by Linda Sparks Starr
[Over the past few months I've received interesting and pertinent
comments on several topics. They've tended to pile up -- or got
filed away when the "cleaning bug" bit -- while I waited for time
to "update my updates". In hindsight I SHOULD HAVE kept a run
ning tab of comments which I sent all around on a regular basis.
I'm now starting one, "behind" as usual, but will try to keep up
as, hopefully, more stuff comes in. My apologies for not thinking
of this earlier. LSS]
To my question, "Is there any significance that a person named
Thomas CLARK was one of some 200+ people whose "headright" was
used for land in New Kent Co.? Mary Stewart wrote FEB 2: "Only
that there was someone named Thomas Clark who arrived at least
once in the colony at some time bef 1673. In other words, not
much significance." I should add that Mary has attended several
conferences where the land patent records were discussed. The
"transported" names on the patent records WERE NOT ALWAYS inden
In a later message Mary responded to my: "One thing I've noticed
in vol. II Nugent -- several patents were for land 'granted, but
not patented' to... another individual than the patentee. Can I
guess that the first individual did the necessary work to claim
the land, but for some reason didn't pay the money to finalize
"Not unusual. One of the requirements was that land be
settled -- i.e. acreage cleared, crops planted, house built and
occupied. If it was not, the original patent failed and someone
else could claim it. As an aside, settling the land frequently
took place long before it was patented. It is not unusual to
find a name appearing in county Order books (for instance) long
before there is any record of land ownership."
On Capt. Christopher's birth -- to my comment that we really
can't take the birth year "back" much farther than 1681, Mary
wrote: "I agree. I also think that the date of this patent may
account for Xpher's birthdate being set at 1681. However, if
this is *our* Xpher, AND an infant, why isn't there some adult in
this group who might be a family member? Do we have any evidence
of Xpher's birthdate (age given in a deposition, etc.)?
Back in early FEB, I sent a "Wanna Play Devil's Advocate?" ques
tion to a handful of researchers. As I remember it -- I didn't
keep a copy -- I was asking if there were two Christopher Clarks
-- one a Quaker and one an Anglican who was appointed overseer,
etc. which Quakers were generally barred from because of their
stance on oath-taking. Sue Wright has some interesting comments
and raises other issues along this line:
"I'm embarrassed that I've never noticed that Penelope would
have been 26 when Edward was born in 1710. (That's usually one
of the first things I check when looking at census listings --
was there a first wife, etc.) That certainly is a late age for a
first child to be born in that time period. As you point out,
many babies died in those days, so children born before Edward
are possible. While looking through my Clark folder, I noticed
that the reference I was using for the year of birth for Capt.
Christopher & Penelope's children was Mr. McConnell's work. I'm
not trying to open up yet another "can of worms", but how reli
able do you feel those dates are -- based on something factual or
merely estimates? I noticed that all are two years apart -- thus
the mere estimates possibility. Could Edward have been born
before 1710 and possibly some of the other children been born ear-
lier? There still could have been some more children who died as
babies, but I wouldn't think there would have been but maybe one
or two. A cousin... commented that the average number of
children for a woman to have during that time period (and
presumably not die in childbirth) was seven. I'm sure there were
The next day Sue commented specifically upon Christopher's young
age to be appointed overseer: "do you think possible if say the
family was well established in the area? In other words, if
Christopher came from a good, reliable family? Or, if he had
good connections -- either by blood or marriage?
Part of my question came from a Christopher Clarke being claimed
as headright by Mr. Nicholas Ware -- patent date 22 SEP 1682;
the land he received was on the north side of Mattaponi in NKCo.
I wondered if this Christopher was the one the earlier entries
referred to, and the later ones Capt. Xpher. But after reading"
Place in Time: Middlesex Co., VA 1650-"by historians Dar
rett B. and Anita H. Rutman, Norton: NY 1984, I changed my mind.
They used as an example a person born 1680, who was orphaned at
eight and bound out; he married a widow DEC 1706 (thus acquiring
land) and was appointed an overseer in 1708. Capt. Xpher was
born c1681 and was apptd surveyor in 1706 and overseer c1708.
His marriage to Penelope, though specific year is unknown, is in
the first decade of 1700.
While on this book, here's another statistic which is of inter
est. (page 114) "Almost half (48 percent) of the children born
in this county through 1689 lost one or both parents by their
ninth birthday and almost two-thirds (61 percent) by their thir
teenth... Of... children born 1690 through 1709, 43 percent
lost at least one parent by age nine and 60 percent by age
Back in JAN Sue and Martha Wright followed up on my sugestion we
should see just how many other "Penelopes" appear in the New Kent
area who could as easily be Xpher's wife. Sue looked at the in
dex for the St. Peter's Register and FOUND NO Penelope listed.
Neither was Christopher or Jonathan CLARK listed in the index to
the Essex Co. Deed abstracts 1724-1742.
