Records of Cleirchen: MacClerkens and O'Clerkins in Irish Annals

As has already been stated, the earliest mention of the name MacClerken is in the Annals of Ulster for the year 1012, with the recording of the death of Scolaighi Mac Clercen, priest of Armagh. Scolaighi died two years before Brian Boru was brought to rest at the Cathedral in Armagh, whose death is described this way in The Annals of Ulster: "An affliction of the colic in Ard Macha in the above year (AD 1011 alias 1012), and a great number died of it. Mael Brigte son of the smith, lector of of Ard Macha died of it, and Scoliage, son of Cleirchene (MacClerchin), priest of Ard Macha...died."

The next mention of the name is in the Annals of the History of  Ireland, for the year 1013:  Cairbre MacCleirchen, Lord of Ui Fidhgeinte[died]. (A note in the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland, edited by John O'Donovan, Dublin, 1854, says,"CLEIRCHEN--He was the ancestor of the family of O'Cleirchen, now pronounced in Irish, O'Cleirachain and anglicised Cleary and Clarke, a name still extant in the County of Limerick.) Ui Fidghenti was a large tract in the County of Limerick. Whether Scolaighi  (Scolar) MacClercen and Cairbre Mac Cleirchen were brothers is not clear, but it seems likely that Scolaighi Mac Clercen, as priest of Armagh, was of a family in the general region of Armagh, which was an hereditary See where positions in the Church were inherited by sons.  At that time, clergy could marry, as in the Orthodox Church today.  The Catholic Church in Ireland did not become fully "Roman" until the twelfth century.  It is possible that Scolaighi's father was Clercen, who was the son of  Leran and who died in 995. Clercen himself was priest at Armagh.  His father , Leran, may have been a member of a ruling family near Armagh.  The practice of church positions being hereditary ended in Armagh about 1178.

There are other Clerkins names in the Annals who were possible, but not likely, antecedants of the MacClerkens.  Cleirchen, m. Murchad, king of Clare-Galway, who died in 912;Cleirchen m. Conallan, airchinnach Daire Calcaigh (Derry) who died in 950; and Cleirchen m. Donngal, abbot of Fore in 981. If Cleirchen m. Mael Duin, who was mentioned earlier, was Scholaighi's father, this would explain the description of Scholaighi as a "noble priest of Art Macha" in the Annals of the History of Ireland, since Mael Duin was king of the Ui Echach.  It is credible that Cleirchen m. Mael Duin, was the Clerchen who was the father of Scolaighi.  However, it is not possiblle to say with certainty who Clercen's father was, but it is possible to say that Clercen's family almost certainly lived in the region of Armagh.

For the year 1018 Ua Cleircein, Lord of Caille-Follamhaim, was wounded and died after a short period.

Other O'Clerkens and MacClerkens are mentioned in the Annals.  One who was a scholar and a teacher is mentioned for the year 1043:  Cellach Ua Cleircinn, "successor of Finnen and Mocholmog...died on pilgrimage at Art-Macha." (Ard Macha, now Armagh, was founded by St. Patrick as his See.)  Finnen was probably St. Finnian of Moville, who was born about 495 and died in 589.  He was a pupil of St. Colman of Dromore, who was a noted teacher.  "Mocholmog" was a kind of nickname for this St. Colman.  It means "my dear little Column." (Catholic Online Saints).  The Annals of Ulster also mention the death of Cellach Ua Cleircein, stating that he "fell asleep in peace," which may indicate that he was a peceable man and probably well thought of.

Both Annals mention the death of Glun Iarian Ui Cleirchen in 1045.  It seems probable that he was from the northern Cleirchen family.  He may possibly have been a brother of Cellach Ua Cleircinn who died in 1043.

In 1053,  the Annals of Ulster report that Cu Macha MacCleirchen, steward of the Dal Cais was killed in a raid by the "men of Mag Itha."

For the year 1089, in the description of a battle, Druim-Ui-Clerichein is mentioned. A note in Keating's history of Ireland says : "DRUIM-UI-CLEIRCHEIN: i.e. O'Cleirchein's Ridge or Long Hill. In the Dublin copy of the ANNALS OF INNISFALLEN and the CHRONICON Scotorum, it is called Drumain-Ui-Cleirchein, which is the form of the name still retained. It is now anglicised Drummin and is the name of a townland and parish, in the arony of osma, and County of Limerick, about three miles north of Kilmallock."

