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Clan Clark


The name means a man of a religious order, and later a scholar. Clan Clerich, or Clark, was one of the old 17 tribes of Clan Chattan. Ulva was the original home of Clan MacQuarrie. In about 1850 Francis William Clark, an Argyll landowner, built an impressive modern seat on the island, near the abandoned house of the 16th Chief.

Thanks to James Pringle Weavers for the following information

CLARK, CLERK etc: These names evolved largely from the Latin clericus, a term which had almost universal usage describing a person in holy orders, a scholar or a scribe. From the custom of identifying a person by his first name and occupation the name proliferated, but only after 1400 did it become an inherited family name. When translated into Gaelic it becomes Chleirich, resulting in Mac a'Chleirich - son of the clerk (surviving mainly in McCleary, or MacChlery, often anglicised to Clarkson). Families of Clarks/Clerks attached themselves to several clans, first no doubt, as men-of-business to the chiefs. The Clan Cameron in Lochaber, and the Clans Mackintosh and MacPherson in the Confederation of Clan Chattan in and around Badenoch all recognise them as septs. In the latter kindred the Clarks of Clan Chlerich are said to trace descent from Gillemichael vic Chleric, the personal servant of Malcolm, 10th Chief of Mackintosh during the 15th century. At Durness in Sutherland a family named Clarke can be traced to the 17th century. Richard Clark, a native of Montrose in Angus, became vice-admiral of Sweden in 1623, and a Hans Clerck (of a different family) rose to be an admiral in the same service, - the name still exists in Sweden and Finland in the form Klerck. In 1783, the exploration and settlement of the lands north-west of Ohio in the USA, was carried out by a a Scot, George Rogers Clark. Through the widespread use of charter Latin it must be appreciated that the occupation which gave begat the name was widespread and this undoubtedly gave rise to many other lines of Clarks, Clerks, Klercks etc., and so, unless a definitive ancestral links can be traced to Scotland, such ancestry should not be claimed on evidence of name alone. Furthermore, unless ancestral links can be traced to lands associated with the above named clans it is not appropriate to claim a septual kinship. It is also possible that many had long association with other clans, such also being determined by the residence of one's forebears. With respect to Clarkson, it has a long tradition of widespread use in Scotland. 

TARTANS: Clark - a modern variant of the 'Clergy tartan', or, if links can be traced to Lochaber or Badenoch, such patterns as are associated with Clans Cameron and Chattan - or that of any other clan to which links can be traced.


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