Janet and Robert Wolfe Genealogy --- Go to Genealogy Page for Thomas Clark --- Go to Genealogy Page for Susanna Ring

Notes for Thomas Clark and Susanna Ring

1600 A "Thomas Clarke the iiijth of Maye" was baptized at St Mary, Rotherhithe, Surrey, England. [1]

1623 Thomas Clark immigrated to Plymouth, America on the ship Anne. [2]

1631 Susanna Ring and Thomas Clark were married before July, when Susanna was called Susan Clark in her mother's will. [3] Susan was the daughter of William and Mary (Durrant?) Ring [4].

1697 On 24 March, Thomas Clark died and was buried on Burying Hill, Plymouth. [5]

Research Notes:

On 12 February 1689/90, a Thomas Clark married Elizabeth Crow [PVR 86], and this has incorrectly been claimed as a third marriage for the above Thomas Clark. "Elizabeth, the wife of Deacon Thomas Clerke, deceased 13th November, 1695" at Plymouth [PVR 135]. There seems to be only one Thomas Clark at Plymouth with wife Elizabeth at this time, and our Thomas was certainly not a deacon. The Thomas Clark who was a deacon is supposed to have died in 1727. If our Thomas had married Elizabeth Crow, he would have been ninety years old, and have been living as a widower for nearly twenty years when the marriage to Elizabeth Crow took place. [6] [7]

The Great Migration reports [8]:

Thomas Clark
Migration: 1623 on Anne
First Residence: Plymouth
Removes: Boston by 1660, Plymouth by 1673 (with occasional residence in Barnstable)
Freeman: In "1633" Plymouth list of freemen ahead of those admitted on 1 January 1632/3 [PCR 1:4]. In list of 7 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:52]. In Plymouth section of lists of 1639, 1658, 29 May 1670 (as "Mr. Thomas Clarke") and 1 [blank] 1683/4 [PCR 5:274, 8:174, 197, 202].
Education: He signed his name to coroner's jury statements.

Offices: Deputy for Plymouth, 8 June 1655 [PCR 3:79].
Coroner's jury, 2 March 1635/6, 29 June 1652 on the body of Robert Willis sometimes of "Milbrooke, county Cornwall," 3 September 1652 on the body of James Glasse [PCR 1:39, 3:15, 16]. Petit jury, 7 December 1641, 1 November 1642, 9 June 1653, 4 October 1653 [PCR 7:25, 32, 65, 67].
Plymouth constable for Eel River, 1 March 1641/2 [PCR 2:34]. Surveyor, 7 June 1642, 7 March 1642/3 (Eel River), 7 June 1648 [PCR 2:40, 124]. Surveyor of highways (Eel River), 5 June 1644 [PCR 2:72]. Supervisor of highways (Eel River), 1 June 1647 [PCR 2:116]. Committee for Plymouth, 5 June 1651 [PCR 2:167]. Committee to procure supplies for the expedition of the Lord Protector, 6 June 1654 [PCR 3:53]. Committee to treat with the commissioners regarding the trade at Kennebecke, 2 July 1655 [PCR 3:87]. Committee serving at court, 3 June 1656 [PCR 3:99]. Committee to supply and accommodate the Governor and Magistrates, 3 June 1657 [PCR 3:120].
Volunteered for service in the Pequot War, 7 June 1637 [PCR 1:60]. In Plymouth section of 1643 Plymouth Colony list of men able to bear arms [PCR 8:189].

