(5.) "Captain" Oliver Clark born 28 May 1767 in Sharon to Silvanus Clark (limits on his birth year, from his death record, are 1765-70) - died 1831 married Hannah Davis 1777-1865.

Census records suggest that our Oliver Clark was close kin to the Walpole Oliver Clark, but could not have been his son.  Town Vital Records indicate that this is not so.  The Walpole Oliver Clark's son Oliver Clark died young {VR Walpole}. Our Oliver Clark died in Medfield (VR Medfield) in 1831 at age 64, yielding a birth year of c1767, right in the middle of the census estimate, and in precise agreement with the son of  Silvanus Clark.  There seems to be no question of this assignment.

Oliver may have served in the Revolution (but probably was too young): Volume 3 page 563 Clark, Oliver. Private, Capt. Oliver  Clark, Clap's Co., Col. Benjamin Haws's regt.; enlisted Oct. 8, 1777; discharged Oct. 28, 1777; service, 26 days, travel included, on a secret expedition to Rhode Island; also, Capt. Moses Adams's co., Col. Eleazer Brooks's regt. of guards; service from Feb. 20, 1778, to April 3, 1778, 1 mo. 13 days, at Cambridge; also, order dated Walpole, April 7, 1778, for wages for service at No. 2, Cambridge.  I don't think this can be Silvanus' son.

Alphabetical List of Officers of the Continental Army:  Fifteenth Virginia page 157 Clark, Oliver (R. I.). 1st Lieutenant of 1st Rhode Island, 3d May to December, 1775; Captain 9th.  Continental Infantry, 1st January to 31st December, 1776; Captain 1st Rhode Island, 11th February, 1777; taken prisoner at Fort Mercer, 22d October, 1777. Abijah Bangs's co., Maj. Zenas Winslow's (2d Barnstable Co.) regt.; service, 5 days, on alarms at Bedford and Falmouth in Sept., 1778. Roll sworn to in Barnstable Co.

Oliver Clark, married Hannah Davis in Medfield on 27 January 1794 (Hannah was listed as residing in Medway). They were married by the Reverend Thomas Prentice of Medfield (according to FEC), and the Medway marriage intention record (Medway Vital Records, p169) indicates that the marriage was objected to, as indicated by the statement: "The Bans of Marriage Forbidden". The nature of the objection probably may be deciphered from the birth record of Hannah Davis (Medway Vital Records, p51), who was born of Patty METCALF (!) 28 Dec. 1777 (Hmmm, British or Patriot?  Hint: the answer is forthcoming!). For the logic challenged, Hannah was illegitimate. Hannah Davis's father may never be known!  Shame for not putting it in the public record.

After this inauspicious beginning, daughter, Hannah, was legitimately born 14 February 1797, a comfortable 3 years plus after the marriage of Oliver and Hannah "Davis". Oliver is referred to in the birth record as "Captain" Oliver Clark.  Oliver was but 14 in 1781, when the war was winding to a close, and I doubt he could have served in the Revolutionary War.  I do not know why he is referred to as "Captain" in the 1797 record, perhaps in a local militia.  I found no record of any revolutionary service in the National Archives Records, which is not definitive. A little rooting around in Massachusetts records would likely show of what he was a Captain.

The 1800 census (Page 92) shows them residing in Medway, E. Parish, with 1 male <10, 1 m 26-45 (born 1765-1794), 1 f <10, and 1 f 16-26 (Hannah was 23). The Walpole Oliver Clark is now less one son (from the 1790 census), and the Medway Oliver is the only other one shown. Sanford was born 30 October 1800, but is most likely not the male shown in the census, as the census was generally taken in the summer.

1804 May 14 Oliver Clark deeded to Seth Clark in Medfield, 80-154, a parcel bordered by a road, now or later, Asa Boyden, Ebenezer Clark, Eliakim Morse, Abigail Plimpton, Abner Ellis.  1805 Apr. 23 Oliver deeded to Seth Clark in Medfield 23-33 a lot on the Hartford Post Road.

18 June 1806 daughter, Lydia, was born to Oliver and Hannah in Medway (record does not refer to Oliver as "Captain", as previously).

In 1807 July 7 Oliver Clark signed as a witness to his brother, Samuel Clark, for bond in Norfolk County Probate Court for the will of his father, Silvanus Clark.  Oliver is named in the will, but treated very strangely for a first born son.  The reason will appear below.  Oliver had something wrong with him, either a neurological problem or strokes.


