This name has the same remote origins in Ireland, England and Scotland. The Latin word clericus originally meant clergyman and then came to mean clerk or scholar. In Irish, the word clé was anglicised in translation to Clarke. Until the end of the 19th century, the names Cleary and Clarke were interchangeable in some parts of the country. The O’Clery name was originally found in County Galway and later became widespread in counties Donegal and Derry.
The Clarkes were noted as poets and antiquarians. The most famous person to hold the name was Austin Clarke (1896-1974), one of Ireland’s most outstanding poets. In bordeaux, Château Clarke, a leading vineyard in the region, was developed by Luc Tobie Clarke, a great grandson of James Clarke, who was an alderman of Dublin City in 1688. Harry Clarke was one of the most renowned Irish artists in stained glass in the 20th century. His work can be seen in innumerable churches and convents around Ireland and in Bewley’s cafe in Grafton Street, Dublin.
The Clark surname is an occupational name for cleric, clerk, or scholar – one who can read and write, from the Old English cler(e)c, meaning “priest.”. Also from the Gaelic Mac a’ Chlerich/Cleireach”; son of the cleric or, sometimes, clerk. During the Middle Ages, the common pronunciation of -er was -ar, so the man who sold items was the marchant, and the man who kept the books was the clark. At the time, the primary members of the literate class were the clergy, which in minor orders were allow to marry and have families. The term clerk (clark) eventually came to designate any literate man.
The Cleary / O’Clery surname, one of the oldest surnames in Ireland, is often anglicized to Clarke or Clark.Clark is the 25th most popular surname in the United States and the 34th most common in England. Clarke, with an “e,” is actually more common in England – coming in as the 23rd most popular surname. It is also a very common name in Scotland (14th) and Ireland