Is anyone here knowledgeable about the Pre-Revolutionary settlers of the St. Johns River - then Nova Scotia?

+3 votes
From the end of the French & Indian war until the close of the Revolution, Maugerville Parish and other settlements on the St Johns were settled by 'New England Planters', mostly from Massachusetts and sold on the idea by promoters like Israel Perley (Perley-226).  My Clark ancestors were among them.  

I am looking for records (looking for where to even look) of who signed on to these ventures and from what town they went to Nova Scotia.  

There are records for 'The Widow Clark' as an ultimate grantee of land and of her and Joseph Clark as original settlers in the 1760's, but the original settler Joseph cannot be found in searchable records.  Instead, the loyalist Dr Joseph Clarke and his son Joseph are prominent in the post-war records.  These are separate and distinct from pre-war birth in 1768 of a Joseph to Joseph and Sarah Clark.

I have had no luck back tracking the four Clark men that appear in Bangor, Maine before 1800 and are shown in the 1800 census as being from St John, so the only path forward I can see is to find Clarks that went as settlers in the late 1750's and early 1760's.
in Genealogy Help by Jeff Andle G2G6 (7.6k points)
I cannot claim to be knowledgeable; but I, too, have interest in that time and place.  In my case the evidence is from DNA, and I can only infer surnames shared among DNA cousins who share DNA with me and with each other. Like you, I find evidence of two or three generations moving back and forth across the poorly defined border between Massachusetts and Nova Scotia from the Acadian expulsion until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.  I have traced their shared ancestry to the vicinity of Salem, Massachusetts, descendants of Bachelor-87 John Bachelor (1610-1675) leading me to believe they probably traveled by ship, giving them unusual mobility for the time and reducing the paper trail connectivity to which we may have become accustomed for ancestors moving more slowly overland.  I suspect their movement may have been influenced by their profession as traders to avoid restrictions imposed during hostilities between the governments of their trading territory which labeled them as smugglers, thereby discouraging them from cooperating with government record keepers.  Some of them may have lived aboard ships rather than in buildings ashore.  I have documented a 2G-grandmother born aboard a ship in Portland harbor in 1845.  Hostilities had been over long enough by that date that her birth was recorded with authorities in Portland; but it would seem her parents were still boat people.
Planters and Pioneers doesn't list any Clark in the Saint John River area.  The closest was a William and Susannah Clark in Passamaquoddy.  They had a son, William Owen Denny b 1770.

No, she only dealt with the people who stayed and were therefore important to the story she was telling.  My ancestors instead get the post revolutionary equivalent of "Police beat":

1783 Studholm report on Joseph Clark of Gagetown, Sunbury Co., Nova Scotia (now NB):  "[Lot] 36. Joseph Clark has a log house and about 7 or 8 acres of cleared land, which he holds by virtue of a lease from Capt. Spry for 200 acres. Joseph Clark is a very bad subject and a very troublesome fellow." If this is Joseph born Dec 1768, he was 16...

W.O. Raymond had records that are no longer able to be located (at least digitally):

pp. 158-159, Joseph and Widow are two different Grantees.  80 grantees are listed but 64 were before 1765 and 66 before 1783.  The other 14 were Loyalists.  Initial 64 were from Rowley, Boxford, Newburyport, Haverhill, Ipswich, Gloucester, Salem, etc. of Essex Co.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->  “The list of the grantees of the Township of Maugerville, …, includes the following names: ... Joseph Clark, Widow Clark.    It is possible she was not a widow then and he died later, but that the histories later called her Widow even before he died…

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->… “Above Oromocto Island we find the lots of … Joseph Buber, … and the Widow Clark. Thence to the upper boundary of the township, a distance of two miles, there were at first no settlers, ….”

<!--[if !supportAnnotations]-->

One of the Joseph Clarks that made it to Bangor (actually Levant), Maine in 1800 was there in 1780's and was with Co. Eddy and Joseph Buber at the attack on Ft. Cumberland.  There are records of them in Maine and telling of tales from the river and the war, but scant records of them or their children on the river and none of how they got there.

There are family trees on many sites, but they show the elder Joseph born in Levant 50 years before it was settled, then show him descended from the Clarks of Medfield, MA without any real proof other than birth records of someone by that name at a convenient time to desirable parents.

It's good to see people involved with Fort Cumberland.  I see you found the category I created for it.

Most of the other names mentioned are my ancestors. 

Stuart, yes!  Unfortunately Joseph Clark and Benjamin Bubier receiven no credit and no land for  their role because they stayed in Maugerville after the failed attack.  Both appear in Condaskeag Plantation (Bangor) in 1790.  By 1800 there are four Clark heads of household in Kenduskeag Plantation or Ohio Settlement (suburbs of Bangor) - one is my oldest absolutely documented ancestor on that line, Ichabod Clark (b. 1777, St Johns).  An aunt of Benjamin and cousin of Joseph Bubier (Mary Bubier, she of the confused documentation) and Elihu Lancaster are Ichabod's in-laws and rev. Seth Noble married Ichabod Clark and Mary Lancaster.  It is a tight knit group.  I probably have relationship to others in the party as well.

