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      Volume 3: The Newton County, Texas Stark Families  

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This publication is a compilation of the ancestors and descendants of four siblings with the surname Stark who moved to Texas in 1836 and settled in an area that became Newton County when Texas was admitted to the Union December 28, 1845. Their names were William Hawley Stark, Sarah Mariah Stark, Prudence Jane Stark, and Asahel “Asa” Lafitte Stark. They were seventh generation descendants of Aaron Stark {1608-1685} of New London County, Connecticut who migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England around 1630 and was among the first who settled along the Connecticut River near Hartford, Connecticut in 1636. In 1669, he settled in an area which became known as Groton, New London County, Connecticut in 1705.

The great- grandfather of the Newton County Siblings was Christopher Stark, Jr., born September 27, 1728 in New London County, Connecticut, the  son of Christopher Stark, Sr. and Joanna Walworth. Christopher, Jr. died between 1781 and 1785 in Albany County, New York. Christopher Stark, Jr. had a son, Asahel Stark, who was the father of Daniel R. Stark. Daniel was the father of the above Newton County, siblings.

Those who have participated in the Stark Family Y-DNA Project have been found to be descendants of many genetically unrelated families having the surname Stark or one of it's derivatives.  The majority of the participants are descendants of families that settled in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Connecticut. Contrary to the beliefs of some earlier researchers, the Stark Family Y-DNA Project has confirmed the descendants of Aaron Stark are not  related to the descendants of the New Hampshire and Virginia families. A known male descendant of Asahel Lafitte Stark (Project Member #78078) — having the surname Stark has been genetically confirmed to share Aaron Stark [1608-1685] as a common ancestor with other known descendants of Aaron in the project genetically tested.

Following Books of Newton County Stark Familiy published as PDF files for Free Downloads

Book 1: Our Early Connecticut Ancestors (1.63 MB)

Book 2: The Revolutionary War to the Republic of Texas (1.74 MB)

Next Part 2

Table of Contents Dedication Part 1: The Early Newton County, Texas Stark Families Part 2: The American Revolution Generations Part 2 Appendix Part 2 Appendix 1
Asahel Family Group
Part 2 Appendix 2
Asahel Stark Will
About the Authors Preface
by Clovis La Fleur
Chapter 1
Newton Co., TX Families
Chapter 2
Who was Who
Chapter 3
Revolution Years
Chapter 4
Bio Christ Stark, Jr.
Chapter 5
Bio Asahel Stark
Part 2 Appendix 3
Sarah's Probate
Part 2 Appendix 4
John Stark Insane
Part 2 Appendix 5
Chris LA Property to John
Part 3: From New York to the Republic of Texas Part 4: The William Hawley Stark Family Part 4 Appendix Part 4 Appendix 1
W. H. Stark Scrapbook
Chapter 6
Family Migrations
Chapter 7
Years Before Republic TX
Chapter 8
Daniel Stark/Nancy Hawley
Chapter 9
Bio Will Hawley Stark
Chapter 9b
Will Stark Family Group
Chapter 10
More Civil War Years
Part 4 Appendix 2
Lewis Myles Stark
Part 4 Appendix 3
Stark History
Part 4 Appendix 4
Ben Zachary
Part 4 Appendix 5
David Chapin, Casualty CW
Part 5: John & Sarah Mariah (Stark) Lewis Family Part 6: William & Prudence Jane (Stark) Herrin Family Part 6 Appendix 1, 2, 3, & 4
Chapter 11
Bio John & Sarah
Chapter 11b
Samuel Lewis Family
Chapter 11c
Sarah Lewis Family Group
Chapter 12
Bio of Will & Prudence
Chapter 12b
Herrin Family Group
Chapter 12c
Herrin Scrapbook
Appendix 1
Maude Herrin
Appendix 2
Rev. R. L. La Fleur
Appendix 3
Maude & Robert
Appendix 4
Clovis & Hopey La Fleur
Part 7: Asahel "Asa" Lafitte Stark & His Descendants              
Chapter 13
Bio Asahel L. Stark
Chapter 13b
Asahel's Family Group
Chapter 13c
Asa's Family Scrapbook
             

 

 


Volume 3
The Newton County, Texas Stark Families
Compiled by Pauline Stark Moore; authored & Edited by Clovis La Fleur


Newton County, Texas Courthouse


William Hawley Stark & Martha C. Whitman


Asahel "Asa" Lafitte Stark




Wm. Hawley Stark Home, Bon Wier, Newton Co., TX

Located on the West Bank of Sabine River.

Family Cemetery among Pine Trees in Background

 

 

 

 

Volume 3 Table of Contents

Copyright / About the Authors

ii

Dedication

iii

Preface

iv
Part 1: The Early Newton County, Texas Stark Families  2 thru 17

Chapter 1: Origins of the Newton County, Texas Stark Families

2 thru 14

Chapter 2: Who Was Who Named Christopher Stark

15 thru 17
Part 2: The American Revolution Generations 18 thru 33

Chapter 3: Historical Introduction; America Revolution in Up State New York

18 thru 23

The Military Evidence Relevant to Christopher Stark, Jr.'s Family

23

Chapter 4: Biography of Christopher Stark (Junior)

24 thru 26

Chapter 5: Biography of Asahel Stark

27 thru 33

Part 2 Appendix Documents  

 

Asahel Stark Family Group Sheet

Asahel Stark Will (Scanned copy of original)

Sarah (Dark) Stark Probate Record (Transcription)

John R. Stark Declaration of Insanity Document (Scanned copy of original)

John R. Stark Purchase of Property from Christopher Stark (Scanned copy of original)

Part 3: From New York to the Republic of Texas 34 thru 52

Chapter 6: Family Migrations

34 thru 35

Chapter 7: The Years Before The Republic of Texas

36 thru 46

Chapter 8: Daniel R. Stark & Nancy Hawley

47 thru 52
Part 4: The William Hawley Stark Family 53 thru 73

Chapter 9: Biography of William Hawley Stark

53 thru 66

William Hawley Stark Family Group

66

Chapter 10: More Civil War Years

67 thru 73

Part 4 Appendix Related Articles

 

Scrapbook & Photo Album William Hawley Stark Descendants; Daniel L. Stark Family

Lewis M. Stark Family

The Stark, Hawley, Donaho, Larimore, Dougharty, and Carraway Families; by Neal Lowe

Benjamin Zachary & Elizabeth (Odom) Zachary; Parents of Elizabeth (Zachary) Stark

David Chapin: A Forgotten Casualty of the Civil War

Part 5: The Sarah Mariah (Stark) Lewis Family 74 thru 80

Chapter 11: Biography Sarah Mariah Stark & John Taylor Lewis

74 thru77

The Samuel Lewis Family, From Virginia to Texas

77 thru 79

Sarah Mariah (Stark) Lewis Family Group

80
Part 6: The Prudence Jane (Stark) Herrin Family 81 thru 86

Chapter 12: Prudence Jane (Stark) Herrin and William "Bill" Herrin Biography

81 thru 83

Prudence Jane (Stark) Herrin Family Group

84

Prudence Jane Stark Family Scrap Book & Photo Album

85 thru 86

Part 6 Appendix Related Articles

 

Clovis LaFleur & Hopie Taylor

Rev. Robert L. LaFleur; In His Own Words

Rev. Maude Herrin; Her Early Years

Robert LaFleur & Maude Herrin

Part 7: The Asahel "Asa' Lafitte Stark Family 87 thru 93 

Chapter 13: Asahel "Asa" Lafitte Stark; a Biography

87 thru 90 

Asahel "Asa" Lafitte Stark Family Group

91

Asa & Mary Matilda Stark Family Scrapbook & Photo Album

92

Asa & Hester Stark Family Scrapbook & Photo Album

93

 

Page ii

Copyright © 2003

Self Published

by Clovis LaFleur & Pauline Stark Moore

All Rights Reserved.

By posting this copyright it is our intention to date this material. Reproduction of portions of this text will be discouraged by the authors if they do not receive credit and credit is not given to those, past and present, who have made major contributions to our knowledge of the Stark Families presented in this text.

About the Authors

 

 

Clovis LaFleur

Descendant of Prudence Jane Stark who married William "Bill" Herrin. They had a son named Edward Herrin who married Georgian Zachary. Their daughter was Maude Mae Herrin who married Oakdale, Louisiana Pentecostal  Pastor, Rev. Robert L. LaFleur. Their son was Clovice LaFleur, Sr. who married Eva May Russell who are the parents of Clovis LaFleur.

Pauline Stark Moore

Descendant of Asa Lafitte Stark who married Matilda Donaho. They had a son named John Lawhorn Stark who married Mary Martha Zachary. Their son was Oliver Eugene Stark who married  Cynthia Melinda Marlow. Their son was Clarence M. Stark who married Bertha Mae Hunter who were the parents of Pauline Eugenia (Stark) Moore.

 

Acknowledgements

There are many researchers, past and present, who contributed to the family histories compiled for this publication. Contributors to the Colonial Years in Connecticut were Gwen Boyer Bjorkman, Donn Neal, Neal Lowe, and Mary Stark. Sharon Reck, Gwen Boyer Bjorkman, and Donn Neal supplied much of the information which proved Asahel Stark of Indiana was the son of Christopher Stark (Junior); born in Groton, New London County, Connecticut in 1728.

And one must give credit to past Stark Family researchers like Charles R. Stark and Helen Stark. Their early research into the Aaron Stark Families of America were the starting point for most of our research and provided us with data and material which enhanced our understanding of the times and places where our ancestors lived. Their early research is truly remarkable when one considers the complexity of compiling their family stories 100 years ago.

Without the research of Neal Lowe, we would not know today that Daniel R. Stark – resident of West Baton Rogue Parish, Louisiana who died in 1820 was the father of our four Newton County, Texas siblings and further proved Daniel was the son of the above Asahel Stark. 

Contributors to our research in Newton County were the Newton County Historical Commission, Stark Family Association of Texas, Mary Stark, Bonnie Smith, Gladys Zachary Skinner, Floyd Boyett, Ruby Burkett, Lena Hughes, and many others. Finally, we are sure we have overlooked other major contributors to this publication for which we sincerely apologize.

Clovis L. La Fleur & Pauline Stark Moore

November 4, 2003

 

Page iii

 


Charles R. Stark

Dedication

Charles R. Stark (Photo Left) wrote a book entitled “Groton, Conn. 1705 - 1905” which was printed in 1922 in Stonington, Conn. by Palmer Press. Chapter VII has an extensive history of the First Baptist Church of Groton, New London County, Connecticut  founded by others and our ancestor, William Stark, Senior in 1705. He also published a book in 1927 entitled “The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations” which was a compilation of the descendants of Aaron Stark, an ambitious undertaking for 1927.

Although there were several inaccurate placements of the ancestors of our four Newton County siblings, his publications contributed to the Colonial Years material presented in our book. This book is dedicated to him and all of the past and present Stark Family researchers who contributed their time, research material, and family histories to be found in this publication.


Stark Family Association of Texas

These pages are also dedicated to past & present members of this association who contributed much of the genealogical data and family stories presented in this publication. Many have passed on while many are still living. By providing the information on these pages, the Association hopes to preserve and make available to the public, all of the many hours of research these dedicated members have contributed to our knowledge of this branch of Aaron Stark's descendants.

In 1981, Mary Burns Stark and Pauline Stark Moore were on a field trip to a cemetery in Franklin, Texas looking for information on their relatives. While there, they met a couple of women visiting the cemetery. During their conversation, Mary and Pauline enquired about the Stark family members they were researching. These women told them there was a one armed man who lived near Hearne, Texas named Otis E. Stark. When Mary and Pauline located him, they found the descendants of David Dewitte Stark (son of Asa Stark and his 2nd wife, Hester Ann Ford). Mary and Pauline were invited to join them in their next family reunion in Hearne. As a result of this reunion held In 1982, the "Asa Lafitte Stark Family Association of Texas" was founded and for several years thereafter, the reunions were held at the Fireman's Hall in Hearne. Many reunions were held until 1999. That year, the newsletter was published; but a reunion was not held due to illness and old age of the members.

At about the same time of the cemetery encounter, Pauline and Mary met descendants of William Bennett Stark and met for the first time, Inez Stark Wilson, a resident of Waco, Texas. Inez became the source of considerable information about Asa Lafitte and contributed this photograph of Asa to the Association. Inez died in 1992, just four months short of her 100th birthday.

The organization's original members were descendants of Asa Lafitte Stark (Photo Left). Organized similar to the  National Stark Family Association founded in August of 1895 by the descendants of Aaron Stark of Groton, Connecticut, they met for social exchange and discussion of the family history and stories. At a later meeting, the name was changed to "The Stark Family Association of Texas" to distinguish it from the National Stark Family Association..

Asa's brother, William Hawley Stark, who married Elizabeth Zachary, was the first to arrive in Jasper County, Texas around 1836, (In 1846, the area where they settled became part of Newton County after Jasper County was divided.) followed soon after by Asa and then later by his sisters Prudence Jane Stark who married William Herrin and Sarah Mariah Stark who married John Taylor Lewis. In the year 2000, descendants off Asa Lafitte Stark's siblings joined with thee AsaStark Descendants to form the present day Association, all descendants of Daniel R. Stark and Nancy Hawley, arriving in Louisiana about 1816 from New York State.

Research by thee Asa Stark descendants discovered Daniel R. Stark was the son of Asahel Stark of New York, who was the son of Christopher Stark, Jr. who was the son of Christopher Stark, Sr. and Joanna Walworth, who was the son of William Stark and Elizabeth, who was the son of Aaron Stark (1608-1685) and Sarah, all of Groton, Connecticut. This is but one branch of a number of descendant branches of Aaron Stark. Stark descendants discovered Daniel R. Stark was the son of Asahel Stark of New York, who was the son of Christopher Stark, Jr. who was the son of Christopher Stark, Sr. and Joanna Walworth, who was the son of William Stark and Elizabeth, who was the son of Aaron Stark (1608-1685) and Sarah, all of Groton, Connecticut. This is but one branch of a number of descendant branches of Aaron Stark.


 
Asa Lafitte Stark

 

Page iv

 

Preface

 

This publication is a compilation of the ancestors and descendants of four siblings with the surname Stark who moved to Texas in 1836 and settled in an area that became Newton County when Texas was admitted to the Union on the 28th day of December 1845. Their names were William Hawley Stark, Sarah Mariah Stark, Prudence Jane Stark, and Asahel “Asa” Lafitte Stark. They were seventh generation descendants of Aaron Stark {1608-1685} of New London County, Connecticut who migrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England around 1630 and was among the first who settled along the Connecticut River near Hartford, Connecticut in 1636. In 1669, he settled in an area which became known as Groton, New London County, Connecticut in 1705.

Two other families with the surname Stark, neither related to Aaron Stark, arrived in America around 1720 to 1725. Aaron was not related to the family of General John Stark of Revolutionary War fame for this family did not arrive in America until around 1720 and settled in New Hampshire. Around 1725, James Stark arrived in Virginia from England. As the descendants of these three families with the surname Stark began to move west, they settled in the same areas which caused considerable confusion for Stark family researchers. However, it is important for future researchers who might use this book to know these three American Stark families can trace their origins to either Connecticut, New Hampshire, or Virginia and the research of the families to be discussed in this book have been proven to be descendants of Aaron Stark of Connecticut, the earliest to arrive in America with the surname Stark.

Those who have participated in the Stark Family Y-DNA Project have been found to be descendants of many genetically unrelated families having the surname Stark or one of it's derivatives.  The majority of the participants are descendants of families that settled in New Hampshire, Virginia, and Connecticut. Contrary to the beliefs of some earlier researchers, the Stark Family Y-DNA Project has confirmed the descendants of Aaron Stark are not  related to the descendants of the New Hampshire and Virginia families. A known male descendant of Asahel Lafitte Stark (Project Member #78078) having the surname Stark has been genetically confirmed to share Aaron Stark [1608-1685] as a common ancestor with other known descendants of Aaron in the project genetically tested. 

The four siblings mentioned were not related to John Thomas Stark, born December 19, 1821 in Preble County, Ohio and who died September 23, 1893 in Orange County, Texas. He was Captain of the Dreadnaughts, Company H, 13th Texas Cavalry and became well known in Newton County as a result of his service in the Civil War. John Thomas moved from Ohio to Missouri with his parents and the family eventually arrived in Texas around 1840. They first settled in San Augustine County, Texas and then moved to Burkeville, Newton County, Texas in 1853, many years after the siblings arrived. Careful research by descendants of John Thomas Stark has proven he was descended from the above James Stark of Virginia.

Volume 1: The Aaron Stark Chronicles / The First Three Generations has biographies for the following (Click on The Item to go to the web page):

 

Chapter 2: The Life & Times of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]

Chapter 6: The Life & Times of William Stark, Sr. [1664-1730]

Chapter 12: Christopher Stark, Sr. [1692-1777]

Chapter 13: Christopher Stark Family In The Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania

 

The great- grandfather of the Newton County Siblings was Christopher Stark, Jr., born September 27, 1728 in New London County, Connecticut, the  son of Christopher Stark, Sr. and Joanna Walworth. Christopher, Jr. died between 1781 and 1785 in Albany County, New York. Christopher Stark, Jr. had a son, Asahel Stark, who was the father of Daniel R. Stark. Daniel was the father of the above Newton County, siblings.

Daniel R. Stark and Nancy Hawley moved to Louisiana from Genesee County, New York in 1816 and were married before 1809 in New York. She was the daughter of Samuel Hawley, a veteran of the Revolutionary War from Massachusetts and a descendant of one of the early Hawley families who lived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Their oldest son, William Hawley Stark married first, Elizabeth Zachary, sister of Bennett Hiram Zachary, and second, Martha C. Whitman, daughter of Adam Whitman and Dorothy Richard. There youngest son, Asahel “Asa” Lafitte Stark, married first, Matilda Donaho, daughter of Daniel Donaho and Nancy Larimore, and married second, Hester Ann “Hettie” Ford, daughter of David Ford and Courtney Caraway.

Their daughter, Sarah Mariah Stark, married John Taylor Lewis, who was the son of Samuel S. Lewis. They were living in Texas as early as 1835 where they were listed in the census that year in the Mexican District of Bevil. They had a daughter named Nancy Jane Lewis who married James Herrin, descendants of this Herrin family being well known in Newton County. 

Daniel R. Stark's youngest daughter, Prudence Jane Stark, was the second wife of William “Bill” Herrin and the above James Herrin was William’s son from a previous marriage. Prudence had a son named Edward Herrin who married Georgian Zachary, the granddaughter of Bennett Hiram Zachary. Many members of this Herrin family lived in the Devils Pocket region of Newton County until about 1908, and were living in Leesville, Louisiana by 1909. Other notable families to be discussed in this book will be Dougharty, Donoho, Zachary, Inman, Davis/Moore, Whitman and many others who married descendants of the four siblings.

The Authors make no claims all that will appear in this publication is accurate. We have strived to provide reliable sources when available and in many instances have had to rely on information and family histories supplied by others, which may or may not be correct. We hope the reader will recognize when we have speculated where the evidence was insufficient or circumstantial but could lead to the logical conclusions presented.

Clovis L. LaFleur

November 4, 2003

Part 1; Chapter 1: Origins of the Stark Families of Newton County, Texas

Page 2

 

 

Part 1: The Early Newton County, Texas Stark Famiies

Chapter 1

Origins of the Stark Families of Newton County, Texas

Author's Note: Without the combined research notes and documents of Pauline Stark Moore, Sharon Reck, Neal Lowe, Gwen Boyer Bjorkman, and Donn Neal, the evidence to be presented in this publication would not have been possible. Thank you for so graciously sharing your research.

 

William Hawley Stark was an early resident of Jasper County, Texas before the County was divided to form Newton County in 1845 when Texas was admitted to the Union. He moved to Texas while it still belonged to Mexico and his son, James Terry Stark, born in 1839, was his first child to be born in the newly formed Republic of Texas. William was appointed Justice of the Peace, Jasper County, Beat 4, on February 4, 1839 and his brother, Asa Stark was appointed Constable of Jasper County, Sabine Beat 4 on the same date. Because William was a resident of Texas before the Texas War for Independence, he received a League of land from the new Republic.

He, along with others, founded the town of Belgrade on his league of land (4,600 acres) near the west bank of the Sabine River south of Bon Wier and William’s brother, Asa L. Stark. received 1,280 acres on the river north of William’s property. Asa’s Spouse, Matilda Donaho, purchased land from Adam Lackey Stewart which fronted the Sabine River north of Asa’s 1,280 acre headright. Caney Creek passed through this land and emptied into the Sabine River just below the bridge that crosses the Sabine River on Highway 190 East. In 1859, William Stark established Stark’s Landing at the juncture where Caney Creek meets the Sabine River. He build several warehouses and dock’s where steamboats could unload and load merchandise being moved up and down the river from the Gulf of Mexico.

The 1880 census for Newton County reports William was 70 years old, married to Martha (Whitman) Stark, 43. Living in the home was a daughter named Jane, age 16, and two boarders named Andrew J. Hair, age 27, and Simeon S. Davis, age 20. The census reported William was a farmer, born in New York, whose father was born in New York mother was born in Vermont. Therefore, William's place and year of birth, according to this census, would have been New York in the year 1810 [He was born August 22, 1809]. Martha Whitman was William's second wife whom he married in 1859. Living close by, in the next dwelling in this census was a son of William from his first marriage named Daniel L. Stark, age 47, born in Louisiana. Daniel reported his father was born in New York and his mother, William’s first wife, Elizabeth Zachary, was born in Arkansas. William's daughter, Jane, married the border named Simeon Davis November 17, 1881 and her name was Dorothy Jane Stark, daughter of Martha C. Whitman and the granddaughter of Adam Whitman and Dorothy Richard. Simeon Davis was the son of Turner Moore Davis and Anna Hall.

