Here’s what I have on Sarah Clark and her parents:
Sarah Clark, born 1620 in Lynn, Essex Co., MA; died May 3, 1698 in Reading, Middlesex Co., MA. She was the daughter of William Clark and Katherine.
Sarah married George Davis, a weaver and ship owner, with whom she had 8 children. When their youngest was 5, George died. Soon after, Sarah married Nicholas Rist of Reading and had one child:
Joseph Rist, born about 1671 in Reading, MA; died April 19, 1740 in Uxbridge, Worcester Co., MA; married to Phebe Richardson May 20, 1703 in Reading.
When Sarah’s oldest son, Benjamin Davis, died in 1679, he willed his estate to Sarah, with the exception of two acres, which went to Benjamin’s sister.
On May 28, 1692, a warrant for Sarah’s arrest on charges of witchcraft was issued at Salem, MA, evidently at the request of her husband, Nicholas Rist. In those days, the husband of a woman with property could snatch that property away by having her declared either insane or a witch. If she and Nicholas were not getting along, he may have tried this trick to get her land. Although Sarah was never tried for the crime, she was sent to prison in Boston along with Capt. John Alden, Jr. Four months later, in October, 1692, Nicholas must have had a change of heart, since he petitioned for her release. She was released and lived with her husband for another 5 ½ years until her death.
Sarah’s will, written September 20, 1697 and probated May 15, 1698, refers to “the worldly estate that my former husband George Davis and my son Benjamin Davis gave to me by their last wills for to dispose of, give and devise the same as follows: to grandson Joshua Davis, all ye Homestead…that is ye same that I now dwell in… with all the lotts, divisions and dividends…thereto belonging, Joshua to pay to my daughters the legacies hereafter mentioned: to daughter Sarah Cole, to daughter Hannah Boutell, to son-in-law Timothy Wylye, to daughter Mary Damon, to Susannah Richardson.”
Here’s what I have on Sarah’s father, William:
William Clark was an innkeeper, proprietor in 1645 of “The Ship’s Tavern” in Salem, MA. He is frequently mentioned in the Town Records as a property owner, a man of means and an officer in the town’s military company. (The Gedney and Clark Families of Salem, 1880, 5-11, Sidney Perley: History of Salem, 192_,2:183).
In the summer of 1647, Clark died rather suddenly, perhaps a victim of the peculiar epidemic that afflicted the colony in June of that year. The estate was inventoried at 586.02.02, excluding a 200-acre farm near Cedar pond (designated as “the Clarke Farm”), two dwelling houses, part ownership of two barkes and a shallop, 1500 lbs. of tobacco, cart of three hogsheads of sugar, 40 lbs.of ginger, as well as other foodstuff and extensive furnishings belonging to the tavern. (Perley,2:83-4: Essex Co. Qtly. Ct. Rec. 1:119). His widow, Katherine, was licensed to keep the tavern as long as she provided a “fit man yt is godlie to manage the business.”
Children of William Clark and Katherine
William Clark, born abt. 1608 in Lynn, Essex C., MA; died March 5, 1681/82 in Lynn, Essex Co, MA; married Mary Sherman abt. 1640.
Thomas Clark, born 1618 in Reading, Middlesex, MA; died September 12, 1693 in Reading, Middlesex, MA; married (1) Ealse ____; (2) Mary Swain.
Sarah Clark, born 1620 in Lynn, Essex Co., MA; died May 3, 1698 in Reading, Middlesex, MA: married (1) George Davis before 1643 in Lynn, Essex, MA; (2) Nicholas Rist 1670 in Reading, Middlesex, MA.
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