This very uncommon surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is believed to be a 17th Century variant of Clinger, itself a locational name from the place thus called near Cam in Gloucestershire. Recorded as "Claenhangare" in the Domesday Book of 1086, and as "Clehongre" in the Book of Pleas for Gloucestershire, dated 1287, the component elements of the placename are the Olde English pre 7th Century "claeg", clay or clayey soil, with "hangra", slope, steep bank. Interestingly, there are places in Devonshire, Cheshire and Staffordshire called Clayhanger identical in meaning with Clinger (above) from which the surname may also conceivably derive. Locational names, such as this, were originally given to local landowners, and the lord of the manor, and especially as a means of identification to those who left their birthplace to settle elsewhere. Regional and dialectal differences subsequently gave rise to several variations on the original spelling of the name which is found in 16th and 17th Century English Church Registers as Cleanger, Clanger, Clengher, Clinghe, Clynge, Clingo and Clingoe. On January 10th 1586, Baptist Clynge was christened at Bideford, Devonshire. Thomas Clingo witnessed a christening at St. Mary Whitechapel, London, on September 17th 1615, and Dorcas Clingoe and Thomas Ellis were married at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, also in London. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Nicolas Cleanger, which was dated September 10th 1553, a christening witness at Barnstaple, Devonshire, during the reign of Queen Mary, known as "Bloody Mary", 1553 - 1558. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
© Copyright: Name Origin Research 1980 - 2017