Sue also asked if anyone had considered if the Elizabeth CLARK
who signed the marriage certificate is a SISTER of Christopher?
Earlier researchers have positioned her as his wife. Sue's com
ment after checking Hinshaw's reference to the marraige certifi
cate: "Apparently Mr. Hinshaw split the record into two parts to
make separate entries for Chris. and Edward and his reading was
that Eliz. was connected to Chris. I would feel better about the
entry if I could see the actual record."
Continuing, she had re-read "The Albemarle Quakers" by Jay Wor
rall Jr. published in MAG of VA Genelaogy, AUG 1984, No. 3: "He
also states that Penelope died before Chris. (No. ref given) I
guess this could be possible because of the number of years be
tween the date his will was written and the date it was proved.
If we accept all the Chris. Clarke entries as the same man, the
flip-flop in Church affiliations is troubling. Based on the
times, I would think that someone who had broken with the
Anglican Church to join the Quakers would not have been welcomed
back into a prominent position in the Church later. I wonder if
it would help to sort all the Chris. Clarke entries chronologi
cally to see if such an analysis might point to there being two
Christophers? [I did, and it doesn't point to two Christophers
-- except for the religious flip-flop.]
Along this track, Martha Wright talked with a friend who is
knowledgable about Quaker records. Her friend says "if a
person's name appears in one of the registers (birth, marriage or
death) that person is a Quaker. However, if the name appears
among those signing that they had witnessed a wedding, then the
person may or may not be a Quaker." She added that many
Anglicans became Quakers in 1744 during the period of the Great
Awakening. [The original Quaker records are found at
Swarthmore College in PA. I should have the address, but I can't
find it right now.]
We continued the "what ifs" on the children's ages without resolv-
ing the issue. Worrell's article errs in that he has Edward born
last instead of first; but he has Agnes' birth in 1707 which
brings Penelope "down" to 23 when her first child was born. A
bit old for the times... but their oldest child could have died
without his birth being recorded (remembered) later. There are
discrepancies among all the publications on these children's
I think I've commented upon the fact that most of Capt.
Chistopher's children "signed by mark" rather than wrote their
name. Back in JAN this interesting message came across va-roots:
"Prior to the 20th century, and absolutely prior to the 19th cen
tury, a signature was not considered valid without the signer set-
ting his hand (making his mark) and seal (using a wax seal). The
fact that someone made a mark does not necessarily reflect il
literacy, but may, in fact, reflect the desire to make a "legal"
signature." This was sent by Gareth L. Mark
Moving on to Thomas Clark as possible father of Capt. Chris
topher. I asked Mary Stewart if Thomas Clark could have claimed
the land, but died before he patented it, then others moving into
the area didn't intrude on his claim in right of his sons? She
responded, "Not likely. People were just as greedy then as they
are now!" She then urged me to be very careful about "assuming"
there were several Thomas Clarks "transported" (vol. II Nugent)
"It could be one person who travelled frequently (a merchant
for instance). Every time he got off a boat he got the equiv
alent of another certificate for 50 acres which he could then
sell to a land speculator (and there were lots of those!)
Headrights essentially prove nothing."
Doug Tucker makes the following points about the relationship be
tween these CLARKs and the Quakers and partly explains Xpher's
flip-flop in the religion dept.
"Francis Clark was a practicing Quaker, as were most of his
children. Edward's daughters married Quakers so Edward probably
was a Quaker as well. I think Christopher was raised as a
Quaker, but chose a path outside or on the fringes of the Society
for most of his adult life. Since he rejoined the Friends late
in life, we probably should consider him a 'latent' Quaker, a
category that may have fit Edward as well.
Edward Clark was married (wife's name probably Elizabeth)
and appears to have had several daughters who survived to adul
thood. I found no evidence of a surviving son. Edward Clark
died in Hanover Co. sometime between 1715 and 1719."
Adding another "source" to the Micajah Clark / Sallie Ann Moorman
legend, Doug says Christopher and Penelope's great-grandson
Thomas CLARK of Surry Co. NC (married Rhoda Dunegan) named a
daughter, Sally Ann Moorman Clark b. 1817. He adds this was a
full century before the "legend" was published.
Doug also gives information on a John CLARK of NC which I'll in
clude here for I'm leaving NC research to others. He says most
of Francis and Edward CLARK's children migrated to Anson Co. NC
between 1749 and 1770. "A mysterious John CLARK was one of the
larger landowners in the area of NC where Andrew MOORMAN settled
in 1747 and where [the above CLARKs]... settled later. Andrew
Moorman acquired his land from this John Clark as did Benjamin
Dumas, son-in-law of Francis Clark, and several other Quaker
migrants from Louisa Co.
John Clark was reportedly born in Bladen Co. along the Cape
Fear River in 1702. There was a Quaker settlement near the mouth
of the Cape Fear River as early as 1680 and though there is no
evidence that John Clark was a Qauker himself, several of his
children married Quakers (one a Clark) from Louisa Co. and joined
the Friends. Was this John Clark a blood relation?"
