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Tabitha Meridith Clark
Tabitha was one of two daughters of James Clark and a mother of surname Meridith. The sister was Amelia.
James Clark was Ireland born, coming to America as a young man at an undiscovered date and established himself in Philadelphia. As a Private in the Pennsylvania Volunteers he served during the Revolutionary War. This information was found in the Pictorial Family Register by James Clarke Irvine – a notation made years later – prompted by recalling that as a mere toddler of 2-3 years he had seen his grand-father during a visit to Mt. Vernon, the old gentleman then being in his 90th year. The note says "I can see him now (in my eye Horatio) as a brisk merry short old man, fresh and well looking, over 90 years old." Died in his 103rd year "as told me by my Grandmother Tabitha Irvine".
The spelling of the name ‘Clark’ deserves comment. James Clark spelled it so, and his daughter Tabitha passes it on to her 3rd son and to his 2nd son. However we find that Tabitha’s 2nd son, James Callender, gave his 1st son the ‘Clarke’ spelling – and this spelling has been carried on for 3 more generations. A scrap of erroneous family lore had it the name was associated with the Clark of the famous-in-history ‘Lewis-Clark Expedition’ through the northwestern country. No connections have been found.
Perhaps some comment should appear on the 1904 tale of Elizabeth (Thompson) Rowe that "Tabitha and Grandmother Thompson were quite intimate, being ladies in Ireland". The facts are that Tabitha Meridith Clark was born 1779 in Stone Valley, Huntington County, Penn. Her Irish father was known to have been established in Philadelphia. Why the transfer to a mid-State County is unknown but Tabitha chose this site for her marriage 21st April, 1798 to Thomas Irvine – also then a Philadelphian. Rev. Robt. Riddle officiating. In view of the facts that Tabitha’s father had left Ireland – fought against the Irish-English, in truth was so doing at her birth – it seems extremely doubtful that he visited Ireland with his daughter. Another sure thing is that her Scotch – Irish husband, married in 1798, did not return to Ireland during the next 13 years of wandering through Pennsylvania collecting 4 children by the time of his arrival in Mt. Vernon in 1811, These circumstances would seem to preclude that Tabitha never saw Ireland – and did not meet Lizzie’s Grandmother Elizabeth Thompson until after the 1831 arrival of the latter in Mt. Vernon. But one of the Devil’s repayments to Grandmother Thompson’s husband Irvine Thompson was the marriage of the 1st child Magdalena to Robert Irvine.
From Irvine T. Holloway came the information that Tabitha was possessed of a beautiful voice, and was as much admired for its quality as she was willing to respond to requests to sing. Visiting Carlisle as a girl her singing was credited with having diverted a band of predatory Indians.
Unearthed from two sources is that Tabitha held to a strong disinclination to household duties, and that her hands and feet were (a.) "very small" and (b.) "dainty", that much of her time was spent in voluminous reading. Reportedly she was well versed in ancient philosophy, astronomy, geography, history, and the political trends of the times. Such unrelated subjects as popular literature and chemistry absorbed a share of her time. In which case surely – if she was subjected regularly to "Old Tom’s beatings" well might she ask of her mirror "Is this Tabitha Clark?"
A grand-son, 4th child’s 1st born, is said to have inherited her musical talents.
Tabitha died 4th June, 1849 (so her name is not listed in the 1850 Knox Co. Census), and rests under the same marker with her husband in Mound View Cemetery, Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
Copied from Tabitha’s Bible by Angelina, 9th and last child –
Issue of Thomas Irvine and Tabitha Meridith Clark:-
Jane, b. Huntington Co., Pa., 3/7/1799 Page 51.
(The two children who "died ultimately" undoubtedly were born between Jane and Thomas W.)
Thomas W., New York, 2/3/1805. Page 53.
James Callender, b. Tomica, Pa., 7/12/1807. Page 53.
Clark, b. Trumbull Co., Ohio, 6/14/1809. Page 126.
Robert, b. Mt. Vernon, Ohio, 6/14/1812. Page 130.
Julia Ann, b. Mt. Vernon, 2/24/1814. Page 136.
Sarah Meridith, b. Mt. Vernon, 6/26/1816. Page 137.
Melcina, b. Mt. Vernon, 10/30/1818. Page 137.
Angelina, b. Mt. Vernon, 11/19/1820. Page 137.