BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CLARKE-CORBIN FAMILY OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, N. Y.
The following is a brief history concerning the Clarke Family left by the Rev. Lemuel Clarke in 1892-3
This is a brief history of my parentage and ancestry. I, Lemuel Clarke was born May 8, 1814 in Charleston now called Root in Montgomery County, N. Y. I know little of my ancestry on my father's side, except that they were of Irish descent. My father's name was Seth Clarke and his parents gave him the name (Seth Clarke). My father was born in Massachusetts about twelve miles from Putnam-Wolf-Den in the town of Pomfret. His mother's family name was Chandler whose family lived in Connecticut and were very numerous.
My grandparents died when my father, Elkanah, Jr. was but five years of age and a younger child, two years old, were all that was left of the family. The younger son was a boy named named Lemuel. My father and Lemuel Clarke were cared for by their mother's friends until they were able to take care of themselves. Both boys married at an early age and made their first settlement in the state of Connecticut in the bend of the river that bears that name. Here a child was born in each of the families. A daughter in my father's and a son in his brother's family. Soon after they moved into Montgomery County, Town of Charleston, (now Root, N. Y.), near what is known as Bowen Four Corners. My father engaged in farming, his brother in keeping a hotel or tavern as they were called then. The brother and wife died a few years after. The son who was named Lemuel and after his father's death lived with my father, as I am told, until he was nineteen years old, when he left saying he was going south, and never afterwards was heard of by his people. Then the family became extinct as far as I have any knowledge.
The daughter born to my parents was named Betsy (Clarke). Afterwards there was born to my parents a daughter named Susannah (Clarke). Another named Lucy (Clarke), then a son (myself) Lemuel, after a daughter named Abigail (Clarke), following this a daughter named Dorcas (Clarke), and last a son named Chandler (Clarke) . Seven children, five daughters and two sons, all except Betsy, were born in the county and town above named (Charleston, now Root, in Montgomery County). I cannot give the dates of birth of these children except Lucy (1812), Lemuel (1814) and Chandler in 1821 .
In February 1822 my father moved from Montgomery County into the north part of Jefferson County and settled on what has since been known as the Hillman Whittier Farm about one and a half miles northwest from Depauville. In the town then called Lyme (now Clayton) changing localities several times but never more than three miles from the place of his first settlement, until about the year 1843 when he moved to Watertown, where he died. He is buried at Sandy Creek**, Oswego. My mother died in 1854 and my brother (Chandler) in the year 1858, and both are buried in the same grounds (Woodlawn Cemetery) with my father (Sandy Creek, Oswego). My sister, Betsy, married John Wincent, by whom she had the following named children: Wesley, Jane, Esther, Sherman, Lysander, Marvin and Mary. She, with her husband, moved into the state of Michigan in the year 1846 and settled in the Town of Bainbridge, Beman County, where her husband, herself and daughter, Esther, have since died.
**Note: Rev. Clarke had the bodies of several family members moved from Michigan and Clayton, N. Y. to the Woodlawn Cemetery at Sandy Creek some time in the early 1890's. (per newspaper write-up of the area).
Sister Susan Susannah, married Horace Bow (sic) by whom she had the following names children: Seth , Asenath , Prosper, Gilbert , Julia , and Dorcas. These all moved into the same place in Michigan as Betsy did. This sister and husband have also died.
My sister, Lucy married Thaddeus Haten*** Allen, by whom she had the following named children: Seth, Elizah , and Dimis and three others whose names I do not remember. She died at the birth of her sixth child at the age of 33 and is buried in the Three Mile Creek Cemetery about three miles northwest of Depauville, Town of Clayton.
Note: ***Thaddeus's middle name is usually spelled as "Houghton." However, it is sometimes seen with the spelling, "Hoten." It is believed that the name was his mother's maiden name or a married name before she (Persis) married Elijah Allen, near Guilford Center, Windham Twp., VT on August 18, 1797.
My sister, Abigail, married Stephen Russell. This family went into the state of Michigan where the others were and where children yet remain. I can name but two of them, George W. and Lyman Stanton. There are others but I cannot remember them. The parents are dead.
My brother, Chandler , married Sarah Theresa, one child was born to them, a son named Eddy about the year 1851 or 1853. While living in Waterbury, they afterward moved into Wisconsin and lived awhile, but losing health they returned to Jefferson County, where he died in 1857 or 1858 and is buried at Sandy Creek beside father and mother. His widow is living in Ilion, Herkimer County, and the son is living at the same place.
Now as to myself. I was born in the Town of Charleston (now Root) Mongtomery County, May 8, 1815, where I commenced school the second day after I was three years old, walking one and half miles and I attended every term until I was eight years old, when my father moved in 1822 with his family into the Town of Lyme, now Clayton, Jefferson County, N. Y., settling in the wilderness with no school or churches for many miles around. Hence my school advantages were thereafter limited to just forty days all told. But such was my desire for knowledge that after working all day with my father, I would lay my face before the fire of pitch pine knots until my father would drive me to bed from studying books. I lived at home only as I worked the day or month away, my father taking all my pay, while my mother made (spun and wove) all the clothing woolen for winter and linen for summer and a braided straw hat for summer and knit cap for winter, until I was twenty-four years old.