In the 1870 census, William H. Stark was 61years old and reported he was born in Illinois and married to "Martha J.", age 32. Living in the house was William, age 17, Adam, age 16, Victoria, age 8, and Jane, age 6. William and Adam were children of Elizabeth Zachary while Victoria and Jane were children of Martha C. Whitman. This would seem to connect William's birth place to Illinois, but as we will see, this is inaccurate for the 1850 and 1860 Newton County Census record his birth place as New York. Victoria, her full name being Queen Victoria Stark, married Monroe Lafayette Inman July 2, 1878 in Newton County.

In 1860, W. H. Stark was 50 years old, his birth place was New York, and was married to Martha, age 22. Living in the home were James L., age 21, Lewis L., age 20, Mary L. age 15, Elizabeth, age 13, Nancy, age 10, Wm H. age 8, and Adam L. S. age 6, all born in Texas, and a domestic named David Price, age 65 born in Canada. Living next door was P. Zachary [Penelope (Davis/Moore) Zachary], Widow. Penelope was the second spouse of Bennett Hiram Zachary, who died in the 1860 census year. Bennett was the brother of Elizabeth Zachary and William H. Stark‘s brother-in-law. The 1850 census for Newton County list Wm. H. Starks, 41 years old, born in New York, and married to Elizabeth T., age 39, born in Louisiana. Living in the home were Daniel L., age 17, born in LA, Samuel H., age 15, born in LA, James T., age 13, born in Texas, Lewis L., age 11, Martha Ann, age 9, Mary, age 7, and Elizabeth, age 5. From this census data we can conclude William Hawley Stark was living in Texas by 1837 because of the birth of James T. Stark in Texas in that year. Assuming the census data was accurate, this is rather convincing evidence William Hawley Stark and his father were both born in New York.

Part 1; Chapter 1: Origins of the Stark Families of Newton County, Texas

Page 3

 

Sarah Mariah Stark was born in New York State in the year 1812 and married John Taylor Lewis in Louisiana December 28th, 1828. A series of newspaper articles titled, "Early Settlers in Jasper County", by Mrs. Charles Martin relate the following about John Taylor Lewis: "is listed as one of the Judges of The Republic of Texas. He served as a Second Lieutenant in his brother’s cavalry company during the siege at Bexar. He and his father [Col. Samuel S. Lewis] and older brother Martin Baty Lewis all served in the Texas Revolution. He served two terms as Justice of the Peace in Jasper County. In 1833 the family was living in Bevil District, Mexico. This is where their second child was born. This family was living in Newton County, Texas by the year 1850. His grant of land is east of Kirbyville in Newton County, Texas." [Note: When Jasper County was divided to create Newton County in 1845, he became a resident of this County.] The 1880 census for Newton County reports John T. Lewis was 72 years old married to 68 year old "Mariah", her birth place given as New York and the birth place of her father and mother given as New York and Massachusetts, respectively. Confirmation of the identity of “Mariah” can be found in the Ouachita Parish, Louisiana Marriage Record Index which reports John T. Lewis married Sarah Mariah Stark December 28, 1828. Living in the home in the 1880 census year was a son named R. E. Lewis, age 22, Marinda, age 20, daughter-in-law, John T. Stivener, age 25, cousin, and Elizabeth Stivener, age 27, cousin.

In the 1860 census year for Newton County, John T. Lewis was 52 years old, born in Indiana and married to "Sarah M.", age 48, born in New York. Living in this home were Wm. M., age 26, Geo. W. age 24, Asa L. age 19, Sarah M. age 17, Elizabeth, age 13, Napoleon B., age 11, Martin B., age 8, Catherine E., age 5, and Robert E., age 2. Living next door was their daughter, Nancy J., age 29, who married James Herrin (Listed as James Herring in this census), his age being recorded as 33 years old. Nancy Jane’s birth place was Louisiana and her children were Samuel, age 14, Robert, age 10, Marcus, age 7, Eliza, age 5, and John E., age 3. The 1850 census for Newton County reveals John T. Lewis was 43 years old, born in Indiana married to "Maria", age 39, born in New York. Living in the home were Wm. McF., age 16, George W., age 14, Asa, age 9, Sarah, age 5, Elizabeth, age 3, and Napoleon, age 1, all born in Texas. From these census records we know Sarah M.'s birth year was about 1812 in New York State.

The 1835 census for the Mexican District of Bevil listed John T. Lewis as 27 years old married to Mariah, age 23 and their children were named Nancy Jane, age 4, born in Louisiana and William M., age 2, born in Texas. From the above, one can say with certainty that John T. Lewis and Mariah Stark were residents of the Mexican District of Bevil as early as 1833, Mariah was born in New York, and in the 1880 census for Newton County, Mariah’s grown children report their Mother was born in New York. In 1880, Mariah reported her Father was born in New York and her Mother was born in Massachusetts. Therefore, William Hawley Stark and Sarah Mariah Stark, were both born in New York and both reported this as the birth place of their father.

Prudence Jane Stark was reported to be married to “Bill Heran” in the 1850 census for Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana, located just across the Sabine River from Newton County and living in the next dwelling was "James Heran", married to Nancy. These gentlemen were William "Bill" Herrin and James Herrin and as related above, James Herrin married Nancy Jane Lewis, the daughter of Sarah Mariah Stark and John Taylor Lewis. Prudence, married to "Bill Heran", was 35 years old and her birth place was New York. Living in the home of William and Prudence was William, age 15, George, age 11, Andrew, age 9, Mary, age 8, Steven, age 6, Asa, age 4, and Edward, age 2. Edward married Georgian Zachary, daughter of William Augusta Zachary and Sarah Elizabeth Whitman and was the granddaughter of the above mentioned Bennett Hiram Zachary. Sarah Elizabeth Whitman was the sister of Martha C. Whitman, the second wife of William Hawley Stark. In the 1860 census, as already explained, William Zachary was living in the home of Penelope Zachary, Widow, who was William's step-mother and the second wife of Bennett Hiram Zachary. Georgian Zachary was the g-grandmother of the Author.

In this census, James Herrin is reported to be 24 married to Nancy age 21. Living in the Home are Samuel, age 4, George, age 2, Robert, age 6/12, and James L., age ?? (Couldn't read from the census). Comparing this data to the above 1860 census for Newton County, we find James , age 33 compared to 24, Nancy, age 29 compared to 21, Samuel, age 14 compared to 4, and Robert, age 10 compared to 6/12. These similarities would imply the "James Herring" in the Newton County 1860 census and the "James Heran" in the Calcasieu Parish 1850 census are the same family.

James Herrin was the son of William “Bill” Herrin conceived in a previous marriage in Louisiana and many descendants of these two men are buried in the Bob Herrin Cemetery located in Newton County. Prudence, married to Bill Heron, would seem to be Prudence Stark, the relationship possible because the spouse of James, Nancy J. Lewis, was the daughter of Sarah Mariah Stark. A possible clue Prudence could be related to William Hawley Stark and Sarah Mariah Stark is her place was given as New York in 1815, the same birth place given for William Hawley Stark and Sarah Mariah Stark.

 

Part 1; Chapter 1: Origins of the Stark Families of Newton County, Texas

Page 4

 

Asahel "Asa" Lafitte Stark was listed in the 1860 census for Newton County and reported he was 43 years old, was born in Louisiana, and married to "Hettie", age 27. [Newton County Marriage Records record he married Hester Ann Ford March 26, 1857.] Living in the home was Daniel, age 14, John E., age 11, Dennis, age 8, who were children of Asa’s first wife, Matilda Donoho, and younger children named David, age 2, and Courtney, age 7/12, children of Hester Ann. All of these children were born in Texas. Also living in the home were "M. J. Dougherty", age 23, and "C. B. Dougherty", age 16, both of whom were half-brothers of Hester Ann Ford. “C. B.” was Charles Bowman Dougharty who would later marry Nancy Matilda Stark, daughter of William Hawley Stark and "M. J." was Marshall Joseph Dougharty. The Dougharty boys had been orphaned in 1855 as a result of their father, George Dougharty, Sr., being killed by oxen in that year and because their mother, Courtney Carraway, died in 1853. Hester Ann Ford was a daughter of Courtney Carraway from her first marriage to David Ford. Courtney‘s second marriage was to George Dougharty, Sr.

Jefferson County, Texas is located south of Newton County and the 1850 census for this County listed Asa Starks, age 33, born in Louisiana and his spouse, Matilda, age 25, born in Louisiana. Living in the home were Julia Ann, age eight, born in Texas, Daniel, age four, John, age 2, and Nancy Hardin, age 62, born in New York, Also listed was Lamar Herring, age 11, born in Texas.

The Newton County marriage index records the marriage of Julia Stark and Phillip Dempsey on September 16th, 1855. Comparing names to the 1860 census for Newton County, we find Asa is 43 compared to 33 and in 1860 Asa's wife was named Hettie, while in the 1850 census, his wife was named Matilda. Probate Records show Matilda Donaho, Asa's first wife, died in 1856 in Newton County. Continuing to compare the 1850 and 1860 census data, we find Daniel, age 14 compared to 4, and John E. age 11 compared to John, age 2. Nancy Hardin, age 62, born in New York, was most likely the mother of Asa Stark which will be proven later. "Lamar Herring" is a mystery, but could be Nancy Hardin's grandson and may have been the son of Prudence Stark and William Herrin, who were living just across the Sabine River from Jefferson County , Texas in Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana in the year 1850 [See above]. This is the only reference found thus far to a "Lamar Herring ." From this census data, we know Asa was born in Louisiana about 1817 and was living in Texas by 1842 if his oldest child, Julia Ann was 8 in 1850 and born in Texas.

General activities during the years from 1835 to 1870 for the Stark men, William H. and Asa L., were numerous and active. Three sons of William H. Stark named Daniel L., Samuel H. and James T. served in the Civil War and Asa Stark's son, Daniel Donahue Stark, also served in the Civil War. Samuel H. Stark died of disease in the war, leaving behind a widow, Julia Cassandra Dougharty and their three children. James T. Stark would also die during the Civil War. After the war, Asa Lafitte Stark's son, Daniel Donahue Stark, married Samuel Hawley Stark's widow, Julia Dougharty, who was the sister of Marshall and Charles Dougharty mentioned living in the home of Asa Stark in 1860.

Asa L. Stark married Matilda Donaho/Donahue before 1842. Her family operated the Donaho Ferry across the Sabine in the southern part of Newton County. From 1849 to 1852 the couple lived in Jefferson County (presently Orange County, Texas). A man named Enos Hardin died previous to the 1850 census and Asa L.'s mother, Nancy, was probably living with them, according to the 1850 census for Jefferson County. Asa L. was a constable in Jefferson County, a member of the Masonic Lodge, and registered a cattle brand during their three year residence in the County. In 1853, Asa L. moved back to Newton County and lived there until after the Civil War.

Analysis of these four individuals living in Newton County reveals William Hawley, Sarah Mariah, and Prudence Jane Stark were born in New York while Asa Stark was born in Louisiana. In the 1880 census, William Hawley and Sarah Mariah reported their father was born in New York but differed on the birth place of their mother, whom, it would seem, was born in New York if the Nancy Hardin living with Asa Stark in Jefferson County, Texas is the mother of these four residents of Newton County. It now remains to show they were brothers and sisters and Nancy Hardin was their mother. Was Nancy Hardin the Mother of William Hawley Stark?

