Friday, July 24, 2020

52 Ancestors - Week 340: #550 Joseph Clark (1664-1731) of Medfield, Massachusetts

Joseph Clark (1664-1731)   is number 550 on my Ahnentafel List, my 7th great-grandfather, who married #551 Mary Wight (1667-1705 in 1686 in Medfield, now Norfolk County, Massachusetts.

I am descended through:

*  their daughter, Hephzibah Clark (1699-1791), #275 who married #274 Timothy Hamant (1699-1774)  in 1727.
* their daughter #137 Patience Hamant (1735-1780) who married  #136 Moses Smith (1736-1806) in 1762.
*  their son #68  Aaron Smith (1765-1841) who married #69 Mercy Plimpton (1772-1850) in 1795.
*  their son #34 Alpheus Smith (1802-1840)   who married  #35 Elizabeth Horton Dill (1791-1869) in 1826.
*  their daughter, #17 Lucretia Townsend Smith (1828-1884) who married #16 Isaac Seaver (1823-1901) in 1851.
*  their son #8 Frank Walton Seaver (1852-1922) who married #9 Hattie Louisa Hildreth (1857-1920) in 1874.
*  their son #4 Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) who married #5 Alma Bessie Richmond (1882-1962) in 1900.
*  their son #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) who married #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002)  in 1942.
*  their son #1 Randall Jeffrey Seaver (1943-living)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

 Name:                       Joseph Clark[1–7]    
*  Alternate Name:       Joseph Clarke[8]

*  Sex:                          Male    

*  Father:                      Joseph Clarke (1642-1702)    
*  Mother:                    Mary Allen (1641-1702)  

2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*   Birth:                       14 June 1664, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[6,8]    

*  Distribution:             December 1704 (about age 40), Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[3]    

*  Death:                      13 July 1731 (age 67), Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[5–6] 
*  Burial:                      after 13 July 1731 (after age 67), Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[6]    

*  Probate:                   23 August 1731 (age 67), administrators Abigail Clark and Thomas Clark appointed; Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[7]  

3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Spouse 1:                 Mary Wight (1667-1705)    
*  Marriage 1:              8 April 1686 (age 21), Medfield, Norfolk, Massachusetts, United States[1-2]    

*  Child 1:                   Mary Clark (1687-1717)    
*  Child 2:                   Mehitable Clark (1690-1765)    
*  Child 3:                   Hannah Clark (1692-1773)    
*  Child 4:                   Esther Clark (1695-1774)    
*  Child 5:                   Joseph Clark (1697-1731)    
*  Child 6:                   Hephzibah Clark (1698-1791)    
*  Child 7:                   Thomas Clark (1703-1776)    

*  Spouse 2:                Abigail (Turner) Smith (1667-1750)    
*  Marriage 2:             23 December 1706 (age 42), Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States[4]    
*  Child 8:                   Abigail Clark (1711-1746)

4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):  

 William S. Tilden edited the book History of the Town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886.  The family genealogy section of the book provides this summary[1]:
"Joseph Clark was a cordwainer by trade.  He married in 1686 Mary Wight, and settled about the same time in the north part of the town, very near where Noah Allen now lives.  In 1695, he held the office of sealer of leather.  At his father's death, he received the homestead in the south part of the town, and removed thither.  Captain Joseph Clark was one of the prominent men of the town, built the grist mill, and carried on the manufacture of malt in an adjacent building.  His wife died in 1705; and he married in 1706 Abigail Smith, widow of Samuel.  He died in 1731, his wife about 1750."
Joseph Clarke was born 14 June 1664 in Medfield, Massachusetts, the first child of Joseph and Mary (Allen) Clark[1,6,8].

He married, first, Mary Wight (1667-1705) on 8 April 1686 in Medfield[1-2].  She was the daughter of Thomas and Mehitable (Cheney) Wight of Medfield.

They had seven children, all born and recorded in the Medfield town records.  They were:

* Mary Clark (1687-1717), married 1705 Nathaniel Smith (1684-1762).
*  Mehitable Clark (1690-1765), married 1715 Timothy Morse (1687-1765).
*  Hannah Clark (1692-1773), married 1709 John Robbins (1688-1774).
*  Esther Clark (1695-1774), married 1715 Ebenezer Turner (1693-1759).
*  Joseph Clark (1697-1731), married 1718 Experience Wheeler (1697-1754).
*  Hephzibah Clark (1699-1791), married 1727 Timothy Hamant (1699-1774).
*  Thomas Clark (1703-1776), married 1727 Abigail Morse (1696-1777).

