One of Many James Clarks in American Revolution

One of Many James Clarks in American Revolution


Deciphering between the several men named James Clark that were soldiers in the American Revolution from the state of New York has been a surmountable task. So far I have found eleven different men with that same name. Follow with me as I try to find my gggg-grandfather.

Stories about One of Many James Clarks in American Revolution

James Clark Begins a Family

  • Bedford, Westchester Co., NY, USA

In my search for my gggg-grandfather, James Clark, I began with a copy of an origional document written by Ethan Watson (E.W.) Prentiss, from the Dundee, Yates Co. NY Historical Society.  In this document the writer describes his grandfather and grandmother's journey from Bedford, Westchester Co., NY to Romulus, Senaca Co., NY after the Revolutionary War.

James Clark was born 12 April 1746 in Bedford, Westchester Co., NY and died December 1809 in Romulus, Senaca Co., NY.  The article said his parents were unknown.  He married Elizabeth"Betty" Boughton(Bouton) of Norwich, CT, but the same was so of her parents.  She was born 29 Dec 1752 and died 4 Mar 1841 in Starkey, Yates Co., NY.

James and Betty Boughton(Bouton) had eleven children:

Susanna b. 24 Dec 1770 d. 1848 and she married Eziekiel Beach                                           Seth b. 5 Oct 1772 d. 17 May 1851 and he married 1st Mary Fenton 2nd Mary Baily Smith     Elizabeth b. 7 Oct 1774 d. 11 June 1867 and she married Timothy Green                               Sarah 1st b. 15 May 1778 d. 23 Mar 1785                                                                               Esther b. 25 June 1780 d. 1830 and she married Robert Hunter                                             Anna b. 22 Aug 1782 d. 1815 and she married Benjamin Smith                                              Deborah b. 12 Aug 1784 d. 1832 and she married Ezra Witter                                                James Jr. b. 9 Aug 1786 d. 20 Feb 1857 and he married Esther(Easter) Reyley(Riley) ***        Sarah 2nd b. 10 Nov 1788 d. 31 Jul 1859 and she married Levi Price                                      Joseph b. 25 Apr 1791 died after 25 Apr 1881 (it was for his 90th birthday that this article was written)                                                                                                                                      Rebecca b. 18 Sept 1793 d. 20 Jan 1835 and she married Henry Prentiss

The article goes on to tell "a history" of this particular Clark family:

"James Clark, the father of Joseph, whose 90th anniversary we celebrate today, was born in the town of Bedford, Westchester Co., NY on the 12th day of April 1746.  There were brothers and sisters, but of their names and history we have no authentic knowledge.  James Clark's early education was such as was derived from the common schools of that early day; such an institution as an academy, seminary, or college, did not then exist within the Empire State, but by dint of perserverence, he succeeded in the mastering the surveyor's art, as it was then termed, and could accomplish the wonderful feat of writing out a deed or instrument of conveyance, and, as a matter of course, was elevated to the high and honorable position of District School Teacher, in which capacity he served for several years.

January 4th, 1770 he was married to Elizabeth (they all called her Betty) Boughton, of the town of Norwich, State of Conneciticut.  She was born December 29, 1752.  Of her parentage and early life we know but little, but she was a resulute, energetic, wide awake little body, just the reverse of her husband.  Of her brothers and sisters, of whom she had several, we have no history or incidents, with the exception of one, by the name of Joshua.  During the revolution he was captured one night by the British Press Gang, and was carried aboard a Man of War; being a good player upon the fife and flute, they compelled him to act as musician for them two long years, upon our coast, and finally carried him to England.  He being of a social and independent turn of mind and manners, they allowed him to do what, and go when and where he pleased, providing he was around at roll call.  But one day he forgot to report, and marched off on his own motion, continuing his march all night; just at the break of day, he concealed himself in a farmer's outbuilding, until a favorable opportunity offered, when he threw himself upon the mercy of the farmer, who proved to be not only a friend in need, but a friend in deed, by successfully secreting him from the vigilance of King George's mercenary searchers, and finally getting him aboard, in a storm, of a New York bound vessel, thus making good his escape from the paws of the British Lion."

Starting here are a few clues I had to work with:

#1:   James was from Bedford, Westchester Co., NY and his occupation was surveyor and school teacher    #2:   James married Betty Bouton from Norwich, CT    #3:    Betty had a brother named Joshua Bouton captured during Rev. War and he could play the fife and flute

In the beginning I couldn't find any particulars on James, but I found plenty of information on Betty Bouton in the Norwich Geneological Registry listing her parents and siblings, but they didn't list her husband.  I then moved to the census pages and found in Bedford in 1790 Betty's brother Ira Bouton living near several different Clark families, but no James was found.  Back to square one.

And the story about Joshua Bouton, Betty's brother, being in the Rev. War didn't figure out either.  Joshua Bouton was born 18 Oct 1759 and at the start of the was was only 17 yrs. old.  To put 'icing on the cake' the story told in the Registry about Joshua in the Rev. War was 'Joshua Raymond listed in the army at the age of 14 as a drummer, was taken prisoner, and kept on board a man-of-war till the peace, and arrived home just in time to see his father before he died.  He afterwards followed the sea, and was a skilful and able captain.'  The story is about the same, but the surnames are different, but in the same family.  Since the Norwalk Genealogical Registry was a more notable source, I had to believe that the soldier's surname was Raymond instead of Bouton.  This turned out to be another puzzle; but after looking diligently, I found that it was probably Joshua Raymond b. 7 Mar 1760 d. 2 Dec 1839 (Betty's 1st cousin) the son of James and Susanna St. John Raymond who was the most likely individual to match the Registry's story.

The story continues:

"The young people (that is to say James and Elizabeth,) commenced keeping house in the old town of Bedford, he being 24 and she 18 years of age, with very little capital, except stout hearts and willing hands.  Consequently they went to work with a will, to build up a home for themselves, and the children that were sure to come....But hark! there is another call besides that of bread for the children; it rings loud, long and clear; it is for volunteers to drive back the foreign invaders of their homes and firesides.  Of course you will see by your maps, that they live at this time, just back of the city of new York.  The father and husband responds to the call at once, the heroic wife buckling on his knapsack with a will, telling him to go, that she would take care of the children.  To the front, and then home for a few days, and the next seven years were spent by the patriot in war.  How well do we remember hearing grand-mother tell of the night that she saw the British cavalry go thundering by her door, on their way to burn the peaceful villages of Norwalk, Bedford and other towns.  As the camp thieves and marauders, called at that time cow boys, were upon every side of their home, they often suffered from their robbing expeditions; at one time losing two valuable horses.  One of the horses, not liking his company, got away and came back after a few days."

Another clue; James was in the Rev. War for seven years on the patriot side

The article goes on with the story, telling how after the war they moved to Marlborough.  This is where I find James and his family for the 1790 census, in New Marlborough, Ulster Co., NY.

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