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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.

Where’s Callie?

Where’s Callie?

The Case of the Missing Poet

Decatur Daily News, Decatur, Il, Thursday, 30 July 1914

WRITER OF VERSE DIES
Miss Callie Harcourt of Chestnut, well known in this locality for her writing of verses, died suddenly Wednesday morning at her home.

That’s all the researcher knows. His original question was why couldn’t he find her listed at Laenna Cemetery in Chestnut.

Callie’s father Stillwell, who was still alive at the time of Callie’s death, is buried there. He died July 11, 1926. Also buried at Laenna are G. W. and Caroline Harcourt. The dates on their stones would lead me to think they are Stillwell’s parents, Callie’s grandparents. Caroline died in 1922, days short of her 88th birthday. Callie clearly had surviving family members.

A search of my records seems to indicate Callie is not buried at Laenna nor anywhere else in the county.

Upon inquiry, the research stated Stillwell was a piano tuner and salesman for the Kimball Piano Company in Chicago. He held a number of patents for improvement to the piano. The mother is not buried at Laenna with the father or elsewhere. Mercedes or Martha, as she sometimes went by, disappeared from family records about the same frame as Callie’s death. Phillip, Callie’s brother was born in Chicago; Dorothy, her sister, as born in Missouri; Callie was born in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. The Stillwell Harcourt family moved a great deal at the turn of the century. Callie’s siblings are not buried at Laenna.

It would seem there was a divorce — or at least Stillwell and Mercedes split — about the time of Callie’s death. Perhaps it was the precipitating event.

Death certificates were not mandatory in Illinois until 1916.

Where’s Callie?

A Brief Marriage

A Brief Marriage

Ah the happy couple. Don’t they look blissful? I think they had pickles at the reception. This is William Nelson Downing and his bride Delilah Downing. Downing is her maiden name and no, they were not related. They were neighbors though. Two of her sisters had already married two of his brothers and, on February 27, 1862, they were married.

It didn’t last. Five months and one day later he was gone with her brother and other relatives in 106th Illinois Infantry out of Logan County, Illinois. She never saw him again. Their only son was born February 23, 1863.

William Nelson Downing died April 30, 1865, at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Delilah’s father in law provided her with a hired man and Delilah soon married him.

Their son, William Henry Downing, grew up and married Eliza Sciota Harding – our Lida.

MARRIAGE RECORDS IN HIDING

MARRIAGE RECORDS IN HIDING

A common question is “why can’t I find my ancestor’s birth/death/marriage certificate?”

The answer to no birth or death certificate is generally simple. The State of Illinois did not MANDATE such records prior to 1916. After that it is a bigger issue and the subject of a different post.

Marriage records were always required and yet many times they cannot be located.

Obviously, they may not have gotten married where you think they got married. For Illinois marriages prior to 1900 researchers are in luck. The State Archives database, online, free and searchable, lists most marriages prior to 1900. You do not have to know the exact year. You can search by bride or groom’s name, then by county or statewide.

Start your search here: http://www.ilsos.gov/GenealogyMWeb/marrsrch.html

The State Archives volunteers are working on 1900-1915.

My great grandparents have no marriage record in Illinois. I have searched statewide by their real names and assorted different spellings. I have been to the county courthouse in the county where one would assume they married and checked the county courthouse where his obit says they married. There were no courthouse fires between then and now.

Their first child was born more than nine months after the marriage, almost two years before if you believe the one census that lists it, the 1890 census being lost. [I don’t.] I can think of no reason to hide or otherwise destroy the record.

They married in the winter, Valentine’s Day. There is a formal portrait of the couple, probably not taken on the wedding day but undoubtedly shortly thereafter, before her first pregnancy was visible.

Less than 20 years later he was dead and she was left with four sons. There are court records certifying her as the widow. So where the heck is that marriage certificate?

Perhaps the minister lost the return before he had a chance to turn it in. Perhaps the clerk lost it. Perhaps it was lost sometime in the next 100 years that passed before anyone noticed it could not be found. Maybe they weren’t ever legally married. I find that idea intriguing although if it true I don’t think they or anyone else in the family knew it.

This is one of those mysteries I don’t think we will ever solve.

IN THE BEGINNING

IN THE BEGINNING

Much time has passed since I started this. Two other blogs relating to this area’s genealogy have materialized in the interim. Ancestor Hunting is mostly about my ancestors and things I learn about genealogy research. Graveyards of South Logan County is about cemeteries, generally but not necessarily located in Logan County. I admit it — I forgot I had this one too. It happens.

This will be about genealogy questions relating to Logan County, Illinois, but not necessarily related to me or my ancestors. I get questions from researchers. I run across something interesting while researching. I confess, I am easily distracted by something interesting. It may be a fact. It may be a question without an answer. Whatever, it is interesting.

If you have an interesting genealogical question or fact relating to genealogy in Logan County, Illinois, email me.

Graveyard Rabbits

Graveyard Rabbits

Graveyard Rabbits are a group of bloggers who promoting the historical importance of cemeteries and grave markers and the family history to be learned from a study of burial customs, burying grounds and tombstones. Each has a location. Mine are the cemeteries of south Logan County, Illinois, in the very heart of Illinois, where almost every one of my ancestors who has died in the last 175 years is buried.

This blog will be devoted exclusively to cemetery information. For other posts see Ancestor Hunting.