- Clare fEnglish: the normal vernacular form of CLARA (SEE Clara) during the Middle Ages and since. The name has always been particularly popular in Italy (in the forms Chiara and Clara) and has been borne by several Italian saints, notably Clare of Assisi (c.1193–1253), an associate of Francis of Assisi and founder of the order of nuns known as the Poor Clares. In Britain the given name was probably reinforced by the Anglo-Irish surname, derived from a place in Suffolk. The surname was taken to Ireland by Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (d. 1176), known as ‘Strongbow’.
First names dictionary. 2012.