Oldham Family History

CLACK,  Spencer

CLACK, Spencer

Male 1740 - 1832  (92 years)

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  • Name CLACK, Spencer 
    Born 28 Mar 1740  Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Residence 1770  Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    witness there in 1770 the will of Thomas Beavers 
    Residence 1778  Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Military - Revolutionary War 1782  Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1786  Franklin County, Tennessee, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    one of the first justices of the new county 
    Residence 1786  Franklin County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    formed from parts of Henry and Bedford Counties 
    Residence 1787  Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Sold lands in Franklin County, VA and moved to Sevier County, Tennessee, USA 
    Died 9 Jul 1832  Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried 11 Jul 1832  Church of the Forks Baptist Cemetery, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Notes 
    • Clack, Spencer Born March 28, 1740 in Loudon County Virginia Served as a First Lt. under Capt. Wm. Ryan
      Buried in: Forks of the River, Sevier Co (Jefferson Co.) Tennessee

      Genius of Liberty
      XVI, No. 31 ? August 4, 1832

      Died at late residence in Seviersville, Tennessee on Monday eve, July 9, Spencer Clack, age 96 years 3 months and 11 days. One of the pioneers of the west being among the earliest settlers on Little Pigeon. He was born in Loudoun Co. 28th day of March 1746, early took part in politics in Tenn, assisted in forming constitution, many years member of Legislature.

      http://www.spiers.net/mstree/note_46.htm
      Clack, Spencer (b. 28 MAR 1746, d. 9 JUL 1832)
      Note: Miss Tommie Clack surmised that it seemed certain that Spencer Clack (1746-1832) descended from Reverend James Clack who was the English-born rector of Ware Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, from 1679 to 1723.

      He was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary Army. Daughters American Revolution (DAR) lists show him as a First Lieutenant in a Virginia Unit, possibly the Henry County militia.

      Spencer learned surveying and military tactics from George Washington.

      He lived in Albemarle and Pittsylvania counties before the revolution. He was listed as a taxpayer in Henry County during the period of 1782 through 1787. He later lived in Franklin County, Virginia. Pittsylvania County became Henry County and then Franklin County.

      He also lived for a while in Loudoun County, Virginia, where he was a member of the Loudoun County Militia.

      In 1789 he migrated to Sevier County, Tennessee, where he was one of the first settlers of the area. In that year he erected a mill on the right bank of the East Fork of the Big Pigeon River, just above the current location of the town of Sevierville, Tennessee. He represented Sevier County at the Tennessee Constitutional Convention in 1796, and was a state legislator, both representative and senator for a number of years, until his death.

      Spencer named Sevier County for his friend, John Sevier. He served as a trustee of the Nancy Academy, at Sevierville.

      He deeded land on which his church was built, including land for the adjoining cemetery. He and his wife are buried in that cemetery.
      Spencer Clack's obituary gave his birthplace as Loudoun County, Virginia, but this could not be accurate for Loudoun County was not partitioned from Fairfax County until 1757, and no Clack records, as early as Spencer's birth, were found in either of these counties.


      Subject: DumplinTN: Rev. Reins/Rien/Run of Sevier
      Date: Tue, 14 Nov 2000 05:59:57 EST
      From: Woodchippy@aol.com
      To: dumplintn@rootsquest.com

      I have a record of a marriage in Sevier in 1789 in which the minister appears to be something similar to what I have in the subject line (difficult to read). He was a Baptist. The marriage was between Sarah Clack and William Henderson "in the forks of the Pigeon" and the record of same is specified in a land bounty application.

      As I've always been told that that the Forks of the Little Pigeon was the first Baptist Church in that area, that it was established in 1789, and the first minister was Richard Wood, can someone shed some light on this minister? Anyone ever heard of a minister by this name, or anything similar, in that area at that time? Was Richard Wood really the first minister for the Forks of the Little Pigeon Baptist Church? Edna Clack

      E-Mail, Edna Clack, Woodchippy@aol.com, 17 Jun 1997.
      From: Woodchippy@aol.com []
      Sent: Tuesday, June 17, 1997 7:37 AM
      To: pending@smokykin.com
      Subject: Smoky Mtn Kin to be added

      It's a shame that no one has added anything on Spencer Clack, a prominent early citizen of Sevier County. Here is my contribution. Edna Clack, 302 Antique Lane, Spring City, TN 37381 Woodchippy@aol.com

      Clack, Spencer born 03/28/1746 in Loudon Co., VA, died 07/09/1832 in Sevierville, TN Married November 2, 1766, Mary Beavers. Mary was born January 12, 1745, in New Jersey, and died August 14, 1840, in Sevierville.

