David Clark is my great-great-great-great-grandfather. I have very little information on him and neither do any of his other descendants with whom I've corresponded. This page is my attempt to make available, on the World Wide Web, what I know about him and his family, in hopes of learning more from researchers who are as yet unknown to me.
Birth. I have no information as to when, or where, David Clark was born. I have seen "about 1737, New Jersey" in several places, but this may only be based on the fact that his wife was born in 1737 and that she and their children were born in NJ. The names of David's parents are unknown and it isn't impossible that he came to the Colonies from the British Isles at an early age. Some researchers have attempted to connect him to a Richard Clark(e), who died 1697 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey, but I've seen no convincing evidence for this relationship.
There is a story which has been circulating on the internet and perhaps in earlier days via gedcoms about David Clark's childhood. I'm presenting here some notes provided by cousin Lyle Black which repeat this story:
756. David Clark, born 1739 in Elizabethtown, Essex Co. N. J.; died 1802 in Basking Ridge, Somerset Co. N. J. He was the son of 1512. Jonathan Clark and 1513. Hannah Unknown. He married 757. Sarah Winans Abt. 1761 in Rahway, Essex/Union Co. N. J. (Source: Data from Colonial Newspapers compiled by Ken Scott).
757. Sarah Winans, born 25 September 1737 in Rahway, Essex/Union Co., N. J. (Source: Winans Family Genealogy by Alice Winans, Mrs. Allan Woolley); died 1807 in Basking Ridge, Somerset Co. N. J. She was the daughter of 1514. Jonathan Winans and 1515. Susannah Mills.
Notes for David Clark:
David was 11 years old when his father Jonathan died in 1748. His Uncle John Clark arranged for him to be apprenticed to Sam Clizbe of Lyons Farms, farmer in New Jersey. David ran away when he was about 19 years of age on 3 Oct. 1756. (Source: Genealogical Data From the New York Mercury, a Colonial Newspaper: "Oct 11, 1756. Run away, on the 3rd instant, from Samuel Clizbe, Lyons Farms in New Jersey, an apprentice lad named David Clark, about 19 years old. Had on when he went away, a linsey woolsey coat, a brown serge jacket, a pair of check trowsers and blue everlasting breeches under them, blue worsted stockings, a pair of duck bill shoes, and a good felt hat. Had brown hair and is round shouldered.") He married a widow, Mrs. Jacob Scudder in 1758 when he was 21. She had 2 sons, Jonathan and Matthias Scudder. Her maiden name was Sallie Winans. David and Sallie had at least 9 children.
More about David Clark:
Religion: Methodist Episcopal
Buried: Basking Ridge, N.J.
I received similar information a few years ago from a Clark researcher named Keith Koontz. It was a part of a large file pertaining mostly to Elder Daniel Clark (1744-1833), a Baptist minister who was an early settler in western Ohio and who is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery in Lebanon, Warren county, Ohio. Although Keith's file included extensive documentation and lists of sources, I was never confident of the connections he made between Elder Daniel and my own ancestor, or between David and other New Jersey Clarks. In fairness to Keith, I've noticed that he does include in his history file mentions of the objections which Cheryl Rothwell and Harman Clark have raised to making these connections.
I have yet to find any convincing evidence linking our ancestor to the runaway apprentice. Nor have I seen evidence that he was a preacher. Cheryl Rothwell sums up very well the objections which several of us have to the "story":
I don't believe there is any proof of any uncle doing any such thing. I think that is creative thinking to make the story fit the line they wanted it fit.
Think about it. We have him running away, an event that would have only lengthened his period of servitude, and less than two years later he is marrying Sarah Winans who does not come from a family which marries runaway apprentices. Anything is possible of course but this whole story defies logic...
Marriage. David married Sarah (Winans) Scudder, who was born 25 Sep 1737 in Elizabeth, NJ, or, according to Mrs. Egy's book, in Rahway, NJ. Sarah was the daughter of Jonathan and Susannah (Mills) Winans. The date of her marriage to David Clark is unknown. Sarah was married first to Jacob Scudder, with whom she had at least one child:
Children. David and Sarah Clark had the following children:
Residence. David and Sarah lived the first part of their lives in Elizabeth, Essex county, New Jersey. They apparently moved, between the births of David and John, to Basking Ridge, in neighboring Somerset county. About the time of Sarah's death, most of their children moved to Miami county, Ohio. In the 1830s, all of these children except Phebe moved on to Illinois.
Death. David Clark died about 1802 in Basking Ridge, Sarah died in August 1807, also in Basking Ridge. She and David are said to be buried in Rahway.