The Irish surname Clarke is an anglicized form of the Gaelic name Ó Cléirigh. The name Clarke is widespread throughout Ireland with particularly high numbers of bearers in counties Meath, Mayo and Antrim. Some bearers of the name Clarke are descendents of English settlers from te 16th and 17th Centuries but most bearers trace their ancestry to Ó Cléirigh, or Cleary. The name means the son of the clerk or the scribe. The first written reference to the name in Irish documents is in 1172 in county Donegal in the northwest of Ireland.
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