Jeremiah/Jeremy was the son of William Clerke and Mary Weston. He was baptised at East Farleigh, Kent on 1 December 1605, as "Jerum Clerk" in transcripts on the web, and with his father named as William.
Marriages and Children
Jeremy is now believed to have married twice. His first wife was Isabell Colt; they married on 19 December 1634 at Wapping, Middlesex. She was buried at St Saviour's, Southwark, Surrey on 11 September 1636. (Douglas Richardson and others do not mention this marriage, whose existence was identified only after the preparation of his Magna Carta Ancestry and Royal Ancestry.)
In England in about 1637 Jeremy married Frances Latham, widow of William Dungam and daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth Latham. They had the following children, all named in John Osborne Austin's The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island:
Sarah, who married John Pinner and Caleb Carr and who was born in 1651
Jeremy settled in New England by 1638: that year he was admitted as an inhabitant of the island of Aquidneck, Rhode Island. With him went his stepchildren from Frances Latham's first marriage. On 28 April 1639, he was one of the signatories to an agreement to found a settlement which became Newport, Rhode Island. He was made a freeman in 1640.
At Newport Jeremy held the following positions:
1644: constable again
From 1647 to 1649 Jeremy was treasurer for the four towns of Rhode Island. In 1648 he was one of the assistants to the colony's Governor, William Coddington. That year accusations were made against William Coddington, and, while these were being investigated, Jeremy was chosen as interim Governor, with the formal title President Regent. During his time as acting Governor, a charter was granted to Providence, Rhode Island.
Jeremy was buried at Newport, Rhode Island in January 1651/2. There is a commemorative medallion at Newport, but this does not mark the site of his grave. A later Quaker record, referring to January 1652, reads: "Jeremiah Clarke, one of the first English Planters of Rhode Island, died at Newport in said Island and was buried in the tomb that stands by the street by the water side in Newport." The Quakers had not started to establish themselves in America at this date and it is very unlikely he identified himself as a Quaker, but his son Walter became an early Quaker.
Jeremy's second wife survived him, going on to marry William Vaughan, pastor of the First Baptist Church, Rhode Island.
Various spellings of Jeremy's last name can be found, as is common for this period, but it seems to have settled as Clarke. Sources name him both Jeremy and Jeremiah.
↑ 6.06.1 Thomas P Dungan. The Life of Captain Jeremy Clarke. A Founder of Newport, Otter Bay Books, 2013, cited in Scott G Swanson: The Mother of Mary (Saxby) Clarke, Grandmother of Jeremy Clarke of Rhode Island, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 169, Summer 2015, p. 226, footnote 1, American Ancestors website ($)
↑ Edson I Carr. The Carr Family Records, Herald Printing House, 1894, p. 16, Internet Archive
↑ 10.010.1 Scott G Swanson. "The Mother of Mary (Saxby) Clarke, Grandmother of Jeremy Clarke of Rhode Island" in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 169. Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2015, pp. 226-232. American Ancestors website ($)
↑ Alfred Rudulph Justice. Ancestry of Jeremy Clarke of Rhode Island and Dungan Genealogy, Franklin Printing Company, 1922, pp. 45-46, Hathi Trust
↑ John Osborne Austin (ed.). The Journal of William Jefferay, printed by M L Freeman and Sons (Providence, Rhode Island), 1899, pp. 36-37, Internet Archive
↑ Thomas Williams Bicknell. The History of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, American Historical Society, 1920, Vol. III, p. 995, Ancestry.com
Edwards, Olga and Roberts, Ina Wear. Descendants of East Tennessee Pioneers, 2nd edition, 1986, p. 278 [not viewable by Michael Cayley when he was revising this profile for the Magna Carta Project in January 2023]
Magna Carta Project
This profile was re-reviewed for the Magna Carta Project by Michael Cayley on 3 January 2023.
See Base Camp for more information about identified Magna Carta trails and their status. See the project's glossary for project-specific terms, such as a "badged trail".
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It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Jeremy by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with Jeremy: