Recorded in several spellings as shown below, this is an English surname. It is apparently locational from some place in one of the spellings of the surname, although no such place has been found. It is therefore known as a 'lost' medieval village. Some five thousand surnames are believed to originate from such places, so whilst still unusual, it is not entirely rare. However it is also possible that the name which means 'Clements wood' could derive from one of the still existent places such as Clementhorpe, now part of the city of York, and an example of how places are swallowed up by expanding towns and cities, Clements End in Bedfordshire, or Clement Street, in Kent. The spelling of this surname would indicate a northern origin from the suffix '-shaw', and probably Yorkshire where the name is widely recorded, or perhaps Lancashire, but this is not proven. Early examples of the surname recording include Elizabeth Clemensha who married Frauncis Lightfoote at St Peters, Leeds, Yorkshire, on June 30th 1599, James Clemishaw at Isleworth, Middlesex, on November 3rd 1772, and Thomas Cleminshaw, at Farnham in Yorkshire, on August 1st 1819.
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