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THREE BROTHERS

THREE BROTHERS

There were three brothers who went to Illinois. Most genealogists will tell you if it starts with “there were three brothers” or a descent from an Indian princess or royalty it is likely fantasy genealogy. Not so fast.

David Clark of Rahway, New Jersey, married Sarah Winans. They had nine known children, all born in New Jersey. The youngest three, all boys, were David, John Winans and Isaac – our three brothers who went to Illinois. They all went from Rahway to Miami County, Ohio, to Sangamon County, Illinois, although not together.

David Clark  went to Kentucky in 1798 and married Rachel Rutter there about 1800. She died in 1804. He went to Cincinnati in 1805, made brick for the first brick house there, then went back to New Jersey where in 1806 he married Sarah Winans. They became, like his parents, David Clark and Sarah Winans. In 1809 they moved to Miami County, Ohio. David’s oldest son Richard Winans Clark married John Winans’ second daughter Margaret Ann Clark in 1829 in Miami County, Ohio. The same year David, Sarah, the newlyweds and most of David and Sarah’s other children packed up and moved to Sangamon County, Illinois. David was a farmer and a Methodist preacher.

John Winans married Ann “Nancy” Isgrig in Bourbon County, Kentucky. They soon went to Miami County, Ohio. Family records indicate that their son Daniel was born in Ohio in 1812 but John Winans did service in the War of 1812 in the Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia, mustering in on August 31, 1813. After that he was undoubtedly in Ohio. He did not settle in Sangamon County, soon to be Logan County, Illinois, until 1838 when he was 60 years old. At that time his eldest daughter Hannah and her husband Asa French also moved to Logan County.

Isaac, the youngest, first married Lydia Zeliph. She died before 1821. He then married the widow Sarah Royal Stought, in Miami County, Ohio.  In 1829 they went Illinois, almost certainly stopping first in Sangamon County, where Sarah’s daughter Hannah by her first marriage married David Ward Clark, a child of Isaac’s brother John Winans, in Sangamon now Logan in 1831. Note that John Winans was not yet in Illinois but several of his children were. Issac settled in Fulton County where he owned a water powered grist mill.

Three brothers did come to Illinois. So far no Indian princesses or royalty. My emigrant Isgrig ancestor was transported to America by his majesty, a prisoner from Old Bailey – does that make a royalty connection?

War of 1812 Veteran Grave Marked

War of 1812 Veteran Grave Marked

Darrell Eugene Payne, Gayle French Lessen, Thelma Gardner Eisberg, Mary Payne Barringer, Lindsay Erlenbush Maus, Pamela Erlenbush, Phillip Franks French, Brynne Barringer Monier. All are descendants of John Winans Clark whose stone [with wife Ann “Nancy”] is on the left. [Photo by Jane DeWitt]

On June 13, 2009, the Sangamon River Chapter of the United States Daughters of 1812 joined descendants of John Winans Clark and guests at Laenna Cemetery outside of Chestnut in Logan County for a Dedication Ceremony to mark the grave of Clark as a Veteran of the War of 1812.

John Winans Clark served in Captain Jeremiah Martin’s Co. in the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers during the Clark migration from New Jersey to Illinois.

Clark is one of at least 28 veterans of the War of 1812 buried in Logan County. He is thought to be the only one buried at Laenna.

John Winans Clark

John Winans Clark

John Winans Clark, one of the two younger brothers of Rev. David Clark, was born in New Jersey January 17, 1779. At the age of 20 he went with his brother to Bourbon County, Kentucky. There, on February 15, 1805, he married Ann “Nancy” Isgrig. Her interesting ancestry will be the subject of another post.

Three children, Hannah, Margaret and David Ward, were born in Kentucky before, following his brother, they moved to Miami County, Ohio, where six more children were born: Daniel Isgrig, Phoebe, Nancy, Isaac, Sarah Winans and Mary French. Nancy died before they left Ohio, again following his brother, in 1838.

In 1838 they settled on son Daniel’s land in Yankeetown, Laenna Township, Logan County, Illinois.

John died on March 5, 1859, and is buried in Laenna Cemetery. See Graveyards of South Logan County for his stone and military service.

This picture is reputed to be the adult children [except for Phoebe] of John Winans and Ann “Nancy” Isgrig Clark. Since Hannah died in 1866 then it is a very old picture, taken no later than early October 1866. Or perhaps it is not Hannah but Phoebe and it was taken when their mother died — all are wearing black. Ann died December 8, 1867, and Margaret died two weeks later so the time frame is small but possible.

John Winans Clark was a great grandfather of Lida.

