I’ve recently become acquainted with another genealogy buff who researches the McGinnis line. As I’ve not researched this particular branch of my tree in a while, meeting her has inspired me to dig through my notes and begin posting information on my Ancestry.com tree.

As my research progressed, a mystery developed. My 5th Great-Grandfather, Abraham McGinnis (1786-1842), married Deborah Clark (1785-1860). I’ve found proof of marriage in the Kentucky Marriages, 1802-1850 database. If I go by the research of others in my family and that of many people online (including my new acquaintance) Deborah’s father is Thomas Clark, Sr.

This is where it gets confusing.

Some say Thomas and Jane Ford are the parents of Deborah and her siblings. However, I’ve found evidence that they married in 1788 – after Deborah was born. It has been suggested that Thomas married Sarah Stewart first and they are the parents of Deborah and her siblings but I’ve found no evidence of such a marriage. In fact, torn pages of a family Bible (part of Thomas’ application for Revolutionary War pension which is filed in the National Archives) lists five sons of Thomas and Jane Clark. There is no mention of other children of Thomas.

This leads me to question if the widely accepted Thomas Clark is in actuality Deborah Clark’s father. Could her father be a different Thomas Clark? Could we be completely wrong in believing her father is named Thomas?

Just another tangled bit of ancestry that needs to be untangled. If you know the answers to my questions, please leave a comment of use the contact button on the right to share them with me.