Nicholas Clarke, Hartford Founder

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Compiled by Timothy Lester Jacobs, SDFH Genealogist

NICHOLAS1 CLARKE, HARTFORD FOUNDER was born abt. 1613 in England, and died 02 Jul 1680 in Hartford, CT. He married _________ ______ bef. 1640. She was born in England and died aft 1644 in Hartford, CT.

Nicholas Clark emigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony aboard the ship “Lyon”, arriving in Boston 16 September 1632. He may have been the brother of William Clark and John Clark, also of Hartford. Robert Charles Anderson makes this statement in the Great Migration article on Nicholas Clark: “Various secondary sources suggest that Nicholas Clark was brother of John Clark of Cambridge, Hartford and points beyond, and of William Clark of Hartford. Nicholas Clark did come to New England on the same ship with John Clark, and held land in Cambridge near John Clark. On 4 September 1643 Nicholas and William Clark were codefendants in a suit brought by Matthew Allyn. No evidence other than this is seen for these possible relationships.”

He first took up residence in Cambridge where he held land, but he had removed to Hartford before 4 January 1635/6. He was among the so-called “Adventurers Party” of twenty-five men who set out to explore the area that would become Hartford, led by John Steele in October 1635, prior to the departure from Cambridge of the Rev. Hooker’s party in May 1636, and was one of sixteen founders living in Hartford in 1635 prior to the arrival of Hooker’s party. In Hartford he practiced his profession as a housewright: Lieut. Col. John Talcott stated in his memorandum book that his father’s house was the first built in Hartford by Nicholas Clark in 1635. He served in the Pequot War in 1637.

In the Hartford land inventory of February 1639/40 he held eleven parcels of land: two acres on which his dwelling house stood located on the intersection of the road to the Neck and the road from Centinel Hill to the North Meadow; two roods in the Soldiers Field; one rood in the Little Meadow; one rood and twenty perches in the North Meadow; three acres, one rood and seven perches of meadow and swamp in the North Meadow; two roods and four perches on the east side of the Great River; one acre in the Neck of Land; three acres in the Cow Pasture; six acres in the Little Oxpasture; two acres in the Pine Field; four acres of swamp on the east side of the Great River; one rood and one perch in the Neck of Land; and one rood and twenty perches also in the Neck of Land.

His will was dated 28 January 1679/80, he died on 2 July 1680, as shown on the inventory of his estate, and his will was proved 2 December 1680.

Genealogy: none known

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