JOSEPH CLARK is said to have been born in county Suffolk, England, and, if he is the passenger, “Jo:Clark,” on the ship Constance, 1635, born about 1597. He may possibly be the son of Rowland Clark who died in Dedham, Mass., without probate. The wife of Joseph, Alice, is given in Americana and the Jelke-Frazier Ancestry as Alice Pepper, baptized inthe parish of St. Aldermany, London, March 25, 1623, the daughter of Robert Pepper* who settled in Roxbury, Mass., and married about 1642, but may have had a first wife Elizabeth, who died in 1642. Another account says he married Alice Brass, a passenger on the Constance in 1635, her age given as fifteen. She perhaps married a Pepper as her first husband. Joseph died in Medfield, Mass., on Jan. 6, 1683/4, and Alice died in Dedham on March 17, 1710/11.
Joseph may have come on the ship Mary and John in 1630. He settled in Dorchester, Mass., where on Nov. 22, 1634, he with twelve other men were given a grant of six acres of land “for their small and great lots at Naponsett betwixt the Indian feud and the mill.” It is said that he returned to England and sailed back on the ship Constance, Oct.24, 1635, his age given as 38. This does not fit the record of his being admitted freeman at Dorchester, March 4, 1634/5.He was one of the earliest residents of Dedham, being there in September 1640. He subscribed to the covenant. He had several grants Of land in Dedham. His house in Dedham was valued at £5.4.0. in 1648. He was one of the first Dedhamn men who undertook the settlement of Medfield, and was made a freeman there on May 18, 1653. His home was on the west side of what is now South Street, and an old cellar marks the spot where ho built. He served as selectman in 1660, and had a grant in 1663 for his son Joseph, Junior, to build upon.
Under “True coppye of the subscriptions of the inhabitants of Med Field towards the buillding of the new Collidg at Cambridge [Harvard]” in 1678, Joseph Clark is listed as contributing “two bushielles Endian Corn,” most of the subscribers using grain instead of money contributions.
His will of June 24, 1682, was probated in June 1684. It left legacies to wife Alice, sons Joseph, Ephraim, Nathaniel, Benjamin and John; daughter Rebecca Richardson, a grandchild, John Bowers, and son-in-law John Adams. His daughter MARY had
presumably had her portion when she married, sinceshewas not mentioned in the will, although she was living at the time.
* Son of John (and Alyce Baker) Pepper, son of Henry Pepper.
Source: Descendants of Thomas Farr of Harpswell, Maine by Edith Bartlett Sumner