Mary (Wight) Clark died on 16 December 1705 in Medfield at age 38, leaving seven children between the ages of 2 and 18.

Joseph married (2) Abigail (Turner) Smith (1667-1750), the widow of Samuel Smith of Medfield, on 23 December 1706 in Boston, Massachusetts[1,4].  They had one child, born and recorded in Medfield:

*  Abigail Clark (1711-1747), married 1730 Henry Smith (1711-1785).

Joseph's mother, Mary (Allen) Clark (1641-1702) died on 5 May 1702 in Medfield at age 60, and his father, Joseph Clark (1642-1702) died on 4 September 1702 at age 60.  Joseph was named administrator of his father's estate[3].  He received a double portion of the estate in December 1704 when the real estate was divided by a committee.  He received (all in Medfield, except where indicated) the following real estate:
*  All the lands on the east side of the cart way with the housing, barn, barn yard, and orchard
*  4 acres of land at the end of the home field adjoining Nathaniel Clark's land
*  2 acres of meadow in center meadow
*  one third part of 63 acres of meadow and swamp lying by Stop River, the middle part only plus a 3 acre neck of meadow between the brook and upland
*  12 acres called Clay pit pasture with a cart way
*  10.5 acres of woodland on south side of Stop River by Wrentham line.
*  18 acres at black swamp
*  one half of 54 acres of woodland in Dedham next to Puffer's land
*  one Cow common Right in Wrentham.
Joseph Clark died 13 July 1731 in Medfield at age 67, leaving a widow, Abigail (Turner) (Smith) Clark and 6 surviving children[5-6].  There is a Find A Grave memorial for Joseph Clark, but no record or stone in Vine Lake Cemetery in Medfield[6].