      Issue of this Marriage:
      1. Rawleigh b. 1772 in VA. d. 1842 in Rhea Co, TN.
      2. Rhoda b. 1776 in VA., m. James Randals
      3. Catherine (Aunt Katy) b. 1778 in VA, m. Rev. Elijah Rogers
      4. Mary b. 1785, m. William Miller
      5. Frances b. 1783
      6. Martha
      7. Malvina
      8. Micajah.
      9. Sarah

      Spencer was listed on the 1782-87 tax records of Henry Co., VA. His Death notice in 1832 was carried in the National Banner and the Nashville Republican. He was a First Lieutenant in the Henry Co., VA, Militia. As of this date 12/11/1986, his parents are still unknown (at least unproven to me-EC).

      Revolutionary War soldier--served on committee to draw up Tennessee's First
      Constitution, served in the Legislature several terms. His brothers Thomas and John also served in the State Legislature. Spencer's gr-grandson, William Raleigh Clack (1839-1919), had this to say about him in 1914.............

      "Two brothers of English Descent, John and Spencer Clack, settled in upper East Tennessee, among the early pioneers, who in the early history of the state, invaded this region with rifle, axe, and Bible, to hew through the primeval forests a pathway for civilization. They were devoted Christians and held the simple faith of the Baptists and looked on life as a real earnest matter to be met by the best that was in them. They were men of intelligence and culture, wealth and influence; men of intrepid courage and unwavering fidelity to duty." WRC, Clack Genealogy, 1914
      (My Ancestor - EC)

      The Following was written by Tommie Clack and J.A. Sharp. They had this accepted by the East Tennessee Historical Society and printed in Echoes May, 1958. This copy provided by Tommie Clack:

      Spencer Clack, Revolutionary soldier, settled in Sevier County, Tennessee, in 1788 or 1789. Little is known of his military service except that he was lieutenant of a Virginia (Henry County) militia company in 1782/83; Captain Tully Choice was company commander. He was born March 28, 1746. His obituary gave his birthplace as Loudoun County, Virginia, but this could not be accurate for Loudoun County was not partitioned from Fairfax County until 1757 and no Clack records as early as Spencer's birth were found in either of these counties.

      Spencer Clack did, however, live in Loudoun County and witness there in 1770 the will of Thomas Beavers; also, Loudoun County was probably where he married Mary Beavers about 1766. He sold his lands in Loudoun County in 1777 and moved southward to Henry County, Virginia about 1778 where he purchased land in the latter county. In 1786 when Franklin County, Virginia, was formed from parts of Henry and Bedford Counties, he became one of the first justices of the new county and in 1787 he sold his Franklin County lands, just before his westward trek to Sevier County, Tennessee.

      No conclusive proof of the parentage of Spencer Clack has been offered, although various attempts to do so have been made by descendants and genealogists. It does seem certain, however, that he descended from Rev. James Clack, English-born rector of Ware Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, from 1679 to 1723.

      The Spencer Clack home in Sevier County was located on the right bank of Little Pigeon River, immediately below the junction of the East Fork and West Fork of that river. Here in 1808, Spencer obtained an occupant grant from Tennessee for 442 acres; most of this land was on the north bank of the East Fork directly opposite to the town of Sevierville or the Forks-of-Little-Pigeon, as this frontier settlement was known. The Chandlers and Walkers, Clack descendants, later owned the same place and the old Clack home was located on the same site as the later Chandler-Walker home. Near his home Spencer operated one of Sevierville's first mills, also a cotton gin and woolcarding machine.

