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Hi, My name is Vickie and to tell you a little bit about myself, I was born and raised in Kentucky and the majority of my ancestors have been in Kentucky since the 1790’s. I have always loved history, a good mystery and puzzles and that is what Family History Research is all about. As a child we would take day trips on Saturdays and head down some dirt road looking for old cemeteries. A lot of the time we weren't looking for anyone in particular, we just like to read the epitaphs. We would have a picnic lunch packed and have lunch at whatever cemetery we were at. If the weather was bad my Dad and I would go to a court house and dig through old records in musty old basements looking for our ancestors. So as you can see I have had an interest in Family History for quite some time.View my complete profile

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Capt. Christopher Clark, 1681-1754, of Virginia

Christopher Clark was my 6th great-grandfather, on my Daddy’s side of the family, through his mother’s people.   Christopher’s 2nd great-grandfather was John Clark the Master Mates/Navigator on the Mayflower that I wrote about last year, week #43.   Christopher according to most sources was born in Somerton, Nansemond County, Virginia in about 1681.  Other sources say he came from England via Barbados in about 1710.  I believe it was more like about 1704, if he was indeed in Barbados, as I find his first land grant in 1705 in Virginia and he was married in Virginia in about 1709 to Penelope Johnston, daughter of Edward Johnston and Elizabeth Walker and his first child, Edward Clark, was born in Virginia in 1710.  I know his grandfather, Michael Clark died in Barbados in 1679 and so maybe that is why some think he came from there.  In either case he is supposed to have acquired around 50,000 acres of land.

The majority of this land was located in New Kent, Hanover, Louisa, Albemarle and Goochland Counties in Virginia through the years.  The land grants that I have found so far show him only getting 5526 acres, between the years 1705 to 1741.   There could be other land he bought without it being land grants, but still lots of digging to be done searching for that.  The following map shows where these counties are located in the state of Virginia.



Christopher Clark was a Captain of the Hanover County militia in 1727 and also had a land grant in Albemarle County in 1727 with Nicholas Meriwether and was supposedly a law partner of Nicholas Meriwether as well.  He was Sheriff of Hanover County from 1731 to 1732, Justice of Louisa County in 1742, overseer of a Quaker Friends Meeting near Sugar Loaf Mountain in 1749, appointed High Sheriff of Hanover County on April 24, 1751.  He had large plantations and was a very large slave owner with at least 100 or more slaves at different points in his lifetime, at least until he joined the Quaker Church in the late 1730’s.  owever, However, his will shows that he still had at least eight slaves when he wrote his will, which he gave to his children.   For your information the Quaker religion did not believe in fighting or owning human beings, though there were a few members that did so without being excommunicated.

Christopher Clark, left the following will which was written on August 14, 1741 and was proved in court and recorded in Louise County, Virginia on May 28, 1754.  I do not have an actual date of death for Christopher, but it would have been between the date he wrote his will and the date it was proved in court.  I know he was still living in April of 1751, so I am assuming he probably died in the early part of 1754.  I thought I had a copy of the original will, but I am not finding it right now.  I will be in Salt Lake City at the Family History Library next week, so I will look for it again and make a copy to add to this post after I get that.  Hopefully now that I am more use to reading old handwriting, then I was years ago when I originally find this, I will be able to make out all of the names of the slaves given in his will.  The following though, is an abstract of his will that I did years ago and slave names will be underlined and marked in red so that you can pick them out more easily.

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In the name of God Amen.  I Christopher Clark, being sound in mind and memory, thanks to God Almighty, for it, but calling to mind the uncertainties of ye life, make this my last will and testament as follows:

1st I give to my loving son Edward Clarke, one gun and all my wearing clothes and all things else that he was possessed of that was mine. 

2nd I give my loving daughter Agnes Johnson, one negro wench named ----- and her increase, and whatever else she has or ever had in possession that was mine. 

3rd  I give my loving daughter Rachel Moorman, four hundred acres of land in Hanover County, near to Capt. Thomas Dancey, and one negro woman named Moll, with her increase and all things else that she has had in her possession whatever of mine. 

4th I give my loving daughter Sarah Lynch, one negro boy named ------, and all things else that she is or ever was possessed of that was mine. 