The Older Woman (born before 1765) in the 1810 Census

The 1810 census shows Oliver residing in Walpole with: 1 m <10 (Sanford, whose tenth birthday was several months after the census), 1 m 10-16 (the older brother of Sanford, in the 1800 census), 1 m 26-45 (born 1765-1794), 1 f <10 (Lydia was 4), 1 f 10-16 (Hannah was 16), 1 f 26-45 (Hannah was 33), and one female over 45. This record strongly suggests that the older woman is either the mother of Oliver or Hannah, or an Aunt to one of them.  

This older woman was in all probability Oliver's mother: Sharon Deaths: Silvanus Clark Apr 27, 1807 in his 64th yr.  Rachel Clark widow of Silvanus, Dec 31, 1822 age 79 yr.  Therefore Rachel Starns Clark should have appeared someplace in the 1810 and 1820 census at age 67 and 77 respectively.

Since Jonathan Metcalf lived until 1821, unless he separated from Patty, the older woman was not Patty (Dwight) Metcalf (mother of Hannah Davis).

The older Walpole Oliver Clark is now missing and presumably dead (between 1800-1810), but his wife was already deceased: Kezia Clark, wife of Oliver Clark, died 10 June 1797 (VR Walpole). (Walpole town records indicate that "our" Oliver was not the son of the Walpole Oliver, as his son Oliver died young).

Oliver Clark did have Aunts, one of whom could have been this older woman:
Salle Clark bp 23 Aug. 1747, daughter of Ichabod Clark, Bp. P.R.I. Baptismal date (Sharon record)
Sarah Clark bp. 6 Nov. 1748, daughter of Ichabod Clark, Baptismal date (A Sarah Clark(e) (int. Clark) of Stoughtonham married John Reupeke 18 Nov. 1782 at Foxborough, VR Foxborough p127).  I think it was not she.
Elisabeth Clark bp 30 Nov. 1756, dau. of Ichabod Clark (Bp, P.R.I. Baptismal date)(VR Sharon p18)

1811 Nov 18 Oliver Clark et al. deeded to Eliakim? Morse in Medfield 40-157 a lot on the Charles River.  

1813 Oliver deeded the following (what happened in 1813??):

  1. Feb.12 to Elihu Lawrence Jr. Medfield 43-165 Noonhill Road;
  2. Mar. 4 to Jonathan Brick of Medway 43-196 a parcel by Nathan Partridge, Eliakim Morse, Jonathan Adams, and Oliver Clark (Morac's Hill),;
  3. Mar. 4 to David Chickering in Medway 43-197 on the Charles River
  4. Mar. 4 to Seth Clark et al. Medway 43-197 Parcel bounded by Ceraham Adams, Jonathan Brick, & Oliver Clark (Morse's Hill)(a way runs through said parcel)
  5. Mar. 4 to Seth Clark et al Medway 44-23 Parcel bound by Highway, Enock & Jonathan Adams, Simon Plimpton & Eleazer & Ephraim Wheelock (Charles River runs through parcel)
  6. Mar. 4 to Stephen Metcalf & Admrs. Medway 44-24 Near Dwights Bridge, bound by a highway, now or late Nathaniel Lovell, Nathan Plimpton, Gershom Adams.
  7. Mar. 4 to Jonathan Brick Medway 44-25  parcel bound by Eliakim Morse, grantee, & Gershom & Jonathan Adams

One conjecture is that Oliver Clark had something like a stroke that confused his thought c1811, and as a result people started taking his possessions for little money.  I have seen this happen over and over to older people who are, shall we say, "mentally challenged," or just don't think clearly.  Oliver was but 44 years of age in 1811, but he may have had some type of cardiovascular event, or stroke, that impaired his thinking.  A series of strokes is certainly consistent with the data here.  Note this is all conjecture!

The 1818 Medfield Guardianship!

I have to confess that when I found this reference, and before I obtained the actual probate record, I had visions of Oliver taking in stray children from someone in the family who had suffered a tragedy, and raising them.  As you will see below, this was far from what happened!

Oliver Clark, was c51 years of age in 1818, and I do not think there was another adult Oliver Clark in this area at this time, and this record seems oddly consistent with the records of the will of his father, Silvanus Clark.  Oliver was the eldest son, and should have figured prominently in the executorship of his father's will.  While he was treated equitably, he seems oddly on the sidelines (read the proceedings under Silvanus Clark).

There is an 1818 Medfield Guardianship action for an Oliver Clark No. 3967 in the published probate court index (Volume 1).

In a document in this bundle, one Elisha Clark, and others, stated to be "friends and relations" of Oliver Clark, attest that he is incapable of taking care of himself, dated 2 Feb. 1818.; Signed Elisha Clark and Walter? Plimpton.  I find it odd that none of Oliver's brothers or sisters appear in this document.  Sanford would have  been c18 years of age.  This Elisha Clark was not a kinsman, unless back in England (follow the link, he was descended from the original Medfield Joseph Clark, which we are not, although there are connections through maternal lines).

