Leclaire History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The surname Leclaire comes from the French word "clair", which means "bright," or "light". As such, the name was most likely originally a nickname for a cheerful individual, although some instances may have evolved from the personal name Claire.

Early Origins of the Leclaire family

The surname Leclaire was first found in Limousin, where this renowned family held a family seat from ancient times.

Very early on, the family established themselves in Périgord and Bordelais where they held lands and estates. Many members of this important family were recorded as participants in the French Revolution and in its resultant political forums.

Théodore François Joseph Leclaire was a member of the military who was promoted to the rank of Chief of Battalion of the 98th regiment in 1791, followed in 1793 by a promotion to Commander of Arms. He was also honoured by being admitted to the Legion of Honour.

Early History of the Leclaire family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Leclaire research. More information is included under the topic Early Leclaire History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leclaire Spelling Variations

Most surnames have experienced slight spelling changes. A son may not chose to spell his name the same way that his father did. Many were errors, many deliberate. During the early development of the French language, a person usually gave his version, phonetically, to a scribe, a priest, or a recorder. Prefixes or suffixes varied. They were optional as they passed through the centuries, or were adopted by different branches to signify either a political or religious adherence. Hence, there a many spelling variations of the name Leclaire, including Leclair, Leclaire, Leclaires, Leclère, Leclere, Leclères, Lecleres, Leclert, Lecler, le Clair, le Claire, le Claires, le Clère, le Clere, le Clères, le Clert, le Cler, Clair, Claire, Claires, Clère, Clere, Clères, Clert and many more.

Early Notables of the Leclaire family (pre 1700)

Another 35 words (2 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Leclaire Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Leclaire Ranking

In the United States, the name Leclaire is the 9,945th most popular surname with an estimated 2,487 people with that name. [1] However, in France, the name Leclaire is ranked the 1,739th most popular surname with an estimated 3,490 people with that name. [2]


United States Leclaire migration to the United States +

Immigration to New France was slow; therefore, early marriage was desperately encouraged amongst the immigrants. The fur trade attracted migrants, both noble and commoner. 15,000 explorers left Montreal in the late 17th and 18th centuries. By 1675, there were 7000 French in Quebec. By the same year the Acadian presence in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island had reached 500. In 1755, 10,000 French Acadians refused to take an oath of allegiance to England and were deported to Louisiana. The French founded Lower Canada, thus becoming one of the two great founding nations of Canada. The distinguished family name Leclaire has made significant contributions to the culture, arts, sciences and religion of France and New France. Amongst the settlers in North America with this distinguished name Leclaire were

Leclaire Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Jan LeClaire, who arrived in New Netherland(s) in 1662 [3]
Leclaire Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • William Leclaire, who arrived in Allegany (Allegheny) County, Pennsylvania in 1847 [3]
  • Mrs. Louis Leclaire, aged 19, who immigrated to the United States from Belgium, in 1892
  • Servais Leclaire, aged 27, who immigrated to America, in 1892
Leclaire Settlers in United States in the 20th Century
  • Mrs G. Leclaire, aged 36, who settled in America from London, in 1906
  • Germaine Leclaire, aged 22, who landed in America from Paris, France, in 1908
  • Marie Leclaire, aged 22, who settled in America from Fronege, France, in 1912
  • Maude LeClaire, aged 21, who immigrated to the United States, in 1914
  • Roy LeClaire, aged 36, who landed in America, in 1917
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Canada Leclaire migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Leclaire Settlers in Canada in the 20th Century
  • Gertrude Leclaire, aged 20, who settled in Dowan, Canada in 1913
  • Juliette Leclaire, aged 23, who immigrated to Dowan, Canada in 1913
  • Martha Leclaire, aged 26, who immigrated to Dowan, Canada in 1913

Contemporary Notables of the name Leclaire (post 1700) +

  • Day Leclaire, American author of more than forty romance novels
  • Joyce LeClaire, American Democratic Party politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Minnesota, 2004 [4]
  • Charles J. Leclaire, American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Killingly, 1906 [4]
  • Arthur J. LeClaire Jr., American Republican politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Hartford, 1948 [4]
  • Alferia Leclaire, American Democratic Party politician, Candidate for Connecticut State House of Representatives from Griswold, 1920 [4]
  • A. F. LeClaire, American politician, Member of South Dakota State Senate 36th District, 1901-02 [4]
  • Edme-Jean Leclaire (1801-1872), French economist and businessman, one of the first to develop an early system of employee profit-sharing
  • Théodore François Joseph Leclaire, French Brigadier General during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars from 1789 to 1815 [5]
  • Edme-Jean Leclaire (1801-1872), French economist and businessman
  • Antoine Le Claire (1797-1861), US Army interpreter, landowner in Scott County, Iowa, and Rock Island County, Illinois, businessman, philanthropist and principal founder of Davenport, Iowa
  • ... (Another 2 notables are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)


  1. ^ https://namecensus.com/most_common_surnames.htm
  2. ^ http://www.journaldesfemmes.com/nom-de-famille/nom/
  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. ^ The Political Graveyard: Alphabetical Name Index. (Retrieved 2015, November 9) . Retrieved from http://politicalgraveyard.com/alpha/index.html
  5. ^ Generals Who Served in the French Army during the Period 1789-1815. (Retrieved 2015, April 8) Théodore Leclaire. Retrieved from http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/c_frenchgenerals.html


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