Show ContentsClore History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Clore is a name of ancient Norman origin. It arrived in England with the Norman Conquest of 1066. The Clore family lived in Suffolk. The family was originally from Clere, in Vexin, Normandy. The family de Clare were Norman lords who were descended from Richard fitz Gilbert, who accompanied William the Conqueror into England during the Norman Conquest. The family received huge estates including Clare, now a small town Suffolk; and Tonbridge, now a market town in Kent for their efforts. [1]

The parish of St. Cleer in Cornwall is an important location for the family. "The name of this parish is derived from a celebrated female saint called Clare, to whom the church is dedicated, and who is presumed to be its tutelar guardian. She was born of an honourable family in Italy, and having rendered herself famous for the austerity of her manners, she set up a college of virgins, which, after her name were called the order of the Poor Clares of St. Benedict, under the solemn vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity, according to the rule of St. Francis. St. Clare died in the year 1252, aged 70. Now by the death of St. Clare, St. Francis, and St. Benedict, says Hals, may be nearly computed the ages of those churches dedicated to them, and bearing their names in this county. From this parish was denominated an ancient family of gentlemen surnamed De St. Cleare, from whence are descended the St. Cleares of Tudwell, in Devonshire." [2]

Early Origins of the Clore family

The surname Clore was first found in Suffolk where "Richard de Clare (d. 1090) held no less than ninety-five lordships in Suffolk, all attached to his chief lordship of Clare in the same county. To this family we owe the name of an English town, an Irish county, royal dukedom (Clarence), and Cambridge college." [3]

Richard fitz Gilbert (d. 1114) was referred to as "Richard of Clare" in the Suffolk return of the Domesday Survey.

By the time of the Hundredorum Rolls of 1273, a branch of the family was found in Cambridgeshire as that rolls listed Alan filius Clare as holding lands there at that time. The same rolls also listed: Bogo de Clare in Oxfordshire; Gilbert de Clare in Bedfordshire; Richard de Clara in Somerset; Thomas de Clare in Lincolnshire; and William de Clare in Norfolk. [3]

In 1379, the Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls was complied and it listed the name as both a surname and a forename: Isabella Clare; Clara Dey; and Clare Schepard. [3]

Another source confirms the wide migration of the family by the 13th century: "Clare is an ancient Oxfordshire name. In feudal times the De Clares were a very powerful family in southern England. In the 13th century the name of De Clare or De Clar' was established in Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Somerset." [4]

Some of the family were found at Waldingham in Surrey in ancient times. "This place appears to be mentioned in Domesday Book under the appellation of Wallingham; it was held at the time of the survey under Richard de Clare, and lands here were possessed by the Clares for some time subsequently." [5] And another branch was found at Yeddingham in the East Riding of Yorkshire. "In 1163, Roger and Helwysia de Clere founded a priory here for nine nuns of the Benedictine order, dedicated to the Virgin Mary." [5]

Early History of the Clore family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clore research. Another 134 words (10 lines of text) covering the years 1172, 1793, 1864, 1100, 1148, 1130, 1176, 1153, 1217, 1172, 1220, 1577, 1628, 1677, 1604, 1605, 1618, 1416 and 1471 are included under the topic Early Clore History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clore Spelling Variations

Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Clair, Clare, Clere, O'Clear, O'Clair and others.

Early Notables of the Clore family (pre 1700)

Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1100-1148); Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (1130-1176); and Richard de Clare, 3rd Earl of Hertford (1153-1217.) Isabel de Clare, was the 4th Countess of Pembroke (1172-1220.) John Clare (1577-1628), was an English Jesuit, born...
Another 49 words (4 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clore Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Clore Ranking

In the United States, the name Clore is the 14,951st most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [6]

Ireland Migration of the Clore family to Ireland

Some of the Clore family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 73 words (5 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Clore migration to the United States +

To escape the political and religious persecution within England at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Clore or a variant listed above:

Clore Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Robert Clore, who landed in Virginia in 1695 [7]
Clore Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • James Clore, who arrived in New York, NY in 1812 [7]

Contemporary Notables of the name Clore (post 1700) +

  • Joel C. Clore, American Democratic Party politician, Postmaster at Cincinnati, Ohio, 1916-22 [8]
  • J. Alvis Clore (1892-1959), American Democratic Party politician, Mayor of Henderson, Kentucky, 1942-46; Member of Kentucky State House of Representatives 14th District, 1958-59 [8]
  • Frank C. Clore, American politician, Mayor of Milwaukie, Oregon, 1969; Resigned 1969 [8]

  1. The Norman People and Their Existing Descendants in the British Dominions and the United States Of America. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1975. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-0636-X)
  2. Hutchins, Fortescue, The History of Cornwall, from the Earliest Records and Traditions to the Present Time. London: William Penaluna, 1824. Print
  3. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  4. Guppy, Henry Brougham, Homes of Family Names in Great Britain. 1890. Print.
  5. Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  6. "What are the 5,000 Most Common Last Names in the U.S.?".,
  7. 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)
  8. The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2016, January 15) . Retrieved from on Facebook