Estate: In 1623 Plymouth land division received one acre as passenger on Anne [PCR 12:6]. In 1627 Plymouth cattle division "Thomas Clarke" was the thirteenth person in Capt. Miles Standish's third company [PCR 12:10]. On 28 September 1629, Abraham Pierce sold one acre of land on the south side of town to Thomas Clark for thirty pounds of tobacco [PCR 12:7]. The next day, Thomas Clark sold the acre of land to William Bradford, along with another acre of land bounded by widow Warren [PCR 12:7, 8]. On 24 March 1630[/1], Ralfe Wallen sold to Thomas Clark land called Wallen's Well [PCR 12:17].
Assessed £1 4s. in Plymouth tax list of 25 March 1633 and £1 7s. in list of 27 March 1634 [PCR 1:10, 27].
Assigned mowing ground, 1 July 1633, 14 March 1635/6, 20 March 1636/7 [PCR 1:15, 41, 57].
On 24 February 1633/4 Thomas Clark purchased of Ralph Wallen "so much land adjoining to the said Thomas, on the south side his dwelling, as maketh up a former moiety the said Thomas bought of the said Ralph['s] twenty acres," and "one share of meadow ground belonging to the said lot when division shall be made thereof" [PCR 1:25, 76].
On 4 December 1637 a previous grant of sixty acres to Thomas Clark was confirmed and ordered to be laid out [PCR 1:70]. On 2 April 1628, all that parcel of land called Slowly Field, formerly in the tenure of Mr. Edward Winslow, was granted to Thomas Clark [PCR 1:83].
On 7 October 1639 the court granted Thomas Clark liberty to erect a house at Mannamett Pond to fodder his cattle in this winter until come lands be laid out for him there [PCR 1:135].
On 6 January 1639/40, since Thomas Clark relinquished his grant of land at "the Whoop Place" except eight acres reserved to Thomas Little, the court granted Clark eighty-five acres purchased of Nicholas Presland, to be laid out at Mannamett Ponds "forty acres formerly granted to Thomas Little there, to be parcel thereof" [PCR 1:138].
On 1 February 1640/1 the court ordered that the twenty acres of land purchased by Thomas Clark from Ra[l]ph Wallen were to laid out at the lower end of the two lots of forty acres Clark had at the Eel River [PCR 2:7]. He was listed among the fifty-eight purchasers [PCR 2:177].
On 5 March 1671/2 Thomas Clark was granted the "skirts of meadow lying upon the pond at Mannomett" [PCR 5:89].
On 18 June 1673 "Thomas Clarke of Plymouth" granted to "my wellbeloved son Andrew Clarke of Boston," shoemaker, "all that my house & ground lying & being in Boston ... which I recovered from the estate of John Nicolls by virtue of a judgment granted me at the court of Assistants sitting in Boston March the 5th 1672" [SLR 8:225-27].
(Jacobus refers to an original deed of gift, dated 6 June 1693, apparently unrecorded and now lost, which was published in Samuel C. Clarke, Descendants of Thomas Clarke [Boston 1869], in which Thomas Clark named his sons Andrew, William, James, Nathaniel and John [TAG 47:5].)

Birth: About 1599 based on age given at death. (John Insley Coddington argued forcefully that Thomas Clark was the son of John Clark, pilot of the Mayflower, and that he was identical with the "Thomas son of John Clarke of Ratliff" who was baptized 8 March 1599/1600 at St. Dunstan's, Stepney, Middlesex [TAG 42:201-02]. The hypothesis is very attractive, and was accepted by Jacobus [TAG 47:3], but remains underproven.)
Death: Plymouth 24 March 1697 (apparently 1696/7) "in his 98th year" [PVR 135; TAG 42:202].
Marriage: (1) By July 1631 Susanna Ring, daughter of William and Mary (Durrant) Ring [TAG 42:201-2]; she died between 1646 (birth of youngest son) and 20 January 1664/5 (prenuptial agreement of husband with second wife).
(2) Soon after 20 January 1664/5 Alice (Hallett) Nichols [SCC 6], daughter of Richard Hallett and widow of Mordecai Nichols; she died by 25 July 1671 [SCC 8].

With first wife
i William, born about 1634 (deposed 10 August 1671 aged thirty-seven [TAG 47:4, citing SJC Case #1179]); m. (1) Plymouth 1 March 1659[/60] Sarah Wolcott [PCR 8:22; PVR 662]; m. (2) Saybrook 7 March 1677/8 Hannah Griswold [SayVR 8 (also recorded Plymouth [PVR 85])]; m. (3) Plymouth 3 August 1692 Abiah Wilder [PVR 85].
ii James, born say 1636; m. Plymouth 7 October 1657 Abigail Lothrop [PCR 8:17; PVR 662].
iii Susanna, born say 1638; m. Plymouth 3 November [PCR 8:22; PVR 662] or Barnstable 1 December [MD 6:238] 1658 Barnabas Lathrop.
iv John, born about 1640 (deposed 31 October 1671 aged about thirty [TAG 47:4, citing SJC Case #1179]); m. by 1668 Sarah _____ (eldest child born Boston 11 November 1668 [BVR 107]; see further discussion on this John in TAG 43:19-26, 47:7, 49:143).
v Nathaniel, born say 1642; m. between July 1684 (when she entered an account of the estate of her deceased husband Edward Gray [PCR 6:149-50]) and 4 June 1686 (when she sued Nathaniel Clark for divorce [PCR 6:190-92]) Dorothy (Lettice) Gray, daughter of Thomas Lettice and widow of Edward Gray.
vi Andrew, born about 1644 (deposed 31 October 1671 aged about twenty-five [TAG 47:4, citing SJC Case #1179]); m. by 1672 Mehitable Scotto (eldest child born Boston 10 July 1672 [BVR 122]; son Scotto Clark born 1680 [MF 3:37]).

