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Towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge in the Early Years of John Clark

Spanning The Years From John's Birth
To Pre-Revolution
1740 - 1775

Narrative of Bedford and Pound Ridge.
An Account from Early Records; annotated.

More information will be added as it becomes available.

John Clark's family had resided in this geographical area for some 100 years before the group's trek north to albany ca 1792. Westchester was their second phase of settlement. Before this, they had been just a few miles to the south, in the Stamford area.

The Stamford phase of settlement will be addressed in a work to be posted at a later date.

Bedford and Pound Ridge in 1756, would have been 75 years old and perhaps teaming with the labors of development. By comparison, the settlement of Albany would have been about 130 years into its development. Following, is a list of occupations abstracted from the 1756 census list for Albany (this record was readily available). Perhaps this list of occupations can give us a glimpse into what occupations our Bedford and Pound Ridge townspeople, might be engaged in.

Baker, merchant, Indian trader, shoemaker, silversmith, sadler, retailer of liquor, farmer, brewer, mason, carpenter, cooper, waggoner, hatter, taylor, tobacconist, butcher, cooper, laborer, dram shop, smith, weaver, tavernkeeper, shop keeper, glasier, clergyman, barber, apothecary, britches maker, wampum maker, watterman, cryer, carrman, blacksmith, bricklayer, hoopmaker, gunsmith, Inn keeper, sawmaker, schoolmaster, turner, doctor, lawyer, wigmaker, showmaker, brasier, saxton, mantuamaker.

A 1763 List of Freedholders in Westchester County, NY gives us the following glipse into the communties of Bedford and Pound Ridge, in which our ancestors lived. I combined the listing from Bedford and Pound Ridge to give the following account.

-- Freeholders are men who own their own land, free and clear of claim or mortgage.

Carpenters: Jacob Wood, Samuel Wood

Weavers: Nathaniel Warring, William Frost, Thomas Rustle, Abraham Cawfield.

Cordwainers: Joseph Holmes, Samuel Trowbridge, John Maynard, Jonathan Crawford, Joseph Scribner, John Ferris

Miller: Thomas Butson (Bouton?).

Blacksmiths: John Forman, Zebulen Crane, Richard Ketchum.

Taylors: James Lord, John Elliot, Robert Andrews

Sadler: Samuel Lewis.

Schoolmaster: George McOnneal.

Mill Wright: James Wright.

Cooper: Jeremiah Miller.

Joiner: Silas Carpenter.

Merchant: Ebenezer Ward.

Mason: Thomas Bay.

There are many, many more men on this extensive list. All the others are "Yeoman" (aka farmers).

Men on this list whose names are familiar in our family history: John Westcott, Joseph Clark, David Clark, Nathaniel Clark, Stephen Clark, Johial Weed, Ebenezer Scofield and Jeremiah Scofield.

Surnames of familiarity: Ingerson, Waring, Miller, Wood, Holmes, Fowler, Haight/Hoyt, Robinson, Weed, Scofield, Green, Scribner, Ambler, Ferris.

-- Our direct ancestors, John (b 1740), and his father John (b ca 1705), and the elder John's other sons, are not to be found on this list. That fact only means that if our Clarks were landholders; then, that land was encumbered by mortgage. It does not mean our ancestors were not in these communities.

In 1763 John Clark would have been a young man of 23. This may have been the year that he married. We don't know if he held his own lands, or if he was still living with his father's family at this time. We do know he had the company of his three brothers, and at least one sister. If there were other siblings -- which is quite likely -- they may have died in their younger years.

If John had not yet married, he must have been at least acquanted with, or courting, his bride-to-be Martha Westcott; the daughter of John Westcott.

If you have corrections or comments, please feel free to contact me.

E-mail Liz Cornish