My Typical American Connection

Fifth great-grandfather was cousin to signer of the Declaration of Independence

Just a few days ago I wrote about Ezekiel Johnson and his paternity. He was the son of Dan Carpenter (1825 — 1920). Dan Carpenter’s mother was Hannah Clark (1798 — 1881). Hannah Clark’s father was Samuel Clark (1768 — 1854). Samuel Clark was the great-great grandson of Richard Clarke, who was born in the 1630s and died in 1697. Richard Clarke was also the great-grandfather of Abraham Clark (1726 — 1794). Abraham Clark served New Jersey in a variety of public ways, one of which was signing the Declaration of Independence on behalf of New Jersey. Quite a lot has been written about Abraham Clark. For example, see here, here, and here. For some relatively decent documentation on Clark family genealogy, see here. I have seen independent documentation linking Samuel Clark to Richard Clarke and I would be glad to describe that to anyone who asks.

The point of this is that Samuel Clark is my fifth great-grandfather and he was a first cousin of Abraham Clark. Granted that it’s not like being a direct descendant of a Mayflower passenger, but it’s a typical example of many Americans’ connection to the Founding Fathers. So it doesn’t make me special; it does make me typically American.

For another example of how America has levelled the playing field, see the article linked here.

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