      Spencer Clack was prominent in the affairs of the Forks-of-Little-Pigeon (Sevierville) Baptist Church from the time of its formation in 1789 until his death. For many years he served as church clerk. In addition to his church activities he was interested in education and politics. He was an early trustee of Nancy Academy, Sevier County's first school and gave money for its support. He was one of the five Sevier County delegates to the Knoxville convention of 1796, which drafted and adopted Tennessee's first constitution and he was a signer of that document. He also represented Sevier County in the lower house of the first three Tennessee legislatures, 1796-1802 and in 1801 he served on the legislative committee "to prepare a device and motto" for the Great Seal of Tennessee.

      Neither the Spencer Clack Bible nor the Spencer Clack Will have been found; therefore, the writers will list only those who were unquestionably children of Spencer and Mary Beavers Clack. Perhaps, in this way, the confusion and error of other Clack descendants and genealogists may be avoided. Good proof exists for the following Clack children:

      Martha, Rawleigh (Rolly) (b. 1772), Rhoda (b. 1776), Catherine (b. 1778), Frances (b. c1783), Mary (b. 1785) and Malvina.

      Martha Clack's marriage to Josiah Rogers occurred in Franklin County, Virginia, in 1786; they apparently came to Sevier County with the Clacks. Rawleigh Clack was married (1) to Mary Randles in 1791 and after her death he was married (2) to Martha Kerr in 1816; this marriage took place in Sevier County. Sixteen children resulted and about 1820 Rawleigh and family moved down the Tennessee River to Rhea County Tennessee, where he died in 1842.

      Rhoda Clack married James Randles in 1791; they raised a family of twelve on Boyd's Creek in Sevier County. Randles died in 1816, while on a trip to Virginia for salt and was buried somewhere in Washington County, Virginia.

      Catherine Clack was married in 1794 to Rev. Elijah Rogers, early and well known Baptist minister in East Tennessee; they raised five sons and five daughters at their Sevier County home near the mouth of Little Pigeon, on the French Broad River.

      Mary Clack married William Miller; they left Sevier County at an early date and settled in Meigs County, Tennessee, where she died in 1860.

      Frances Clack was married (1) to Mordecai Gist; after his death she married (2) John Mynatt of Knox County, Tennessee.

      Malvina Clack married Major Beavers; they left Sevier County for Talladega County, Alabama, soon after the War of 1812. (Major is a family name, not a title - EC)

      There were doubtless other Clack children but the writers do not believe that Spencer Clack, Jr., John Clack and Nancy Clack were children of Spencer and Mary Beavers Clack as some published accounts claim. However, there is a well established tradition that there was a son, Micajah Clack, killed by lightning. There may have been a daughter named Rebecca Clack but again we must rely upon tradition for proof. Also, in 1789, one Sarah Clack (b. c1773) married William Henderson in the "forks of Little Pigeon", as shown by bounty land papers in the National Archives; they migrated to St. Louis County, Missouri, about 1840. We believe that this Sarah Clack, heretofore unknown to present generations of Clack descendants, was another daughter of Spencer and Mary.



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      http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/r/e/g/Linda-S-Regan/BOOK-0001/0073-0001.html


      Page 74 of 80

      SPENCER and MARY CLACK

      The Clack family was very well researched by Tommie Hazelwood Clack (1882-1989). She was a school teacher and a strong believer in evidence! Her research was thorough and accurate, according to all the documents she uncovered relating to the Clack family. She, and JA Sharp, wrote an article on Spencer Clack that was accepted by the Tennessee Historical Society and printed in Echoes, May 1958. I can not write anything any better nor more complete, so I will transcribe her article here:

      "Spencer Clack, Revolutionary soldier, settled in Sevier County, Tennessee, in 1788 or 1789. Little is known of his military service except that he was a lieutenant of a Virginia (Henry County) militia company in 1782/83; Captain Tully Choice was company commander. He was born March 28, 1746.

      His obituary gave his birthplace as Loudoun County, Virginia, but this could not be accurate for Loudoun County was not partitioned from Fairfax County until 1757 and no Clack records as early as Spencer's birth were found in either of these counties.

