Family Stories

Bio for Richard Clarkson

Taken from the Clarkson Family Summary prepared by Blanche Aubin Clarkson Hutchison, 1998. Slightly revised, 2008.

Richard Clarkson was born on the 4th of September 1788, probably in Essex county Virginia. He was the third of five identified sons born to James Clarkson and Mary Adams.

Military records indicate that most of the sons of James Clarkson were at least signed up to serve in the War of 1812. Service of those who volunteered in Tappahannock was very brief, seemingly amounting to a week or less in 1813. The 6th Regiment of the Virginia Militia under Lieut Col John Daingerfield was formed in Tappahannock to meet the threat of British forces coming close on the Rappahannock River. They were stationed at Jones Point from the 5th to the 10th of April, 1813. A company of infantry commanded by Capt Benjamin Fisher, under Col Daingerfield, in actual service from the 5th to the 7th, is probably where the Clarkson brothers are listed. I have not located the actual musters but other records point to their brief service.

Richard Clarkson married Susan Lorinda Crittenden, daughter of Lemuel Crittenden on 13 November 1813. The marriage bond of Richard and Susan is recorded 18 November 1813 and is signed by Rev. Phillip Montague.

On 20 February 1814 Richard Clarkson buys, for 50 pounds Virginia money, Lemuel Crittenden's store, plus 25 acres of land. This 25 acres “whereon the said Lemuel Crittenden kept store” is bounded by the lands of Streshley Reynolds, Thomas Dunn, decd, and the said Crittenden, and starts in the main road passing to Tappahannock at a small cedar and running thence with the bearing of said road S88 W69 poles to a red oak stump on the north side of said road corner, etc, etc.

Richard Clarkson's name appears several times in Essex court records after 1814. He signs a bond for the marriage of Theodorick Garrett and Catharine Calliss on 13 July 1820. He signs (probably at that same time) to swear that Theodorick Garrett was born 15 July 1798. Catharine's mother Sarah Calliss signs a permission to marry as her guardian, and names her daughter Catharine Eliza Smith. Richard Clarkson also signs this document.

It appears that Richard Clarkson was a store-keeper, maybe a small farmer, and may have also done some weaving. In any event, an accident befell him, or his health was poor, as he died when only age 36.

Richard Clarkson and Susan Lorinda Crittenden were the parents of five identified children: Mary Clarkson, James Clarkson (who died in infancy), Susan Lorinda Clarkson, Joseph Albert Clarkson and Richard Henry Clarkson. Our ancestor Richard Henry Clarkson was just one and a half years old when his father died.

There were considerable court records after the death of James Clarkson and his son Richard Clarkson both in the autumn of the same year, 1824. Both had rather small estates according to their inventories but Joseph Clarkson, son of James and brother of Richard, had his hands full attending to the survivors. He was only 30 years old when he had this responsibility thrust upon he and his wife Susan Games. He seemed to have particular difficulties with Susan Lorinda Crittenden Clarkson, widow of his brother Richard. But, she did have the burden of four small children when her husband died in 1824, and she seems to have managed in spite of it.

At his death Richard Clarkson owned, among other things, a 3-volume set of The American Farmer and implements that indicate he may have also been a weaver. Also listed as property was a negro girl, Martha ($130), and Alice (no value), probably a baby. Table, chairs, buffet, drawers, etc, are listed along with three beds, bedsteads and furniture. Separately listed was another bedstead and furniture. We don't know if Susan continued to operate the store, or even if it was still in operation when Richard died. It appears that when her mother-in-law Mary Clarkson died in 1830 she was living with Susan, and executor Joseph Clarkson was continuing to dole out to them small sums for their upkeep.

A 1959 letter from “cousin Ann” to “cousin Annie” (Annie Mundie) gives this clue:

I drove up to Brambleton to check on the tombstones there. The one and only I can remember was still there, inscribed --In Memory of Our Brother David Elliott, died 11 Mar 1874, aged 42--. The cemetery now in an open field has no trees about it but is overgrown with weeds. The tombstone is about centered and there seems to be spaces and depressions all around it indicating that other graves are present. But no other markers are there as I searched the entire grounds and would have found them if they had fallen down. The other cemetery in the corner of the Ingram yard still has trees in it and is quite grown up but it has never had any grave markers in it. Cousin Willie Brown told me several times that both Richard Clarkson and his father were buried there.

Do you want to know more?
Link to Richard Clarkson

Inventory of the Estate of Richard Clarkson

The Bio of Richard Clarkson; prepared by Blanche Aubin Clarkson Hutchison and submitted by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for Family Stories at website; 2015.