William Mitchell Clay, Sr.

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William Mitchell Clay, Sr.

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Henrico County, Province of Virginia
Death: Died in Point Pleasant, Fincastle County (Present Mason County), Virginia (Present West Virginia)
Cause of death: Killed while hunting deer for Col. John Field's company of independent Rangers.
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Charles Clay, Sr.; Henry Clay; Henry Clay; Mary Hannah Clay; Mary Mitchell Clay and 1 other
Husband of Martha Anne Clay (Runyon); Mary Elizabeth Clay and Agnes Clay
Father of Mitchell Clay, Sr.; William Mitchell Clay, Jr.; Elizabeth Belcher; Judith Clay; Pearce Clay and 9 others
Brother of Mary Obedience Belcher; Charles Clay; Mitchell Clay; Henry C. Clay, Jr.; Amey Williamson and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About William Mitchell Clay, Sr.

William Mitchell Clay was born 1710 in Henrico, Virginia and died 06 Sep 1774 in Point Pleasant, Virginia.

He married (1) Martha Ann Lewis. (2) Martha Runyon on Abt. 1732 in Virginia (3) Martha Green on Abt. 1734 in Henrico, Virginia (4) Mary Belcher on Bef. 1756 (5) Agnes Unknown on Bef. 1768 in Cumberland Co., VA

According to A. S. Withers in his book "Chronicles of Border Warfare", Col. Field, who was under the command of General Lewis, took his company and left the main body or the Army on its march. While detached from the forces under General Lewis, two of Col. Field's men (Clay and Coward) were sent out to hunt deer for Col. Fields company. They were a little ways apart when two Indians saw Clay, and thinking that he was alone, fired at him. As the Indians were about to scalp Clay, Mr. Coward saw what was happening and shot one of the Indians and killed him. The other Indian ran off and escaped.

Although it is not clear why a 64 year old man would be making a 250-mile journey on foot, he earned the dubious distinction of becoming the unit's first casualty. Clay appeared on roster of Charles Lewis's Regiment, with a note that he had been killed, “Death of Soldier named Clay in Col. John Field's Company, 9/10/1774”.

There is some confusion as to the wives of William Mitchell Clay. Many of us know William Mitchell Clay as the father of Mitchell Clay & father-in-law to Phoebe Belcher. William Mitchell Clay, born circa 1708-1710, was married to a woman whose given name was Martha. Some have said that her maiden name was Green while others have said it was Runyon. Both of these theories have been disproved. Another possibility is that she was Martha Lewis, sister to Col. Charles Lewis. Col. Lewis fought in the Battle of Point Pleasant -- the first battle of the Revolutionary War.

On September 22, 1768, a William Clay posted an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette which read: "Whereas my wife Agnes has eloped from my bed, and robbed me of things of considerable value, and I expect will endeavor to run me in debt, I therefore forewarn all persons from dealing with her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting. William Clay"

William and Agnes were either back together by May of 1769 or she was still using his name as she appears in Chesterfield County Court documents dated May 5, 1769. "Agness wife of Wm. Clay being privily examined acknowledged a Deed from the said William to Elam Farmer" (Court of 5 May 1769) Chesterfield County, Virginia, Order Book 4 1767-1771 p. 295 This may have been a different William Clay...and there were several William Clays living in that area at that time.

Includes Notes for William Mitchell Clay: [georgemckinney.ged]

Traditionally considered killed at battle of Point Pleasant, but probably the Clay who was killed by Indians while hunting for deer for Capt. John Field's independent company of rangers.[findem.ged]

[medler.ged]

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Cousin of Henry Clay who served as Secretary of State from 1825-1829.

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William Mitchell Clay. Born about 1710 in Henrico Co Va.

William Mitchell died in Kanawha Valley, WV on September 10, 1774, he was 64.

Occupation: Farmer.

William Mitchell Clay was born between 1708 and 1710 to Henry Clay and Mary Mitchell in Chesterfield County, VA. There has been some speculation that he may have been born prior to the marriage of his parents in 1708; hence the use of his mother's maiden name as his middle name. William was the eldest of six children (in the order as they were mentioned in Henry Clay's will). Martha Clay evidently died sometime between 1764 and 1768, as no other record of her is found after 1764.

William Clay grew up in Chesterfield and Henrico Counties and spent most of his adult life in Goochland and Cumberland Counties before moving west to Bedford County between 1765 and 1768. It is unclear as to when he moved to Bedford County since the indenture between William Mead and William Clay contains the year 1765 in the text, but wasn't acknowledged by the court until 1768.