John Winans Clark

John Winans Clark

John Winans Clark was born in Somerset County, New Jersey, in 1779, traveled to Kentucky and eventually Illinois, and died at Yankeetown, Logan County, Illinois, on March 5, 1859. He is buried at Laenna Cemetery, Chestnut. Yankeetown is long gone but once was about where he is buried.

Along the way John Winans Clark served in the War of 1812 in Captain Jeremiah Martin’s Company, Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia, mustering in on August 31, 1813, at Newport, Campbell County, Kentucky.

Mary Payne Barringer, one of his descendants, will oversee the June 13 ceremony dedicating the official US Daughters of 1812 plaque is placed on his grave.

More on John Winans Clark at Ancestor Hunting.

Rev. David Clark

Rev. David Clark

David Clark was born in New Jersey in 1776. No proof of his ancestry beyond his parents has been found. There were several Clark families in the town, so much intermarriage and so many people with the same name it is very difficult to determine the lines. Another theory is his father, also David Clark, came from Scotland to New Jersey where he married yet another Sarah Winans.

In 1799 David Clark and his brother John Winans Clark traveled to Bourbon County, Kentucky. There he married Rachel Rutter and they had two children, Samuel and Mary. Sometime before 1806 Rachel and Samuel had died and David married Sarah Winans. They were first cousins. Mary, of course, married a Winans. David Clark was an active Methodist preacher.

In 1807 Richard Winans, Rev. David Clark and Uriah Blue were the first settlers of Section 14, Staunton Township, Miami County, Ohio. Richard was Sarah’s brother, also married to a Sarah. Five children were born in Ohio. In 1829 he donated the land for the Hyattsville M. E. Church, sold his possessions to Robert Evans and they moved to Williams Township, Sangamon County, Illinois. He “settled on Wolf Creek, serving during the remainder of his life, as he had for more than twenty years before, as an acceptable and useful local preacher. He was a man of strong convictions, faithful, devout, and highly respected.” [Methodist Ministers, Vol. 1, Illinois Great Rivers Conference] Their last child was born in 1830.

Sarah died in 1843 and was buried in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery. Rev. David died in 1847. They share a stone. “Sally Wife of Rev. David Clark and Daugh. of Samuel and Hannah Woodruff died Dec 3, 1843 by the 54th year of her age. Also Rev. David Clark Born Aug 28, 1776 Died Jan 6, 1847 In the 72d year of his age.”

They are the great grandparents of Lida.

Old Clark Stones

Old Clark Stones


This is the stone of Rev. David and Sarah “Sallie” Winans Clark in Mt. Pulaski Cemetery. No, I can’t read it either anymore but back when you could it was read and it says:

Sally Wife of Rev. David Clark and Daugh. of Samuel and Hannah Woodruff died Dec 3, 1843 by the 54th year of her age
Also Rev. David Clark Born Aug 28, 1776 Died Jan 6, 1847 In the 72d year of his age

Nice of them to include the genealogy on the stone.

This stone is standing thanks to the work of Eagle Scouts from the area who, as a project, righted and stabilized stones in that old area of the cemetery.


There are other Clark stones in the area including this one for their son Rev. Richard Clark. It is only a seven years younger but it has survived better than the other stone.

I took these pictures but if you have an ancestor buried in the Mt. Pulaski Cemetery it is likely you can get Jane DeWitt of the Mt. Pulaski Township Historical Society to take a picture of their stone for you.

Some Old Clarks

Some Old Clarks

Lida Harding Downing’s mother Mary Ellen was a Clark. Her father was Rev. Richard Clark, son of Rev. David Clark and Sarah Winans. Her mother was Margaret Clark, son of John Winans and Ann “Nancy” Isgrig Clark. John and Rev. David were brothers. Did I mention the mother of Rev. David and John Winans Clark was also a Sarah Winans and their father was also a David Clark? You really need a genealogy program to keep the Clarks [and Winans] straight.

The Clarks, whether ministers or not, were active in founding Methodist churches. David, John and another brother Isaac came to Illinois in the 1820s, spreading the word as they had in Ohio. Isaac went to Fulton County.

The above is said to be the adult children of John Winans and Ann “Nancy” Isgrig Clark. That would be Margaret on the right in the back. If it is those children [and it most likely is] they did not age gracefully. Margaret died in 1867 at the age of 59. Hannah had died the year earlier at the age of 61. That means the picture was taken before October 1866. Hannah and Margaret were the oldest so those “old” men were even younger as were the other women. Mary, in the lower right hand corner, would only be 44.

John Winans Clark died in 1859. The Rev. David and Sarah Winans Clark had been dead for more than 12 years by then. Ann “Nancy” Clark died on December 8, 1867, and her daughter Margaret Clark Clark died less than two weeks later on the 21st. Lida was not yet born. This may account for the lack of strong connection to the Clarks that is obvious is some later correspondence.