This interesting name is an occupational term for a scribe or secretary. The word derives from the Old French 'clerc', a priest, deriving ultimately from the Latin 'clericus' and its Greek equivalent. In Medieval times the clergy as learned men frequently undertook scribed and administrative tasks. Some of them, members of minor orders were permitted to marry. By extension, such learned persons were called clerks. Cognates of the name Le Clercq are found widely distributed wherever the feudal system held sway.It was introduced to England first by the Normans. A Richerius 'clericus' is recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086. The surname Le Clercq was reintroduced to England by Huguenots fleeing from persecution in the 17th Century. Many settled in London where they were active in promoting business and industry. A christening of one Isaac Le Clercq son of Philipe and Jeanne de Lof occurred on May 13th 1621 at the Threadneedle Street, Huguenot Church, London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William the Clerec, which was dated 1100, Somerset Records, during the reign of King Henry 1, 'The Lion of Justice', 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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