De Clares Overview
Anyone that has taken the time to do the most rudimentary research into the origins of the 'Cleere' name (or variants) will invariably be led to commercial genealogical resources that state without the slightest hint of equivocation Cleere, Clere, Cleer, Clear etc are derived from the ancient name 'Clare', or to be more precise the influential and wealthy Norman family, de Clare.
This connection is so widespread that the casual genealogist can be forgiven for assuming it is a statement of fact and consequently many internet-based private resources repeat this assertion without question. The genealogy industry tends to steer our links to the past towards a known source because it makes commercial sense. After all if they cannot cobble together a connection to a titled ancestor they will not be able to sell you a coat of arms and a plethora of souvenir merchandise. The de Clares fit the bill perfectly as they were one of the most notable Norman families from the time of the Norman Conquest with well documented family trees, coats of arms and castles. Consequently, there is no end of souvenirs that the genealogy industry can sell to anyone that has a family name that even vaguely sounds like 'Clare'.
Another dimension to this story is the relevance of the de Clare family in Ireland. It was a de Clare that led the first Norman invasion of Ireland, setting in motion a nine hundred year conflict with ramifications to the present day. Anyone in Ireland with the surname Cleere, Clear, Cleer, Clere will have the Gaelic name 'de Cleir' bestowed on them by the educational system and although its spelling is slightly different to de Clare, Irish historians claim it is one and the same.
However, if we are to be wholly objective about the authenticity of the de Clare connection we cannot just rely on anecdotal evidence and we intend to put before the reader as much historical information as possible over the coming months and years so that you can make up your own mind. We will, however, draw our own conclusions based on the records we unearth and any contributions we receive from readers.
One can never have too much information when researching any subject in depth but an ever-evolving resource has to be managed so that it is scalable and navigable. Website best-practice is to do this through sub-categories, each on its own page that can be accessed through the following links.
de Clare History
de Clare Family Tree
de Clare Name Index
de Clare Analysis
Go back to Cleere Origin Index
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