Clarke Reminders

Franklin Whitfield Blake died on this day in 1955.

Frank and I don’t share any DNA, but he does reside in a branch of my family tree.

Seeing him on my Family Tree Maker calendar was a reminder to take another look at that somewhat neglected branch.

Zora Susan Clarke Blake 1898-1965 01

Zora Susan [Clarke] Blake 1898-1965

Franklin Whitfield Blake married Zora Susan Clarke 05 Apr 1917. Zora was born to Elmer Eugene Clarke and Susan E. Berg in Chicago 24 Jun 1898.

Her unusual given name can be linked to her father’s older sister Zora E. Clark/e born 19 Aug 1857 in Washington County, Maryland. Her middle name, Susan, honored both her mother and her late maternal grandmother.

The older Zora, Elmer and four of their siblings grew up near Antietam as the Civil War raged around them.

Their mother Susan Hammer Clark [nee Shank] died before 1880 and her children were distributed among family and friends in the area.

My 2nd great-grandfather William Penrod Clarke was 22 when his mother died. He was working as a laborer in another Maryland County.

Not long after his mother’s death William moved to Springfield, Clark, Ohio where he married and had a daughter. Brother Norman joined him there.

Later William moved to Chicago. Elmer did too.

Elmer Clarke got married in the Windy City. He raised his family in Chicago, making it possible for Franklin Blake to meet Elmer’s daughter Zora.

And secure his place in my family tree.

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