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L'histoire de l'immigration d'Hezekiah Clark (immigrant américain)

Le Musée examine et accepte les dons de souvenirs et d'histoires, personnelles ou familiales, à la collection. En tant qu'institution pédagogique, ces récits nous aident à comprendre comment les individus se souviennent d'expériences vécues, comment ils les interprètent ou, encore, comment ils créent un sens à partir de celles-ci. Les histoires ne sont pas modifiées par le personnel du Musée. Le point de vue exprimé est celui de l'auteur et non celui du Musée.

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The first Clark in my family to come to Canada, was Hezekiah Clark, who came about 1799 to Adolphustown township, where many Americans settled following the American Revolution. Most of those were either Loyalists, who were forcibly deported, or Quakers who refused to fight and had their land confiscated as a result, but Hezekiah was neither of those. Hezekiah served on the Patriot side, but he still had to come to Canada for any hope of ever owning his own land.
Hezekiah Clark was born 18 August 1767, and baptized 14 October 1767, in Bloomfield, now a suburb of Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He was the son of Benoni Clark and Abigail Benson. Benson’s great grandfather was Judge and Lieutenant William Clark who arrived in Boston, Massachusetts, from Dorset, England, on the ship “Mary and John” on 30 May 1633.
On May 15, 1777, in Haddam, Middlesex, CT, at age 9 (nine), Hezekiah joined the Continental Army, claiming to be 12 (twelve) on his application. He served three years in Captain Elijah Blackman’s Company of Colonel Henry Sherborne’s Continental Regiment, one of sixteen authorized by Congress in 1777. Hezekiah was promoted to sergeant-major in 1779 and was honourably discharged 13 May 1780, at the age of twelve.
In 1789, Hezekiah married Mary Bush in Hartford, CT. Almost immediately, he moved across the state line to New York. Here, his first six children were born, before he moved to Adolphustown township, Lennox County, Upper Canada (now Ontario) in search of land of his own. He was directed, apparently in error, to C4 Lot 23, where he lived for twelve years with his brother Elias, and their respective families. They cleared the land, planted crops, built two houses and one barn and had a second barn ready to be raised, when a neighbor, James McMaster, advised him that he had just bought the land and Hezekiah and Elias and families would have to move immediately. Since McMaster was not willing to allow the Clarks time to harvest their crop, and find another place to live, on July 3, 1811, Elias and Hezekiah petitioned Governor Francis Gore, and the Governor ordered that they be allowed time to do this. Elias found another place in Adolphustown, and Hezekiah got one in Sophiasburg, at C 1 Lot 31, where he apparently was able to secure the proper papers as he spent the rest of his life there and was able to use it in his will to support his widow and six minor children.
In 1812, Hezekiah appeared on the muster rolls of the Prince Edward Militia, serving under Captain James Cotter.
On January 1, 1821, along with 22 other men, Hezekiah signed a petition asking for a new survey of the lines between the first and second concessions of Sophiasburg. This was necessary because the original survey was interrupted by the War of 1812-14 and had not been completed on the conclusion of the war. With incomplete surveys, it was impossible to settle boundary disputes between neighbours.
In 1825, Hezekiah signed another petition, along with many others, to make Prince Edward County its own District. The District Court, at that time, was located in Kingston, a long difficult journey over very rough roads. It was a hardship for the registering of deeds and wills, and caused many crimes to go unreported. Residents of Prince Edward wanted a court in Picton, which would make access much easier. This petition was denied, but a new one, signed by his son Jonas, in 1830, was approved.
In 1823, Hezekiah’s wife, Mary Ann (Bush) died. They had 17 children and the youngest was only one year old, at the time of her death.
This is a list of the children and their spouses:
Henry B 1791-1868 + Sarah C Mosier
Benjamin Bruce 1791-1868+ Julia Ann Bush
Charlotte 1792-
Hezekiah jr 1796-c.1887+ Catherine Young – died in Summit, Clay, Idaho
Mary Ann 1796- (twin to Hezekiah jr)
John S 1797-1873 + Anna d. S. Marysburgh
Abigail 1799-
Elias 1801 – 1870 + Lucretia Julia Ann Morden, died Newburgh, L&A
Enoch Dorland 1804-1876 + Nancy Smith; died S Marysburgh
Freeborn 1805-1874 + Irene Wood, died in Sophiasburg
Elizabeth 1807-1901 + Cecil Reynolds; died in Wellington, Hillier, Prince Edward
Ninion H 1808-1875 + Nancy Williams, died in Vernon, Shiawassee, Michigan
Jonas B 1810-1882 + Margaret Deline, died Hastings 1900 (2x gt grandparents of the author)
Marilla 1812-
Nancy 1814-
Harriet 1817- + Henry Lambert; died West Lake, Prince Edward
Charlotte 1822-

Less than a year after Mary Ann’s death, on the 19thof March 1824, Hezekiah married the widow, Rachel Garrittsee, nee Ferguson. She had four children from her first marriage:
Catherine 1812-1904 m John Donley Selleck 1812-1872;
Elizabeth 1814-;
Garrett 1816-m. 04 Nov. 1836 Diadiana Pettit 1818-1844; and Apr 1845 Susanna Garrett;
Henry 1817-1858 m. Elizabeth

Hezekiah also came with 3 or 4 minor children: Marilla 12, Nancy 10, Harriett 7, and possibly Charlotte 2, unless she had already died, making a combined household of 7 or 8 children to start the marriage.
Hezekiah and Rachel had six more children before Hezekiah died in January of 1835. The youngest child was under two and the oldest was ten. The children were:
Charlotte 1825 -;
Celinda 1827-1909;
Lemuel 1828-1893;
Arra Ferguson 1829-1909;
William 1831-1913;
Adelaide 1833-1901
This made a total of 20 natural children plus 3 or 4 step-children, depending on whether Elizabeth died before or after Hezekiah’s marriage to her mother.
Hezekiah left a will providing for his wife Rachel and their six children, aged 1 to 10, until the youngest reached the age of 16. At that time, all his property was to be sold and divided amongst the children of his first wife. His executors were: his oldest son, (by his first wife) Henry; his widow, Rachel; and Jacob Shortt, a neighbor. These, plus Adam Shortt and Richard Osbourn, signed the will as witnesses.
Later that same year, on 24 Aug 1835, the widow Rachel, married widower Adam Shortt, b 1760 Strasburg, Germany. Adam was a Hessian soldier, a mercenary recruited by Britain to oppose the Americans in the Revolutionary War. He anglicized his name when he came to Upper Canada. Rachel had two more children with him, making a total of twelve children for her. Rachel died in 1860 at age 66 and Adam in 1854 at age 94. Their two children were: Mary 1836-1930 + David S Young – both died in Kansas City
Adam John 1838-1914 + Mary Haden Copinger 1845-1914