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Last name origins & meanings:

  1. Irish and English: habitational name from Clare in Suffolk (probably named with a Celtic river name meaning ‘bright’, ‘gentle’, or ‘warm’). One of the first Normans in Ireland (1170–72) was Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, better known as ‘Strongbow’, who took his surname from his estate in Suffolk.
  2. English: habitational name from Clare in Oxfordshire, named with Old English clǣg ‘clay’ + ōra ‘slope’.
  3. English: from the Middle English, Old French female personal name Cla(i)re (Latin Clara, from clarus ‘famous’), which achieved some popularity, greater on the Continent than in England, through the fame of St. Clare of Assisi. See also Sinclair.
  4. English: occupational name for a worker in clay, for example someone expert in building in wattle and daub, from Middle English clayere, an agent derivative of Old English clǣg ‘clay’.
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