John C. Clark
June 20, 2002
written by John J. Hansen
John C. Clark
Born: Before 1794
Died: Between 1842 and 1847, Carroll Co., Ms.
Born: Before 1796
Marr: About 1812, Union County, Ky.
Union County, Kentucky – 1820
Carroll County, Mississippi – 1833 (Plat Book Records- T20 R.3E)
Carroll County, Mississippi –1842 (Tax Roll)
John C. Clark was born before 1794, and probably around 1790. This is based on the 1820 Census Records indicating John in the age bracket of between 26 and 45, with four children in the 0-10 age bracket (daughter Sarah appears to be the oldest at age 7). John’s wife, unknown at this point, was born before 1796, and probably also around 1790 for the same reasons.(1)The 1820 Census also shows John C. Clark on the same page as William Clark Sr., and William Clark, Jr., believed to be the father and brother of John.(1)I have yet to find William Sr., William Jr., and John in the 1830 U.S.Census. It is a strong opinion that John C. Clark’s parents are William and Sarah (Anderson) Clark, based on proximity to William in the 1820 Census, and a Family Bible record possessed by Orville O. (Oliver) Clark, an attorney in Los Angeles, California.
By 1820, John and his wife had four children, three boys and one girl. It is believed by this author without specific proof, but secondary source, that Rowland W. Clark and William are two of the three boys, and Sarah Clark is the girl. This leaves one male issue unidentified.
How John got to Mississippi is not known, but the first reference of John and his family after 1820 is in Carroll County, Mississippi in 1833, where he is recorded to have 80.11 acres.(2)
In 1835, John recorded plats for another 40.21 and 40.27 acres, bringing the total acreage platted at 160.59 acres.(3) John does not show up on the tax rolls for Carroll County in 1835, but apparently his brother William Clarke does.
William Clark dies in either December 1835 or January 1836, and John is appointed the executor of his brother, William’s estate. Several Carroll County court minutes in 1836 and 1837 document John as executor, and the adoption of William’s children to other families.
In 1838, John’s son Rowland, married Lucinda Lesley. (See Rowland Clark history)
On November 10th, 1840, John applied for a cash land patent on the 80.11 acres in the Chocchuma Land office.(4) The legal description was given as E ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 21, T20, R3E. This indicates that while he cannot be found in the 1840 Census,he was living in Carroll County at the time.
John followed this up with cash land patents on the 40.21 acres giving legal description as the N ½ of the W ½of the NW ¼ of the section 22, T20, R3E;(5)and the 40.27 acres giving legal description as S ½ of the W ½ of the SW ¼ of section 15, T20, R3E (6)on December 10th, 1840. These three tracts described are adjacent to one another, and have been indicated by Clark family tradition as the “Original Clark homestead” for the Clark’s in Carroll County.
John is seen again in 1842, listed on the Carroll County Tax Rolls.(7)This is the last known record that I have of John being alive. He does not show up on the 1847 tax rolls, however,his sons Rowland, William and Zephaniah do. This leads me to believe that John C. Clark died sometime between 1842 and 1847. I would speculate that it would be closer to 1847,since land deeds dated 21 November, 1849; and recorded February 18th, 1850 indicate that John Clark’s heirs transfer of the above land, to William Clark, who appears to be John C. Clark’s son. For some reason yet unknown, there are two separate deeds, giving the same legal description, and dated the same date, transferring ownership of the original Clark homestead to William Clark. One was signed by Rowland and his wife, Lucinda, and the other was signed by Zephaniah, Sarah, and Phoebe, including their spouses.
It is not known when John Clark and his wife died, but knowing that John was in Carroll County as late as 1842, he is probably buried on the family homestead or in a nearby cemetery. It is not known where his wife is buried. It is possible that she died in Kentucky prior to coming to Mississippi, but unlikely.
Children of John C. Clark and his wife, from the above stated deed records, appear to be the following:William (who married Elizabeth); Rowland (who married Lucinda Lesley) , Zephaniah P. (who married Amelia Roberts),Sarah (who married James I. Boyd), and Pheobe (who married Isaac Thompson)
From the 1850 U.S.Census, we find that Sarah was born about 1813; William was born about 1815; Rowland was born in 1818;Zephaniah was born in 1827; Pheobe would have been born after 1820, based on the Census records for John C. Clark in 1820.
(1.) 1820 U.S. Census, Kentucky, Union County, page 151.
(2.) Mississippi, Carroll County, Office of the Chancery, Plat Book- pg. 186; 80.11 acres.; abstracted from Betty Wiltshire’s book “Original Plat Records of Carroll County”, pg.
(3.) Mississippi, Carroll County, Office of the Chancery, Plat Book- pg. 185-6; two records at 40.21 and 40.27 acres.; abstracted from Betty Wiltshire’s book “Original Plat Records of Carroll County”, pg.
(4.) Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate No. 2006, Chocchuma Land Office, dated November 10th, 1840.
(5.) Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate No. 36-46, Chocchuma Land Office, dated December 10th, 1840.
(6.) Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records; Certificate No. 4104, Chocchuma Land Office, dated December 10th, 1840.
“Carroll County Tax Rolls” by Betty Wiltshire.