An American Family History

John Clare

Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

John Clare was born about 1640 and may have been the son of Brittain Clare and was brother to Elizabeth Clare Everett.

His wife was named Mary Welling. She was the widow of Thomas Welling (1637-1689). Thomas and Mary had a daughter, Susannah Welling Skidmore (1668, married Samuel Skidmore who was the son of John Skidmore and Susanna Davis).

John made his will on May 27, 1720 in Jamaica, New York. He left £6 to his nephew, Nicholas Everett. He left his nephew, Richard Everett, his land on the south side of the highway. His wife was allowed to live in the house and to use the barn, orchard, and the land adjoining, on the north side of the highway if she did not remarry.

After she died, his personal estate was to be divided between various relatives. He remembered his sister, Elizabeth's, children, Richard, Hannah, George and Nicholas.

Other heirs included Elizabeth Clare Humphrey (Mrs. Thomas), Mary Roberts, Sarah Croxson, John Wells and John Clare's step-daughter, Susanah Skidmore.

Some researchers believe that Elizabeth Humphrey was his daughter, but if she were, she would have been mentioned before his sister's children in the will.

Queens County, New York is on Long Island. Jamaica was called Rustdorp by the Dutch. It was originally settled by English settlers from neighboring Hempstead. Hempstead was founded in 1644 by emigrants led by Reverend Richard Denton. Jamaica and Hempstead are now in Nassau County.



American colonists continued to use British monetary units, namely the pound, shilling and pence for which £1 (or li) equalled 20s and 1s equalled 12d. In 1792 the dollar was established as the basic unit of currency.
from Collections of the New York Historical Society

May 27, 1720.
I, John Clare, of Jamaica, in Queens County, being sick.

I leave to Nicholas Everitt, the youngest son of my sister Elizabeth [Everette], £6, to be put at interest till he is of age.

I leave to Richard Everitt, the eldest son of my sister Elizabeth, my land on the south side of the highway.

My wife Mary Clare is to have the use of my dwelling house, barn and orchard, and the land adjoining, on the north side of the highway, during her widowhood.

After her decease, my personal estate is to be divided among Richard, Hannah, George and Nicholas Everitt, and Elizabeth Omfris [Humphreys], Mary Roberts, Sarah Croxson, John Wells and Susanah Skidmore.

After my wife's decease I leave all my house, barn, orchard and land on the north side of the highway to my cousin, Richard Everitt, during his life, and after his decease to his son Clare. I make my cousin, Richard Everitt, executor, and Nehemiah Smith and Nicholas Everitt, son of Nicholas Everitt, assistants.

Witnesses, Nathaniel Oakley, Benjamin Wiggins, Thomas Lewis, John Porter.
Proved before John Johnson, Esq., Judge of Common Pleas
June 10, 1720.

Historically an esquire (Esq. or Esqr.) was the title of a man who ranked below a knight in the English gentry. Later it designated a commoner with the status of gentleman and was used by attorneys.


from Queens County in Olden Times

1689, May 15-All the old Magistrates and military officers are put out of office in Suffolk and Queens counties by the people, who choose others in their stead. A great part of the militia have marched from their homes and are now at or near Jamaica. Their intention is to seize the fort at New York, and to keep off Popery, French invasion and slavery.

1711, July 9 - The Governor requires the people's houses in Jamaica to be inspected for pork, bacon and other provisions. (Queens County in Olden Times by Henry Onderonk)

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.