Comments: Thomas Clark aspired to be a lawyer. On 2 July 1638 he was ordered to frame and offer a bill of indictment against Richard Clough for taking a waistcoat out of a suit Clough was to make for Edward Shaw [PCR 1:91].
On 5 March 1638/9 the court presented an abuse committed by Thomas Clarke, who accused Richard Cloofe of felony, but Clarke did not appear in court to prosecute the case for the King. And further, Clarke took the case of another man [Edward Shaw] and "prosecuted the said action in Court by way of barratry" [PCR 1:118]. About 1644 Robert Mendam authorized Thomas Clark of Eel River to sell a parcel of land at Duxbury [PCR 2:77]. He acted as attorney to several of the purchasers at "Mannamoiett," 1 June 1675 [PCR 5:171]. When Tobias Taylor and John Shawe had a disagreement 7 July 1646, the court ordered Mr. Alden and Thomas Clark to represent Tobias and come to a settlement with the representatives of John Shawe [PCR 2:105].
His legal pretensions were also on display during his contentions with his second wife and her sons in the late 1660s and early 1670s, when he employed his legal Latin in arguing the precise nature of his relation with his spouse and the consequences of her actions [SCC 5-9, 98-99, 569-70; RCA 1:47].
His usefulness in court in later years included his service as overseer of the will of Mrs. Jenney. He and Samuell Jenney had some disagreement over the care and guardianship of Sarah, daughter of Samuell Jenney, that was settled 6 October 1659 [PCR 3:171]. He complained about Mr. Constant Southworth for the illegal disposal of a mare and her increase belonging to the estate of "Mistris Sarah Jeney, deceased" and came to an agreement as overseer, 1 June 1663 [PCR 4:43, 7:102]. He was also one of the administrators of the estate of Mr. "Willam Collyare," 5 July 1671 [PCR 5:68].
On 4 December 1637 Thomas Clark was surety for Edward Shaw, who was accused of theft [PCR 1:69]. More often, Clark was a victim of theft: on 5 January 1635/6 he sued widow Warren for taking a boat of his; the court decided in favor of the defendant, but awarded the plaintiff 30s. "for other considerations" [PCR 1:36]; on 5 April 1642 the court supported Thomas Clark in his suit against Mathew Fuller over a share [PCR 2:37]; on 5 June 1671 William Walker was charged with stealing cloth from Thomas Clark "of Boston" and was sentenced to pay double for the cloth and for telling a lie about it, was fined 10s. [PCR 5:61].
He brought suits against a number of men who owed him money, including Mr. "Gromes," 2 May 1648 [PCR 2:122], Morgan Jones in March, 1668 [PCR 7:153, 154], Henry Clarke of Duxborrow, 1 July 1672 [PCR 7:171], and Samuel Knowles, of Eastham, administrator of the estate of his brother James Knowles, deceased, 31 October 1683 [PCR 7:268].
Sometimes the suits were not easily decided. Arbiters were selected to end the differences between Mr. Samuell Gorton & Thomas Clark at court 3 December 1639 [PCR 1:137]. He sued the estate of Thomas Ewer, late of Barnstable, 29 October 1667, but the jury felt that the case was not clearly presented, and dismissed it [PCR 7:141]. Mr. Thomas Clark brought suit against Peter, Indian, at court 5 March 1684/5, but Clark did not appear in court and Peter was freed [PCR 6:152]. "Mr. Thomas Clarke, sometimes of Boston, now of Barnstable" sued in 1667 Daniel Winge of Sandwich, administrator to the estate of Thomas Ewer, late of Barnstable, for a debt, but the jury did not understand the case, and Clarke desired to present the case again, but reconsidered and withdrew 28 October 1684 [PCR 7:279].
On 2 October 1650 Thomas Clarke was allowed to draw and sell a cask of strong waters [PCR 2:163]. He was presented 5 October 1652 for staying and drinking at James Cole's contrary to the order of the court [PCR 3:17].
He was presented 6 March 1654/5 for charging £6 for the loan of £20, which the grand jury felt was extortion [PCR 3:75]. He was cleared, 5 June 1655 [PCR 7:73]. When Richard Clough sued Thomas Clark for slander at court 4 September 1638, Clough lost [PCR 7:9]. Clark stated plainly in open court, 13 June 1660, that "G[e]orge Barlow is such an one that he is a shame and reproach to all his masters; and that he, the said Barlow, stands convicted and recorded of a lie at Newberry [PCR 3:190].
Thomas Clark of Plymouth, late of Boston, sued Mr. Constant Southworth, of Duxbury, for withholdling one eighth part of the yearly profits of the fishing at Cape Cod, 5 July 1678, but withdrew the action [PCR 7:213]. He sued 7 July 1682 Samuel Smith of Eastham, for the unjust detaining of one quarter of the profits of the fishing off the Cape, and withdrew this case, also [PCR 7:249].
"Mr. Thomas Clarke, resident at Plymouth, one of the old comers" successfully sued Mr. John Freeman, Senior, of Eastham, for pulling up a stake which was a boundary marker for Clark's land at Old Indian Field, 1 November 1679 [PCR 7:218].
"Mr. Thomas Clarke, Senior," of Plymouth and William Shirtliffe wrangled repeatedly in 1681 and 1682 over the partition of land once jointly owned by Clark and William Shirtliffe's father [PCR 7:234, 237, 244, 255].
Thomas Clark was prosperous enough to employ a number of apprentices and servants. The court records mention three: on 2 September 1634 Thomas Clark took William Shetle as an apprentice for eleven years [PCR 1:31]; on the 13th of August, 1639, John Barnes assigned the remaining term of seven year's service of his servant Symon Trott to Thomas Clark, with Clark agreeing to pay Trott a heifer calf when six years of the term were up [PCR 1:129]; and on 4 August 1654 Clark bought out the remaining time of Robert Ransom, servant of Thomas Dexter Jr. [PCR 3:63]. John Williams engaged to pay towards his wife's maintenance to be paid next November to Mr. Thomas Clark at Boston, etc., 7 July 1668, which suggests the possibility that she was living or working at Clark's house [PCR 4:191]. He undertook to provide horses and equipment for the use of the commissioners on their journey to New Haven, 2 July 1655 [PCR 3:86]. Thomas Clark engaged to lend the country £5 of wheat to pay those that had worked on the "Joanses River bridge," 3 July 1656 [PCR 3:106].