      Spencer Clack did, however, live in Loudoun County and witness there in 1770 the will of Thomas Beavers; also Loudoun County was probably where he married Mary Beavers in 1766. He sold his lands in Loudon County in 1777 and moved southward to Henry County about 1778 where he purchased land in the latter county. In 1786 when Franklin County, Virginia, was formed from parts of Henry and Bedford Counties, he became one of the first justices of the new county and in 1787 he sold his Franklin County lands, just before his westward trek to Sevier County, Tennessee.

      No conclusive proof of the parentage of Spencer Clack has been offered, although various attempts to do so have been made by descendants and genealogists. It does seem certain, however, that he descended from Rev. James Clack, English-born rector of Ware Parish, Gloucester County, Virginia, from 1679 to 1723.

      Monument located on the lawn at the Sevierville Courthouse; picture taken 2004.

      The Spencer Clack home in Sevier County was located on the right bank of Little Pigeon River, immediately below the junction of the East Fork and West Fork of that river. Here in 1808, Spencer obtained an occupant grant from Tennessee for 442 acres; most of this land was on the north bank of the East Fork directly opposite to the town of Sevierville or the Forks-of-Little-Pigeon, as this frontier settlement was known.... Near his home Spencer operated one of Sevierville's first mills, also a cotton gin and woolcarding machine.

      Spencer Clack was prominent in the affairs of the Forks-of-Little-Pigeon (Sevierville) Baptist Church from the time of its formation in 1789 until his death. For many years he served as church clerk.

      In addition to his church activities he was interested in education and politics. He was an early trustee of Nancy Academy, Sevier County's first school and gave money for its support.

      He was one of the five Sevier County delegates to the Knoxville convention of 1796, which drafted and adopted Tennessee's first constitution and he was a signer of that document. He also represented Sevier County in the lower house of the first three Tennessee legislatures, 1796-1802 and in 1801 he served on the legislative committee "to prepare a device and motto" for the Great Seal of Tennessee.

      Neither the Spencer Clack Bible nor the Spencer Clack Will have been found; therefore the writers will list only those who were unquestionably children of Spencer and Mary Beavers Clack. Perhaps, in this way, the confusion and error of other Clack descendants and genealogists may be avoided. Good proof exists for the following Clack Children:

      1) Martha Clack's marriage to Josiah Rogers occurred in Franklin County, Virginia, in 1786; they apparently came to Sevier County with the Clacks.

      2) Rawliegh [Rolly] Clack was first married to Mary Randles in 1791 and after her death he married second to Martha Kerr in 1816; this marriage took place in Sevier County. Sixteen children resulted and about 1820 Rawliegh and family moved down the Tennessee River to Rhea County, where he died in 1842. [note: this is the line from which Tommie Clack descends]

      3) Rhoda Clack married James Randles in 1791; they raised a family of twelve on Boyd's Creek in Sevier County. Randles died in 1816, while on a trip to Virginia for salt and was buried somewhere in Washington County, Virginia.

      4) Catherine Clack was married in 1794 to Rev. Elijah Rogers, early and well known Baptist minister in East Tennessee; they raised five sons and five daughters at their Sevier County home near the mouth of Little Pigeon, on the French Broad River.

      5) Frances Clack was married (1) to Mordecai Gist; after his death she married (2) John Mynatt of Knox County, Tennessee.

      6) Mary Clack married William Miller; they left Sevier County at an early date and settled in Meigs County, Tennessee, where she died in 1860.

      7) Malvina Clack married Major Beavers; they left Sevier County for Talladega County, Alabama, soon after the War of 1812.

      There were doubtless other Clack children but the writers do not believe that Spencer Clack, Jr, John Clack and Nancy Clack were the children of Spenser and Mary Beavers Clack as some published accounts claim....

      Spencer Clack's death occurred July 9, 1832 and he was buried in the old Baptist cemetery at Sevierville; the original flat limestone rock with unique carving of Spencer's face and the initials, "S.C." still marks his grave. [note: the original stone is very badly worn and when I visited the gravesite in 2004, there was a large chunk missing from the upper right side and I could only make out the numbers 17. A flat stone had been placed at the grave, and is pictured here].

