Geneanet > Resources > Family Names > CLARK

Origin and popularity of the name CLARK


Clark : 1: English: from Middle English clerk clark ‘clerk cleric writer’ (Old French clerc; see Clerc). The original sense was ‘man in a religious order cleric clergyman’. As all writing and secretarial work in medieval Christian Europe was normally done by members of the clergy the term clerk came to mean ‘scholar secretary recorder or penman’ as well as ‘cleric’. As a surname it was particularly common for one who had taken only minor holy orders. In medieval Christian Europe clergy in minor orders were permitted to marry and so found families; thus the surname could become established.2: Irish (Westmeath Mayo): in Ireland the English surname was frequently adopted partly by translation for Ó Cléirigh; see Cleary.3: Americanized form of Dutch De Klerk or Flemish De Clerck or of variants of these names and possibly also of French Clerc. Compare Clerk 2 and De Clark.4: Americanized form of Italian Calarco.


Source : DAFN2 : Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, ©2022 by Patrick Hanks and Oxford University Press
FANBI : The Oxford Dictionary if Family Names in Britain and Ireland, ©2016, University of the West of England

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Last name frequency

Geographic distribution of the 457,967 individuals with the name CLARK on Geneanet.


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    Variants of name CLARK