In 1108, Oenghus Ua Clercein, "Patrick's steward in Munster" died, according to the Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland.  Again, we don't know which Cleirchen family he belonged to, but it seems probably  that he was of the Ui Fidgheinte family

According to the History of Ireland by the Four Masters, Maelcallan MacClerken was the son of Adam MacClerken and was Bishop of Clonfert in Galway in 1186. But according to the Annals of Loch Ce AD 1014-1590: Maelcalainn O'Cleirchen bishop of Glenn-da-Loch (in Wicklow) in Christo quievit (died) in 1186.


IRELAND (1631-1977)

Muster Roll of Co. Antrim 1631
Nil McClurkan

The Register of Derry Cathedral (S. Columb’s) Parish of Templemore. Londonderry 1642-1703.
p. 141 Ocktober 1665. Roger McClorkine published and married to Jane Stockes 27th

Hearthmoney Roll, Co. Antrim, 1669 (Ref. No. T. 307)

John McClerken Ballymena 1 hearth
John McLurgane Tawnybrack in Connor Parish 1 hearth
James McLurgane Tawnybrack in Connor Parish 1 hearth
Allin McLurkan Ballyclare in Connor Parish 1 hearth
Thos. McLurkan Ballyclare in Connor Parish 1 hearth

Alphabetical List of the Officers of the Bengal Army, with the dates of their respective Promotion, Retirement,
Resignation or Death whether in India or in Europe

From the year 1760 to the year 1834
(corrected to September 30, 1897)

“Macclerken, Thomas. 1772, July 11, 1776, July 1, 1778”

“Died Nov. 12, 1792 at Roijocottah.”
(pp. 168-169)

Index to Connor Administration Bonds

McClurgan John Connor Parish 1719
McClurgan Thomas Belfast 1839
MacLurcan Wm. Belfast 1856
MacLurcan James Belfast, gent 1857

Roll of Electors at an Election for County Antrim 1776

Ref. No. D. 1364 June 5, 1776  
No. 3 Samuel McClurkin Ballykeel
No. 4 Gilbert McClurkan Ballykeel
No. 5 Thomas McClurken Ballykeel

Belfast News Letter, 1782, March 29
Died at Ballymena on Monday sennight, Mr Wm. McLurkan one of the Ballymena Volunteers

McClurkan Samuel Procklis Drummaul Parrish 1834
McClurkan Samuel Ballee Ahoghill Parish 1835
McClurkan James Aughnador Racavan Parish  1825
McClurkan James Lisnamurrican  Ravacan Parish 1825
McCluekN Ro      

Index to Connor (Co. Antrim) Wills up to 1858

McClurkan Thomas Ballyclug Parish Will proved 1743
McLorkan Samuel Connor Will proved 1765
McClurkan James Glenwhirry Parish Will proved 1795
McClurkin James Glenwhirry Parish Will proved 1805
McClurkan Thomas Ballyclug Parish Will proved 1808
McClurkin Francis Racavan Parish Will proved 1815

Index to Prerogative Wills up to 1858

McClurkin James Senior Lisnamurican, Racavan Parish Will Proved 1843

Adair Estate Records Ref. H.12/F2/4/53
Lease from Robert Adair, Ballymena to Samuel McClurkan Innkeeper Ballymena of part of the Commons containing 8 acres 1 rood 31 perches of land being part of Brocklamont 7 October 1795

'Old Ballymena' compiled from articles published in the "Ballymena Observer" under the title "Walks about Ballymena"
p.80 Lists of Churchwardens (Parish Church): Samuel McClurkan in the year 1800
p. 114. Elders on record as holding office in the congregation of Ballymena Presbyterian Church in 1812: Samuel McClurkan (dead)

Census of Ballyeaston Congregation, 1813

McClurkin Francis Lower Glenwhirry farmer aged 34
McClurkin Eliz wife aged 33
McClurkin Eliz daughter aged 8
McClurkin Agnes daughter aged 6
McClurkin James son aged 2
McClurkin Francis son aged 2
McClurkin Samuel son aged 1/4