3 February 1818, petition to the Selectmen of Medfield by: "Elisha Clark and others, friends and relations of Oliver Clark of the same Medfield, Laborer, representing to the Judge of Probate that the said Oliver Clark is a lunatic or distracted person and incapable of caring for himself, for Selectmen to decide this case.

3 March 1818 William Peters, Joseph Clark, and Joseph Baker were tasked to inventory the possessions of Oliver Clark; which they reported as

One fifth part of a Peio (pew?) No. 30 on lower floor of Congregational Meeting House in Medfield, value $10.
 Personal Estate:
Fire Arms




Wearing Apparel


Shoes, Trunks, Carpenters Tools &c


One Bed, Bedstead, and Bedding


Household Furniture


One weaving loom and apparatus


Farming Utensils




9 March 1818 appraisers: William Peters?, Joseph Clark, Joseph Baker

 One Elisha Clark, "Yeoman" of Medfield, Timothy Stow, "Gentleman," and Jacob Clark, "Esq.", both of Dedham, were bonded for $2,000 3 March 1818 for Elisha Clark who was appointed guardian of Oliver Clark, of Medfield, Laborer, who was adjudged by the Inquisition of the Selectmen of said Town to be a "lunatic or distracted person and incapable of taking care of himself."  

7 April 1818 Elisha Clark was authorized to sell Oliver's estate.

6 Oct. 1818 an Inventory of the Sale of the estate of Oliver Clark

Real estate 1/5 pew appraised & sold for


Personal Estate appraised at


Sold with the gain of


Also 1 Note of hand against the Estate of Nabby Clark $361.57



And prays allowance for the following charges & payments
Paid Elisha Clark Executor of the last will of Nabby Clark a Book account $475.80
Paid Nehemiah Adams for Boarding


Paid Oliver Wheelock for notifying & selling property


Paid Leonard Plimpton for cloth


Paid Mary Everett for making cloak?


Paid Nehemiah Adams for Board


Paid W. Wilson for Buttons &c.


Paid sundry Probate fees with expenses of attending said courts



Buttoms Paid the Guardian (this line unintelligble!)


6 Oct. 1818 (s) Elisha Clark

At this point, I am unsure how to reconcile these records with the 1820 census record below, but the above action appears to me to be consistent with the probate records of Silvanus Clark, and with the lack of birth records of the children appearing in the census.  Oliver Clark may have had a stroke and been incapacitated.

There is also a Suffolk County probate guardianship for a "Nancy B. Clark" in 1818 (25575) which should be investigated.

In 1820 the census shows Oliver in Medfield with 1 m <10 (a new son), 2 m 16-26 (Sanford and older brother), 1 m >45 (born <1775), 2 f <10 (two new daughters), 1 f 10-16 (Lydia was 14), 2 f 16-26 (daughter Hannah was 23,  there is a second new female here who has not appeared before, born ), 1 f 26-45 (Hannah Metcalf, his wife was 53, so this may not in fact be Hannah Metcalf!).

Whoever the woman over 45 listed with him in Walpole in 1810 was, she is not present in the 1820 census.  Perhaps she died between 1810 and 1820. There is no female death listed in the Walpole town records in this time frame. Potential candidates for this woman (her last name may not have been Clark):

  1. Polly Clark, wife James, record recved 19 July-1 Dec. 1814Medfield (VRMDFLD p203)
  2. Olive Clark, dau. Aron 13 Nov. 1819 (VRMedfield p203)
  3. Olive Clark d. Ebenezer, 29 July 1811 (VRMedfield p203)
  4. Hannah Clark wife Joseph, 9 Oct. 1816 (VRMedfield p201
  5. Abigail Clark, widow, died 1817 (rec. After 10 Aug) (VRMedfield p200)

She probably was Rachel Starns Clark, who is listed as dying in Sharon in 1822, so she may have returned to reside with a child there.  She may have only been visiting Oliver in the summer of 1810 when the census was conducted, but most likely she lived with a child in her old age after Silvanus Clark died.

In 1830 Oliver "Clarke" is listed in Medfield, one page from Sanford (i.e. very close). The "e" appears to have been a curlicue on the end of the k, from examination of the handwritten census records. Oliver is listed with 1 m 60-70 (born 1760-1770), 1 f 20-30 (this could be Lydia at 24, or one of the other 1820 females), 1 f 50-60 (Hannah was 53).