In the Newton County 1847 Tax Records will be found “William H. Stark, agent for Nancy Hardin, taxes on the 640 acres in the David Pool Survey.” In the same tax year will also be found “Nancy Hardin, agent for Napoleon Hardin, 1,481 acres of the Enos Hardin Survey.“ On December 29, 1847, Nancy Hardin, a resident of Newton County, Texas, declared in a document of indenture [given over to work for], that a slave named Ann was assigned  by this binding contract to work for Nancy's grandchildren  named, “Daniel Lafayette Stark, Samuel Hawley Stark, James Terry Stark, Lewis Miles Stark, Martha Ann Stark, Mary Stark, Elizabeth McFarland Stark, children of William H. Stark and Elizabeth Stark, all of the County and State aforesaid. Witnesseth, that the said Nancy Hardin for and in consideration of the sum of one hundred dollars in hand paid by their next friends and the love and affection which she bears for her grandchildren afore named, doth by these presents…..” (See Figure 1)

This document clearly reveals Nancy Hardin of Newton County was the grandmother of William Hawley Stark’s children and most likely his mother, for the parents of his wife, Elizabeth (Zachary) Stark were living in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana in 1847 and her mother‘s name was also Elizabeth. In a land record dated October 28, 1848, 160 acres was deeded to Alex Sappington of Carroll Parish, Louisiana by W. H. Stark and his wife Elizabeth and signed in Newton County, Texas in front of a Notary on this date. This document was witnessed by Nancy Hardin.

 

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The sale was recorded November 29, 1848. Recorded on the next day, November 30, 1848 in the same Parish and Conveyance book was the sale of property to the same Alex Sappington by William Herring of Newton County, Texas. A witness to this transaction was John DeHart, married to William’s half-sister, Mary Commander Herring. These transactions show William Herring and William Hawley Stark were neighbors in Ouachita Parish, part of which became Carroll Parish after 1832. This was probably property located near an area known as the “upper” Bayou Macon. Therefore, we can say with certainty, Nancy Hardin was the mother of William Hawley Stark and was most likely the mother of Asa Stark, but we will need additional proof of the relationship. The sale of the properties in Carroll Parish also established a link to William Herrin and it remains to be proved his spouse named Prudence was a sister of William Hawley Stark.

From the foregoing paragraphs, a Ouachita Parish Marriage license was issued to Sarah Mariah Stark and John T. Lewis and they married December 28, 1828. Text from "The Handbook of Texas Online", provides a short biography of Samuel Lewis, father of John T. Lewis; "Samuel S. Lewis, early Texas settler and congressman, was born to John and Sarah Lewis on July 4, 1784, in Virginia. He married Sarah Lemaster in Henry County, Kentucky on August 7, 1804. They moved to Indiana, where their seven children were born, five in Indiana Territory and two after it became a state. Lewis founded Orleans, Indiana, and served with the Indiana militia in the War of 1812. In the mid-1820s the family moved to Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, where Lewis became justice of the peace." The birth locations of the children of Samuel Lewis provide proof the Lewis family lived in Indiana until about 1824 and the marriage of Samuel’s son, John T. Lewis in December of 1828, places the family in that location before the date of this marriage.

Enos Hardin received a headright from the Republic of Texas in 1838 which described him as a single man which would imply he married his spouse, Nancy Hardin, after that year. (See Figure 2) "N. B. Harden", age 32, was born in Louisiana and lived next door to Asa Lafitte Stark, according to the 1860 census for New County. If N. B. Hardin was born in 1828 and Nancy did not marry his father, Enos, until after 1838, then we must conclude N. B. Hardin (His name was Napoleon Bonaparte Hardin) was not a son of Nancy, but her step-son.

Carroll Parish, Louisiana was created from parts of Ouachita Parish and Concordia Parish in 1830 and then divided into East Carroll Parish and West Carroll Parish in 1877. Because Carroll Parish were originally part of Ouachita Parish, the obituary of one Samuel Hawley, published in the Vicksburg Register (Vicksburg, Mississippi), dated July 2, 1835 provides a possible link to the given name of Nancy Hardin, provided one believes William’s middle name “Hawley” was his mother’s given name: "Another Revolutionary Soldier is no more--Died at the upper settlement on Bayou Macon in the Parish of Carroll, State of Louisiana, on the 4th day of June 1835, Samuel Hawley, aged about 80 years, a native of the State of Massachusetts, and once a soldier of the Revolutionary army. Mr. Hawley was a pensioner and lived for several years back thus secluded and remote with his child and respected by all who knew him." We have established William Hawley Stark owned property in Carroll Parish and it can be speculated his Mother, Nancy, was living with him in 1835 on this property.

Carroll Parish was located in the northeastern part of Louisiana, bordered to the North by present day Arkansas, to the east by the Mississippi River, and to the west by Ouachita Parish, the Boeuf River being the boundary between Carroll Parish and Ouachita Parish in 1830. The present day boundary between East Carroll Parish and West Carroll Parish is the tributary called Bayou Macon, mentioned in the above obituary. This is not far from Vicksburg, Mississippi and Nancy (Hawley) Hardin was probably the "child" mentioned in the obituary, for Samuel had only one daughter and no other children.

On April 22, 1828, the Mississippi Pension Agency in Natchez, Mississippi wrote a letter to James Barbon, Secretary of War, which made this request; "Samuel Hawley, a pensioner on the rolls of the Indiana Agency makes application as per affidavit enclosed for a transfer to my department in having removed to the state of Mississippi. The pensioner resides in a remote corner of our State and  will call for his pay (which by his statement is ...[Not legible]... since 4 March 1827) in about two months [?hence?], at which time I expect to see notification of his transfer. Signed Most Respectfully, Your ...[Not legible]..." From this statement and the above obituary, we know a Revolutionary War Pensioner named Samuel Hawley was living in Indiana prior to the date of this document and had recently moved within the jurisdiction of the Mississippi Pension Agency.

Samuel Hawley had most likely made a pension claim in Indiana and researchers discovered he did make a claim in Floyd County dated March 31, 1826 and in sworn testimony declares; "he is 68 years old ....That my occupation is that of a farmer, that I am weak, feeble and unable to labor, that I have one daughter only, her name is Nancy McGowan, aged 37 years, that she has five children, William, fifteen years of age, Maria, 13 years of age, Prudence, 10 years of age, Asahel, 8 years of age, and Matilda, 5 years of age - my daughter, her two oldest children, are able to support themselves by their labor the three others, Prudence, Asahel, and Matilda are not - all of which compose my family and looks to me for a support." Assuming Nancy McGowan and Nancy Hardin are the same person, then she must have been married prior to her marriage to Hardin. Apparently, McGowan has left or is deceased at the time of the Pension Application for marriage records have not been found indicating she married Hardin or McGowan but are implied by records such as this pension application, association, time, and place.

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Figure 1: 

Nancy Hardin Document Conveying Slave Ann to her Grandchildren.

 

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Nancy Hawley [This given name for Nancy will appear in the remaining text] must have been living with her father in Indiana and they were possibly living near the Lewis Family and others who moved from Indiana to Ouachita Parish, for Orange County Indiana and Floyd County, Indiana, share a common border.

Notice Samuel Hawley’s Pension Application has names and expected ages for four children of Nancy McGowan which are similar to the four individuals believed to be her children, later to be found living in or near Newton County, Texas. William age 15, named in the pension application would have been born in 1810 while William H. in the 1880 Newton County Census was 70, both documents establishing his birth year as 1810. Maria, age 13, would have been born in 1812 while Sarah Mariah (Stark) Lewis married to John T. Lewis was 68 years old in the 1880, these documents establishing her birth year as 1812. Prudence, age 10 would have been born in 1815 while the wife named Prudence, married to William "Bill" Herrin was reported to be 35 in the 1850 Calcasieu Parish Census, both of these data sources indicating she was born in 1815. Asahel, age 8 years, would have been born in 1818 while Asa Stark, age 43 in the 1860 Newton County Census, would have been born in 1817 which would is a very close comparison. Finally, Nancy McGowan, age 37, would have been born in 1789 while the Nancy Hardin reported in the 1850 Jefferson County, Texas census as 62 years of age would have been born in 1788, again close enough to believe they could have been the same person. Comparisons of the Newton County Census data to Samuel’s Pension application establishes a high probability four of the children of Nancy McGowan were the above Newton County siblings, and because Nancy McGowan was named as Samuel’s daughter, her surname was “Hawley.”

The Texas census data reports Asahel “Asa” Lafitte Stark was born in Louisiana in 1817 while his siblings were born in New York. If they were living in Florida County, Indiana in 1826, is there evidence Nancy Hawley could have been living in Louisiana in 1817? West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana probate records have a document dated September 5, 1820 which states William Stark and his wife, Victoria Betencourt, provided a donation of $2,200 to the children of Nancy Hawley, widow of Daniel R. Stark. The children receiving this donation were William, Muriah, Prudence, Esahl, and Amanda. The money was to be paid to Nancy Hawley by March, 1822. Could this be the same Nancy McGowan, daughter of Samuel Hawley, living in Indiana in 1826? The text of this document of donation makes this assertion; "Know all men by these presents that I, Nancy Hawley, widow of the late Daniel R. Stark, acting as mother and...[Not Legible]... [probably tutor meaning guardian] of the children of the said Daniel R. Stark, named William, Prudence, Muriah, Esahl, and Amanda, do hereby accept in the name of these children, the donation which has been made to them by William Stark and Victoria Betencourt, his wife, which donation is the sum of two thousand and two hundred dollars to be paid by the said Wm Stark and Victoria Betencourt in the month of March, eighteen hundred and twenty-two to me and any other person legally authorized to act in the name of ...[Not Legible]... children, their executors administrators. Signed Nancy Stark." The names of these children match very closely with the Samuel Hawley Pension Application and the Newton County Stark families.

West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, Probate Packet #85, reports one Daniel R. Stark died June 20, 1820. Before the Probate Court of Judge Ph. Favrot, “Nancy Holly” filed this petition on behalf of her children; "The petition of Nancy Holly, widow of Daniel R. Stark, who humbly cometh into this honorable court since her husband Daniel R. Stark, late of this Parish died on the 20th last, [has] left said petitioner with five children, all of minor ages. Now it is her request this humble court be pleased to grant her prayer [request] of tutorship in order that she may administer the property formerly in community between her and her late husband, that an [?under?] tutor be appointed to her said children, and that an inventory and appraisement of ...[Not Legible]... here unto have [?assignment?] this 15th day of July in the year 1820. Signed Nancy Stark. Signed before me Ph. Favrot, Judge." In Louisiana, the legal expressions, tutor or tutorship, can be defined as, "assigned the function of guardianship of minor aged children." Normally, a close member or friend of the children would be named and assigned by the presiding judge as under tutor to look after the interest of the named children.