Seems to me that we've looked at this family before, Jeff, but this new angle sounds like a good strategy.

There was a shortage of clergy in Nova Scotia colony, so before the Revolution, my New England Planter ancestors who had access to ships kept their baptism, marriage and etc records back home in New England. I have had some luck finding the missing records on NEHGS.  

If I rule out the Loyalists, there are not nearly as many Clark families to look at. I don't see a record of any New England Planter Clarks in Liverpool, Yarmouth, or Chester but there was a Nantucket Clark family in Barrington, an Ipswich Clark in Fort Cumberland, and a Clark on the Charming Molly which sailed to Annapolis from Boston with the early settlers. 

As a general rule, I find that Massachusetts NEP were drawn to the South Shore of NS, and those who settled farther north tended to be from Connecticut, New Hampshire or Rhode Island.  I understand they didn't want to be overwhelmed by the Massachusetts crowd.  

One of these is on NBGS : Elias Clark (son of Joseph) and Mary Tinker who came from Connecticut to Cornwallis (1768), and then to NB.  They had a son Joseph born Dec 21, 1769, who married Sarah Palmer.  Rembember that Jr. didn't only mean father-to-son.  It was used to distinguish the younger generation from uncles and grandfathers too.  I see a large # of Clarks in the NBGS information, but the others were all Loyalists or later immigrants from Scotland and Ireland.

You're probably already looking at the military records. My Nova Scotia and New Brunswick ancestors from that era include a cross-section of soldiers who were released after Quebec. Some were Scottish, but those who sided with the Americans during the Revolution tended to be from Colonial militia units, and it seems to me that Maugerville attracted a number.  

Happy hunting!

Laurie, yes, I have been at this wall for the better part of 6 months.  I decided to only ask where else to look for records and let the records tell the story, but the give and take in follow up brings us back...

There are Connecticut Clarks that might have come and I have been trying to sort through them.  The neighbor, Joseph Buber, in Maugerville is from Marblehead, MA and the Clark and Buber sons went to Maine together.  I think there was also a bit of the 'first over' from Mass and up the river being a second wave.

"Elias Clark (son of Joseph) and Mary Tinker who came from Connecticut to Cornwallis (1768), and then to NB.  They had a son Joseph born Dec 21, 1769, who married Sarah Palmer."

I have Elias in my 'to figure out list", and he did move to Gagetown along with Moses (?).  The year is off by one for the recorded birth in Sheffield and the birth in Sheffield has a MOTHER named Sarah, BUT, 

1) The Joseph at Ft Cumberland was born closer to 1739 based on his sensus age later and his being a fighter at Ft. Cumberland.  He could be the father of the Jr I do know of and have been married to a Sarah.  

2) As far as I can tell Elias and Moses stayed until later then moved up a side stream, but that does not preclude their son going to Maine.

3) I need to not get side tracked by the flock of Josephs until I can pin one of them as the father of Ichabod in 1777.  I *think* Ichabod, Aaron, Thankful, and Elizabeth are siblings and maybe one of the Josephs...

4) I cannot rule out an EARLY Scot or Irish immigrant.  The family used to talk about two-boat Irish.  

I have not looked at older records from British service, but need to.  The problem there is not a lack of records but a lack of any way to tie one from before to one from after.  Thanks for the pointers.

1 Answer

0 votes
You sound much more skilled than I but if this helps...Maugerville is in Sunbury County, New Brunswick (NB created 1784). The Motty data base was transcribed from the Anglican Church records in Gagetown, Sunbury County and may be useful to you " ". I found the marriage of Charles Edwin Clarke and Matilda Sawyer Dec 3, 1829 and baptism of their first 2 children but I have not been able to find any background previous for Charles nor Matilda. You will see a number of Clarks references in the land maps and elsewhere. Also, Provincial Archives of NB online record references to Capt Joseph Clarke "".

 Should you find anything further on Charles or Matilda I would appreciate the info. Cheers!
by Stephen Clark G2G Rookie (260 points)
edited by Stephen Clark

Thank you Stephen.  Unfortunately, the Anglican records start when the rebels (Congregationalists under Rev. Seth Noble until 1776, and others later) were largely driven out in 1783 and replaced by Loyalists in 1784. It's like history almost didn't happen here until 1784. 

"The original nine record books were kept by a series of travelling ministers and covered the years 1786 to 1841"

"The Sheffield Township Record Book (begun in Maugerville) ... shows Joseph Clark, Jr. to have been b. 12 DEC 1768, s/o Joseph and Sarah Clarke." - reference can be found on Family Search, but it is a transcription by typewriter of real records.

and Capt. Joseph was instrumental in the sea transport of the Loyalists.  There were a lot of Joseph Clarks... three were wed to Elizabeths in Massachusetts at about the same time in the mid 1970's (a potential ancestor).

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