My ancestress, Mary "Polly Clark", married James Downing in St Clair County, Alabama in 1822. He was a widower with five children, and he appears in the 1820 Census with those children. I have thoroughly researched their descendants. Unfortunately, I do not know anything about her origins, other than the various census records which consistantly state she was born abt 1804 in Georgia.
But in 1820, in the St Clair census, about 10 households from the widower James Downing, is the household of Robert Clark. He is the only Clark to appear in the 1820 census of St Clair County.
The break down of his household is: 1 male over 21 [presumably Robert Clark], 3 males under 21, 1 female over 21 [presumably Mrs Robert Clark but not neccesarily], and 1 female under 21 [in 1820, my Polly Clark would've been abt 16].
Checking the marriage records for St Clair county, I discovered between 1816 and 1840, 5 marriages involving persons named Clark, all of which occurred between 1822 & 1824. One of these was Martha Clark's marriage to Curtis G Beason, a well-established line, and she is NOT one of the 1820 Clarks as she arrived in St Clair in 1822 with her widowed mother and no Clark siblings.
That leaves 4 Clark marriages:
Polly Clark = James Downing 1822 (my ancestors)
Nathaniel Clark = Mary Copeland 1823
William Clark = Elizabeth Lawson 1823
James Clark = Aby Truss 1824
All these surnames occur in the 1820 Census. These Clarks appear to match up nicely with the number and gender of the 1820 Clark "children," and if those "children" were teens in 1820, these dates would be appropriate to marry (in that period).
Robert Clark disappears after 1820. There is a Robert Clark in Jackson County whose age would match up, but there's no way to tell (ironically, he lives near a James Downing who is NOT my ancestor as the ages and family makeup does not match; I know there were other James Downings in Alabama at this time. Mine is the one in and around St Clair.]
William Clark shows up in the 1830 Census in St Clair, next door to a Jincey Larson (perhaps his sister-in-law). He is within the right age range to have been one of the Clark "children." After that, I cannot trace him due to how common the name is.
James Clark appears in the 1830 and 1840 Censuses in St Clair. Again, he is within the right age range. And again, I cannot trace him after that.
In the 1840s, two Clarks marry in St Clair-- Edwin Clark to Louisa Robbins (1845)and John Clark to Unicy Glidewell (1842). I suspect these are sons of James Clark, whose household had two males between 10 & 15 in 1840.
Nathaniel Clark disappears from St Clair County. A man [or men] with that name appears in 1840 in Walker County and in Franklin County in 1850 & 1870. The Franklin man is variously listed as being born in South Carolina in 1797 and in Georgia in 1804.
If anyone has researched this family and knows anything about the 1820 Clarks of St Clair County, I'd love to hear from you. I am unable at this time to travel to St Clair county to reseach deeds etc.
Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it.