on North American shores:

Clews Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Samuel Clews, aged 27, who arrived in New York in 1800 [2]

Canada Clews migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Clews Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
  • Mr. Jonathan Clews U.E. who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783 [3]

Australia Clews migration to Australia +

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

Clews Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Mr. John Clews, English convict who was convicted in Chester, Cheshire, England for 7 years, transported aboard the "Camden" on 21st September 1832, arriving in New South Wales, Australia [4]
  • Mr. William Clews, English convict who was convicted in Worcester, Worcestershire, England for 15 years, transported aboard the "Egyptian" on 5th April 1839, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [5]

Contemporary Notables of the name Clews (post 1700) +

  • Henry Clews (1834-1923), English-born, American financier and author from Staffordshire who emigrated to the United States in 1853
  • Henry Clews Jr. (1876-1937), American-born artist who moved to France in 1914 in search of greater artistic freedom
  • Dan Clews, English singer/songwriter from Sevenoaks, Kent
  • Alan Clews, English founder of Clews Competition Machines, a British motorcycle manufacturer based in Bolton in 1971
  • Paul Gordon Clews (b. 1979), English speedway rider from Coventry
  • Hortense Daman Clews (1926-2006), born Hortense Daman, Belgium-born, Allied heroine of World War II, recipient of the Croix de Guerre, Order of Leopold II and Medal of the Armed Resistance 1940-1945
  • Charles "Charlie" Clews (1919-2009), Maltese-born, comic actor and script writer
  • Mark Lindsay Clews (b. 1952), former Australian cricketer

  1. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  2. 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)
  3. 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
  4. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 2nd December 2020). Retrieved from
  5. Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 26th January 2022). Retrieved from on Facebook