Joseph Clark died intestate, leaving his wife Abigail and seven living children, his son Joseph having died in March 1731.  The Suffolk County, Massachusetts probate case file is #6,138, with 48 images[7].  The probate file includes:
*  On 23 August 1731, bond was posted by widow Abigail Clark, Thomas Clark, Samuel Smith and Ebenezer Mason for the sum of 3,000 pounds.  Abigail Clark and Thomas Clark were admitted as administrators of the estate on the same day 
*  An inventory of the estate was taken on 2 September 1731 by Samuel Smith, Ebenezer Mason, and John Eles.  The inventory totaled 2434 pounds, 7 shillings, 1 pence.
The extensive real estate holdings included: 
*  The Dwelling house with conveniences of it - 90 pounds
*  a small work house near the dwelling house - 8 pounds
*  a Malt house with the privileges - 60 pounds
*  the Barn and barn yard with privileges - 30 pounds
*  a Corn mill with mill pond and privileges - 100 pounds
*  orchard, meadow, plow land and pasture on east side of the highway by the house - 66 pounds
*  3 acres of plow land on northwest side of the highway by the house - 36  pounds
*  21 acres of meadow land lying by Stop River - 270 pounds
*  an orchard on the south side of the highway - 30 pounds
*  plow land and pasture land on the south side of the highway - 90 pounds
*  parcel of pasture land near the barn called the neck - 168 pounds
*  8 acre parcel of woodland and meadow land in bounds of Walpole - 88 pounds
*  27 acres of woodland in bounds of Walpole - 60 pounds
*  18 acres of Devident land near Rock meadow - 34 pounds
*  10.5 acres of woodland on south side of Stop River - 21 pounds
*  All the land in bounds of Wrentham, upland and meadow belonging to this estate - 70 pounds.
*  land in Black Swamp Devident - 43 pounds
*  Land in New Medfield rights - 75 pounds
*  Land in Contry goar rights - 75 pounds
*  6 acres of meadow and upland near Deacon George Barbur in north part of town - 110 pounds
*  11 acres of upland and swamp lying in the neck (the widow claiming half of it as her right) - 56 pounds
*  a certain house and half acre of land in north part of town - 40 pounds
*  parcel of meadow and upland in north part of town called the gree - 120 pounds
*  2 acres of meadow in Center meadow - 40 pounds
*  11 acres at Crambery pond - 33 pounds
*  8 acres 3 roods in two parcels near Pine Hill part upland and part swamp - 25 pounds
*  5 acres of land in north part of town in two parcels, part upland and part swamp - 36 pounds
*  land in reversion not yet laid out - 2 pounds, 10 shillings.
The total is 1968 pounds, 10 shillings in real estate. 
*  The administrators charged themselves with the all and singular goods, chattels, rights and credits of the deceased.  They filed an account for charges and expenses of 119 pounds, 17 shillings, and 9 pence, which was allowed and approved by the court on 28 April 1732.
*  On 3 October 1732, the probate judge appointed a committee of Samuel Smith, George Barber, Joseph Plimpton, Ebenezer Mason and Solomon Clark all of Medfield to provide a division of the houses and lands for the widow and children of the estate of Joseph Clark. 
*  The committee filed their three page division, and the widow Abigail received a third part of the houses and lands including one half of the dwelling house.  The heirs of the eldest son Joseph Clark received a double portion of the remainder, and single portions were given to son Thomas Clark; Timothy Morse and daughter Mehitable, his wife; Nathnaiel Smith as guardian for his children by daughter Mary; John Robbins and daughter Hannah, his wife; Ebenezaer Turner and daughter Esther, his wife; Timothy Hamant and Hephsibah his wife; Henry Smith and Abigail, his wife. 
*  Abigail (Turner) (Smith) Clark died in early 1750, and on 24 April 1750 the Court appointed Samuel Smith, Josiah Mors and David Clark to divide the real estate.  They judged that the estate did not admit of a division.   
*  On 3 May 1750, the Court gave a warrant to Peter Coolidge, Edward Turner and Seth Dwight, all of Medfield, to appraise the real estate of the widow Abigail Clark.  On 13 June 1750, the committee provided the appraisal to the court, with the real estate worth 271 pounds, 2 shillings.  Thomas Clark, the remaining administrator of Joseph Clark, submitted an account for charges and expenses of 4 pounds, 3 shillings, 2 pence on 13 June 1850. 
*  The heirs-at-law petitioned the court on 2 June 1750 to settle the rest of the estate on Thomas Clark.  This was signed by Nathaniel Smith, Timothy and Mehitable Morse, Timothy and Hephzibeth Hamant, John and Hannah Robbins, Ebenezer and Esther Turner, and Henry Smith. 
*  On 7 August 1750, Thomas Clark, Peter Coolidge and Samuel Smith gave a bond of 500 pounds to settle the estate by Thomas Clark giving the heirs of Joseph Clark 60 pounds, and 30 pounds each to Mary Smith's heirs, Mehitable Mace, Hannah Robins, Esther Turner, Hepzibah Hamant and the legal representatives of Abigail Smith, deceased. 
*  Included in this probate case file is the 6 April 1757 appraisal of the real estate of the eldest son, Joseph Clark, who died in 1731, but was an heir of Joseph and Abigail (Turner) Clark.  The appraisal was 400 pounds.  Joseph Clark, the son of Joseph Clark, son of  Joseph Clark, made a bond and agreement to take the land of his father from the estate of his grandfather and pay his two sisters Catherine and Marcy 100 pounds each, plus 6% interest, as their shares.

1. William S Tilden and John A S Monks, History of the town of Medfield, Massachusetts, 1650-1886 : with genealogies of the families that held real estate or made any considerable stay in the town during the first two centuries (Boston, Mass.: G.H. Ellis, 1887), page 349, Joseph Clark-3 sketch.

2. Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850 (Boston, Mass. :  New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1903), Marriages, page 128, Joseph Clark and Mary Wight entry, 8 April 1686.

3. Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Probate case files, Case 2,794 Joseph Clark of Medfield, 1703 (11 images); "Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899," digital images, American Ancestors ( : accessed 23 July 2020).

4. Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, indexed database and digital image, (, Boston > Births, Marriages and Deaths, image 1958 of 60705, Joseph Clark and Abigail Smith marriage entry, 23 December 1706.

5. Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Deaths, page 202, Joseph Clark entry, 13 July 1731.

6. Find A Grave, indexed database and digital image,  (, Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Mass., Joseph Clark memorial #95763350.

7. Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Case 6,138, Joseph Clark of Medfield, 1731 (48 images);  "Suffolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Records, 1636-1899," digital images, American Ancestors   ( : accessed 23 July 2020).

8. Vital Records of Medfield, Massachusetts to the Year 1850, Births, page 40, Joseph Clarke entry, 14 June 1664.


NOTE:  In 2014, Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I have extended this theme in 2020 for a seventh year to 364 Ancestors in 364 Weeks.  The list of 52 Ancestors biographies from my great-grandparents to the 7th great-grandparents (in work) is in

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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