Another document in Daniel R. Stark’s Probate Packet declares; "Know all men by these presents that where as Nancy Holly Stark has presented a petition to this court praying for tutorship in order to administer on the property in community between [?her?] and her children and whereas this Nancy Stark has come before this court and has fulfilled all the formalities in such case required by law, it.... [Not legible] ....children named William, Mariah, Prudence, Esahl, and Amanda, and fully authorized to act as such pertaining to [?the?] laws. Given by hand and seal this [??] of July 1820. Signed Ph. Favrot." Nancy Holly Stark was approved to be the Guardian of her children. Comparing the names of these children to the names of the children in the Samuel Hawley Revolutionary Pension Claim of 1826, shows they are very similar accept for Esahl, when compared to Asahel, and Amanda, when compared to Matilda.

Louisiana was under the influence of France until the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 and as late as 1820, many legal documents were prepared in French and often used French words as is still done today. The Judge in these proceedings, Ph. Favrot [Probably Phillip Favrot], was definitely of French descend and may have used a French spelling for the name Asahel.The "E" in Esahl may have been a French accented "É " which would be pronounced "ay". Because the letter “H’ is often silent in the French language, the French pronunciation of Esahl in the legal document may have been "Ay-sal", very similar in sound to the English pronunciation of Asahel. Asahel was most likely the given name which would have been his grandfather’s name, as will soon be proven. The difference between Amanda and Matilda cannot be explained unless her name was, perhaps, Amanda Matilda Stark. She may have died young for these legal documents are the only information found on this child of Daniel and Nancy.

 

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Figure 2 

Enos Hardin Republic of Texas Headright

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Nancy Hawley requested William Stark be named under tutor to the children and Judge Ph. Favrot prepared this document which says; "It is hereby ordered that ...[Not Legible]... William Stark come before this court and say weather he accepts the appointment of under tutor to the minor children of the late Daniel R. Stark. Given under my hand this ?? of July 1820. Signed Ph Favrot." This document illustrates, as presented earlier, William Stark has an interest in the well being of Daniel's children.

About two months later, Judge Favrot ordered a family meeting of the children's relatives and friends be held September 7, 1820. He wrote; "It is hereby ordered that a family meeting composed of five of nearest relatives, friends of the children of the late Daniel R. Stark, say Francis White, Zephriam ????, Samuel Hawley, John Ruff???, and William Stark, under tutor of said children, be commenced on Tuesday , 7th .... [Not legible] ....to look into consideration the prayer [request] of widow of Daniel Stark. Given order my hand and seal the first day of September 1820. Signed Ph Favrot." This document named William Stark as the under tutor for the children and Samuel Hawley was considered to be a relative or friend of the children eligible to attend the ordered meeting. These documents along with other data suggest William Stark could have been a brother of Daniel R. Stark and Samuel Hawley could have been their grandfather. Because the names of the children of Daniel R. Stark are similar to those named in Samuel Hawley’s 1826 Indiana Pension Application, it would seem reasonable to speculate these children and the Indiana children are the same persons.

Apparently, as a result of this meeting the Judge writes, "..... and William Stark, under tutor of the children of Daniel R. Stark, especially convened for the purpose of taking in consideration the prayer [request] of Nancy Hawley, widow of the late Daniel R. Stark, requesting that the property now in community between her and her children, the [?said?] meeting of family after being ...[Not Legible]... and maturely deliberating was unanimously of opinion that for the benefit and best interest of the children, the prayer of the widow of Daniel R. Stark , [?does?] urge it to be granted, and the property now in community between her and her children be [?given?] over to him [William Stark??] at the price of the appraisement which has been made hereof. ..... [Not legible] .... the members of this family meeting have hereto set their hand ?? of September 1820. Signed Zep??? Daigle, John ?Ruffaye?, Francis White, Samuel Hawley. Judge Ph. Favrot presiding."

The West Baton Rouge Parish probate packet of Daniel R. Stark proves Nancy Hawley was his spouse and they had children named William, Mariah, Prudence, Esahl, and Amanda, the first four names being similar to the given names of the Newton County siblings. They also suggest Samuel Hawley could have been Nancy Hawley’s father, providing a link to Samuel Hawley of Floyd County, Indiana who had a daughter named “Nancy.” Logic would further suggest the parents of the Newton County Stark siblings were Daniel R. Stark and Nancy Hawley and although not directly stated, it would also appear William Stark and Daniel were related, probably being brothers.

William Stark died May 4, 1822 in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. Probate Packet #97 reports his estate was inventoried on May 9, 1822. One document in the inventory papers stated the following: "Having examined the amount account, in the presence of the heir, Mrs. Sarah Stark, mother of the late William Stark, deceased, I having found the account of vouchers in support of said account true and correct, ...[Not Legible]... Victoria Starks [Victoria Betencourt, wife of Wm. Stark] having delivered up all the papers she has in her possession, to the heir Sarah Starks, said heir declares hereby to have received said notes, vouchers and accounts, it is therefore ordered that said above petition, of their knowledge, fulfills the duties incumbent on him as appraising of the objects contained in same ...[Not Legible]... left by the late Wm Stark. Signed: [Signature was not legible.]" The William Stark inventory mentioned a bill of sell of property belonging to the late Daniel R. Stark, and left money to his mother, Sarah Stark. The will of Asahel Stark of Washington County, Indiana, to be discussed in more detail later, named Sarah Stark as his wife. William's wife was named Victoria and her surname was Betencourt, which was revealed in the gift made to Daniel R. Stark's children September 5, 1820.

On March 20, 1821, Asahel [Spelled Ashel in his will] Stark of Washington County, Indiana, prepared and signed his last will and testament. He willed to his wife, Sarah Starks, 310 acres of "land lying and being in the State of New York, Onondaga County and town of Cicero..." He bequeathed sums of money to sons named Samuel, Asia, Archibald, Christopher, John, and William, bequeathed sums of money to his daughters named Polly Brezee, Sally Graves, and Desire Stark, and named his wife, Sarah Starks, to be the sole executrix. This will proves Asahel/Ashel Stark was married to Sarah Stark and they were living in Washington County, Indiana, in the year 1821 and they still owned property in Onondaga County, New York. She had a son named William, who could be the same William who died in Louisiana May 4, 1822. Unfortunately, the will doesn’t provide for a son named Daniel R. Stark because he died prior to the date the will was made by Asahel.

Page 219 of the 1820 census for Washington County, Indiana has as heads of Household the names Asaatl Stark, over 45 years old, Archibald Stark, age range 16-26, and Samuel Stark, age range 26-45. Living in the home of Asaatl/Asahel Stark is a male, age range 16-26, and a female, age range 16-26. They are probably Asahel's son, Asa, and Asa's wife Deborah Moore or his daughter, Desire. Also living in the home is a female, over 45 years old, most likely the spouse of Asahel, her name probably being Sarah, if she is the Sarah named in Asahel's 1821 Will.

 

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Living in the home of Archibald was a male over 45 years old, perhaps John Stark, declared legally insane in 1817, as we will learn later in this text. The female, age 16-26 is probably Archibald's spouse named Rhoda Howe. In Samuel's home we find a male, age 16-26 and two females, age 16-26. The male is most likely Asahel's son named Christopher. The females would be sisters named Sophia and Nancy Scott, the former the spouse of Samuel and the latter the spouse of Christopher. Asahel's will named Samuel, Asia, Archibald, Christopher, John, and William as sons. Assuming the above speculation on who was living in the homes of “Asaatl”, Archibald, and Samuel in 1820 are correct, can these brothers be connected to William Stark and Daniel Stark of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana?

Parish land records report William Stark purchased land in 1809 [Book A, p. 82] and may also be the William Stark in the "American State Papers" who claimed a tract of land located in the Parish of Iberville, Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi River containing 680 acres. A man named Christopher Stark bought land in 1812 [Book D, p. 41] and later sold land to John Stark in 1815 [Book D, p. 164]. Daniel R. Stark first bought land in 1817 [Book E, p. 33] and in 1818, Samuel Stark purchased this property from Daniel [Book E, p. 118]. Daniel also sold property to Caleb Eddy in the same year and, as already seen above, he died in June of 1820. All of the given names in these transactions are the same as those in Asahel's will with the exception of Daniel R., who was not a named beneficiary. None of the Stark names, so active prior to the 1820 census, appear to be in West Baton Rouge Parish in 1820 accept for William Stark. However, we do find Samuel Stark  listed as Head of Household in Washington County, Indiana. Another transaction related to Louisiana of interest will be found dated September 28, 1818 in Knox County, Illinois which says one Christopher Stark, a resident of Louisiana, purchased 160 acres. This could be the above Christopher who sold land to John Stark in 1815.

In the year 1817, found in the Parish of West Baton Rouge, was Probate Packet #50 for John Stark, Interdicted. In this packet is a deposition made by William Stark which states, "The petition of William Stark of this Parish respectfully represents; that he a brother of John Stark of the Parish aforesaid, age about [?35?] years; that the said John is in a state of mental derangement of insanity, and is truly considered wholly incapable of taking care of his person or property...." This document most certainly proves William and John are brothers, and both names appear as beneficiaries in Asahel’s Indiana Will.

On January 20, 1817, two additional depositions were made by Samuel Stark and Daniel R. Stark which supported the petition presented to the court by William and included in the John Stark Probate Packet.. Both depositions, recorded in French, refer to some insane mental behavior of John which occurred in October of 1816. Another item in the packet was a bond for $1,000 paid by William Stark and Daniel R. Stark and which names William “Curator ad Bona.” The inventory taken as a result of this interdiction by John’s family declared he was owed $52 by William Stark and $6 by Daniel R. Stark. John was indebted to Christopher Stark in the amount of $150, most likely this debt occurring when Christopher sold his property to John in 1815 and John also owed his brother, William, $100. February 12, 1817, Probate Judge William Wikoff, Jr. conducted an auction at the home of John Stark. Daniel Stark bought several items as did William Stark. John’s plantation was sold to Sullia Guidry for $1,207 dollars.

Although Daniel was not named as a brother of John or William, the documentation thus far examined suggest Daniel had a close relationship with John and William, and both of these men appear to have been associated with Samuel Stark and Christopher Stark. All were living in West Baton Rouge Parish from about 1810 to 1818. However, if Samuel Stark and Christopher Stark of Indiana are the same persons, then they both removed to Indiana from Louisiana by the fall of 1819 for Christopher Stark married Nancy Scott October 2, 1819 and Samuel Stark married Nancy’s sister, Sophia Scott, November 10, 1819, these marriages held in Switzerland County, Indiana. It now remains to prove these men who lived in Louisiana are the children of Asahel Stark.

