Recorded in many spellings including Clarecoat, Clarycott, Clarecotes, Claricoals, Claricoates, Clarricoates and Clericotes, this is an English surname. It is locational, although there does not appear to be any such place in any known gazetter, nor does the name appear in the Historic Monuments of England medieval village lists for Lincolnshire. This county would appear to be the epi-centre of the surname in all its varied spellings, having been recorded there in surviving church registers since at least the 17th century. "Lost villages" are unusual but not unique, and it is estimated that as many as five thousand British Isles surnames could have originated from this source, of which the only public reminder in the 20th century, is the surviving surname. The early known spellings suggest that the village name derived from the French word "cler" meaning bright, but also used as a female personal name in the form of Clare, plus the English "cotes," perhaps a reference to a (female?) land owner who owned a row of cottages. The registers give such examples as: John Clericotes of Upton, on January 28th 1648, John Clarecotes at Kyme, on January 27th 1681, Mary Claricoals, who married John FOster, also at Kyme, on May 27th 1762, all in Lincolnshire, and the rare example of a recording away from the area of John Clarricoats, who married Harriett Twigg at St Giles Cripplegate, in the city of London, on September 30th 1851.
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