The Clark name has the same remote origins in
Ireland, England and Scotland. The Latin word clericus originally
meant clergyman and then came to mean clerk or scholar. In Irish,
the word clé was anglicised in translation to Clark. Until the end
of the 19th century, the names Cleary and Clark were
interchangeable in some parts of the country. The O'Clery name was
originally found in County Galway and later became widespread in
counties Donegal and Derry.
The first Clark ancestor I have located was Francis
Clark born somewhere in Ireland about 1795. He gave his occupation
as a Hand Loom Weaver for the 1841 Census and he was living
at Lyons Lane, Port Glasgow with his wife Peggy, children
Fanny 1826, John 1828, Francis 1829, Rebecca 1831 and James
1835 and John and Mary Lillotson. I don’t know if these
Lillostsons were related or just boarding with the Clark
All the children were given as being born in
Renfrewshire so the family had left Ireland sometime before 1827.
For the 1851 census Francis was down as being born 1801, still a
weaver and living in Newark Street with wife Margt and children
Fanny, John now a Mariner, Rebecca and James now also a weaver.
Francis may have been a Mariner away as sea for the census, married
Both Rebecca and James married in 1859, James
married Catherine Roy on 3 Jam 1859 and Rebecca married James Roy
(Catherine Roy’s brother) on the 28 September. Francis died on 7
July 1859 of Consumption at Bay Street, Port Glasgow and the family
gave his father as Francis Clark a labourer but no details on his
mother. Francis’s wife Margaret Green (Peggy) did not show up on
the 1861 census in Port Glasgow but in 1871 she was living with her
daughter Rebecca and her husband James Clark. She died in April
1875 of Apoplexy and her parents were given as Charles Green, a
Coachman and Martha Evans.
I could not find further trace of the children John
and Francis, Fanny was not to be found for the 1861 or 1871 census
in Scotland but she died unmarried at 34 Bouverie Terrace, Port
Glasgow in 1877 of General Decline over several years.
James Roy and Rebecca Clark had three children
James 1864, Margaret 1868 and Mary Ann 1872. I could not find the
couple in the 1861 census but in the 1871 census James was a Iron
Caulker, Rebecca was a Factory worker, Margaret Clark was also a
factory worker and Euphomia Clark (Fanny?) was also listed with the
family together with two children James and Margaret. They were
living in Bay Street, Port Glasgow. James Roy was born 17 July 1835
in County Down, Northern Ireland. I could find no further trace of
the family after the birth of Mary Ann Roy in 1872.
James Clark and his wife Catherine Roy’s children
were James 1858, Mary Anne 1860, Francis 1863, Charles 1867 and
John 1869. They were living at 45 Bay Street, Port Glasgow for the
1861 census and Bouverie Street, Port Glasgow for the 1881 census,
I could not locate them in the 1871 census. James was a Boilermaker
and Riveter in the Port Glasgow shipyards. Catherine Roy died in
1883 of Dropsy aged 45 years and James Clark her husband died in
1884 of Pneumonia aged 49 years. The youngest of their children,
John was only 14 years old. In the 1891 census John was listed as a
Rigger and then no further evidence as to what became of him.
I could not locate Mary Ann in the 1891 census or any marriage of
death record for her in Scotland.
James Clark 1858 married firstly Mary McCabe and
they had two children James 1883 and Catherine 1886. Mary
McCabe died in 1889 after under the influence of alcohol she
suffocated in a clothing chest! Their son James never married
and died of pheumonia in 1913 and I could not locate
Catherine in Port Glasgow after her mother died.
Next in 1895 James married Rachel Murphy daughter
of Helen Murphy and an unknow father, she was born in the Coleraine
Workhouse in Derry, Northern Ireland. Their children were
Helen 1897, John Roy 1899 (died aged 1 year), Mary Ann 1902,
Francis 1904 (died aged 7.5months) and John 1908
Helen 1897 married Francis McConnaghy in 1916 and
after the birth of their fourth child moved to Pensylvannia USA in
1927 where they had another five children. Mary Ann
married George McGowan around 1931 possibly in the USA as
their first two children were born there, they were back in
Scotland for the birth of their third child in 1938 and George died
when the merchant ship SS Gretavale was torpedoed by the Japanese
in 1941. John 1908 was my grandfather and married Annie
McDonald in Luton, England on 22 June 1940. John and Annie
had four daughters who all married and thus the name Clark passed
out of our family.