It is certain that he was living in Bedford County on the Blackwater River in 1770 when he sold some property to his son William Jr. This region of the county evidently became part of Pittsylvania County since later land sales (involving sons Mitchell and Jesse) for sections of the same land are found in that county.

The last known record for William Clay in Pittsylvania County is for sale of land to John Kendall in 1773. It is unknown if William Clay left the county at that time.

Several of his sons were migrating to areas further west at this time. Most notably was Mitchell Clay, who was given a grant of 803 acres in the Clover Bottom area in what is now Mercer County, West Virginia. Mitchell moved his family to this land in 1774, becoming the first settler of the county. David Clay and possibly Ezekiel were also in this region at this time. Jesse Clay apparently moved from Pittsylvania County to Henry County, as several records, including land grants, appeared in the 1780's.

About 1732 when William Mitchell was 22, he married Martha Runyon, in Henrico Co Va. Born about 1715 in Virginia.

They had the following children:

  • i. William (1735-1812)
  • ii. Ezekial, Born about 1737 in Henrico Co Va. Ezekial died in Va in 1777, he was 40.
  • iii. Obediah, Born about 1738 in Henrico Co Va. Obediah died about 1818, he was 13
  • iv. Mitchell (1739-1811)
  • v. David, Born about 1740 in Henrico Co Va. David died in Unknown about 1825, he was 85.

In March 1792 when David was 52, he married Martha Clay, in Amelia Co, Va.

  • vi. Meredith, Born about 1742 in Henrico Co Va. Meredith died in 1806, he was 64.
  • vii. Nancy, Born about 1744 in Henrico Co Va. Nancy died in Unknown about 1835, she was 91

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Quote fron an internet posting by Mary Richardson on 10/28/00. "William Mitchell Clay was part on the unit assembled under Gen. Andrew Lewis traveling to Point Pleasant to participate in the impending battle. He earned the dubious distinction of becoming the unit's first casuality.

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On September 6, Col. Charles Lewis, with his Augusta troops, numbering about 600, were detached to proceed to the mouth of the Elk, and there make canoes for transporting the supplies to the mouth of the Great Kanawha. This body had in charge a drove of 108 beef cattle, and 400 pack-horses laden with 54,000 lbs. of flour. Field's company soon followed this advance. --R.G.T.

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Military: Death of William Mitchell Clay-September 10, 1774

Excerpt: When the army was preparing to leave Camp Union, there was for a while some reluctance manifested on the part of Col. Field to submit to the command of Gen. Lewis. This proceeded from the fact, that in a former military service, he had been the senior of Gen. Lewis; and from the circumstances that the company led on by him were Independent Volunteers, not raised in pursuance of the orders of Governor Dunmore, but brought into the field by his own exertions, after his escape from the Indians at Kelly's.

These circumstances induced him to separate his men from the main body of the army on its march, and to take a different way from the one pursued by it--depending on his own knowledge of the country to lead them a practicable route to the river.[1]

While thus detached from the forces under Gen. Lewis, two of his men (Clay and Coward) who were out hunting and at some little distance from each other, came near to where two Indians were concealed. Seeing Clay only, and supposing him to be alone, one of them fired at him; and running up to scalp him as he fell, was himself shot by Coward, who was then about 100 yards off. The other Indian ran off unarmed, and made his escape.

A bundle of ropes found where Clay was killed, induced the belief that it was the object of these Indians to steal horses; -it is not however improbable, that they had been observing the progress of the army, and endeavoring to ascertain its numbers. Col. Field, fearing that he might encounter a party of the enemy in ambush, re-doubled his vigilance 'till he again joined General Lewis; and the utmost concert and harmony then prevailed in the whole army.[2]

"Chronicles of Border Warfare", pp.165-167 Alexander Scott Withers, 1895, ed. by Reuben Gold Thwaites

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Saturday the 10th, Clay and Coward were sent out to hunt deer for Field's company, on the banks of the Little Meadow. Then occurred the incident related by Withers. The Indian who escaped, hurried on to the Shawnee towns and gave them their first notice of the approach of the army. Alarmed at this incident, Field hurried and caught up with the advance under Charles Lewis. The text reads as though he had hastened back to Andrew Lewis, who had not yet left Camp Union.-- R.G.T."

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Virgina Gazette

Whereas my wife Agnes has eloped from my bed, and robbed me of things of considerable value, and I expect will endeavor to run me in debt, I therefore forewarn all persons from dealing with her on my account, as I will pay no debts of her contracting.

