Origin of the Cleary Clan Name


Cleary comes from the Irish name Ó Clerigh which means grandson of the scribe. The surname is derived from Cléireach from Connacht who was born in c 820; he was apparently a kinsman of Guaire who was the King of Connacht. The root of the surname is also anglicised as Clarke. Up to the beginning of this century the two names were still interchangeable in parts of the country.

Cleary clan name

Cleary’s originated from County Galway in the province of Connacht, the family were broken up in the 13th century and settled throughout Ireland settling mainly in Derry and Donegal where they became famous poets. Cleary or Clarke is one of the oldest surnames recorded in Irish History.

Two famous bearers of the name were Julie Cleary and Desiree Cleary who lived in the early 17th century and early 18th century, they were daughters of an Irish merchant who later when on to become Queen of Spain and Sweden under the Napoleon.

Variations of the name include Clery, Clark, Clarke, Clery, Claree, Clarey, O’Clery, Macchlery and Clerkin among many more.