Directories of Belfast

MacLurkan George Woolen draper 6 Wilson's Court
McClurkan William   7 Long Lane
McClurkan William   8 Thomas Street
Macclurkan Thomas Surgeion 1 Donegall Square North
Macclurkan John Silk Mercer 41 High Street
\Maclurkan James Brick Manufacturer Antrim Road
McClurkan William   13 Union Place

Churchyard, St. Saviour’s Church, Connor, Antrim (Church of Ireland)

Honor et Amor
Here Lyeth
Ye Body of John
Who Died
March the 1st 1756
Age 21 Years

My Parents Dear Grieve not for Me
My debt is payd. My Grave you see
Therefor Prepare to Follow Me


Here Lieth the Body of Samu-
el McClurkan Late of B{a}lly-
Keel Who Departed This Life
The 27th of October 1894
Aged 76 Years. Also
Rachel McClurkan His
Wife who Departed This
Life the 4th Janry 1812 Aged
78 Years. And Thos McClurkan
Their Son Who Departed This
Life 9th Octr 1828 Ated 62 Yrs.
Also His Wife Elizabeth Mc
Clurkan Who Departed This
Life May 25th 1849 Aged 68 Ys


Erected by
Thomas McClurkan of
Ballyhullough to the
Memory of His Son
James, Who Departed This Life the 16th Decr AD
1823. In The 24th Year of
His Age. Also His Son Hugh
Who Depd This Life 21 March
1827 Aged 30 Years



Samuel McClurkin
Of Ballykeel
In Memory of His
Beloved Wife
Catherine McClurkin
Who died 22nd March 1866
Aged 63 Years
Also The Above Named
Samuel McClurkin
Who Died 2nd June 1889
Aged 82 Years


Erected by
Thomas McLurkin
In Loving Memory of
His Daugher
Born 6th May 1888, Died 23rd Nov. 1889
"To Be with Christ; Which is Far Better"
Also His Daugher
Born 27th Feb. 1885. Died 19th Aug. 1891
"Suffer the Little Children to Come Unto Me:

First Broughshane Prebysterian Church, Broughshane, Co. Antrim

Erected in
memory of
Thomas McClurkin
Who died 10th Dec. 1916
aged 61 years
and his wife Margaret,
who died 4th Jan. 1933
aged 73 years
Also their daughter
Hessie McClurkin
Who died 3rd Oct. 1966
and their son
Thomas McClurkin
who died 4th May 1977
aged 84 years

Who’s Who Entry for Thomas McClurkin
Kelly’s Handbook 1972 - 98th edition

McClurkin, air-vice-marshal, Thomas. M.B. (Bachleor of Medicine) D.P.H. (Diploma in Public Health) Dip. Bact. D.T.M. (Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene) Son of Thomas McClurkin d 1916) of Belfast; b. 1893 educ. Mercantile Coll Belfast and Queen's Univ. Belfast; m 1933 Annie Gladys. dau of engr-rear=adml W. Whittin gham, CB (Companion of the Bath) (d.1940); 2 daus; com missioned RAMC (Royal Army Medical Corps) 1913, served 1915-21 Sierra Leione, France, India, Persia; commissioned RAF Medical Branch 1922; served in Iraq 1923-26 and Singapore 1928-31; dir Hygiene, Air Ministry 1941-47, PMO (Principal Medical Officer) HQ Maintenance Command 1947-48. KHP (Honorary Physician to the King) 1947-48. ret RAF 1948; a dir of scientific research, Min of Supply and War Office 1948-60 ret 1960: c/o National & Grindlay's Bank Ltd 13 St. James sq SW1.

Some Records for McClurkins in Scotland (1685-2000)

Dailly, Ayr
Thomas McClorgan martyred as Covenanter, 1685. Grave is in Dilly (article in Ayrshire Post, 13 Dec. 1935, p. 12 about "Covenanters' Graves.")
Gilbert McClorkan m. Jonat Kennedy 22 July 1697

Ayrshire Hearth Tax Rolls 1691 ("Account of all the hearths withing the paroch of Dilly."
Andrew McClorkan att. Bargany (Bargany was an estate, the house having been built in 1681)

Argyll ( Islay) Rent Records
Donald McClerich Geill 1686
Kynnach McClerich Glenegadill 1686
Donald McLurgan Kintra tenant 1826
Archibald McLergan Kintra 1826