John Stark served in the War of 1812 and the National Archives Military Records, page 284-285 recorded men who enlisted in the U. S. Army prior to the establishment of peace, May 17, 1815. Found in the 44th Regiment, U. S. Infantry was; "John Stark, 5' 9'' tall, Blue Eyes, Brown Hair, Dark Complexion ; Occupation, Carpenter, Born in New York, New York. Enlisted July 5, 1814 at Natchez by Lt. Peters for duration of the war. At Baton Rouge July 6, 1814. Remarks: R. R. July 31, 1814 - D. R. Capt. J. J. Miles Company Feb. 16, and I. R. New Orleans Feb. 28, 1815, present Private. I.R.P. M. Bcks. April 30, 1815. Discharged April 8, 1815 at New Orleans, LA [77497 - A G O]." This was John Stark of West Baton Rouge Parish and observe he was born in New York and note from the earlier discussion of the 1880 Newton County census records Daniel R. Stark was born in New York as reported by his son William Hawley Stark and daughter Sarah Mariah Stark. The 1850 census for Clark County, Illinois, where Archibald and Asa Stark [Sons of Asahel Stark] would later move from Indiana, reports their birth place as New York. Therefore, these records establish John Stark, Daniel Stark, Archibald Stark, and Asa Stark were all born in New York State.

Probate Record # 199, dated Feb. 23, 1838, was prepared for Sarah Stark in Edger County, Illinois and named the following five heirs; A. C. Stark, Asa Stark, an insane brother of which Asa is the guardian, Mrs. Brezee, and Mrs. Howe. A. C. Stark was Archibald Stark, Asa was Asia Stark, the insane brother was John Stark of Louisiana, Mrs. Brezee was the same Polly Brezee, and Mrs. Howe, was Desire Stark {She married Nathan Howe in 1824}. These are five of the children of Asahel Stark and his wife Sarah mentioned in Asahel's will in 1821 and clearly this document, taken in context with all of the other evidence presented, shows the Louisiana Starks of West Baton Rouge Parish are children of this couple.

 

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Therefore, with a high degree of certainty, it has been established that William Hawley Stark, Sarah Mariah [Stark] Lewis, Prudence Jane [Stark] Herrin, and Asa Lafitte Stark were the children of Daniel R. Stark and Nancy Hawley and their grandparents were Asahel Stark and Sarah Dark. Since Daniel was living in West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana in October of 1816, the place of birth of Esahl "Asa" Lafitte Stark was in this location for the family bible of Asa’s son, John Lawhorn Stark, gives his date of birth as June 19, 1817.

On September 20, 1817, Asahel and Sarah Stark of Penfield, Ontario County, New York, sold to Jesse Adams for $1,000, land in township 13, region #4, it being part of the Southwest division of Lot #14. Witnesses were Daniel Wilson and Rufus Henrik. On September 30, 1817, "Sarry" Stark was examined separately [Book 29, p. 80]. This property was purchased by Asahel from Robert Bowne of New York, New York in 1813 for $206.48. Asahel Stark was also listed in the 1813 Penfield Assessment Roll with Real Estate valued at $203 and taxes of $0.47. These documents clearly prove one Asahel Stark and his spouse, Sarah, were living in Ontario County, New York prior to their being listed in the 1820 census for Washington County, Indiana.

Sometime between 1810 and 1813, Asahel moved from Caledonia, Genesee County, New York to Ontario County. The 1810 census for Genesee County lists "Asel" Stark. He had 2 sons and three daughters living in the home. He and Sarah were probably the male and female over 45 years old. Sometime between 1807 and 1810, he moved to this area from Onondaga County, probably as a result of a Law Suit brought against him and his son, Jasper Stark. At about the same time, Daniel R. Stark purchased land March 28, 1809, located in Genesee County, probably soon after his marriage to Nancy Hawley, the Hawley family recorded as living close by when Asahel was living in Onondaga County. This would seem to show there was a Asahel Stark and Daniel R. Stark living in Genesee County at about the same time.

Researcher Sharon Reck's  account titled, "The Descendants of Christopher Stark", reveals, "By the 1800 census, "Asel" Starks was living in Manlius, Onondaga County, New York with 7 sons [5 between 10 and 26] and three daughters. Jasper Starks was nearby in the town of Fabius, age 16-26. Jasper may have been the oldest son reported in the 1790 census. Jan. 1, 1800 Edward Lounsberry of Ulster Co., NY, gentleman, sold to William Stark of Manlius 200 acres, part of lot 24 in Homer, witnessed by William Mitchell and John R. Stark. [From Deed Book, p. 266-9] In May 1802, Asahel Stark of Manlius purchased 200 acres of land lying in Cicero, Onondaga County, NY, the south part of Lot 73, and on May 22, he added the north 300 acres of Lot 73. On January 22, 1805, Asahel Stark of Cicero, sold to Joseph Hosley, Jr. of Sullivan, Chenango Co., NY, 50 acres of land, and on March 6, 1807, Jasper Stark and his wife, Betsy, sold Asahel Stark 146 acres for $650 lying in Cicero and being part of Lot 73. This was land that had been previously deeded "by Asahel and Sarah, his wife, to said Jasper together with one fourth part of a mill seat against said land as was previously deeded to said Jasper." This last transaction was witnessed by John R. Stark and Benjamin Hosley. From Book G, p. 398, "Elijah Phillips, Esq., Sheriff of Onondaga by writ of testatum fieri facias from the Supreme Court of NY 3 Aug 1807 against Jasper and Asahel Stark at the suit of James Knopp for $260 plus $29.56 damages. Sheriff had sold at public venture Lot 73 in Twp. of Cicero for $40 to Thaddeus M. Wood and Geo. Hall, highest bidders."

From this paragraph, Asahel probably had sons named Jasper Stark, William Stark and John R. Stark. The nature of these transaction suggest William and John R. Stark were born before 1779 because they would have had to be twenty-one years old to participate in signing the instruments presented. John R. Stark served in the War of 1812 and enlisted when he was 32 years old in the year 1814 which would establish his year of birth as 1782. However, it may be possible John R. Stark was older than reported in Louisiana, because if he was twenty-one years old in 1800, when he was a witness to William Stark’s purchase of land, then he would have also been born before 1779. The 1820 Census for West Baton Rouge Parish, LA records William was in the age range of 26-45 placing his birth between the years 1775 and 1794. If he was near the age of 45, then he could be this William Stark. If John and William were born during the years estimated, then they were born in New York. Also, we find Asahel owned property in Cicero, Onondaga County, NY, the same location of property bequeathed to Sarah Stark by "Ashel" Stark in his 1821 Washington County, Indiana will. It would seem very likely this family living in New York is the same family found living in Indiana.

In the 1790 census for Pittstown, Albany County, New York, list Asahel Stark and William Stark [Most Likely Asahel's brother later found living next to Asahel in Penfield, Ontario County, New York] as neighbors of Jonathan Price. Others living close by are Jonathan and Timothy Fuller, the Gifford's, Israel and William Shepherd, and William Richard. All of these individuals had lived in Dutchess County, New York prior to the Revolutionary War. These names, living so close to Asahel, would appear to provide a link to Dutchess County for both William and Asahel Stark, for these families also are related in various ways to complicated to unravel in this text.

The text, "New York In The Revolution as Colony and State", Volume I, published in 1904, is a compilation of documents and records from the office of the State Comptroller of New York. On page 125 was listed , "The Militia - Albany County, Fourteenth Regiment". Listed as officers are Lieut. Colonel John Van Rensselaer, Colonel Peter Yates, and others. Shown as enlisted men on page 127 are Asel Stark, Christopher Stark, Christopher Stark, Jr., Asahel Start, Christopher Start, and William Start. The Start spelling for these similar given names were most likely the same persons and were really Asahel Stark, William Stark, and Christopher Stark, Jr., serving in the 14th Regiment. Page 235 of this text reports John Stark, William Stark, and Asahel Stark served in the Fourteenth Regiment, Albany County Militia and received Land Bounty Rights of 500 acres.

 

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The Militia Regiments could only be called out of state for three months and were usually designated by the Colonel's name followed by the County name such as, "Rensselaer's Regiment of the Fourteenth, Albany County". The name of the Colonel was usually found to be sufficient to identify the Regiment. Pay was not always in money and timely or regular. As late as 1784, a large majority of soldiers were still unpaid for their services from 1776 through 1782. On April 27, 1784, the New York legislature passed, "An act for the settlement of the pay of the Levies and Militia for their services in the late war". After certifying the pay of individuals in the various Regiments, the treasurer of the State was required to issue to persons to whom pay was due, or their legal representatives, certificates of indebtedness bearing five percent interest on such certificates. These certificates provided researcher, Sharon Reck, with documentation which revealed the probable relationship of Asahel Stark, William Stark, and John Stark to their father Christopher Stark, Jr. and their possible relationship to others serving in the 14th Regiment of the Albany County Militia.

From the Revolutionary War Period Records (Referred to as RWPR in the rest of this text), Roll M859, will be found Manuscripts #12071 and #12072 which state: 1] Manu #12071; "28 Feb. 1785 to Col. John Rensselaer. Please to deliver to the bearer, William Stark, the notes that is due to Christopher Stark for his Militia wages and you will oblige your friend. Signed Susanna (Her Mark) Stark; Witnesses William Gifford, John Gifford." 2] Manu #12072; "11 Jan. 1786, Col. John Van Rensselaer. Sir please pay the bearer, William Starke, all the wages due to Christopher Starke, Jr. for service done in your Regiment and this order shall be your discharge for the same for me. Signed Susanna (Her Mark) Stark, Witness Israel Shepard."

Sharon Reck did further research on the names mentioned in these documents and revealed her findings in her notes which stated; "William & John Gifford were brothers. John Gifford was born 27 Aug. 1760 in Dutchess County, New York, living at Cambridge, Washington, NY at enlistment. Later he lived with a brother at Pittstown, NY. In 1790 there was Jabez, Benjamin, John, and Joseph Gifford, sons of Benjamin Gifford and Abigail Wing. Mary Gifford, born in 1744, who married Timothy Fuller, could have been a sister to these Gifford men. The Fuller's daughter, Mehitable Fuller married William Starks. Timothy Fuller and Mary Gifford lived in Pittstown, NY in 1790. Israel Shepard was born in 1746 in Plainfield, Windham, Connecticut. He and brother, William Shepard fought with the 14th Albany County Militia with Asahel, Chris, and William Stark. He also fought in Douty's Vermont Regiment with Christopher Stark, Jonathan Price, and Asahel Stark. Israel Shepard and brother, Daniel, both married in 1766 in Amelia, Dutchess County, NY. Israel is also found in the Pittstown 1790 census."

These relationships are important and note William Stark was to receive the notes or certificates for Christopher Stark on behalf of Susanna Stark. One note clearly refers to Christopher as Junior suggesting this could be Christopher Stark, Jr., son of Christopher Stark, Sr. who died in the Wyoming Valley of  Pennsylvania in 1777. Susanna was to receive these notes due to Christopher, who must have been deceased at the time of this request. Therefore, Susanna Stark must have been the widowed spouse of Christopher and William Stark was most likely the son of Christopher and Susanna.

Revolutionary War Records show Lieutenant Christopher Stark and "Ashel Stark" were on the payroll of Capt. William Shepard's Company, Col. Cornelius Douty's Regiment, in a Regiment of Foot, of the State of Vermont, from the 1st day of August to the 4th day of August, 1781, in the "Alarm at Saratoga." They were, most probably, a Militia Company from New York assigned to Vermont for 4 days during this crisis. Many of those living in Pittstown in the 1790 census, appear on this pay voucher, suggesting these men were from New York, and not Vermont, further supporting their temporary assignment to the above mentioned Vermont Regiment.

