Friday, January 24, 2014

52 Ancestors: #4 - George Clark (1857-1923)

This week I’d like to introduce you to another one of my 2nd great grandfathers, George Clark.

When I first started this blog post, I realized that I had very limited materials for the Clark family, and even less in the way of source citations.  A research notation in my software for George Clark, leads me to assume that most of my current information came from pedigree charts submitted to the LDS church Pedigree Resource File (but I have no idea who was the original submitter), and apparently I had not yet gathered the usual copies of any research documents or photographs (birth/death/marriage records, censuses, obituaries, headstones, etc.).

In fact the only electronic images I have currently for George Clark or his kin, were downloaded from the Find-A-Grave memorial pages created in 2008 by a volunteer named Betty Joan Cogan.  I am not sure if or how Betty and I are related (yet), but I am very thankful for her sharing the historical images she had access to.  The following image of George Clark and his wife Elizabeth (Dove) Clark, was cropped from the 1900s photograph of the whole Clark family found on Elizabeth Dove Clark’s Find-A-Grave Memorial.

George Clark [Jr.]  was born on January 29, 1857 in Worth Township, Sanilac County, Michigan.  His parents, George Clark [Sr.] (1825-1896) and Elizabeth Blaine (1827-1895) were Irish Immigrants, and George was the fifth child of thirteen (ten boys and three girls) born to this couple.  I have not found any references that either George used the designation of Jr. or Sr. during their lifetime, so I will not use this designation for the remainder of this post, except references made to George’s father will contain the [Sr.] designation only to reduce confusion.

George Clark married a Elizabeth Dove, on October 27, 1885 in Croswell, Sanilac County, Michigan and to this union two children were born: Moses Dave Clark and Jennie Violet Clark (my great grandmother).  George Clark died July 3, 1923 in Croswell, Michigan, at the age of 66 and is buried at the Croswell cemetery along with his wife.

This week, I have spent time tracking down additional research materials that I could find online for George Clark, his wife and/or their children.  I visited, and and below is a list of information and/or materials I was able to compile over a couple hours ... and best of all it was FREE.


I was able to gather vital statistic information on several family members as well as download images of various cemetery signs, headstones and several individual and family portraits as contributed by Betty Joan Cogan, Gordon Golchert, Shirley Hoard and other Find-A-Grave volunteers.  Even though the majority of information on Find-A-Grave is not cited, it is a wonderful starting place to gather “clues” that will lead you to primary source records that validate the information.  And occasionally you will find a copy of an obituary or funeral program added to memorial page.

The Find-A-Grave memorial for Charles Clark can be found at:  The data provided for George Clark indicates that he was one of twelve children (but I have 13 listed in my database). As my current data comes from compiled records done by other researchers, I still need to validate information for the 13 children I have listed for George Clark [Sr].


Death Record - FamilySearch does not have an actual copy of the certificate, but they do have an index entry in their collection of "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952”.  The entry for Geo[rge] Clark can be found at

Marriage Record – FamilySearch does have copies of the actual marriage records from 1868-1925, and I was able to obtain a copy of the marriage record for George Clark and Elizabeth Dove.  Please note that the index incorrectly identifies Elizabeth’s surname as “DAVE” instead of Dove.

I love the way FamilySearch records provide you with a source citation on the bottom of each record page, and all you need to do is copy and paste the information into your program or research log.

"Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 Jan 2014), George Clark and Elizabeth Dave, 27 Oct 1885.
Birth Record – I was not able to find a birth record on FamilySearch (yet).  There was no listing found using the search parameters for a “Geo Clark” or “George Clark” born “1856-1857” in “Sanilac County, Michigan” in the "Michigan, Births and Christenings, 1775-1995," index, FamilySearch collection, and he would not be listed in the Michigan, Births, 1867-1902 collection.  This doesn't mean it doesn't exist, it just means that either the record is present but index in a way I have not searched yet (like by initials), or perhaps this record is in a collection that has not been digitized yet.  I may need to contact the courthouse directly to get a copy.

Census Records - I was able to locate George Clark in the census listings on Family Search; though copies of the actual images were not available on FamilySearch.or except for the 1900 and 1870 census.   However, a quick visit to my local LDS Family History Center or my public library would provide me with FREE access to to download the additional images of the census records that I couldn’t access from my home computer.

  • 1920 US Census– Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1910 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1900 US Census – Census listing as found on; copy of the census image was also downloaded
  • 1880 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on
  • 1870 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; copy of the census image was also downloaded
  • 1860 US Census – Census listing as found on FamilySearch; image not available on FamilySearch but available on

Normally, I find a lot of good information in the “Death Records, 1897-1920” collection on the website, so I usually start with this webpage when researching my Michigan branches; however in this case there were no records specific to George Clark and Elizabeth Dove Clark (or their children) as they all died after the online collection stops (1920) … and George [Sr.] and Elizabeth Blaine Clark died before the online collection starts (1897).  I did find copies of death certificates for other extended Clark and Dove family members, and I plan to download those and add any additional information to my software program as I work on these branches more.

I'm sorry that this was rather a dry post, in that I didn't share any stories or images.  It was more focused on doing online research and the types of information you can gather.  It is my hope that you at least learned some new information that you didn't already know, and feel more confident in your own research capabilities.

Join me next week as my 52 Ancestor Challenge post turns back to my old nemisis and brickwall ancestor, James Parker.  If you want a get a feeling for my pain and suffering thus far, be sure to read these 2012 posts about this frustrating ancestor:

As always, if you have any questions or need some personal assistance, please feel free to leave a comment below. I wish you success in your own family history research projects this coming week.

Thanks for stopping by. See ya next time.

Love & Aloha,

1 comment:

  1. Good info...will be sharing with our class! Thanks babe!!!


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