Sterling met and married his wife Sarah Warner, descendant of the Connecticut Warners, founders of East Haddam. Their wedding took place at the East Haddam Congregational Church, just like many other Clark weddings.
EAST HADDAM CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
"FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST"
CLARK HILL ROAD, EAST HADDAM, CT
During the time of his blacksmith shop, the work apparently took its toll on Sterling, as he was a frequent purchaser of the local town cider brandy made by none other than Mr. Nehemiah Tracy. According to "Parker's History of East Haddam," Sterling was Tracy's biggest customer. He bought one gallon of cider brandy every day for 18 days straight in January of 1795. Later that year in March, he bought 13 gallons, and in December, 7 gallons. All purchases were on credit. Cider brandy was deemed one of the safest drinks to consume, since late 18th century water and milk was often contaminated. But maybe Sterling had other reasons to drink so much of it? In any case, I wonder if the drinking took its toll on the business.
In any case, 1820 he sold the residue of his estate to Peter Martin. By the 1840 Census, he had moved to Whitestown, New York to live with his son Jabez, who was a doctor in the New York Mills district. Given that Jabez was likely the same Jabez who appears on War of 1812 service records, it's very possible that Jabez was given this land via bounty from the US Gov't for his service.
Sterling was listed as "blind" for Jabez' 1840 census record. Sterling died in Whitestown sometime after his appearance on the 1850 Census (which also contains his other son Samuel, the fiddle and cabinet maker - more on him below). As for Sterling's wife Sarah, she doesn't appear on any family census after 1800, but one Ancestry family tree claims she died in 5 Jul 1855.
NOTE HOME OF "J.F. CLARK"
SEE YELLOW PUSHPIN
APPROXIMATE AREA OF DR. JABEZ CLARK'S HOME
Sterling & Sarah had 5 children:
Mary Clark (1789-1790) - died as an infant
Sterling Clark, Jr. (1790-1813) - apparently served in the Navy during the War of 1812. He died young, after receiving $40.00 settlement from the Navy.
Jabez Clark (1792-after 1860) - named after his grandfather Jabez Warner. He became a doctor, and moved to Whitestown New York, 240 miles west of East Haddam. Whitestown is in Oneida County, where his aunt Sarah Clark-Spencer had moved to. It's possible he moved to be closer to her. Jabez married Fedelia Beebe, and had at least two children: Jabez Jr. and Alvira.
James Clark (1795-???) - my 3rd great grandfather. He fought in the War of 1812, and received a land patent from President Monroe out near Quincy Illinois. We aren't sure what happened to him.
Samuel Clark (1798-1874) - named after his grandfather Samuel Clark. He was a cabinet maker, woodworker, and at one point was a violin and cello maker in Westmoreland, NY. He lived in the JF Clark house (as noted in the above map), and such house is purportedly still standing, as of July 2016. One of Samuel's cellos can be seen in the photo below, as found on a vintage auction site:
I know that my ancestor Leonard Sherman Clark, son to Samuel's brother James, was an avid violin player, as was some of his children, including my own grandfather, Frank Clarke. It's fascinating to see the connection going back to the early 1800s.
Two other children, Joseph and Mehitable, also appear in various censuses with them, but they may not be Sterling's children, but rather, his brother Samuel Jr.'s. More research needed.