This very interesting surname is of English origins. Found over the centuries in a wide range of spellings which include: Clarecoat, Clarycott, Clarecotes, Claricoals, Claricoates, Clarricoates and Clericotes, the name is from the group known as residential or locational. As such it describes somebody whose ancestors came from a place, where the original spelling bore some resemblance to the surname. However there does not appear to be any such place in any known gazetter of the United Kingdom in the past two hundred years, nor does the name seem to be recorded in the Historic Monuments of England medieval village lists. The county of Lincolnshire 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, and therefore it is reasonable to assume that the original hamlet was in the same area. "Lost villages" and their surnames are unusual, but not unique. It has been estimated that as many as five thousand British Isles surnames could have originated from these sources, of which the only public reminder in the 20th century, are the surviving surnames. 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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