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William Edward Clark

Born: circa 1860


Historical Perspective

William Clark's parents were among the millions of Europeans to immigrate to the U.S. in the 19th Century. In 1820, the total U.S. population was about 9 or 10 million people. By 1900, the population grew to 76 million. A very large part of this was due to immigration. Between 1820 and 1880, approximately 3 million Germans, 2.8 million Irish, 2 million British and 1 million AustroHungarians came to this country. They were largely fleeing poor living conditions in their own countries. The peak years in this time period were around 1850, and it seems that it is this "wave" that brought about half of our family to America.

Another wave peaking around 1900 brought about twice as many immigrants.

William Edward Clark was born in Brooklyn, NY, probably around 1860. His father, George Clark, was born in Glasgow, Scotland and his mother, Mary Jane Hale, was born in Manchester, England, according to baby book records. We do not know if William had any siblings. We do not know why his parents moved to the United States, or what occupations they had.

He married Catherine Lyle McMullen and they had three children: Mabel, Marguerite and William. William never married and lived in the New York City area all his life. Mabel married Royal Washington Altreuter. We have no record of what happened to Marguerite. In the last photo we have of her she appears to be about 20 years old.

William's marriage to Catherine may have been a problem for both their families. From his parents' origins, it is likely that his family was Protestant. Catherine's parents were from Northern Ireland and likely Catholic. Her parents left Ireland around the time of the potato famine, and resentment for the British was high amongst the Irish.


Marguerite, William and Mabel

Any information about the family would be appreciated and can be sent to Ken Altreuter at