Clearydale History

Cleaydale and the Cleary family has a rich and interesting history. Read on below...

O'Cleary, Ó Cleirigh, Clery, MacCleary

The historic surname of O'Cleirigh derives from the Irish word "cléireach" meaning a clerk or cleric and is among the earliest of recorded hereditary names. The O'Cleary claim descent from Cleireach, who was of the same line of Guaire the Hospitable, King of Connacht. King Guaire gained this cogonomen during the 7th century, because he was the friend of priests and poets, and his palace is said to have once stood near the entrance to the town of Gort, from where he dispensed his hospitality to the local bards and scribes.

"Thus in the hall of Gort spoke Guaire
For the king let truth be told,
Bounteous though he was, was weary
Giving goblets, giving gold"

Cleary Family Crest / Coat of Arms

When the sparse Irish population began to increase it became necessary to broaden the base of personal identification by moving from single names to a more definite nomenclature. The prefix MAC was given to the father's christian name, or O to that of a grandfather or even earlier ancestor. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the draped and flowing garment worn over the armour.

The surname of CLEARY was from the O'Cleirigh sept, from which the present day Cleary families descend. They originally held sway in southern County Galway, near the border of County Clare and close to Dun Guarie, the stronghold of the 7th century King of Connacht, Guaire the Hospitable, from whom they claimed lineal descent. They were dispersed from their territory in the wake of the Anglo-Norman invasion, and branches of the sept established themselves in western Ulster, in County Donegal and County Derry in southern Ulster in County Cavan and County Kilkenny. The name was originally derived from the Latin 'clericus' meaning a clerk, or scholar, a man of the cloth. In the Middle Age it was virtually only members of religious orders who learned to read and write, so that the term 'clerk' came also to be used of any literate man. In many cases the surname may have referred originally to a professional secretary. Many Highland families migrated from Scotland to Ireland during the 17th and 18th centuries, and were granted the lands of the native Catholic Irish. People heard of the attractions of the New World, and many left Ireland to seek a better life sailing aboard the fleet of ships known as the 'White Sails', but much illness took its toll with the overcrowding of the ships which were pestilence ridden. From the port of entry many settlers made their way west, joining the wagons to the prairies, and many loyalists went to Canada about the year 1790, and became known as the United Empire Loyalists.

The Farm and Homestead

  • Parlour was added to the house in 1903
  • Hydro came to the farm in 1921
  • Refrigeration to the farm in 1928
  • Kitchen and bathroom in farmhouse built in 1945
  • 1981 one of first in Ontario to use irrigation to spread manure
  • 1985 one of first computerized milking parlors in Ontario from Babson Brothers
  • 1986 computer for bookkeeping and records purchased
  • 1987 one of first to start Notilling crops in Ontario
  • 1993 wrote and sold computer cropping program to track crop history and costs
  • 1995 grid mapping and GPS soil testing
  • 1999 GPS yield monitor on combine
  • 2004 first Titan style and largest Coverall dairy barn built in Ontario