5th  I give my loving son Micajah, five hundred acres of land in Hanover County, the same whereon I now live with all rights and hereditaments, thereto belonging, and one negro boy named -----, working tools, and whatever else is or was possessed of that was mine. 

6th I give my loving son Bowling Clarke, four hundred acres of land in Hanover County, lying on the north west side, joining on the land of Mr. Thomas Carr, and on ye County ------ two young negroes, named Nane and Robin, one horse named Spret, one gun and one feather bed and furniture, two cows and calves, my trooping arms, my "Great Bible" and all my law books.  (Bowling Clark is my direct line and my 5th great-grandfather who married Winifred Buford.  I wish that Bible still existed and that family info was written in it.)

7th  I give my loving daughter Elizabeth Anthony, four hundred acres of land in Goochland County, on Footer Creek near the South fork of the James River, two young negroes, Mat and Jenny, cows and calves, one feather bed and furniture. 

All the rest of my estate be it what nature or quality, so ever, I leave to my loving wife during her natural life, who I appoint my executrix and further my will and desire is that my loving granddaughter, Penelope Lynch, at the death of her grandmother, Penelope Clarke, my wife, that them she and the said Penelope Lynch, be paid out of my estate if there be so much remaining, forty pounds good and lawful money of Virginia, and then if any left, to be equally divided among my said children, but not to be appraised.  

In witness to the above promises, I have here unto set my hand and fixed my seal this 14th day of August, 1741.     Christopher Clark

Test: Thomas Martin, Ann Martin (made her mark, she was daughter of Charles Moorman Sr.), James Waring (made his mark)  At a court held for Louisa County, the 28th day of May 1754, this will was proved this day in open court by the oath of Thomas Martin and affirmation of Ann Martin and admitted to record and is recorded.  Test: James Littlepage, Clerk of the Court.

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The slaves mentioned by name in this 1741 will, were the following: Moll (female), Nane (male), Robin (male), Mat (male) and Jenny (female).  There were also 2 negro boys and a negro woman which don’t have names from this abstract, so I need to find the original will again and see if I can read and make out their names this time.  I was able to locate the original will this week on microfilm at the library in Salt Lake City.  I have changed the names slightly from my original post, but was still unable to see the names of those with the dashes I have.  The will on microfilm you could tell was in bad shape when it was microfilmed, with torn and faded pages.  The following are the copies of the two pages of the will and the proven record. SLFHL Microfilm #32192 item 1, Will Book 1: 1745-1761 for Louisa County, Virginia.




15 comments:

  1. Thank you for your contribution to the Slave Name Roll project! I've added a link to this post.

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  2. My Name Is Robert Dwayne Looper My Bio Father was Donald E.Hooker He was Married To Charlene Beth Slatier in 1965 or 66 i am looking for relatives. robert.looper1966@gmail.com

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    1. Robert, I don't have any Hooker's or Slatier's in my family files, sorry.

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  3. My Name Is Robert Dwayne Looper My Bio Father was Donald E.Hooker He was Married To Charlene Beth Slatier in 1965 or 66 i am looking for relatives. robert.looper1966@gmail.com

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  4. Hello Vicki! My name is Bill McCulloch, and my mother's maternal grandmother was an Alice Clark. We share the same line of descent through Bolling Clark and Winifred Buford. My line descends from their son, David Clark, married to Charity Boone. There seems to be a lack of supporting documentation proving that Penelope, wife of Capt. Christopher Clark, was a Johns(t)on. Are you aware of irrefutable proof that the wife of Capt. Christopher Clark was a Johnson? Thank you! Bill McCulloch - williampmcculloch@yahoo.com

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  7. I think everyone agrees that the father of General George Rogers Clark and his brother William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition was John Clark d. 1799 in Louisville, Kentucky.

    However, Vickie, I don't respect your theory that John Clark d. 1799 in Louisville Kentucky was the son of Captain Christopher Clark 1681-1754.

    In your rootsweb family tree on Ancestry.com you admit that Captain Christopher does not list a John in his will at all. You also admit that other genealogists list John Clark d. 1799 in Louisville Kentucky as the son of Nancy Wilson and Jonathan Clark, although all you will say about that lineage is that "I will need to do more searching to find out for sure who his parents really are ..."

