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The Aaron Stark Family Chronicles

 

 

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Volume 1: The First Three Generations of Aaron Stark's Descendants in New England

Preface

 

 

Page 5

Preface

 

The Aaron Stark Family

Volume 1 is a history of the first three generations who lived in Colonial Connecticut. It begins with the arrival of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] in New England from either England or Scotland between 1630 and 1637. He married a woman named Sarah and they had children named: Aaron Stark (Junior); John Stark; William Stark (Senior); Sarah Stark and Elizabeth Stark. The Stark surname was continued through their sons Aaron Stark (Junior) and William Stark (Senior). John Stark, during his brief life, had two daughters; Sarah Stark married Captain Samuel Fish; and Elizabeth Stark married first, Micah Lambert, and second, Josiah Haines.

Some of the descendants of Aaron Stark (Junior) moved north from New London County, Connecticut, to New Hampshire and Northeastern New York. (These branches would become inextricably confused with the descendants of General John Stark; not related to Aaron and his descendants.) Others moved into New York just before the Revolution, while others moved to New Jersey about 1733 with a group known as the Rogerenes; followers of the religious sect founded by John Rogers of New London County, Connecticut.

Descendants of William Stark (Senior) would also be on the move. His son William Stark (Junior) had a son named Jonathan, who moved to New Jersey with the Rogerenes – the progenitor of a branch which began in New Jersey; removed to Loudoun County, Virginia; then migrated to a region that became Washington County, Pennsylvania where they served in the Revolutionary War. They then moved to Kentucky after the War and many of their descendants had moved to Indiana by 1820. (This branch was often confused with descendants of James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia; not related to Aaron and his descendants.)

Christopher Stark (Senior) – another son of William Stark (Senior) – removed to Dutchess County, New York from Connecticut around 1758. About 1772, Christopher (Senior) and several of his sons moved to the Wyoming Valley (located near present day Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania). Two of his sons (Aaron Stark [1734-1778] and Daniel Stark) were killed by Indians in the Wyoming Valley Massacre of July 3, 1778. Christopher Stark (Junior), son of Christopher Stark (Senior), lived in Dutchess County; later moving to Albany County, New York where he participated in the Revolutionary War with his sons Asahel, William, and John. Asahel later moved to Washington County, Indiana where he died in 1821.

Several of the descendant families of Aaron Stark (Junior) and William Stark (Senior) continued to live in Connecticut and can be found living in and about New England today.

 

Other Families With The Surname Stark

There were other families with the surname Stark who lived in the same regions as Aaron’s descendants and have been the cause of considerable confusion for Stark family genealogist. James Stark lived in Stafford County, Virginia, arriving from England or Scotland about 1723. Many of his descendants moved to Kentucky and then to Indiana. Archibald Stark became a resident of New Hampshire about 1724; one of his sons was General John Stark of Revolutionary War fame. Archibald’s descendants lived in New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and other regions where the descendants of Aaron lived.

Genealogical research has revealed Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was not related to these families. Recent DNA test of living male descendants of Archibald and James Stark with the surname Stark suggest they are related to each other; but results of the DNA test of Aaron Stark’s male descendants with the surname Stark suggests they are not related to the descendants of Archibald and James Stark. [For more on the Stark Family Y-DNA Program, click HERE.]

The Stark Family Association Year Books presented a Stark Family Coat of Arms in their annual yearbooks – which cannot be claimed by the descendants of Aaron Stark. According to Alexander Nusbet Gent’s 1722 publication entitled A System of Heraldry Speculative and Practical with the True Art of Blazon, this was the Coat of Arms carried by John Stark of Killermont; from whom Aaron Stark does not descend. Mary Kathryn Harris and Mary Iva Jean Jorgenson compiled several Volumes entitled, “James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia And His Descendants.” (Privately Printed in Fort Worth, Texas; Copyright 1985.) In Volume 1, on page 1, they had these comments on the origins of this Coat of Arms:

 

“The family of James Stark of Stafford County, Virginia originated in the vicinity of Glasgow in the Scottish Lowlands. The Highlands and the Lowlands are roughly separated by a line from Glasgow to Aberdeen. The history of this Stark family begins with a legendary event which took place in the late 1400’s. The story of this event was first written down in the late 1600’s by Sir George MacKenzie.”

 

 

 

 

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They quoted the following account by Sir George MacKenzie [1636-1691]; which tells the story of how John Muirhead was given the name John Stark by a grateful King James IV of Scotland:

 

“Stark Beareth azur, a chevron, argent, between 3 acorns in chief, Or, and bull’s head erased of ye 2nd in base. Those of ye name are descended of one John Muirhead, 2nd son of ye Lord of Lachop, who at hunting in ye forest of Cumbernauld, one day seeing King James ye 4th in Hazard of his life by a bull hotly pursued by ye hounds stept in between ye King and ye bull, and gripping ye bull by ye horns and by his great strength almost tore ye head from him, for which he was called Stark and his posteritie after him and bears ye rugged bull’s head in their arms. Ye old sword of ye family has on it “Starks, alias Muirhead.”

 

 

This same description of the Coat of Arms can be found in the above mentioned publication by Alexander Nusbet Gent:

 

“The name of Stark with us has its rise from just such another Action, as that of Turnbull’s, but later; by saving King James the IV from a Bull in the Forest of Cumbernauld, by one of the name of Muirhead who for his Strength was called Stark; and to show his descent from Muirhead, he carries the armorial Figures of Muirhead, with it’s Bull’s Head, viz. Azure, a Cheveron between 3 Acorns in Chief, Or, for Muirhead, with a Bull’s Head erazed in Base of the 2nd. The same is carried by John Stark of Killermont; and for Crest a Bull’s Head erased, Argent; distilling Drops of Blood, proper. Motto: Fortiorum, fortia, facta.”

[Source: A System of Heraldry Speculative and Practical with the True Art of Blazon, by Alexander Nisbet Gent, Edinburgh, 1722, printed for J. Maceuen.]

 

The Harris and Jorgenson publication has a lengthy discussion on the possibility that Archibald and James Stark were descendants of John Stark of Killermont. If the Sir George McKenzie story is true, then these Stark families would be descendants of John Muirhead, alias John Stark and have the right of claim to this Coat of Arms.

 

Common Myths, Mistakes, and Misconceptions

During the course of researching the family of Aaron Stark, many common myths, mistakes, and misconceptions were discovered which have become part of the past and present genealogy. Chapter 3 will discuss these genealogical departures from what is true, right, or proper and suggest alternative interpretations.

Several myths about the origins and parentage of Aaron can be found in the Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ Ancestral File entitled “Aaron Stark (AFN FS8H-PL).” This source is cited on most of the Rootsweb.com WorldConnect Project genealogy files presented on these web sites; intended to support their presentation that Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was the son of Aaron Stark and Mary Holt and was born in New London County, Connecticut in 1608.

The Charles R. Stark publication had several mistakes in the genealogical order which will be corrected – the reasoning for the corrections discussed in the “MMM” Chapter. Some researchers have mistakenly reported Aaron Stark married Mary Holt and they had a child; a mistake easily made when reviewing Aaron Stark’s appearance before the Particular Court of Connecticut in 1639. However, the “MMM” Chapter will suggest this marriage and the birth of a child did not occur.

[For more on the "MMM" article, click HERE]

 

Acknowledgments

There are a number of people to whom I owe a great deal. Those who contributed important genealogical and historical information were Gwen Boyer Bjorkman, Pauline Stark Moore, Donn Neal, Carolyn Smith, and many others; all of whom shared their own interpretations of these families with me. They deserve a goodly share of credit for what is to be presented. This publication would not have been possible without the generous contributions of their extensive research.

There is no greater favor a writer can ask of a friend than to be an objective and critical reader. Donn Neal has been such a friend; incisive, patient, and devoted to bringing out the best values of this manuscript. His editorial assistance was invaluable and I cannot thank him enough for his contribution.

Donn, you kept me from going Start raving mad – and now let us Stark  telling Aaron’s story!:<)

 

Clovis LaFleur

August, 2007

 

 

 

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Copyright

Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles and genealogical data presented in this publication were derived from the research of Clovis LaFleur; Copyright © 2007. All rights are reserved. The use of any material on these pages by others will be discouraged if the named contributors, sources, or Clovis LaFleur have not been acknowledged.

Disclaimer

This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur. However, some of the content presented has been derived from the research and publicly available information of others and may not have been verified. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.

 

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