Thursday, March 21, 2013

Developing Timelines

Current work is on Joel W. Clark, son of John Clark (1740-1818). Looking at the deeds in Livingston county, New York, I'm finding Joel living in Livonia by May 1829 after leaving the church in Venice, Cayuga county. He made his first Livonia land purchase in March, 1829; he is "of Venice" at this date. His next purchase in May, 1829; he is "of Livonia". He paid $1250 for two parcels of land along the Conesus/Livonia town line near Turkey Hill where his brothers, Thomas and Henry; and his nephews, Jotham and Peter also settled, or would settle. Joel owns over 100 acres. According to a family letter I own, Joel was preaching nearby in 1830. He was received into the church at South Livonia in 1832. The current church was built in 1833, but they had formed in 1816. He apparently preached there for two years before leaving the Livingston association. He starts selling off his Livonia lands in 1834, completing sales by 1838, and buying land in Dansville in 1840; which he sells in 1845. He must have greatly improved his larger Livonia parcel; selling it at four times the amount he paid. He quite likely built a nice house and barn. His wife, Sarah, had a wealthy father and Joel seems to be quite well for himself with his various occupations.

In 1833, his brother Henry Robert Clark, also a Baptist preacher, buys land (50 acres) about a mile from Joel. He and his wife, Sally, have several chilren. Henry becomes the preacher at South Livonia- apparently after Joel leaves. Within two years Henry becomes incapacitated; his wife apparently leaves him and his children become wards of other family members, including the above mentioned Joel Clark, who adopts Henry's daughter, Harriet. We are able to trace most of Henry's children, but we cannot determine what became of his wife, Sarah. She may have soon died or went to live with one of her children. There is one daughter that we cannot trace, there are no leads at this time.

There seems to be a lot of drama between Henry's family and his nephew, Jotham Clark who is appointed "committee" for Henry and his estate when he is declared a lunatic. I should note that Jotham is only 5 years younger than his uncle, Henry. This situation continues for 10 years until Henry goes to court and gets control of his estate from Jotham; he is declared to be no longer a lunatic and can manage his own lands. Henry will die 13 years later at age 68.

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