1881 Census Scottish Lowlands
Samuel McClurkin b. 1829, Ireland Labourer, Chemical Work
Jane McClurkin, b. 1832, Ireland, Dairy Keeper
Thomas McClurkin b. 1863 Lanark, Scotland Assistant Grocer
Dwelling 33 Cobdon, Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland
McClurkins Milk Ship 29 Cobdon, Glasgow
FHL Film 0203640 Grord vol. 644-3 Enum Dist. 86 pt. 17

Church of Latter Day Saints Records arranged chronologically

Dundonald, Ayr
John MacClerken and Jane McCallum married 31 Dec. 1847 Dundonald
Janet Mcclurken christened 21 May 1848 Parents: John McLurken/Jane McCallum
James McLurkin married Mary Jane Bevierd 5 July 1852 FR959
William McClurking christened 26 June 1853 Parents: John McClurking/Jane McCallum
Jane McClurkin b. 23 Dec. 1855, Dundonald, Ayrshire Parents: John McClurkin/Jane McCallum
Agnes McClurkin b. 15 March 1857 Dundonald, Aysire Parents John McClurkin/Jane McCallum
Edward McClurking b. 28 Aug. 1860 Dundonald, Ayr Parents: James McClurkin/Mary Jane Beveird
John McClurkin m. 13 March 1863 Anne Black
Elizabeth Gairdner McClurkin b. 13 July 1863, Dondonald, Ayr Parents: John McClurkin/Annie Black
Joseph McClurkin b. 28 Dec. 1865. Dundonald, Ayr Parents John McClurkin/Annie Black
Annie McClurkin b. 20 Aug. 1871 Dundonald, Ayr Parents John McClurkin/Annie Black

Betty McClerken m. 5 Jan. 1810 Cumbusnothan, Lanark
John McClurkin b. 25 Jan 1861 Govan, Lanark Parents: Samuel McClurkin/Joan Townsley
James McClurkin b. 10 Dec. 1863, Govan, Lanark Parents: Samuel McClurkin/Joan Townsley
James McClurkin b. 3 Nov. 1867 Goven, Lanark Parents: Samuel McClurkin/Joan Townsley
Mary Eliza McClurkan b. 3 July 1873, Govan Lanark Parents Francis McClurkan/Ann Allan McKee.

Records from Registry Office, Troon, Ayr
John McClurkin-Jane Shannon
James McClurking d. 23 Nov. 1881 m. Mary Jane Bevaird
John McClurkin b. 1883 m. Agnes Gebbie (d. 5 Feb. 1915)
George b. 23 June 1887 d. 20 Jan. 1920 Address: Ayr Street, Troon
James b. 23 April 1889
Jeanie b. 21 April 1894
Isabella b. 8 Feb. 1891 Address: 11 Templehill, Troon
Edward McClurkin b. 1 Dec. 1883 d. 28 Sept. 1934 m. Jane McCulloch
Address: Old Row, Fullerton, Troon (Edward’s obituary appeared in the Ayshire Post, 5 Oct. 1934)
James McClurkin b. 21 Aug. 1885. address: 12 Temphill, Troon.
Margaret McClurkin b. 5 Jan. 1886 d. 24 Aug. 1969
Mary Jane McClurkin b. 13 September 1888
Rachel McClurkin b. 19 July 1890 d. 23 Dec. 1968, 73 years.

Buried in Troon Cemetery, Ayr (Registry Office Records, Troon)
Plot belonging to Edward McClurking
James W. McClurking 1 year 22 Sept. 1934
Edward McClurking 21 Oct. 1934
Jane McClurking 3 Feb. 1963 53 years
Rachel B. McClurkin 23 December 1968
Margaret C. McClurkin 24 Aug. 1968?

Plot belonging to John W. McClurkin
Mary McClurkin 10 years 28 Dec. 1895
Samuel McClurkin 10 weeks Sept. 1900
Jeanie McClurkin 9 years 5 Oct. 1907
Wm. Harrison McClurkin 1909 42 years
Margaret Gebbie 4 April 85
Agnes McLurkin 5 Feb. 1915 51 years
George S. McClurkin 20 Jan. 1920 34 years
John McClurkin 9 April 1931 48 years

According to a McClurkin family member living in Ayr, in May, 2000, McClurkin was originally pronounced MacClerican.

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