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The Irish Rose

Clark Name History

Clark Irish Coat of Arms


Clark or Clarke are a popular surname in Ireland. The Irish version of the surname is believed to have come from County Galway and County Antrim and spread to County Donegal and County Dublin. The name is derived from the Irish Gaelic sept Ó Cléirigh, meaning "clerk."

Clark, as well as Clarke, is also a widespread surname in England. The English version comes from Anglo-Saxon origin and was used in the Middle Ages for the name of a scribe or secretary. The word "clerc" came from the pre-7th Century Olde English "Cler(e)c" (meaning priest) originally denoted to a member of a religious order only, but later grew rapidly outside the religious order. In the Middle Ages virtually the only people who could read and write were members of the religious order, making the word heavily associated with literacy. Thus the surname became a popular term for a literate man, particularly for the professional secretary and the scholar.

Learn more about the Clark family

The Framed Irish Family Name History, (#1760) has more information on the Clark surname. There is a wide selection of Clark coat of arms products at The Irish Rose. Please visit the Irish Coat of Arms page.

Visit Clark or Clarke Pubs in Ireland

There are at least two pubs boasting the Clark or Clarke name in Ireland:

If you can't visit in person, our personalized pub gifts are the next best thing!

Notable people named Clark

  • Abraham Clark (1725–1794), American politician and Revolutionary War figure
  • Adam Clark, American meteorologist
  • Alan Clark (1928–1999), British Conservative politician and author, son of Kenneth Clark
  • Alistair Clark, Lord Clark (fl. 2016), Scottish judge, Senator of the College of Justice
  • Alister Clark (1864–1949), Australian rose-breeder
  • Allen George Clark (1898–1962), British businessman
  • Andy Clark (musician), British musician
  • Anne Erin Clark, better known under her stage name St. Vincent (musician) (born 1982), American singer, songwriter, and musician
  • Appleton P. Clark, Jr. (1865-1955), American architect
  • Augusta Clark (1932–2013), American librarian, lawyer and politician
  • Babe Clark, American football player
  • Barbara M. Clark (1939-2016), New York politician
  • Benjamin Preston Clark (1860-1939), an American entomologist
  • Benjamin S. W. Clark (1829–1912), a New York politician
  • Billy J. Clark (1778–1866), a New York physician and politician
  • Bob Clark (Benjamin "Bob" Clark) (1941–2007), an American director
  • Boyd A. Clark (1918-1978), an American politician and jurist
  • Bracy Clark (1771–1860), an English veterinary surgeon specializing in the horse
  • Buddy Clark (1911–1949), American singer
  • Carmel Clark (born 1965), New Zealand swimmer
  • Catherine Clark (born 1976), Canadian television host
  • Christian Clark (born 1979), Australian actor
  • Claudine Clark, R&B singer and performer of the 1962 hit record "Party Lights"
  • Clive Clark (footballer) (1940–2014), English footballer
  • Corrie Clark (born 1982), American breaststroke swimmer
  • Dallas Clark, American football player
  • Daniel Kinnear Clark (1822–1896), Scottish railway mechanical engineer
  • Darius Clark (1798–1871), New York physician and politician
  • Dave Clark (musician) (born 1942), drummer of The Dave Clark Five
  • Davis Wasgatt Clark (1812–1871), American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Dick Clark (1929–2012), entertainer and producer, host of Pyramid and Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve
  • Duncan Clark (athlete) (1915–2003), Scottish hammer thrower
  • Duncan W. Clark (1910–2007), American public health specialist
  • Dwight Clark, American football player
  • Earl Clark, American Basketball player
  • Edward Clark (1888–1962), English conductor and music producer
  • Elky Clark (1898-1956), Scottish boxer of the 1920s
  • Ernest Clark (1912–1994), British actor
  • Frank Clark (footballer), English football player
  • Frank M. Clark (1915–2003), American Congressman
  • Gavin Brown Clark (1846–1930), MP for Caithness
  • Gerry Clark (1927–1999), New Zealand sailor and ornithologist
  • Ginger Clark (1879–1943), American baseball pitcher
  • Glenn Clark (born 1969), Canadian coach of Toronto Rock
  • Grahame Clark (1907-1995), British archaeologist
  • Greenleaf Clark (1835-1904), American jurist
  • Guy Clark (1941–2016), American Texas country and folk singer, musician, songwriter, recording artist, and performer
  • Helen Clark (born 1950), Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008
  • Hilda Clark (1872–1932), American Coca-Cola advertising spokesperson
  • Hilda Margery Clarke (born 1926), English painter and curator
  • Horace Clark, 1830s New York politician
  • Horace F. Clark (1815–1873), US Congressman from New York
  • Hugh Massey Clark (1886–1956), New York philatelist
  • Hulda Regehr Clark, alternative medicine practitioner
  • Isabella Clark, wife of Prime Minister of Canada Sir John A. Macdonald
  • Joe Clark (born 1939), former Prime Minister of Canada
  • Jonas Gilman Clark (1815–1900), American businessman and the founder of Clark University
  • Joshua Clark, (born 1980), American writer
  • Karen Clark (born 1945), American politician from Minnesota
  • Karen Clark (born 1960), American gospel four-time Grammy Award winning singer
  • Katy Clark (born 1967), Scottish politician and trade union official
  • Kelly Clark (born 1983), American snowboarder
  • Kelly Clark (lawyer) (1957–2013), American lawyer
  • Leslie J. Clark (1924–2003), British engineer and founder of Parvalux
  • Louis Clark, musician and conductor with the Orchestra (former members of ELO and ELO Part II)
  • Lynn G. Clark, American botanist
  • Manning Clark (1915–1991), Australian historian
  • Marcus R. Clark (born 1956), Louisiana Supreme Court justice
  • Mark Wayne Clark (1896–1984), American army general in WW2 (Italy) and the Korean War
  • Nancy B. Clark, person of Marstons Mills, Massachusetts
  • Ocky Clark (born 1960), American middle distance runner
  • Orville Clark (1801–1862), New York politician
  • Otey Clark (born 1915), American baseball pitcher
  • R. Foster Clark, American college sports coach
  • R. Scott Clark (born 1961) American seminary professor
  • Ramsey Clark (born 1927), U.S. Attorney General and activist
  • Ranza Clark (born 1961), Canadian middle distance runner
  • Robin Clark (pop singer), (born 1949), 1960s American pop singer
  • Roger Clark, British rally driver
  • Samuel Delbert Clark (1910–2003), Canadian sociologist
  • Satterlee Clark, Jr., American politician
  • Shawn M. Clark (born ca 1964), American organizational theorist
  • Sherman Clark (1899–1980), American Olympic rower and Rear Admiral
  • Steve Clark (1960–1991), British guitarist for Def Leppard
  • Stuart Clark (born 1975), Australian cricketer
  • Sir Terence Clark (born 1934), British retired diplomat and writer
  • Theresa Maria Clark (c. 1890 – 1953), person of New York
  • Tom Clark (journalist), Canadian television journalist
  • Tom C. Clark (1899–1977), U.S. Attorney General, U.S. Supreme Court justice
  • Tracy Clark, fictional character from The CW primetime drama 90210
  • Wendel Clark (born 1966), retired Canadian ice hockey player
  • Wesley K. Clark (born 1944), American Army General in the Vietnam War and Kosovo
  • Wilfrid Le Gros Clark (1895–1971), British paleo-anthropologist
  • Will Clark (born 1964), American baseball player
  • Zenas Clark (1795–1864), New York politician

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