When researching my ancestors, I am often struck by how similar the lives of a lot of them are. “Same old story, same old song, and dance.” They seem, when just looking at the birth, death, and marriage facts, to start their lives on the east coast, work their way across Pennsylvania to the edge of the frontier (western Pennsylvania), marry and have children – wife dies, marry again, have some more children, settle in Ohio and live out the remainder of their lives there. It’s a distinct pattern with many, many of my ancestors. Rarely, though, is there any indication of who exactly these ancestors might be as a people. Except…with my 4th great-grandfather, Hugh A. Clark.
My grandmother, Elsie Marcella Hackathorn, would often mention her “grandfather’s grandfather” who was a music teacher. I have not spent a lot of time researching the Clark family over the years, but I have a good idea that I will be dedicating a lot more time to this surname after looking into them for this week’s 52 Ancestors posting. This appears to be a very interesting family and there are stories waiting to be told. On the surface, there are many teachers, at least one author, a well-known minister, some lawyers, a few characters, and a lot of well-educated people. I can hardly wait for a good chunk of free time to delve into the Clark’s history, but first, we’ll take a look at Hugh since he’s an ancestor after my own heart.
Hugh A. Clark was born near Brownsville in Fayette County, Pennsylvania around 1778 to Samuel Clark and Eleanor “Nellie” Violette. Samuel had been born in Hagerstown, Maryland and his brothers, George and John, had been killed by Indians. Hugh was the youngest of four brothers (Alexander, George, and Samuel) born to Samuel and Nellie. This family eventually ended up in Washington Couty, Pennsylvania. Soon after Hugh came of age, he was employed by an uncle (a brother of his mother) on the uncle’s slave plantation in Kentucky. Because of his experiences there, he became an abolitionist. Around 1800 (and when Ohio was opening up to settlers) he hopped across the river to Jefferson County, Ohio and married Elizabeth Fishel in 1811.
Hugh and his bride, Elizabeth then moved across the state to Mad River, Clark County, Ohio. Elizabeth gave birth to two daughters, Eleanor and Mary, and then passed away around 1814. After Elizabeth’s death, Hugh moved with his young daughters to Columbiana County, Ohio near Yellow Creek and just a few miles west of what would become the town of Salineville. Although Hugh was a farmer by occupation, during farming down-time he taught school and taught music. One county history has described him as being a “singing-teacher”.
Yes! An ancestor with a strong appreciation and knowledge of music! And these very things are what make me like this ancestor an awful lot. I have always loved school (I’m still attending classes working toward my degree) and music has always been very important to me. I sang in regular choir, concert choir, and ensemble throughout junior high and high school. I took coronet lessons, drum lessons, and guitar lessons when I was a kid. I have a keen appreciation of music and have always listened to a LOT of music and have owned huge music collections over the years. And I absolutely adore books. Yes, I was that kid who when told to go outside and play, took my book outside to read. Under the blankets with my little flashlight reading? Yep. Me. And although I’m not a farmer, I love gardening and have been planting things since I was a second grader. Yes…I can relate to this Mr. Hugh Clark.
On 11 January 1815, the widower, Hugh married Letitia Kerr in Columbiana County. Letitia was the daughter of James Kerr (also a teacher) and Hannah Beard. Hugh and Letitia had seven children together:
- Violet, born 1816, m. Martin Saltsman
- James, born 1818, m. Mary C. McMillen
- Amelia, born 17 May 1822, (my 3rd gr-grandmother), m. John Paisley
- Julia Ann, born 26 July 1824, m. Edward McCloskey
- George D., born about 1829, m. Amy Gonzales
- Letitia Jane, born about 1833, m. John Campbell
- John Littleton, born about 1836, m. Harriet A. Derrick
Letitia passed away in May of 1855 and Hugh died 12 December 1857. He is buried at the cemetery in Monroeville.
This is my Week #12 post for Amy Johnson Crow’s
52 Ancestors 52 Weeks Challenge.
The optional theme for this week was “Same”.
Descendants of Samuel Clark: From Hart Family History: Silas Hart, HisAncestors and Descendents: William Lincoln Hart; Alliance, Ohio 1942
Mack, Horace. History of Columbiana County, Ohio: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Evansville, IN: Unigraphic, 1976. Web.
History of the Upper Valley – Vol. I – Publ. Madison, Wis. – Brant & Fuller – 1891 – Page 306