Welcome to CLUETT.ORG.UK

the Web Site of Sue Smith (née Cluett).

The origin of this crest is not known. The motto is thought to be medieval Latin but the meaning is not entirely clear - it translates literally as "A spot without a stain". This may be referring to the simple diamond shapes appearing on the shield, which were sometimes used by early merchants to denote imperfection - the motto probably emphasises that the use of these shapes on the shield did not imply dishonour but had some other significance. For more information on the possible origins of this motto, see the The Clough Coat of Arms where it is also used. It is interesting that the genealogy constructed by the Count of Anjou (see below) also links into the Clough lineage.

The origins of the Cluett / Clewett family are not entirely clear and various ideas have been suggested. Around the 1600s the name can be found mainly in the West Country, especially Lydlinch, although another branch was in Shropshire and yet another in London. I am grateful to the originators of these suggestions, but to protect their privacy I have not identified them by name here.

One suggestion is that the family originated in Northern Belgium and France and came over with the Huguenots, although the name does not appear in Huguenot records. The arguments in favour of this suggestion are set out here. There is a large collection of Clouet paintings and sketches at Castle Howard, Yorkshire. There are other alternative theories. I have recently received another interesting suggestion on the origin of the surname in terms of occupation. It has also recently discovered that CLOUD is another version of Cluett.

In 1900 a genealogy of the Cluett family was constructed by the Count of Anjou, probably for an emigrant member of the family, and appeared in a pedigree bought from Goodspeed's Bookshop, Boston Mass. USA, in 1973. However, all his genealogies are now known or strongly believed to be fraudulent. You can find out more about this and other hoax lineages by clicking here. For information, the pedigree is shown here but the information in the pedigree cannot be trusted unless independent verification by reference to the original source material is possible.

My own ancestry is shown here. However, I am struggling to find the birth place of my earliest known ancestor, William Cluett, listed in the Anjou pedigree as having been baptised in 1620. The tantalising thing is that this genealogy contains a precise birth date for this ancestor but so far I have not been able to locate parish in which the baptism took place, although I have found and corroborated those of his younger siblings who were all baptised in St. Vedas in London. Since this ancestor is not in the direct line of the pedigree it seems unnecessary for date to have been specifically "invented" and so I am hoping that I will eventually locate the parish in which he was born. There are several references quoted in the pedigree, such as "(Charters, Howard C.ix,3)", but so far I have not been able to locate any of these.

Over the years, I have collated a database of nearly 7,000 parish, vital and other records with names, dates and places associated with this surname and this is now being supplemented by further material supplied by others interested in this surname. I am gradually transcribing entries from the Births, Marriage and Death indexes for England & Wales. So far I have included Births 1837 to Mar 1956, Marriages from 1837 to Sept 1927, Mar 1970 to Dec 1980 and Deaths from 1837 to Dec 1980. I have also included Deaths abroad up to 2000. I am also transcribing the names from the index of post 1858 English wills and so far those up to July 1998 are included. I have also included all the census entries I have found from 1841 to 1901 for England, Wales & the Channel Islands.  There are also some records from telephone directories and newspapers - in short, whenever I come across a database or search any records I look for variations of this surname. All this information for events (up to 1940 only for Data Protection reasons) is in this database, which you can now search yourself here online. However, please note that I cannot be held responsible for any errors in this information - you should always double-check the original sources, which I quote, to satisfy yourself that the information is correct. If you need to check for entries from 1940 to the present or if you find any errors and omissions or if you wish to offer any further information to be added to the database, please send me an e-mail to find out how to let me have it.

Several other people are actively researching the Cluett / Clewett name, for example, see Adrienne's web site. If you are also interested in or are researching the name Cluett / Clewett and have not already contacted me, I would be most  interested to hear from you. You can send me an e-mail by clicking here. I regret that I have had to suspend the visitor's book and interest list pages due to persistent abuse by spammers and I have no plans at the present time to reinstate these pages.

Are you descended from Thomas Major Cluett, the son of Mary Major, but father unknown? Although Sue isn't, there are a number of people struggling with this impasse. Recently, Sue has made a breakthrough on this front. Whilst researching in the Dorset Record Office, Sue was reading through the Parish Chest for Sturminster Newton. In the records of the Overseers of the poor, under the section for Extraordinaries & Bills she came across this entry:

"11 April Rec'd of Thos Cluett for his child by Mary Major from 6th March 1785 to the 6th of March 1786 £3.5.0" 

It seems that the authorities had at last caught up with the father! However, further research suggests that there may be at least two Thomas Cluetts to choose from, so further research still remains to be done on this link. There was also another entry for 20/10/1783 (not long after the baptism of Mary Major's son Thomas Cluett Major on 27/7/1783) which recorded: "Paid the expense of a journey to Shaston (which was the name for Shaftesbury) with Mary Major 2s (2 shillings)". Recently I have heard from another researcher that there was also an earlier payment of £1.10s. Good luck if this helps you with your research. Let Sue know if any further progress is made on this front.

There is a new book by William Romkey of Newfoundland called: "Your Daughter, Fanny; the War Letters of Frances Cluett, VAD" which may interest other Cluett researchers. It is published by Flanker Press and you can see the publisher's write-up by clicking here. You can probably pick it up from other more local on-line stores to avoid postage if you are not in Newfoundland.

A few years ago Dave & I went on a weekend tour of the World War I battlefields and we visited Ypres. Amongst the soldiers listed on the memorial on the Menin Gate is Private Noah Clueit of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. We believe he is the son of Clement & Mary Clueit. We took a picture of the inscription and if you are related to him and would like a copy of the photo, please send me an e-mail by clicking here.

If you are new to family history and genealogy and want to know how to get started, I have produced some guidance notes which you can read, copy and use by clicking here. It isn't meant to be totally comprehensive, but please let me have any suggestions or comments if you think I have missed anything particularly important!

Page last updated: 18th May 2014

Web Site created and managed by Dave Smith