Mary Turck Clark—updated

The original version of this post was the second-ever post on Clark House Historian. It represented what we knew at the time about Mary Turck, the daughter of Peter Turck and Rachael Gay, wife of Jonathan M. Clark, and mother of the eight Clark family children. The original April, 2016, post was pretty accurate, but we have learned a lot more about Mary and her Turck and Clark families in the meantime. So here is a revised version of that post with errors corrected and ambiguities clarified—where possible.

Please note that there are many more facts about Mary and her Clark and Turck families that I’ve written about in the past almost-5 years that are not linked to in this post. If you are looking for more information about Mary, I highly recommend using the blog’s SEARCH function and our new INDEX. And if you still can’t find the info you want, please ask me! Just use the Leave a Reply box, below, or the CONTACT link, above.

Mary Turck Clark: Mequon Pioneer

CLARK, Mary TURCK portrait

Mary Turck Clark. Photograph courtesy Liz Hickman. Click to open larger image in new window.

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CHH Reader Challenge!

I’m working on some longer posts about Peter Turck, Mary Turck Clark, and other Jonathan Clark House related topics. One of those posts should be ready by Friday.

Meanwhile, here’s a Clark House Historian Reader Challenge: where you get to be the historian!

Here’s an excerpt of a document that will be part of an upcoming post. Can you read and transcribe it?

CHH Reader Challenge #1. Click to open larger image in new window.

Ignore the squiggles in the top right corner, they belong to another record on the same page.

Need a hint? Here’s the whole page that this record is taken from:

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Monday: Map Day!

Columbia County, New York

Peter Turck’s Home

Continuing our look at Mary Turck Clark and her family, today we look at a map of Columbia County, New York, the birthplace of Mary’s father Peter Turck, most of his eight siblings, and home of Mary’s paternal grandparents—Peter Turck’s parents—Jacob A. and Anna Maria “Maritje” (Klein) Turck. For more on the Turcks and New York, you may want to read our previous posts on Peter and Rachael (Gay) Turck’s New York, 1829/32 and Mary Turck’s Greene County, New York.

Today we’ll be looking at Columbia County, one of the predominantly Dutch-American counties along the Hudson River, south of Albany, New York. Columbia County lies east of Greene county, just across the Hudson river. Here’s a detail from a map we looked at previously, showing the relationship between Greene and Columbia counties:

Burr, David H., Map of the State of New-York and the surrounding country by David H. Burr. Compiled from his large map of the State, 1832.[…] Entered according to Act of Congress Jany. 5th., 1829 by David H. Burr of the State of New York. Engd. by Rawdon, Clark & Co., Albany & Rawdon, Wright & Co., New York [detail]. Credit, David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries, non-commercial use permitted under Creative Commons license. Click image to open larger map in new window.

Our new map is from the same atlas, and shows many more details of Peter Turck’s Columbia County, circa 1829:

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Blog Updates!

Clark House Historian blog is approaching its fifth anniversary, so I’m making some updates to the layout and content of the site. To find the new info click the highlighted links in this post, or the new permanent links in the main menu, under the blog header. Here are the details:

The ABOUT page has been lightly updated, and I’ve added a page of DISCLAIMERS, too.

The big news is that the blog now has an INDEX. With almost five years of research and writing, the blog now has over 140 posts comprising more than 125,000 words. So I’ve begun indexing the blog’s contents. Indexing will take a while—especially once I get to 2020—so please be patient. As of this morning, the index is complete for all of the posts from 2016, and most of 2017.

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Inauguration Day

Today we celebrate the inauguration of the forty-sixth president of the United States. The inauguration of a president is traditionally a time to take stock and ponder the direction of the republic. I expect that President Biden—like many of his predecessors—will try and make the best of his opportunity. (I’m writing this before the ceremony; I don’t know if he succeeded.) For a little inspiration—for us all—let’s look back at one of the great American speeches—perhaps the most moving and inspired of all the inaugural addresses—delivered at one of the most difficult and dangerous moments in our history.

A second term, and Union victory, were not certain…

For much of 1864, president Abraham Lincoln’s prospects for reelection looked dim. Union forces had suffered notable defeats and horrifying casualties in early 1864, and many in the North were tired of the cost of the war, both in dollars and human suffering. If not for Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman’s timely capture of Atlanta on September 2, 1864, Lincoln might have lost the election to Gen. George B. McClellan. McClellan sought to end the war by negotiating an armistice with the South. Such an armistice would have ended the fighting, but would not have solved the cause of the war: the continued existence of chattel slavery in the South and in the new U.S. territories and states forming in the West. But Lincoln’s popularity soared after Sherman’s decisive victories during the Atlanta campaign—especially after the fall of Atlanta—and the incumbent president won a decisive popular and electoral college victory on November 8, 1865.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Today is the day set aside to commemorate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), one of the first and foremost proponents of Gandhi-style non-violent protest in the West, and one of the most inspirational and influential civil-rights, labor-rights and anti-war advocates in American history.

