Acknowledgement. Thanks go to Randy Cloud for alerting me to this information. His research skills and insights were very helpful.
Surnames. A surname or family name was used to distinguish between people who had the same names. It was typically derived by reference to the person's father (i.e. patronymic, e.g. Hansen) or used an occupation (e.g. Baker, Carpenter) 1, social status (e.g. Earl, King), military rank (e.g. Archer, Bowman, Knight, Spear) 2, physical appearance, temperament or characteristic (e.g. Gentle, Stout), place name, climatatic phenomena (e.g. Cloude, Sturm), wildlife (e.g. Bird, Fox) or geographical feature (e.g. Hill, Woods). 3
European surnames are a relatively recent convention 4, beginning circa 1,000 A.D (Ireland is known to have used family names around 900 A.D. while China is thought to have adopted family names as early as 2,500 B.C.). Most English families had adopted surnames by the 14th century whereas some Scots and Welsh waited as long as the 17th century. Assigning surnames was influenced by the collecting of information for the Domesday Book 5 6, finished in 1086, and began with the nobility and was slowly adopted by everyone.
The Medieval period 7. The Medieval period spanned approximately the 5th to 15th century (400-1400 A.D.). Also known as the middle ages, it began with the fall of Rome in 476 A.D. The most influential religio-political forces during this period were Catholicism, where kings and queens and other leaders traded protection of the Church for power, and Islam, which began its rise in the 6th century, reaching its peak in the 8th century with its conquests of Arabia and much of the Middle East and North Africa.
Cloud Surnamed Individuals
Possible Origin of the Cloude / Cloud surname. The origin of the surname Cloud or Cloude is unknown but may be from the old English "clud" meaning rock, hill or cliff or after the atmospheric clouds. 8 See The Cloud Family Journal Vol. XIII, No. 1 (1990-1991), p. 19, "CLOUD AS A SURNAME". 9
A Dictionary of British Surnames by P.H. Reaney, Rutledge & Kegan Paul Publ., 1958.
Cloude: Wimarc'de la Clude 1199 P (so); Robert atte Cloude 1327 SRSo. 'Dweller by the rock or hill' (OE clud 'mass of rock, hill'), as at Temple Cloud (Som), Cloud Bridge (Warwicks), Clouds Wood (Herts).
A Dictionary of Surnames by Patrick Hanks & Flavia Hodges, Oxford Press, 1988.
Cloud I. English: topographic name for someone who lived near an outcrop or hill, from OE clud rock (only later used of the formations in the sky).
2. French: from the Gmc personal name Hlodald, composed of the elements hlod fame + wald rule, which was borne by a saint and bishop of the 6th cent.
Vars. (of I): Cloude. (Of 2): Clou(x) (see also CLOSE).
Dims. (of 2): Clouet; Closon (Belgium).
The search for the earliest occurences of the Cloude surname and its variants is hampered by the lack of documentary evidence, but these pages represent what has been found so far. If you can add anything, please contribute it. References to people and, in some instances, places with the name Cloud as part of them are included. The documents page contains the earliest known occurrences and includes the earlier variants Cloude and Cloudesley.
- The Documents contain entries for the surnames as early as the 13th century.
- The Locations section attempts to make sense of the places listed in the documents.
- The Military Records are from the 14th and 15th centuries:
- Primary Source: The U.K. National Archives, Kew, England 10
- Cloud, Clowd, Cloude, Clowde, Clood in Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700) 11.
Many Cloud Families. According to the Cloud DNA Project 12, there are seven distinct, unrelated, Cloud lines, and this is surely not all the different families with the Cloud surname. One of the lines in the DNA Project is Amerindian, two are Scandinavian in origin and the rest are of Western European origin, though one Y-STR marker (DYS-462) indicates the ancient patrilineal origin of William Cloude, 13 immigrant to the American Colonies, may have been in Eastern Europe 14.
Charles Moore, administrator of the R1b U106 DNA Project wrote concerning the difference in the Cloud participants from the rest of a group labeled "Ivanhoe":
From: Charles Moore
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 09:06:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: [R1b1c_U106-S21] L47+ Network diagram
Actually, we generally analyze the results by the DNA first, and geography second. This is because generally the DNA data results that we have are the result of mutations that took place before our ancestors moved to the locations that we know about.
In the case of the Cloud family, this family has the Eastern Ivanhoe result 462=10, which occurs at an extremely slow-changing STR, which therefore takes on an almost SNP-like reliability (ie = the presumption that those with this result all descend collectively from a single ancestor who had this change occur in his DNA).
Whereas, the other British Ivanhoers Cheshire and Grant, have the ancestral result 462=11.
So, from a DNA standpoint, Cloud is correctly grouped with the Easterners, even though the family is from Wiltshire.
Exactly what this means is open to debate, but the data could be used to surmise that the interesting bifurcation in this group is the result of a movement from Britain to EE, rather than the other way around.
Cloude vs. Cloud vs. Cloudesley. Why is the surname spelled in so many ways? The silent 'e' was a common addition to English words, but its usage has diminished over time, so Cloude became Cloud. As to "Cloudesley", it means "Cloud's Leigh" where "leigh" 15 means meadow, so this could imply a person from Cloud's Meadow or whose family came from there. (See also Leigh) 16
The Scottish clan McLeod. The Scottish clan McLeod 17 18 is thought by some to be the parent of the Cloud surname. Leod, thought to be the progenitor of the McLeod clan lived from about 1200 until 1280 A.D., though no documentation is found for the clan until after the middle 14th century. We find references to the Cloud surname or its variants in England as early as 1275-1299. The disparity in the location, dates and DNA evidence make it unlikely the Cloud family was part of the McLeod clan. (See the MacLeod DNA Project 19 and the Cloud DNA Project 20.) (Use the Contact form to contact the Cloud DNA Project Administrator.)