William Clay

William and Agnes were either back together in 1769, or she was living alone but still using his name, since she gave a deposition in the Chesterfield County court on May 5,1769.

Note: William Clay was in Bedford County in 1768. It is entirely possible that this William and Agnes Clay are another couple altogether, as by the late date of 1768 there were several William Clays living in Virginina.

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Virginia Gazette, September 22, 1768, p. 2

November ye 12, 1747. We don a lin betwen Will Clay and timson timson not ther, A lin betwin Will Clay and Henry Cley A lin betwin John Moseley & Watkins & John Moseley, A lin between John Moseley, & John Farmer a lin between John fermer & Eeard Wadkins A lin between Thomas Wadkins & Stev(en) Mallet, Alin betwin Thomas Wadkins & Henry Cley, a lin between Steven Mallit & Henry Clay, A lin betwin John Mosley & J Jinson ts nt Alin betwin Will Clay & John Mosley Alin betwin J Mosley & Thomas Wadkins Alin betwin Thomas Wadkins & John Worley, Alin betwin betwin John Worley & Henry Cley, Alin betwin John Worley & William Worley, Alin betwin John Worley & William rigen Alin betwin John Mosley & John Worley, Alin betwin John Mosley & William rigen Alin betwin Edard Wadkins & Franses Chactune a lin betwin Fransses Cheatone & Morris Hobards we us dun by us Henry Clay, William Clay John Mosely

All the land was bin prosesond in pees only wone bine betwin Merry Robards & timson narrow wone there the parttys by or agreed that We shuld do it all the rest.

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Anglican Church Records, Southam Parish (St. James-Southam) Vestry Book, 1745-1836, pp. 25-26.

Be it remembered that James Dillion William Clay and George Nicholas --- all of the County of Cumberland this day came before us Stephen Bedford & Abraham Sallee Gent. two of his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the said County and acknowledged themselves indebted to our Sovereign Lord King George the Second in the Sum of forty Pounds Sterling that is to say the said James Dillion in the sum of twenty pounds Sterling & the said William Clay & George Nicholas in the Sum of ten Pounds Sterling each to be levied of their respective Lands & Tenements Goods and Chattels and to our said Lord the King his Heirs and Successors rendered Upon Condition that if the said James Dillion shall make his personal Appearance before his Majesties Justices of the Peace for the said County at the Court House of the said County on the fourth Monday in January next then & there to answer our said Lord the King of & upon a certain felony of which he is accused and shall not depart thence without the Leave of the said Court Then this recognizance to be void else to remain in full Force

Acknowledged this 22d Day of Decr. 1750 before us

  • James Dillon LS
  • Stepn. Bedford Geo. Nicholas LS
  • Abram. Salley William Clay LS

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Cumberland County, Virginia, Loose Papers 1750

Virginia State Library, Archives Division

Yuille v Clay

  • May 1753 Dism.
  • August 19th 1752

George the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. To the Sheriff of Cumberland County, Greeting. We command you that you take William Clay if he be found within your Bailiwick; and him safely keep, so that you have his Body before our Justices of our said, County Court, at the Courthouse of the said County, on the fourth Monday in August next to answer Thomas Yuille of a Plea of Trespass upon the Case Damage ten Pounds and have then there this Writ. Witness Thompson Swann Clerk of our said Court, at the Court-house aforesaid, the XXVIIth Day of July in the XXVIth Year of our Reign.

Thompson Swann

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Cumberland County, Virginia, Loose Papers 1752 Bond

  • L 8.8.11 3/4 8.8.11 3/4
  • Wm. Clay 8.8.11 ?
  • 16.17.11 1/2

Know all Men by these Presents that I William Clay of Cumberland County am held and Firmly Bound unto John Pleasants Senr & Junr in the Just and full Sum of Sixteen pounds Seventeen Shillings & Eleven pence half penny Virginia Money to be paid unto the said John Pleasants Sen & Junr thir Certain Attorney their Exrs. Admrs. or Assigns to which payment well and Truly to be made I bind my Self my hairs Exrs. and Adms. firly by these presents Sealed with my Seal. and Dated this first Day of April anno Dom. one thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Three The Condition of the Above obligation is Such that if the above named Wm. Clay do and Shall well and Truly Cumberland County, Virginia, Original Loose Papers

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John Esdale Plaintiff against In case William Clay Defendant

This day came as well the Plaintiff by his Attorney as the Defendant in his Person and the said Defendant saith that he cannot deny the Plaintiffs action for then Pounds thirteen Shillings and eight Pence Therefore It is considered by the court that the said Plaintiff recover against the said Defendant the said Sum together with his Costs by him in this behalf expended And the said Defendant in Mercy &c (Court of 27 March 1764)

