Names at Clark

A Rich Background from England, Scotland, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland

. . . and Many Other Countries of Ancestral Origin Are Buried at Clark Cemetery

There are stories in names — sometimes ordinary, but often fascinating with twists and turns, and changes that speak of places, professions, and progenitors.  Many interesting surnames are connected to Clark Cemetery.

Some of the family names connected with Clark Cemetery include:




The study of names is called onomastics, a field which touches on linguistics, history, anthropology, psychology, sociology, philology and much more. When people refer to the “meaning of a name”, they are most likely referring to the etymology and history, which is the original literal meaning.

A family name (also called surname or last name) is a name that is passed from one generation to the next. In many cultures a woman adopts her husband’s family name when they are married.

In Europe, surnames began to be used in the 12th century, but it took several centuries before the majority of Europeans had one. The primary purpose of the surname was to further distinguish people from one another. In the 13th century about a third of the male population had a given name of William, Richard or John. To uniquely identify them, people began referring to different Williams as William the son of Andrew (leading to Anderson), William the cook (leading to Cook), William from the brook (leading to Brooks), William the brown-haired (leading to Brown), and so on. Eventually these surnames became inherited, being passed from parents to children.

Broadly, most surnames fall into four categories.

From Given or Christian Names: A family name derived from an ancestor’s given name include such as Alexis, Alexander, Jane, James, John, Tim, and Thom. Most often they are patronymic, referring to a male ancestor, but occasionally they are matronymic.

Patronymic Name: A family name derived from the name of a father or ancestor, especially by the addition of a suffix or prefix indicating descent, such as the addition of “s”, “son”, “Mac”, “Mc”, “O’”, such as Johns, Nichols, Toms, Williams, Anderson, Johnson, Richardson, Williamson, MacDonald, MacDavid, McWilliams, O’Connor, O’Neal, etc.

Occupational Surnames: A family name referring to the occupation of the bearer. Examples include Armorer, Carpenter, Clark, Cook, Miller, Sailor, Smith, Smyth, Taylor, Waggoner, and Wright.

Locational or Topographic: A family name derived from the place that the bearer lived, such as:  Hill, Woods, and Ford, Granville Green, Greenwood, Carlisle, Colton, Hamilton, Irving, Melville, and Parish.

Nicknames Derived: A family name derived from a nickname given to a person, such as: White, Black, Red, Rob, Strong, Young, Victor, and Long etc.

A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name and many dictionaries define “surname” as a synonym of “family name”. In the western hemisphere, it is commonly synonymous with “last name”, since it is usually placed at the end of a person’s given name