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John Clark (1740-1818)

Brother of Abel Clark, Jabez Clark and Jonathan Clark of Pound Ridge, Westchester County, NY

John Clark migrated from Westchester to Saratoga and Cayuga Counties, New York.

John Clark and his large family; his adult children with their young families; allied families; and other community members, all migrated from the Towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, Westchester County to the Towns of Milton and Greenfield, Saratoga County about 1792. Whether they went as a group, or whether family clusters trickled in over a period of years, is not known. A few of our family group stayed in Saratoga County but most left by 1809 for the Town of Aurelius, Cayuga County. That part of Aurelius was broken off later to become a part of the Town of Springport.

George Washington Clark (1834-1915)
Great-grandson of John Clark
Union Springs, Town of Springport, Cayuga County, New York

We have not established who our immigrant ancestor might be.

Though not supported by contemporary research, one school of thought has our immigrant as Samuel Clark (b. ca 1610). Samuel was one of the early inhabitants of Stamford, Connecticut which was founded in 1640/1641 by a group reportedly from the Wethersfield Colony on the Connecticut River; Westhersfield having been established just 5 years prior, in 1835/36.

This same school of thought presumes Samuel Clark's son to be William Clark Sr. (1645-1697) though there is no proof.

Regarding this matter, fellow researcher and family member, Chuck Rodekohr presents the following information in an email to me Nov 11, 2006.

Recent research by Robert Anderson, in connection with the Great Migration Study Project, conclusively shows that this Samuel Clark was in fact not the father of William Clark of Bedford, that his wife was not Hannah Fordham, and that none of the other Samuel Clarks in New England could be the father of William.

Anderson concludes that the "Samuel Clark set forth in the 19th-century Clark genealogy as father of William Clark is a phantom, cobbled together out of pieces of other Samuels, and out of the Fordham evidence, which now appears to be unconnected to any Samuel Clark."

. . . there is no basis for determining if William Clark of Bedford is a second generation New Englander, hence he will be considered . . . as the first in this line of the Clark family.

William Clark Sr. was among the Stamford, CT group of proprietors who signed a deed dated 23 December 1680, thus founding of the Town of Bedford in Westchester County, NY. This deed being only a portion of all the lands that would later comprise the whole of the township.

John Clark (1740-1818), our subject, is presumably the great-grandson of William Clark Sr who is among the 22 proprietors named in the Bedford deed. The link between John Clark and William Clark has not been proven.

In these pages, I hope to develop a narrative history and genealogy of our family. Within that context, I will try to convey the nature of the time and the place in which they lived.

My current research is focused on learning more information about our oldest known Clarks: siblings Abel Clark, Jonathan Clark, Jabez Clark, John Clark and a sister Hannah Clark.

Abel, Jabez and Jonathan are said to have stayed and died in Westchester county where they were born.

The brothers probably lived in Pound Ridge near Cross River, adjacent to an area currently known as Ward Pound Ridge Reservation -- a land preserve.

Click Here to Learn More
About the Clarks in Pound Ridge and a small cemetery nearby.

My descent from John Clark is from his son Ichabod Clark, his son Lewis Clark, his son George W. Clark, his son Jotham Clark, and his daughter Dorothy L. Clark who was my maternal grandmother.

Ancestors of allied names can be found amoung the early inhabitants of Stamford and Bedford. Originally Bedford was part of Connecticut; later becoming part of New York state.

Early allied families include: Ambler, Scofield, Westcott, Weed, Robinson, Hoyt, Ingerson, Boardman, Fowler, Botsford and Croft.

Timelines and settlement phases I plan to explore:

  • Arrival of the Clark colonists -- Stamford Phase
  • Clarks Expand Northward -- Westchester Early Phase (1681-1739)
  • John Clark before the Revolution --
    Westchester Middle Phase (1740-1775)
  • Clarks during and after Revolution --
    Westchester Late Phase (1776-1792)
  • The Clarks go north -- The Saratoga Phase
  • The Clarks expand west -- The Cayuga Phase (1810-1850)

Conventional history has been unkind in the telling of legacies, peoples and customs. It would have us believe that our ancestors landed in a wilderness of uncivilized people and societies. That is not the case.

Our ancestors came to a land in which native populations had already been exposed to Europeon fisherman, traders and trappers. Some already spoke French, Dutch and/or English by the time the first puritan colonialists set foot on these shores.

The land was hardly an unbroken wilderness. The native cultures had settlements, villages, governments, trade, craftsmanship, arts, and sports. They cleared and cultivated lands long before a Europeon ever chanced upon the shores of this continent.

Thank You

Special thanks to fellow researcher and distant cousin, Chuck Rodekohr of California. An equally obsessive researcher, dear friend and kindred spirit who has stirred my passions, motivated my family research, and challenged me to be a better researcher.

Our common ancestor is John Clark

I owe a special thanks to another distant cousin, Linda Fonville; also from California. Our common ancestor is Ichabod Clark. Linda was instrumental when I was a novice family researcher; her enthusiasm, dedication, and hard work has inspired me. She continues to be a dear friend.

Thank you Linda and Chuck.

Special thanks to my other distant cousins and fellow researchers who have been very helpful to me along the way. Each person has been special -- Fred Clark of Texas; Ted Jackson of Rochester, NY; Jim and Janet Clark of Ohio; Beth Miller of Michigan; Beverly Ray of California.

I can never Thank You enough for your help and information.
I'm happy we're family.



Visit the Frontenac Genealogical Society and Museum
for more information related to the town of Springport
and Union springs in Cayuga county, New York.

Frontenac Genealogical Society and Museum

Should you trip over this site and be a distant relative,
or have corrections or comments, please feel free to contact me.
I would love to hear from you.

E-mail Liz Cornish