History of your Surname
Get access to Clare family records.Start a free trial

Clare Family History

Clare Name Meaning

Irish (Clare Wicklow and Wexford): habitational name from Clare in Suffolk (an eastern county of England) the center of a major Norman baronial estate since the Norman Conquest. The English placename probably originated as a Celtic river name meaning ‘bright gentle or warm’. The surname is not from the Irish county name Clare which is either from the surname or from a place called with Gaelic clár ‘plank bridge’. Another Norman surname in the southeast of Ireland was de Clere from Clères in Seine-Maritime (France) named from the local river. English and French: from the Middle English Old French female personal name Cla(i)re (from Latin Clara from clarus ‘clear bright famous’) which achieved some popularity greater elsewhere in Europe than in England through the fame of Saint Clare of Assisi (see Chiara ). The English surname seems to have been interchangeable with Clear English: occupational name from an agent derivative of Middle English cley ‘clay’. The work of medieval clayers involved plastering a framework of interwoven twigs with mud to produce wattle-and-daub work. Americanized form of German Kler and probably also of French Clair or Claire .

Source: Dictionary of American Family Names 2nd edition, 2022

Similar surnames: Claire, Clark, Blake, Care, Lake, Clary, Place, Large, Claro, Clara

Search for a relative to learn more about your family history.

Hint: Try searching for a relative alive in 1940.

Black & white image of a young woman scientist

Where is the Clare family from?

You can see how Clare families moved over time by selecting different census years. The Clare family name was found in the USA, the UK, Canada, and Scotland between 1840 and 1920. The most Clare families were found in United Kingdom in 1891. In 1840 there were 10 Clare families living in Pennsylvania. This was about 29% of all the recorded Clare's in USA. Pennsylvania had the highest population of Clare families in 1840.
Use census records and voter lists to see where families with the Clare surname lived. Within census records, you can often find information like name of household members, ages, birthplaces, residences, and occupations.

What did your Clare ancestors do for a living?

In 1940, Laborer and Teacher were the top reported jobs for men and women in the USA named Clare. 13% of Clare men worked as a Laborer and 11% of Clare women worked as a Teacher. Some less common occupations for Americans named Clare were Clerk and Clerk. .

View Census Data for Clare | Data not to scale

*We display top occupations by gender to maintain their historical accuracy during times when men and women often performed different jobs.

Top Male Occupations In 1940

  • Laborer
  • Farmer
  • Salesman
  • Clerk

Top Female Occupations In 1940

  • Teacher
  • Stenographer
  • Bookkeeper
  • Clerk
Black & white image of two construction labourers

What Clare family records will you find?

Census Records

There are 140,000 census records available for the last name Clare. Like a window into their day-to-day life, Clare census records can tell you where and how your ancestors worked, their level of education, veteran status, and more.

Search US census records for Clare

Passenger Lists

There are 16,000 immigration records available for the last name Clare. Passenger lists are your ticket to knowing when your ancestors arrived in the USA, and how they made the journey - from the ship name to ports of arrival and departure.

View all Clare immigration records

Draft Cards

There are 13,000 military records available for the last name Clare. For the veterans among your Clare ancestors, military collections provide insights into where and when they served, and even physical descriptions.

View all Clare military records

You've only scratched the surface of Clare family history

Discover More

What is the average Clare lifespan?

Between 1942 and 2004, in the United States, Clare life expectancy was at its lowest point in 1942, and highest in 1963. The average life expectancy for Clare in 1942 was 48, and 77 in 2004.

View Social Security Death Index (SSDI) for Clare

Discover the unique achievements of ancestors in the Clare family tree

Explore Your Tree

Browse profiles of historical people with the Clare last name

Search for another surname
Enter last name/surname
Start a 14-Day Free Trial