    There is ample evidence showing the ancestors of General George Rogers Clark and his brother William and you could have already read through that research. Instead you say the grandfather of General George Rogers Clark and his brother William is Captain Christopher Clark without one shred of evidence.

    I agree that Captain Christopher Clark is related to General George Rogers Clark and William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It has been shown through DNA evidence that they probably have a common ancestor.

    However, ample evidence shows that General George Rogers Clark and William Clark's parents were John Clark/Ann Rogers, their grandparents were Jonathan Clark/Nancy Wilson and their great grandparents were Jonathan Clark/Elizabeth Lumpkin.

    In terms of how Captain Christopher Clark was related to the famous Clarks I mentioned, I am not sure. I have a theory with some evidence, but I won't post that here publicly until I am more sure about my theory.

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    1. George Rogers Clark and his much younger brother William had another famous "at the time" brother, Jonathon Clark 1750 – 1811 Which of course fits the Scot style naming pattern, as the eldest son was name after the Paternal Grandfather. I would love to see your theory on the connection to the Capt Christopher Clark branch of Clarks. I directly descend from Capt Christopher, but have doubts about the commonly accepted line before him.

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing your information. I have a question that I was hoping you can answer. Christopher Clarke (16 81) married Penelope Johnson, however, in many places on ancestry she is listed as Penelope Bolling and given Bolling parents. There are also DAR applications that list her as Bolling. I was hoping you could shed some light on this? I started out thinking she was a Bolling, but now am thinking Johnson instead.

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    1. DNA evidence shows the Johnston/Johnson link but no Bolling links at all that I am aware of. I believe that because some of the children were given the first name of Bolling that somewhere along the line people just assumed that was Penelope's maiden name.

      Everything that I have found so far points to Johnston/Johnson as her true surname.

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    2. I do have a Penelope Bolling link straight back to Chief Wahunsonacock. Pat Rodgers

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  10. I am a direct descendant of Penelope Johnson and Christopher Clark. There is no Native American DNA in my blood line, even though we had always heard family myths about it on both sides. The whole Bolling thing was an attempt to link Penelope with Pocohantus. So it was repeated so many times it became an accepted fact. Edward and Elizabeth Johnson, who were Penelope's parents owned land and lived near Powhite Creek 37°33'55.89"N 77°18'27.81"W. Meanwhile Christopher Clark lived near where Beaver Dam Creek emptied into the river. 37°34'40.65"N 77°20'16.77"W abut a mile and a half away. PLUS, Penelope's brother Thomas Johnson ( who was about the same age as Christopher ) lived right next-door to Christopher Clark. There were no nearby Bollings that I have been able to find. There is an old Bible notation from the Georgia State Archives that suggest that Christopher Clark was actually born in 1678 and not 1681. This would make sense since he was being assigned tasks by St Peters Parish in 1697 and 1698. They would not have mentioned him singularly had he been under 18 years of age. Furthermore, Christopher Clark signed the marriage records of his Quaker friend Thomas Lankford in the year 1700. And get this,,,, he signed it with his then wife named Elizabeth. She is mentioned a couple more times and then disappears. Obviously she died around 1706-1708 and Christopher could then marry the 24-25 year old Penelope the daughter of his neighbors and friends. ( By the way, Penelope had a slightly older sister named Elizabeth who was born in 1682. So was she his first wife and then he married the two year younger sister????) And why was Penelope available at age 24-25? Was she first married to somebody else with whom she never had kids? Did she always carry a torch for her neighbor Christopher who had married her sister back when she was 15-16..??? Or was she stuck caring for a sickly relative ( like a sickly married sister) and thus was not able to marry or do much of anything...??? Our CLARK line is not related to many of the other and numerous Clark's in early Virginia. DNA shows us being related to the William and George Rogers Clark line probably before either family moved to the new world. We are direct line related to one line of the Brooks family. This dates to about 1730 when suddenly one of the Brooks kids shows up with CLARK DNA. The Brooks lived down the road from the Clarks at the time near their second home area of Green Springs. We think that Christopher and Penelope's first son Edward Clark(b-1710) was probably the DNA donor for this line of Clark-Blood Brooks. That Brooks kid grew up and moved off with the Clarks and Lynch families who started Lynchburg VA. But that is another story...
    Alexander Clark, Homer Alaska

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