Unknown photographer. “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Born January 15, 1929, died April 4, 1968.” From the Rosa Parks Collection, Library of Congress, Used here under Free Use provisions of U.S copyright law.

Among many honors, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. The Norwegian Nobel Committee has a good biography here and additional information including a series of school lessons with lesson plans, videos, photos and other materials here. These are excellent resources for all of us. While Dr. King is—justly—remembered for his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and his 1963 “I have a dream” speech, it’s important that we remember the full depth and breadth of his life and work, and not just a few often-repeated quotes and sound bites.

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Winter in Ozaukee County

It’s been quite a week, and I am still working on several longer posts. Until next time, here’s a winter scene from the Town of Cedarburg, about five and a half miles north of the Jonathan Clark House…

Cedarburg Covered Bridge, Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, photo c. 1934, public domain, from the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) via the Library of Congress. Click to open larger image in new window.

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JCH Annual Report, 2020

In spite of the stresses and disruptions the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has brought to all of our lives, 2020 was a busy and productive year for the Jonathan Clark House Museum, and the many Clark House friends and volunteers that support its mission to collect, preserve and share the history of the Jonathan Clark House and the early settlers of Mequon-Thiensville.

As is her custom, Clark House Museum executive director Nina Look has put together an excellent—and generously illustrated—document summarizing our 2020 activities. To catch up with all that’s gone on in the past year with the museum and the Friends, and to enjoy all 12 pages of the report, either click this link, or click the photo of the report’s first page (below). Either should open the complete 2020 Annual Report in a new window for reading or downloading:

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Monday: Map Day!

Mary Turck’s Greene County, NY

As we discussed last Monday, 2021 is the bicentennial of Mary Turck Clark’s birth. So this year I’d like to focus on Mary, her parents and her seven siblings: where they came from, how they got to Wisconsin, and where they went afterwards. Today we’ll start to get our Turck-family bearings with a look at an excellent map of Greene County, New York, an important place in the lives of Mary, her parents, and her extended family.

The Hudson River Dutch-Americans

Mary Turck’s parents and ancestors descended from Dutch-American families that had been in New York since colonial times. For more background and a fine 1829/32 map of the whole state, take a minute to re-read our previous Monday: Map Day!, Peter and Rachael (Gay) Turck’s New York, 1829/32. The initial Dutch immigrants to New Netherland landed on Manhattan Island; it wasn’t long before Dutch settlers headed inland, west and north up the Hudson River. By the time Mary Turck was born in 1821, there had been generations of Dutch-Americans living along the Hudson. The story of Mary’s extended family—the Turck, Gay, Groom, and Van Loon families and their kin—is centered around a handful of Hudson River counties. Some of the boundaries and place names changed over the centuries, but much of the story of Mary Turck’s family will be found in the documents, maps and places of Ulster and Greene counties on the west bank of the river and Dutchess and Columbia counties on the east side.

Burr, David H., Map of the State of New-York and the surrounding country by David H. Burr. Compiled from his large map of the State, 1832.[…] Entered according to Act of Congress Jany. 5th., 1829 by David H. Burr of the State of New York. Engd. by Rawdon, Clark & Co., Albany & Rawdon, Wright & Co., New York [detail]. Credit, David Rumsey Map Collection, David Rumsey Map Center, Stanford Libraries, non-commercial use permitted under Creative Commons license. Click image to open larger map in new window.

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When was Mary Turck born?

Just when you think you know the answer…

A few days ago, Clark House museum director Nina Look asked me a simple question: when, exactly, was Mary Turck Clark born? So I looked in my database and I came up with…two answers: Mary Turck Clark was born on either May 4th, 1820 or May 3, 1821. So I reviewed my dates and sources, and today’s post is about what I (re-)discovered, and what I still have to investigate.

Haven’t we been over this before?

Why, yes, we have. Here are links to earlier posts on essential sources of Mary Turck Clark birth date and birth year information, starting with my second Clark House Historian post, this now-outdated post about Mary from 2016. Other, more recent, posts have gone into detail examining Mary, her family, and their likely birth dates as found on the U.S. federal decennial censuses:

I’ve not yet blogged about Mary’s 1870 or 1880 federal censuses—both enumerated in Milwaukee—but I’ve seen them and used them in my research. More on these in a moment.

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