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.
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.
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.
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.