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MacClerkens and O'Clerkins (Cleirchen,Cleireachain)
The name MacClerken (a diminutive form of the word "cleric") has existed since 1012, with the mention in the Annals of the History of Ireland and the Annals of Ulster of the death of Scholaighi (Scholar) MacClercen and in 1013 with the mention of the death of Cairbre MacCleirchen in the Annals of the History of Ireland. The name MacClerken appears as a true surname for the year 1053 with the reporting of the death of Cu Macha mac Cleirchen in the Annals of Ulster and then again in 1186 with the mention of the death of Maelcallan MacClerken, son of Adam MacClerken, who was Bishop of Glen de Locha (Glendalough,Wicklow), according to the Annals of Loch Ce, or Bishop of Clonfert-Brendan (Galway), according to the Annals of The History of Ireland. Since the Cleirchen were associated with Ard Macha, it seems more likely that Maelcallan was Bishiop of Glen de Locha. He is not listed among the bishops of Clonfort-Brendan, according to church records in Galway. Most of the references in the Annals are to the Ui Cleirchen.
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