On 26 December 1831, Oliver Clark died of "fits" at age 64 (VR Medfield), presumably ours (i.e. born 1767). No more Oliver Clarks appear in the Norfolk County census until Oliver Anson Clark in 1850, living with the Wilsons. It is not known when Hannah died.  Section 16 Vine Lake Cemetery there is an Oliver Clark unknown unknown that might be him.

If we assume that these census ages were accurate (which is not generally true), then he was born: 1765-1794, 1765-1794, <1775, 1760-1770; or, taken at face value, the census data indicates that he was born between 1765 and 1770.

In the 1860 US Census, Hannah Clark, age 84, born c1776 p29 is listed in the household of Orleon Perrigo, m age 23 born MA, Zilpha Perrigo f age 26 born Vermont, Charles Perrigo 2 MA, Mary Perrigo 0 (i.e. under 1 year!) MA, Hannah Clark 84, and Lydia Perrigo 53 MA.

MA State census 11 Aug. 1865 Hannah Clark, age 88, in (182, 191) household of Orion Perrigo 29, cabinet maker, born MA, Zylpha Perrigo, 29 (straw sewer), born Vermont, Charles A. Perrigo, 7 (MA), Mary 2, Abby 10 months, Lydia Perrigo 59 (MA)

Deaths Registered in the Town of Medway for the year 1865: #46 22 Oct. Hannah (Metcalf) Clark, widow!, age 88, died in Medway of old age, buried in Medway.  Her father was ___ Davis from England.  This would imply that her father may have been an English soldier, as I originally conjectured.

It seems unusual to me that the records of all of their children's birth do not appear in the Medfield, Medway, or Walpole town records.  The extra children may be from the 1818 guardianship papers.  He may have moved more than we would think.  Known Children of Oliver and Hannah:

  1. Hannah Clark born 14 February 1797 in Medway, Massachusetts (town records) to Captain Oliver Clark and Hannah (VR Medway p36). NFI!  I can't find any further records on her.
  2. male born 1794-1800 (census, presumably not Sanford, as census was normally taken in the summer)
  3. Sanford Clark born 30 October 1800 (Vital Records of Medway p39)
  4. Lydia Clark born 18 June 1806 in Medway (VR Medway p37).  Int to marry David Perrigo 23 May 1835 (VR Medway p169), whom she married in Walpole on 22 May 1836 VR Walpole p108).  I know these dates do not make sense, but they are as recorded.  The intention is  to be filed before the marriage.  I don't know the period in 1836.  It is 3 days now.  This filing is backwards.  David Perrigo appears to have been a widower: Medfield deaths (VR p228) Hannah, wife of David Perrigo died on consumption age 34 on 5 June 1832.  Apparently she and her mother were living with who appears to be a son in 1860.  In the 1860 US Census, listed in the household of Orleon Perrigo, m age 23 born MA, Zilpha Perrigo f age 26 born Vermont, Charles Perrigo 2 MA, Mary Perrigo 0 (i.e. under 1 year!) MA, Hannah Clark 84, and Lydia Perrigo 53 MA.   There is an earlier Medfield Perrigo marriage (VR Medfield p163): James Perrigo of Wrentham and Thankful Wight were married 23 Sept. 1799.   Lydia Clark Perrigo died 2 April 1871 (age 65 years 10 months) in Medway.  This 1871 death record states that her parents were Oliver Clark born in "Sherborn" (he was born in Sharon) and Hannah born in Medway.  Two births are recorded in Medway:
    1. Orion Perrigo baptized 30 April 1843 (clearly twins) (VR Medway p105)
      1. Charles Perrigo born c1858
      2. Mary Perrigo born c1860
    2. Mary Baker Perrigo baptized 30 April 1843 (clearly twins) (VR Medway p105)
  5. Son born 1810-20 (from 1820 census).  These are after the 1818 guardianship and are not logical!  Probably not his children.
  6. Daughter born 1810-20 (1820 census).
  7. Daughter born 1810-20 (1820 census).

Medway records list one Joanna Clark as having died on 14 Dec. 1854 @25 (therefore born c1829), daughter of Oliver and Nancy. Joanna may have been a daughter of one of the unnamed sons above, in which case one of them was an Oliver Clark. It is unlikely but possible that this is a child of Oliver at age c59, if he married a younger woman as a second wife. Other than these possibilities, I have no idea of whom this Joanna Clark was a child!

Silvanus  Clark of Sharon
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Copyright ©2015, Frank Oliver Clark, Ph.D. These documents may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy.  However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same. Please send any errors, corrections, conjectures, updates, etc. to Frank O. Clark, Ph.D.