On July, the 11th of 1839, I was married to Harriet Putnam, eldest daughter of Parley and Prudence Putnam of the Town of Clayton, settling on a new piece of land on which I built a small log house. We commenced housekeeping, where in August following our first child was born, Philo R. and now of Clayton. Our next child, a daughter was born in July 1842 named Prudence Asenath Elizabeth . She died when 16 months old (which agrees with her headstone in the Three Mile Creek Cemetery) and I buried her in the cemetery on Three Mile Creek, where sister, Lucy, and the Putnam family are buried. In the summer of 1844 Amasa Clarke was born about a mile west of the place where Philo was born. In the month of October of this year I moved with my family to Michigan and settled in the village of Milburg about six miles east of St. Joseph on the Old Stage Road from Detroit to Lake Michigan. Here in 1848 Lucy was born, her mother never fully recovered from the sickness incident to this birth and went into gradual decline. In the spring of 1849, I returned with her to Jefferson County where I left her at her father's home until October when taking her back to Michigan, she continued to decline until the 22nd of October, 1850, when she died in great peace. Her dying words were, "Jesus is waiting to receive me." She is buried in what is known as "The Boyer Burying Ground" about three miles northeast of Milburg, (Records state there is presently no headstone for her in the Boyer Cemetery). I remained in Michigan about a year after her death, my sister, Betsy, keeping house for me, when in November of 1851, I returned with my children to Jefferson County, making my home with my brother, Chandler when I settled up with him and on the 7th day of June joined the Black River Conference (Northern New York) and was appointed to the following charges: Copenhagen, Champion, Brownville, Pulaski, Camden, Weedsport, Theresa, Ogdensburg District, OxBow and Sandy Creek. I was made the Financial Agent of Ives Seminary, and built the Boarding Hall. Supernumerary one year, lived in Champion, Williamstown, Steuben, Danville, Sackett Harbor, where my health failed in 1887. Have since been on the superannuated list, living in and about Sandy Creek.
June 1853 I was married to Diana Randal of Rutland, Jefferson County. In the spring of 1855 there was born to us a daughter, Florence Clarke. She married Charles F. Potts and is now a mother of eight children and lives about three miles west of Sandy Creek, a village in Oswego County. (Florence is buried in the Sandy Creek Cemetery).
My mother's name was Asenath Clarke (Corbin). I do not know anything of mother's family. Her father's ancestors were French. (The Corbin family lineage was compiled by Harvey Lawson in 1907). There were four brothers who settled ultimately in the southern portion of the county and two of them were in the more northern portion of the county. My Mother's family belonged to the northern Branch. I do not know any of their names, except that my mother's father was named Elkanah Corbin. He was a stalwart man standing six feet four inches in his stocking feet. He was one of the life guards of Washington during the Revolution and came home crippled in both legs, so that he was obliged to use crutches the rest of his life. Elkanah Corbin died in 1821 and he was 69 years old when he died. He left the Revolutionary War Service in the later part of 1777 and if he were of the body guards for General Washington, it would have been only for a short time. The Revolutionary War continued for some years after Elkanah left the service. Elkanah's pension records state he served under the Massachusetts Line Regiment commanded by Colonel Smith. There were seven children in Grandfather Elkanah Corbin's family. Named respectfully: Ira H., Hannah, Dorcas, Elkanah, Abigail, Simeon and Asenath. All these were born in Charleston, Montgomery County.
Ira H. Corbin married and settled near his father. I do not know his wife's family name, she was called Aunt Sarah. Her name was (Rusco). To them were born seven children named: Sherman, Nancy, Emily, Salome, Sally, Esther, and James. I do not know where any of them are, if living. (Sarah is buried in the Charleston Four Corners Christian Church Cemetery).
Hannah Corbin married Warren Stanton and settled in Charleston. They had numerous children, but I have lost track of them entirely.
Dorcas Corbin married Daniel Stanton, brother of Warren. I first knew them as living in Russia, Herkimer County, where they raised numerous children named: John, Freeman, Keisa, Lymann, Elijah, Susan. Some of these are living at Copenhagen, Lewis County, and most of his (sic) children have died. His grandparents moved from Russia, Herkimer County.
Elkany (sic) Corbin, Jr. married Lucy Clarke, (my father's sister) and was among the earliest settlers of the Town of Clayton in Jefferson County. There were four sons named: Simeon, Ira H., Melza (sic) and Alanson. The parents and children are all buried in the old cemetery near Corbins Corners, about a mile north of Depauville where rests Wilbur Vincent, father of sister Betsy's husband. He being the first white man who died north of Depauville among the early settlers of that section of Jefferson County.(Added information includes the following: He lived many years in Russia, Herkimer County, before he moved to Clayton, Elkanah Jr. died in 1864. He was 75 years old when he died. He was born in 1789 in Charleston, Montgomery Co., N. Y. He was 29 years old when he moved in 1818 with his family to Clayton, N. Y.)