The question was raised on va-roots about legal ages; Martha
Wright answered David Sadler's general question, citing THE
SOURCE, by Arlene Eakle and Johni Cerny, Ancestry Pub Co: Utah,
1984, page 186: Witness documents, testify in court, choose a
quardian, serve as an apprentice, show land to processioners, be
punished for a crime, sign contracts, act as an executor, be
queath personal property, or marry: 14 (male) and 12 (female)
Be taxed or muster into militia: 16 (males only); Take pos-
session of land holdings: 16; 'In possession of' on tax rolls
signifies that the person is at least 16 years old; Practice
trade 18; Release of guardian: 21 (males) 18 (females); Own
land: 21, but some states allowed females to own land at 18;
devise land by will, be taxed, plead or sue in court, be natural
ized, fill public office, serve on jury or vote: 21.
I then raised specific questions about the 1698 order to
clear roads with Edward and Christopher Clark's name on it.
Charles Hamrick answered: "The only thing that can be known with
any degree of reliability is that both of the men were 16 years
old at the time the List of Tithables was taken."
I also asked if the appearance of a 'family' between Edward
and Xpher meant they each were heads of households. "The tith
able lists that I have transcribed usually list each individual
tithable and I assume he is the head of household unless specifi
cally named as in the household of another (e.g. 'living with').
Of course this may change from one jurisdiction to another... I
have noticed deceased property owners in quitrent listings (which
comes from the law that makes their heirs responsible for all in
debtedness and the property can't be conveyed to another until
those things are setttled) but dead people paid no taxes even
back when and were not found in a listing of tithables.
Charles then sent the specific law covering tithables from
vol. 2, page 83 Hening's VA STATUTES AT LARGE: "all male per
sons, or what age soever imported into the country shall be
brought into the lysts and be lyable to the payment of all taxes
... but such christians only as are either natives of this
country, or are imported free by their parents or others who
shall not be lyable to the payment of levyes until they be six
teen years of age..." For those online, his web page has more
A correction that I may have made, but probably didn't, to my
"Micajah Clark and Sallie Ann Moorman" update. The comment about
a Capt. Micajah Clark in Isle of Wight Co. is an error; just ig
nore the whole bit. I can identify Ralph Lock Taylor as the
grand-uncle of Paul B. Phelps. Taylor "was an enthusiastic
genealogist, but he wasn't a scholar" according to Paul.
On the subject of researching in England, Mary Stewart wrote the
end of FEB: "If we are ever able to connect back to England it
may be through investigating Thomas (Moorman) of Warwickshire and
what happened to him. I think this is the most interesting pos
sibility I've seen in a long time...and a whole new methodology
to learn. As for Capt. Chirstopher -- my gut tells me that Bar
badoes is the place to look, not VA. Too few records to estab
lish much of anything. Barbadoes may offer more fertile ground."
Another correction: I apparently gave credit to the wrong
researcher in a recent update -- Arlene Anthony is the one who
provided the intrigueing comment that Lord Shaftesbury's personal
physician was an ANTHONY. It's her research "which turned up the
full extent of Anthony/Clarke ties in Exeter, Devonshire,
England" according to Dave Goodwin. She brought back copies of
two CLARK wills which he promises to provide details to the rest
I asked Dave for an explanation of "Visitations" which he
provided from", Ancestry and "by L. G. Pine,
Gramercy Pub Co: NY 1985. Pine formerly edited"'s Peerage
and Burke's Landed "Briefly -- if anyone wants more
detailed explanation I did manage to save this message from Dave
which Jeffrey can forward to those on-line -- Visitations were
tours of inspection by heralds, conducted roughly once a genera
tion and covering one county as a time. They met with everyone
claiming to process a coat of arms; these had to provide proof
which the heralds could accept or reject. They began in 1529 and
ended in 1686. Over the years the heralds drew "rudimentary
pedigree charts" which they enlarged as the generations went by.
He ends "I do have a problem with the coat of arms which Nancy
Vashti Jacob Anthony presents in her books as possibly being that
for Christopher Clarke of VA, since she shows no source for her
[And that's only from all the "stuff" I've filed in my various
CLARK folders! I have one large folder of the more recent e-mail
and letters which I haven't filed as yet. I have less MOORMAN
and only a dauble of CANDLER comments plus more on Quakers in
general. The JOHNSON data may entail more than I think for Dick
Baldauf's letters will be hard to condense, but less interesting
to the group for he's sorting out JOHNSONs trying to get to Ed
ward. I plan to "do" the "unfiled" folder last. LSS]
NOTE: Someone with more time than I have may want to get on the
list to receive "Issue No. 2" of West Indian Genealogy. I got
the first issue, but when I went to read the file, it wasn't
there -- and never followed through to get Jeffrey to locate it
on our disk! The person to contact if you didn't get the message
is Vaughn W. Royal