This page was extensively revised on March 6, 2005. A few revisions were made March 12, 2006
Unfortunately, I know less about this family now than I thought I did. DNA evidence has shaken one of our main assumptions, and I am increasingly dubious about a couple of relationships previously listed on this page.
If you accepted data from a past version of this page, please read this revised version carefully.
This family is confusing. The names Francis, Thomas, and John are used in every generation and in nearly every family, and it's difficult to sort them out. If you have additions and corrections to what I have presented here, I would be delighted to receive them.
First GenerationFrancis Clark married Cordelia Langford or Lankford, daughter of Thomas Lankford, in Quaker meeting in New Kent Co. VA in 1704. Previously we thought he was probably the brother of Captain Christopher Clark who married Penelope Johnson, but DNA analysis suggests otherwise. Two descendants of Francis Clark match each other, but they do not match a putative descendant of Christopher. We need more volunteers to be tested to settle this question. If you're a male with the CLARK surname, please consider participating. Contact me for more information.
Second GenerationChildren of Francis Clark and Cordelia Lankford
Birth order is uncertain.
Elizabeth Clark (d. before 1769) m. William (?) Haley
All these children except Benjamin, who was already deceased, are named in the will written by Francis Clark on January 15, 1769. The will specifically names only two grandchildren, Cordelia Haley and John's son Francis, although there were many others by this time.
I'm grateful to Heather Olsen for a transcription of the complete will.
Daughters Elizabeth and Agnes both married men named Haley, most likely William and John, respectively, but confirmation of this would be helpful. Initially I assumed Cordelia Haley was Elizabeth's daughter, but Heather Olsen points out that a slave Beck is left to Agnes in the will for her lifetime, and then to Cordelia, suggesting that Agnes is Cordelia's mother.
The will also names an Isham Haley but does not specify his relationship. Doug Tucker suggests that he was the husband of a deceased daughter, Mary.
The abstract of this will that most of us relied on for years gives Sarah's name as Clark, suggesting that she was not married. This is an error; the will actually calls her Sarah Moorman.
Sons Francis and Christopher and their wives moved to Anson Co. NC in the 1750s. They appear in NC Quaker records thereafter, associated with several different meetings over time.
Doug Tucker names two additional possible children for Francis and Cordelia, Frances Clark, who married Benjamin Dumas in about 1730, and Tabitha Clark who married John Moorman in 1751 at Camp Creek Meeting. Does anyone have solid proof that they belong in this family?
Third GenerationChild of John Clark
The will of Francis Clark Sr. left 200 acres on Cross Creek to a grandson, Francis Clark, son of John Clark. This appears to be the same tract sold by Francis Clark and wife Ann to John Dykes in 1774.
This is the only grandson mentioned in the will. Traditionally he has been assumed to be the Francis Clark born 8th month 5, 1748, recorded in Quaker records as son of John and Anne Clark of Fork Creek, Louisa Co. VA (along with Thomas born 1746 and John born 1750). This may be true, but I find it a bit strange that this would be the only grandson mentioned in the will, since he had an older brother Thomas, born 1746, who was still living in 1769, and based on the ages of Francis and Cordelia almost certainly had older cousins as well. Was he the oldest namesake? or simply a favorite one?
Or, was the Francis Clark who inherited the land NOT the one born in 1748? This is my current working hypothesis. For my rationale, please see Clark discussion.
Child of Thomas Clark and Elizabeth
Did they also have sons named Thomas and/or Francis?
Fourth? GenerationChildren of John Clark and Ann Paulett
Thomas Clark. Did he marry Elizabeth Howard in 1785?
John Clark m. Penelope Legrand Cardwell error corrected 3/12/06
Francis Clark maybe m. Nancy Weaver
Elijah Clark probably m. Mary Jackson
Edward Clark (d. about 1828) m. Elizabeth Smith (ca. 1763-1827), moved to Butler Co. KY
Sally Clark m. John Porter
Paulette Clark (1771-1855) m. Mary Ann Irvine (1779-1851)
Nancy Clark (ca. 1773-?) m. John W. Mason
Paulette Clark b. 1771 is my ancestor, and we know that he was the son of John Clark and Ann Paulett. Most genealogies of this family make this John the son of Francis and Cordelia, but a good case can be made based on estimated birth and marriage dates that he is actually their grandson rather than their son [see my analysis ]. If he's a grandson, then I think the most likely candidate for his father is Thomas Clark.
Paulette Clark will be forever blessed because he wrote a memoir of his life and family in the 1850s, not long before his death. He begins the memoir with a list of his siblings, in the order given above. He was probably the youngest son; his sister Nancy is probably the youngest child. See my Hat Creek documents page for a copy of this memoir.
Paulette states that John Clark moved his family from Louisa Co. VA to Madisonville, Charlotte Co. VA in 1777. From there, Paulette Clark went alone as a young man to Hat Creek in Campbell County early in 1798 to teach school. He boarded at the home of Major John Irvine, and married the Major's daughter, Mary Ann, in October of that year.
Fifth GenerationChildren of John Clark and Penelope Legrand
Susannah Clark m. John Young in 1811
Catherine Clark m. James North in 1807
Martha Clark m. James Clark in 1810
Lucy Clark m. Abner W. Mason in 1812
Pleasant Clark (1790-1867) m. Nancy Paulette Clark in 1820
Clement Clark m. Matilda Hurt in 1821
John Paulett Clark
Peter Fontaine Clark
All the above marriages appear in Campbell Co. VA records
Children of Edward Clark and Elizabeth Smith
Children of Paulette Clark and Mary Ann Irvine
Sixth GenerationChildren of Pleasant Clark and Nancy Paulette Clark
Albert Legrand Clark (1821-1899) did not marry
William Fontaine Clark (1823-1865), died in Union prison camp, Point Lookout NY
Amanda Benson Clark (1825-1857) m. Lilbourne P. Williams (1825-1902)
Christopher Clement Clark (1827-1863), died at Battle of Drewery's Bluff
John Clark died young
Richard B. Clark (1830-1849)
Susan Iantha Clark (1831-1867) m. Joel Foster Asher (1826-1898)
Chastain Baker Clark (1833-1825) did not marry
Rufus C. Clark (1835-1862), died at home of "camp fever" contracted in army service
Ashby Remely Clark (1840-1915) m. Elmira Smith (1852-1945)
Cassie Olivia Clark (1844-1928) did not marry
Albert, William, Christopher and Rufus all served in Pickett's Division, 11th VA Infantry. Ashby served in the 56th VA Infantry.
Children of Christopher Clark and Elmira Williams
Child of Orthodox Creed Taylor Clark and Elizabeth Payne
Children of Abraham Irvin Clark and Zuleika Withers
I am especially interested in contacting descendants of the couples marked in red above.
SourcesA Brief History, Paulette Clark. Memoir, typed (probably) by Julia Asher in the 1950s and made available to family members.
Virginia Genealogist 19, pp. 287-290 (1975), a transcript of a 16 page personal book that belonged to Catherine Clark Smith. A photocopy of the original is in the Virginia State Library.
Personal communications to Elizabeth Pollard Jerome and Elizabeth Holder from Julia Asher and Marian Asher Fawcett of Campbell Co. VA
Personal communications from Linda Starr, Doug Tucker, Patti Smith Lamb, Heather Olsen, Rand Cardwell, Debbie Briggs and other correspondents - thank you!
Additional ResourcesColonial Virginia Connections, Linda Starr's site. LOTS of information on Clark and associated families!
Elizabeth Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org