Clark project

Possible origins of the Clarks of Texas, Baltimore County, Maryland

by Conrad W. Terrill, &
Harry Richard Clark III,
& George James Clark,
18 Oct. 2012

Sources for much of the following may be found in the companion ďrecords histories,Ē for John Clark, Augustus Clark, Elizabeth Clark Galloway and Richard P. Clark.

We have argued in The Clarks of Texas, Baltimore County, Maryland that John, Augustus, Richard P. and Elizabeth Clark of that area in the first half of the 19th century were siblings. We do not know their parentage, but we can make deductions based on what we do know. We know from the death certificates of two of Johnís sons (John Parker Clark (1829-1912) and William H. Clark (1834-1907)) that John was born in St. Marys County, MD. Johnís tombstone at St. Maryís R. C. Church in Govanstown tells us that he was born 14 Aug. 1789, but other records (see the birth date summary near the top of the records history) suggest that the year may have been 1788. We know the birth year for Augustus Clark less precisely (see his records history). It appears that he was born between 1780 and 1790, probably in the late 1780ís. Richard P. appears to have been born about 1796 or 1797, and Elizabeth was born about 1800 to 1804. We can assume that Augustus too was born in St. Marys County, but we cannot assume the same for Richard P. or Elizabeth.

It is very interesting to note that John Clark had a son, perhaps his first, named Henry Parker Clark, born in 1825. Richard P.ís first son, born in 1838, was also named Henry. We donít know the names of Augustusís early children, but his next-to-youngest son, born about 1836, was also named Henry. So it seems a good possibility that the father of the four siblings was named Henry. And several descendants of John and Richard P., including at least two of Johnís sons, had the middle name ďParker,Ē suggesting this as a possibility for the siblingsí motherís maiden surname.

Since John Clark was born in 1788 or 1789 in St. Marys County it is very likely that the family was there at the time of the first U.S. Census, in 1790. In this census only the heads of household were named, and we are told how many free white males under 16 years of age lived in the household, and how many free white males 16 or over, and how many free white females (and how many other free persons and slaves). There were 22 Clark or Clarke heads of household in St. Marys County in that census year, of which only six included at least two free white males under sixteen, and at least one over 16, and at least one female. One of these was a Henry Clark household, with three males under 16, one over 16 and four females. The other five households were those of Mathias Clark, Richard Clark, Rodger Clark, Thomas Clark and William Clark. Mathias Clark can be eliminated since he was still in St. Marys County in 1820, when the four siblings were in Baltimore County.

Click here to see our notes on early census Clark possibilities

In 1800 the census categories were more refined: Free white males under 10, 10 to 15, 16 to 25, 26 to 44, and over 45, and likewise for free white females. Looking for a household with two males in the combined 10 to 15 and 16 to 25 age brackets, we find none among the 18 Clark/Clarke households. And there was no Henry Clark household. In the whole of Maryland there were only two Henry Clark households, one in Baltimore City and one in Trinity Parish, Charles County. Both of these are acceptable possibilities. The one in Baltimore City had one male under 10, three 10 to 15, two 16 to 25, one 26 to 44, and one female 26 to 44; while the (more likely) one in Charles County had two males under 10, two 10 to 15, one over 45, two females 10 to 15, one 16 to 25, and one 26 to 44.

Sticking to Henry Clark as our primary possibility, we find no suitable Henry Clark households in the 1810 census. There was a Henry Clark in Montgomery County who was apparently without a wife, with one male and three females under ten in his household, In Soldiers Delight Hundred in Baltimore County there were two Henry Clark households. The first had one male under 10, one over 45, one female under 10, one 16 to 25 and one over 45. The other had one male under 10, one 26 to 44, and a female 26 to 44. From probate records we find that the second of these Henry Clarks was the son of the first. There were Johnís and Richardís in this line, too, but they were still in Soldiers Delight Hundred, near Reisterstown, when the Clark siblings appeared in the Texas area of Baltimore County in 1820.

So we can surmise that Henry Clark brought his family from St. Marys County to Charles County by 1800, and died not long after. We donít know where they were in 1810, but by 1820 they were in the Texas-to-be area of Baltimore County. Henry Clark is still nothing but an educated guess, and we may be wrong. We should examine the probate and Orphans Court records of St. Marys County, Charles County, Baltimore County, and possibly Prince Georges and Harford Counties. We could use more clues.