      Mary Beavers Clack died August 14, 1840 and was buried by the side of her husband. At the time of his death a contemporary described Spencer Clack as a 'pious... worthy Christian, kind and affectionate... an excellent neighbor, remarkably even and unruffled in temper.'"

      Mrs. Puryear also did very well with her research into Spenser Clack. From her book, "Hollis Pioneers Kin and Kin to Kin," she quotes from several books and articles, including Tommie H. Clack and JA Sharp. In particular, "Family Chronicles and Kinship Book," by Octavia Zollicoffer Bond, is extensively quoted, as is "Virginia Soldiers of 1776, V-2" by Augusta Fothergill.

      In her book, the author writes: "It is probable that the mother of John and Spencer Clack was a Spenser and that their father was a son of Rev. James Clack of Ware Parish, Modern-day monument marks the grave site of Spencer Clack in Sevierville Gloucester Co., Va. Their father appears to be identified with the Capt. Clack of whom Mr. Thomas Jett wrote in 1770 to a correspondent, as then being in New York. (Va. Mag. of Hist. & Biog. Vol. 17) but of whom no more is known. Spenser was an ancient and honorable name in the Old Dominion of Virginia. (see Va. Mag. of Hist. & Biog.. V-2, p-33).

      Mary Beavers, born 1745, was a descendant of Chevalier Robert de Beauvilliers, of Amelia and Loudoun Counties, Va. The name was shortened to Beavill and later changed to Beavers when French names became unpopular during the French and Indian Wars... Thomas Beavers, died 1779, married Martha ___. Their son, Capt. James Beavers, Captain of Loudoun County Militia in the American Revolution, married ____. Their daughter, Mary Beavers, married, 1766, Hon. Spencer Clack."

      From fellow researcher, G. Ronald Herd, comes a transcription of the obituary of Spencer Clack:

      Knoxville Register
      issue of 18 July 1832

      "Departed this life at his late home, Sevierville, Tennessee, on Monday evening, July 9, 1832, Spencer Clack, Esq. at the age of 86 years, 3 months and 11 days. He was one of the pioneers of the west, being one of the first settlers on Little Pigeon River. He was born in Loudoun County, Virginia, March 28, 1746.
      He early took part in the politics of Tennessee, being a member of the convention that assisted in framing the constitution and for many years afterwards a respected member of the state legislature under the constitution he had aided in framing.
      He was a pious and worthy Christian of the Baptist faith and died in full faith, believing that there was an everlasting rest prepared for him. He was kind and affectionate in his family and also an excellent neighbor, remarkably even and unruffled in temper, which made his intercourse with the world quite pleasant. He was benevolent and kind to all especially the poor.
      Few men have ever lived so completely fortified by courteous principles amidst the vexation and turmoils of life as did the subject of this sketch. He left an aged partner, besides numerous offspring to lament the vacancy occasioned by his death in Tennessee."
    Person ID I32317  oldham
    Last Modified 16 Dec 2016 

    Family BEAVERS, Mary 
    Married 20 Nov 1766  Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 29 Nov 2013 
    Family ID F18821  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 28 Mar 1740 - Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 20 Nov 1766 - Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - witness there in 1770 the will of Thomas Beavers - 1770 - Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1778 - Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMilitary - Revolutionary War - Lieutenant of a Virginia (Henry County) militia company in 1782/83; Captain Tully Choice was company commander. - 1782 - Loudoun County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - one of the first justices of the new county - 1786 - Franklin County, Tennessee, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - formed from parts of Henry and Bedford Counties - 1786 - Franklin County, Virginia, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - Sold lands in Franklin County, VA and moved to Sevier County, Tennessee, USA - 1787 - Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 9 Jul 1832 - Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - 11 Jul 1832 - Church of the Forks Baptist Cemetery, Sevier County, Tennessee, USA Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Address       : Location       : City/Town       : County/Shire       : State/Province       : Country       : Not Set

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    Clack, Spencer
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    Research
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  • Sources 
    1. [S1680] Cemetery Records.