Genealogy Data Page 178 (Notes Pages)


Cunningham, William Allen (b. 19 OCT 1833)

Given Name: William Allen
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Sterling, John (b. )
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Given Name: John
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Bassett, Alice (b. )
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Given Name: Alice
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Martin, Enoch (b. )
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Given Name: Enoch
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Thorne, Elizabeth (b. )
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Given Name: Elizabeth
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, James (b. 1655, d. 20 DEC 1723)
Note: The Reverend James Clack matriculated at Magdelen College, Oxford, on Dec 12 1671, and graduated four years later. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England on Sep 29 1675, in Salisbury, England, where he signed the Diocesan Subscription Book declaring his assent to the Thirty-Nine Articles. The book is still extant and his signature can be seen in it.

He was appointed to the Parish of Holt and Atworth in Wiltshire, but emigrated to Virginia in Aug 1678 probably with his brother the Reverend Nicholas Clack. He arrived in Virginia on New Year's Day, 1679, and on Easter Sunday of that year became the rector of Ware Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia. He remained the rector of that parish for the rest of his life and is buried in the churchyard. The church itself was constructed during his rectorship and is still an active parish church, a handsome, plain building.

He served on the commission that founded William and Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia.

His tombstone reads, "Here lyeth the body of James Clack, son of William and Mary Clack, Who was born in the Parish of Marden _____ miles from the devizes in the County of Wilts. he came out of England in August, 1678, arrived in Virginia upon New Years Day following, came into the parish of Ware on Easter. Where he continued Minister near forty-five years till he Dyed. He departed this life on the 20th day of December in the year of our Lord God 1723 in hopes of a joyful resurrection to Eternal Life, which God grant him for his Beloved Redeemer's Sake. Amen."
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Ralph Gordon
Title: Ralph Gordon's genealogy of the Gordon family
Given Name: James
Death: 20 DEC 1723 Ware Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, Nicholas (b. 1653, d. ABT 12 OCT 1709)
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Clack
Title: Information from Randall Gene Clack, 1493 Greencastle Road, Mooresville
, IN 46158
, IN 46158
, IN 46158.
Given Name: Nicholas
Death: ABT 12 OCT 1709 St. Mary's White Chapel Parish, Lancaster County, Virginia
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, Richard (b. 18 MAR 1662/63)
Given Name: Richard
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, Francis (b. 5 APR 1666)
Given Name: Francis
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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----------, Mary (b. )
Note: The surname of the mother of the Reverend James Clack is unknown. The idea that it was Spencer and that she was the aunt of Nicholas Spencer, immigrant to Virginia in 1678 and later Acting Governor of the colony, seems to have arisen in the 1930's. Octavia Zollicoffer Bond, an indefatigable and competent amateur genealogist, does not mention it in her Family Chronicle and Kinship Book, published in 1928. But it appears in magazine articles a few years later and has, understandably, been accepted ever since by her descendants.

It is wholly untrue. We know that William Clack's wife was named Mary from the record of her burial at Marden parish, Wilts., on Jun 18 1674, but there is no surviving record of his marriage.

And while Nicholas Spencer did, indeed, have an aunt named Mary Spencer, she is recorded in the parish records of Cople, Bedfordshire, as having died on Aug 31 1663 and been buried there the next day. Her name is given as "Mrs. Mary Spencer." "Mrs." in the 17th century, signified social status--the female equivalent of Mr.--not marital status, and the use of her maiden name would indicate that she died unmarried.

Further, James Clack is listed in the record of Oxford University as matriculating "P.P." That stands for puer pauper, "poor boy" in Latin. It should be made clear that that designation did not mean he was a pauper, in the English language sense of the word, only that he came from a family that could not afford the university fees (a situation in which the majority of students at today's Ivy league university's find themselves).

But it does indicate that the Clack family were of a lower social status than the Spencers, who stood at the top of the gentry, and thus it is unlikely that a marriage between Mary Spencer and William Clack would have been permitted.

In other words, there is simply no evidentiary material whatever to support the idea that James Clack's mother was Mary Spencer, and much to indicate that she was not. The exact origin of this genealogical myth is unknown. It is possible a well-meaning amateur genealogist, noting the names Nicholas and Spencer in the Clack family, found the record of Mary Spencer's birth and put two and two together without double checking. It is equally possible that a professional genealogist comitted fraud in order to give a client what he wanted: impressve ancestors.

And Mary Spencer's ancestors are indeed impressive, with three descents from Edward III, and from the 1st Duke of Somerset, the Lord Protector, and from Sir David Owen, a first cousin of King Henry VII, who led a fascinating life.

But while her ancestry is impressive it is also, alas, not ours.
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Bond
Title: Octavia Zollicoffer Bond, Family Chronicle and Kinship Book (1928)
Given Name: Mary
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, William (b. 1628, d. ABT 1682)
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: Bond
Title: Octavia Zollicoffer Bond, Family Chronicle and Kinship Book (1928)
Given Name: William
Death: ABT 1682
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, John (b. , d. 1667)
Given Name: John
Death: 1667
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Smythe, Eleanor (b. , d. 1664)
Given Name: Eleanor
Death: 1664
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, William (b. , d. 1624)
Given Name: William
Death: 1624
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, Andrew (b. , d. 1568)
Given Name: Andrew
Death: 1568
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Annes, Agnes (b. , d. 1593)
Given Name: Agnes
Death: 1593
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Clack, Thomas (b. ABT 1490)
Given Name: Thomas
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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----------, Luce (b. , d. 1544)
Given Name: Luce
Death: 1544
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Skipwith, Henry (b. )
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: ED Mann
Given Name: Henry
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Skipwith, John (b. , d. ABT 1585)
Source: (Individual)
Abbreviation: ED Mann
Given Name: John
Death: ABT 1585
Change: Date: 9 Feb 2003

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Copyright 2003 John Steele Gordon