William Stark, probably Asahel Stark’s brother, prepared a Revolutionary War Pension in which he declared he lived in Pittstown, New York, his place of enlistment in May of 1780, and served in the Levis under Col. Harper. The term "Levis" was used for military units having men drafted from the County Militia Regiments, from the population of young men not in a militia unit. Levis Regiments served inside and outside the state for periods longer than the three months they usually served in th local militia regiments. William Stark married Mehitable Fuller, hence the possible relationship to the Fullers mentioned previously. To further suggest Susanna could have been married to Christopher, Jr. the 1951 research of Jennie McKee of Greensburg, Indiana, found that on May 24, 1781, Susanna Stark was a member of the Congregational Church of New Concord, Town of Chatham, Columbia County, NY. This town is located in the Oblong adjacent to the Beekman Patent.

 

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Now, if the above suggest Christopher and Susanna were husband and wife, and the mentioned William was a son, is there evidence Asahel Stark was a son of this couple. RWPR, Roll M859, Manuscript #12051 may provide the link for it says, "8 Jun 1786. Col. Yates, please to let the bearer, Ashel Starke, have my sale notes and I will oblige. Your friend and humble servant. Signed Jonathan Price; Witnesses John Price, Jr., Samuel Price". Jonathan Price was one of the men listed in the "Alarm at Saratoga" payroll with Christopher Stark and Ashel Stark and appears under Asahel's name in this document. These two documents would seem to show there is a relationship between Christopher, Asahel, and now Jonathan Price.

RWPR, Roll M859, Manuscript #14370 provides another connection to Dutchess County, New York for Asahel Stark. This record states, "Warrens Bush 27 May 1785. Col. Volkert Vader. Sir, please to pay all my Militia wages due to me, Jeremiah Burch, for my service during the late war in Col. Frederick Fisher's Reg. of Militia in Capt. Joseph Yomens Company or sum others to Gilbert Roseboom Berry and this shall be your discharge four yours to serve. Signed Jeremiah (His Mark) Burch; Witness Asahel Starke" According to the research of Sharon Reck, "Jeremiah Burch was born 1749 in Dutchess., NY and married 29 July 1773 in Dutchess County, Patty Pringle. His grandfather, Jeremiah Burch, was from New London, CT."

However, RWPR, Roll M859, Manuscript #12070, dated 11 Jan., 1786 was the most revealing document suggesting Asahel, Christopher, and William were related for it says, "Col. John Van Rensselaer, Sir please to let William Stark have the certificates that you have for me for my service done in the Militia and this order shall be your re sate for the sums. Signed Asel Stark; Witness Zacock Scribner." This document and #12071 from above, clearly provides proof William Stark was sent to pick up the pay of both Christopher and Asahel and from the above analysis of the pay vouchers, Christopher, Jr. was most likely the father Asahel Stark and William Stark. The evidence provided in these documents also suggest Christopher Stark, Jr. was married to a spouse with the given name Susanna and he probably died between the years 1781 and 1785.

Could the above mentioned John also be a son of Christopher? RWPR, Roll M859, Manuscript #5794 records, "25 April 1781. To Lieut. Peaks. Sir be pleased to pay to my honored father on his order three months wages which is due to me - it being for value received as witness my hand this 25 April 1781. Signed John (His Mark) Stark, Witness Timothy Price, William Richardson. Sharon Reck's notes on this document provide some insight to who John’s honored father may have been and state, "With this manuscript was a folded & torn piece of paper which may have been an envelope. On the outside it read; John Starks order 1 or 0 107, James Wail Ja???, Sr., and Christopher Stark. There were Lt. James & Jacob Peck in the Levis under Col. Dubois. Timothy Price lived in Pittstown, NY at the time of his enlistment. A brother, John Price, made affidavit for Timothy's pension in 1832. A Jonathan Price lived between Asahel & Wm. Stark in Pittstown, NY in 1790. Wm. Richardson & Timothy Price fought in the Levis under Col. Dubois with Aaron Stark, Jonathan Stark, Henry Stark, John Stark, & Zadock Scriber. Zadock Scriber also fought in the 14th Albany, Yates Regiment of NY Militia."

If Sharon’s analysis is correct, then John's father, Christopher Stark was to pick up the three months pay of his son. Sharon Reck further speculated Susanna Stark was the daughter of William Price, originally on the Beekman lease Christopher bought from Henry Carey. Considerable documentation exists showing there was a close relationship between the Price and Stark families. The 1790 Census for Pittstown does list Jonathan Price between Asahel Stark and William Stark and Jonathan did serve with them in the Revolutionary War. Sharon’s research suggested John Price, Sr. had sons name John Price, Jr., Jonathan Price, and possibly Timothy Price and John Price Senior was Susanna Stark’s brother. Although the above doesn’t indicate with certainty the relationship of Christopher, William, Asahel, and John Stark, it would not seem improbable they are related and Asahel Stark, John Stark, and William Stark are children of Christopher Stark, Jr. and Susanna (Perhaps Price) Stark.

Sharon Reck's conclusions, based on the New York military records and the 1790 census were, "I believe Christopher Stark, Jr. was the father of Asahel, William, probably the Nathan Stark who fought with William in Harper's Regiment, and John [who also later lived in Penfield, Ontario County, New York near Asahel and William and subsequently moved to Clermont County, Ohio]; Susannah was probably Christopher's wife. It's clear that many of their friends were from Dutchess County, New York."

By 1758, Christopher Stark, Sr. of Groton, New London County, Connecticut, married to Joanna Walworth, had divested himself of all of his property in Connecticut. January 27, 1758, he sold the land east of Fort Hill to Nathan Niles and probably sold all of his Connecticut property as preparations were being made to move to the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, near present day Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania around 1756. Because of the French & Indian War, Christopher, Sr. and his family made a decision, probably in 1756-58, to move to Dutchess County, New York and become tenants on the Beekman Patent until the war ended. James Stark, Christopher, Sr.'s son, may have moved to Dutchess County sometime in 1758 for the text, "Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations", by Charles R. Stark, reports he married Elizabeth Cary that year, daughter of the Reverend Henry Carey, one of the earliest ministers of Dutchess County.

 

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Most likely, Christopher Stark, Jr. received a lease in the Beekman Patent May 1, 1759 in Lot #4 consisting of 341 acres, although we cannot discount the possibility he was Christopher Stark, Sr. It was the sixth farm in Lot #4, located Northeast of the present village of Pawling. The lease originally belonged to William Cooper along with William Price, John Price and Sarah Price beginning May 1, 1740. William Price then assigned the lease to Henry Cary for 120 pounds March 30, 1751 who then assigned it to Christopher for 200 pounds on the above date. [Reck, Sharon, Article titled, "Descendants of Christopher Stark". Reck37719@aol.com] Named on the lease with Christopher Stark, Jr. was William Stark and Azell Stark. The landlord usually rented the land to an individual and two others in the same family, sometimes a wife and son or daughter, sometimes to brothers but almost always for "three lives." William may have been Christopher Stark, Jr.'s younger brother who would have been about fourteen years old at that time. From the Manlius, Onondaga County, New York census records of 1800, will be found a "Asel" Stark reported to be over 45 years of age that could be the "Azell" named on the lease.

Therefore, we have shown Asahel was most likely the son of Christopher Stark, Jr. and until about 1817, had lived his life in New York. We see there were New York land transactions revealing the names of his sons Jasper, William, John R., Daniel R., all occurring near locations in New York where Asahel was living at the time. From our earlier documentation, we have seen William, John R. and Daniel Stark of West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, were brothers and sons of Asahel, making them the grandsons of Christopher Stark, Jr. From all of the documentation shown in this text, sufficient proof exists to conclude with a high degree of confidence, the Newton County Stark siblings described in the beginning of this text are descended from their g-grandfather, Christopher Stark, Jr. who was the son of Christopher Stark, Sr. of Groton, New London County, Connecticut, who was the son of the Baptist, William Stark, Sr. of the same County and State, who was the son of Indian Fighter Aaron Stark of Connecticut who migrated from England about 1636 to New England. The Chapters that follow will develop these relationships in more detail.

 

Part 1; Chapter 2: Who Was Who Named Christopher

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Chapter 2

Who Was Who Named Christopher

 

Authors Note: The following is relevant to the origins of the Newton County Stark Families. Many researchers believed Asahel Stark was the son of Christopher Stark and his spouse, Martha Vineyard, whose descendants moved to Indiana from Kentucky at about the same time Asahel migrated there from New York. This text provides evidence that supports Asahel Stark was actually the son of Christopher Stark, Jr. of New York who was mistakenly believed to be the same man who married Martha Vineyard in Virginia.

 

During the years from about 1695 to 1800, there were several individuals in the Stark Family with the given name Christopher. Because the name was used so often in many different descendant branches of the Aaron Stark Family, there have been many interpretations of the data by early researchers which have influenced and distorted the organization of these families. This text will attempt to resolve these issues and put forth several theories that will, perhaps, conflict with the work of others.

Christopher Stark, Sr. was born about or before 1695 in Groton, New London County, Connecticut, the son of William Stark, Sr. and Elizabeth. He is well documented in the Groton Deed Records from 1716 to 1758. He married Joanna Walworth April 1, 1722 in Groton.  There is a record in the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Vol. 117 (1986), page 151 showing a Christopher Stark is first reported leasing land May 1, 1759 on the Beekman Patent in New York, pays Taxes in Beekman from 1759 to 1769 and again at Pawling, New York in 1772. At some later date the names Azell Stark and William Stark were added to the lease. From the Charles R. Stark text titled, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations", a son named Christopher Stark, Jr. was born to Christopher, Sr. and Joanna on September 27, 1728. In 1759, this son would have been 31 years old and it is known from other researchers he also moved to Beekman, Dutchess County, New York. According to CRS both Christopher, Sr. and Christopher, Jr. had sons named William. However, there is no mention of a child named "Azell" for either of these men. Therefore, we are left with a question. Who is "Azell" Stark, and what is his relationship to either of these men? Another question would be which Christopher Stark is named on the Beekman Lease? These will be addressed later.

In a text entitled, "Settlers of Beekman Patent", by Frank Doherty, page 510 (Volume not known), Doherty cites the marriage of Mary Bennett and Aaron Stark," son of Christopher and Martha (Vineyard) Stark of Pawling." This Aaron was born in 1755, according to Doherty. Could this Christopher reported to have married Martha Vineyard be Christopher Stark, Jr.? CRS also reports an Aaron Stark, son of Christopher Stark, Jr. born in 1755, listed as individual #212. However, CRS shows no spouse for Christopher, Jr.. The CRS text indicates this Aaron Stark, #212 married four times and had twenty children with these four women. He is reported by CRS to have died about 1835. The Record and Pension Office War Department quoted by CRS shows Aaron Stark, #212 was in Captain Simeon Spalding's Company, 1st. Connecticut Regiment, and this Aaron Stark, #212 is reported to be the son of Christopher, Jr. by CRS. CRS further states, "he (Aaron) and his father were in the battle and massacre of Wyoming July 3, 1778.....From his (Aaron's) place of concealment he saw them take his father out with others and tomahawk him." From this account, one would believe Christopher, Jr. was killed in the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania massacre. However, this is not supported by facts, for Aaron Stark and Daniel Stark are the only Starks reported as victims of this massacre on the Wyoming Valley monument honoring those who died on that day. CRS also reports Christopher Stark, Jr. died in 1777, the same year he reports Christopher Stark, Sr. died. Therefore, from this exercise, the CRS data becomes questionable.