[1] London Metropolitan Archives, St Mary, Rotherhithe, Surrey, Composite register: baptisms Aug 1556-Nov 1630, marriages Jan 1555/6-Nov 1630, burials Jul 1556-Nov 1630, P71/MRY/006, London, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, [AncestryImage], [AncestryRecord].

[2] Donald Lines Jacobus, "Thomas Clark(e) of Plymouth and Boston in the Line of Nathaniel of Lyme, Connecticut," The American Genealogist 47 (1971), 3-16, at 4, [AmericanAncestors].

[3] John Insley Coddington, "The Widow Mary Ring, of Plymouth Mass., and her Children," The American Genealogist 42 (1966), 193-205, at 201, [AmericanAncestors].

[4] John Insley Coddington, "The Widow Mary Ring, of Plymouth Mass., and her Children," The American Genealogist 42 (1966), 193-205, at 197, [AmericanAncestors].

[5] Donald Lines Jacobus, "Thomas Clark(e) of Plymouth and Boston in the Line of Nathaniel of Lyme, Connecticut," The American Genealogist 47 (1971), 3-16, at 4, [AmericanAncestors].

[6] Jean Rumsey, "Thomas Clark - Some Extra Bits and Pieces," The American Genealogist 49 (1973), 143-149, at 143, item 1, [AmericanAncestors].

[7] Donald Lines Jacobus, "Thomas Clark(e) of Plymouth and Boston in the Line of Nathaniel of Lyme, Connecticut," The American Genealogist 47 (1971), 3-16, at 5, suggests a third marriage, [AmericanAncestors].

[8] Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633 (Boston, Massachusetts: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 375, [AmericanAncestors].