CRS reports Christopher Stark, Sr. had a son named Aaron Stark, reported as individual #88, born March 3, 1733/34 and died July 3, 1778, the same day of the Wyoming massacre. This Aaron married a women named Margaret. Their first child was reported to be Aaron Stark, Jr. reported as individual #228 in CRS. From CRS, "After the troops broke and ran Aaron and his son of the same name also fled and hid themselves in the driftwood along the river. The father was discovered by the savages and taken out and cruelly murdered before the very eyes of the son." Notice how closely this account seems to agree with the above account implying Christopher, Jr. was killed in this massacre. Clearly, it would appear CRS has created two individuals named Aaron Stark with fathers killed in the Wyoming Massacre. The account of a Aaron Stark seeing his father killed in the Wyoming Valley massacre occurred for only one Aaron Stark, and I would theorize he was the son of Aaron Stark, #88 who was the son of Christopher Stark, Sr.. Indeed, Revolutionary War Pension Application #R10072 shows a Aaron Stark made application May 15, 1823 in Beekman, New York for a pension. In his application he states, "Late in 1776 he resided in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania (The Wyoming Valley Area) and enlisted in a Company under Capt. Ransom, marched to Morristown to join General Washington , that his Father was killed with most of the others of the militia company....he was saved by remaining in the river....abt. 9 months before the close of the war he deserted to go see his mother at Beekman who had left the Susquehanna Company (Resided in the Wyoming Valley at the time of the massacre) on account of the Indians and removed their with her family". This clearly is our Aaron Stark, #228, son of Aaron Stark, #88 who married Margaret. In his pension he reports his age to be 72, placing his year of birth as 1751.

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Therefore, if my theory Christopher Stark, Jr. did not have a son named Aaron, then who is Doherty referring to in the Beekman Patents? I believe the son born around 1755 to Christopher Stark, Jr.'s spouse was Asahel Stark, the "Azell" mentioned in the 1759 lease agreement. From the Onandago County, New York 1800 census, Asahel Stark is a male over 45 years old. If this was Asahel, then he was born before 1755. This could be the "Azell" mentioned in the Beekman lease.

However, we do find a Christopher Stark living in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1768. He is reported to have served on a jury in that year. To serve on a jury, he should have been 21 years old, setting his latest year of birth as 1747. Descendants of Jonathan Stark, son of William Stark, Jr. who was the nephew of Christopher Stark, Sr. indicate he married Martha Vineyard in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1772, based on the reported birth of their first child, James in 1773. This Christopher Stark family seems to be well documented with records showing, before Washington County, Pennsylvania was formed, he served in the Revolutionary War with Daniel Stark and James Stark as Rangers on the Frontier in the Pennsylvania Militia, 3rd Battalion, commanded by Lt. Col. David Williamson. Could this be the same Christopher Stark who married Martha Vineyard who had a son named Aaron born in 1755 reported in the Beekman Patents by Doherty?

First, the Christopher Stark in Loudoun County seems to be young to have had a son in 1755, although, there is nothing to indicate he could not have been born in 1728, the year Christopher, Jr. was born. 1768 could have been the first year he was reported living in Loudoun County after moving there from Dutchess County, New York, assuming this happened which it did not.

There appears to be no proof as to which Christopher Stark is named in the Beekman lease. Senior or Junior could be the named individual. To bring a little order to this, lets list some known facts for Christopher Stark, Sr., Christopher Stark, Jr. and Christopher Stark who married Martha Vineyard in Loudoun County, Virginia.

 

  1. From 1759-69 there is a Christopher Stark living on the Beekman Patent paying taxes during these years in Beekman. He could be either Senior or Junior.

  2. 1768; Christopher Stark of Loudoun County, Virginia is a member of a jury in that County.

  3. 1768; May, Christopher Stark, Sr. conveys his rights to shares in the Susquehanna Company to his sons, Christopher Stark, Jr., Aaron Stark, and James Stark.

  4. 1769; September 12, Christopher Stark, Jr., Aaron Stark, James Stark, and William Stark are living along the Susquehanna River in the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania. They are driven out of the area in November.

  5. 1770; Christopher Stark and Joseph Stark are on James Hamilton's Tithable list, Loudoun County, Virginia.

  6. 1770; June, Christopher Stark, Jr. and Aaron Stark return to the Susquehanna, but are driven out again.

  7. 1772; Early in the year; James Stark returns to the Wyoming Valley with his father, Christopher Stark, Sr. and brother Daniel.

  8. 1772; Christopher Stark is reported on the Pawling, Dutchess County, New York tax list.

  9. 1772; Christopher Stark is estimated by descendants to have married Martha Vineyard in Loudoun County, Virginia.

  10.  1775; Christopher Stark, Daniel Stark, and James Stark on Lt. David Enoch's Roll and list of militia paid off at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania.

  11.  1777; Christopher Stark, Sr. died in the Wyoming Valley of old age and names his son James as executor of his will.

  12. July 3, 1778; Aaron Stark and Daniel Stark are victims of the Wyoming Massacre in Pennsylvania. Young Aaron is a witness to his father's death at the hands of the Indians.

  13.  1778-1783; Before Washington County, Pennsylvania was formed from Westmoreland County, Christopher Stark, Daniel Stark, and James Stark were reported to be members of the Frontier Rangers, 3rd Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. David Williamson. Source: County Rangers on the Frontiers, Pennsylvania Archives, Vol. XXIII, pages 198-220.

  14.  1781; August 1-4, Lt. Christopher Stark, Jr. and Ashel Stark appear on pay roll of Captain William Shepard's Company. He is listed in this document as Lt. Christopher Stark, Jr.

  15. 1781; April 25; John Stark picks up the pay of his father, Christopher Stark from the New York militia.

  16. 1783; Christopher Stark, Daniel Stark, James Stark, and Jonathan Stark are on the Fallowfield Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania tax list.

  17. 1785; February 28, William Stark is sent to pick up the pay of Christopher Stark on behalf of Susanna Stark for his militia wages under Col. John Ressselar. On the same date, William Stark is also to pick up the pay of Asel Stark.

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If one follows the location and time of these Christopher Stark events, it becomes clear we could be referring to three individuals. Clearly, after Christopher Stark, Sr. died in 1777, the references of the Christopher Stark in Loudoun County, Virginia being Christopher, Sr.'s son become difficult to resolve for he must be in this County, the Wyoming Valley, Pennsylvania, and Dutchess County, New York, all at the same time from 1768 to 1772 if he is one person. It becomes even harder in 1781, with Lt. Christopher Stark present at the Saratoga Alert in August of that year at the same time another Christopher Stark is serving with the Washington County, Pennsylvania, 3rd Battalion. in another theater of the war. Again, it is possible one person could have been in all of these places during these intervals, but not very likely. Therefore, this exercise seems to conclude there were two individuals named Christopher Stark serving in the militia. One was with the Washington County, Pennsylvania 3rd Battalion serving under Lt. Col. David Williamson in 1781 while the other, Lt. Christopher Stark, Jr. was serving in Captain William Shepard's Company attached to Col. Cornelius Douty's Regiment from August 1 to August 4 of 1781.

I would theorize the Doherty reference to Christopher Stark and Martha Vineyard on the Beekman Patent was influenced by the errors to be found in the CRS text. Christopher Stark, Sr. married Joanna Walworth April 1, 1722 in Groton. September 27, 1728, they had a son they named Christopher Stark, Jr., born in Groton. He had younger brothers named Aaron, James, and Daniel. Beginning in 1728, we now have two well identified individuals named Christopher Stark.

CRS reports Christopher Stark, Sr. had an older brother named William Stark, Jr. who was born about or before 1689. William Stark, Jr. married Experience Lamb April 13, 1710, probably in Groton and they had a son named Jonathan, born December 10, 1712. On March 3, 1716, William Stark, Sr. deeded 30 acres to his son William Stark, Jr. as a gift with the provision it would be his property for his natural life. Upon the death of William Stark, Jr. the property would then belong to Jonathan Stark, grandson of William Stark, Sr. It would seem likely William Stark, Jr. died before 1736, for Jonathan Stark sells 16 acres of this property that year, which he could not have done if William, Jr. was living.

Jonathan Stark was living in Woodbridge, Middlesex County, New Jersey in 1734, for he is a witness to a deed transaction in that location. Although he is recorded as a resident of Groton in the 1736 deed transaction when he sells the property, he may have returned from New Jersey to sell the property after the death of his father. Sometime before 1739, Jonathan married Sarah Laycock, probably in New Jersey. About or before 1739, they had a son named James Stark, who was named in 1765 as administrator to the estate of Jonathan Stark, deceased in Hardwick, Sussex County, New Jersey. James is later found to be in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1767 along with brothers William and Joseph. CRS doesn't carry forward the descendants of Jonathan in his book leaving one to wonder who they may have been. Because Christopher Stark is reported on the Loudoun County Jury in 1768, I believe he is a brother of James. Another indication this Christopher is the son of Jonathan Stark and brother of James is the evidence there is a Francis Vineyard living in Loudoun County at this time and speculated to be the father of the Martha Vineyard reported to have married Christopher in 1772.

Although all of the above is not necessarily conclusive, I believe time, place, and opportunity for a Christopher Stark to marry Martha Vineyard would favor her husband being Christopher Stark, son of Jonathan Stark and brother of his son James Stark living in Loudoun County, Virginia from 1767 to about 1774. I believe Christopher Stark, Jr., son of Christopher Stark, Sr. probably lived on the Beekman lease and had sons named William Stark, Asahel Stark, and probably John Stark, this conclusion based on the militia records. He probably married a woman named Susanna, probably with the surname Price, to be addressed in a separate section. He probably died before 1785 and after 1781. For the reasons stated above, I will organize these families as suggested by the above analysis.

There could still be questions to resolve, for CRS reports Christopher Stark, Jr. had a son named Christopher and Aaron Stark, son of Christopher Stark, Sr. is reported by CRS to have named a son Christopher. The possible times of their births, sometime between 1755 and 1770 suggest they probably would not have been a Lieutenant in the militia if born in the latter part of this range. This may require further investigation, for as seen above, there are many family organizational errors in the CRS text.

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Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles presented were authored and edited by Clovis LaFleur and the genealogical data presented in this publication was derived and compiled by  Pauline Stark Moore; Copyright © 2003. 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 & Pauline Stark Moore have not been acknowledged.

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This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur & Pauline Stark Moore. 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.