Land Deeds: Cumberland County, Virginia, Order Book 1762-1764

This Indenture made this ?? day of August in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven hundred and seventy one, this is to Sartefy the William Clay of Pittsylvania County and Colony of Virginia do give unto Mitchel Clay one hundred Acres more or less beginning at a red oak Corder runing South Six degrees East one hundred and fifty poles to a white oak South Seventy and a half degrees East ninety poles to a white oak on the said River and thence up the Stream as it meanders to the first Station hickory of the old line on the north Side North Twenty degrees East forty six poles to a black Walnut North fifteen degrees west twenty poles to a hooptree oak thence new lines to the first Station will all houses Edifices orchards Gardengs waters Ways and all other Profits Commodities and Hereditaments Whatsoever to the Same belonging To have and to hold the said Granted Land and Premisses and every part thereof with their and every of their appurtinances unto the Said Michael Clay, to his heirs and assigns forever to the only use and behoof of him the said Michael Clay his heirs and assigns forever and the Said William Clay doth warrant and forever Defend the within Granted land from him the said William Clay his heirs and assigns and from all other persons Whatsoever unto the Said Michael Clay his heirs and assigns forever In Witness Whereof the Said Clay hath hereunto Set his hand & affixed his Seal the day and year above written.

his James Dillon Jesse X Dillon William Clay LS mark his Danl X Ward Jesse Heard mark

At a court held for Pittsylvania County on the 29th day of Augt 1771 The within Indenture was by the within named William Clay ackd to be his Act and Deed and the same was Ordered to be Recorded By the Court.

Test Will. Tunstall CP

More About William Mitchell Clay:

  • Date born 2: Bet. 1708 - 1710, Bedford, Henrico Co/.VA.[1336], [1337]
  • Burial: Probably At The Battle Of Point Pleasant. [1338], [1339]
  • Died 2: 10 Sep 1774, Battle Of Point Pleasant-Fincastle (Mason) Co., VA (Kanawha Valley, WV). [1340], [1341]
  • Record Change 1: 26 Nov 2001 [1342]
  • Record Change 2: 16 Jan 2004 [1343], [1344]

More About William Mitchell Clay and Martha Runyon:

  • Marriage: Abt. 1732, Virginia.[1344]

More About William Mitchell Clay and Martha Green:

  • Marriage: Abt. 1734, Henrico, Virginia.[1345]

More About William Mitchell Clay and Mary Belcher:

  • Marriage: Bef. 1756 [1346], [1347]

More About William Mitchell Clay and Agnes Unknown:

  • Marriage: Bef. 1768, Cumberland Co., VA.[1348], [1349]

Children of William Mitchell Clay and Martha Runyon are:

  • 1. Ezekial Clay, b. Abt. 1737, Henrico Co, VA [1350], [1351], d. Abt. 1777, VA [1352], [1353].
  • 2. Obdiah Clay, b. Abt. 1738, Henrico Co, VA [1354], [1355], d. Abt. 1818 [1356], [1357].
  • 3. Jessie Clay, b. Abt. 1745, Cumberland Co., VA [1358], [1359], d. Abt. 1824, Jasper Co., GA [1360], [1361].
  • 4. David Clay, b. 1740, Henrico, Virginia [1362], d. Aft. 1825 [1363], [1364].
  • 5. +Elizabeth Clay, b. 17 Apr 1735, Henrico, Virginia [1365], d. Aft. 1793 [1365].
  • 6. Judith Clay, b. Abt. 1737, Amelia Co., VA [1366], [1367], d. Abt. 1809, Giles Co., VA [1368], [1369].
  • 7. Meredith Clay, b. 1742, Henrico, Virginia [1370], d. Abt. 1806 [1371], [1372].
  • 8. Mitchell Clay, b. 1739, Henrico, Virginia [1373], d. 20 Mar 1811, Giles, Virginia [1373].
  • 9. Nancy Clay, b. 1744, Henrico, Virginia [1373], d. Abt. 1835 [1374], [1375].
  • 10. William Clay, b. 1735, Henrico, Virginia [1376], d. Oct 1810, Franklin, Virginia [1376].

Children of William Mitchell Clay and Martha Green are:

  • 1. Hannah Clay.
  • 2. Judith Clay, b. Abt. 1737, Amelia Co., VA1377, 1378, d. Abt. 1809, Giles Co., VA1379, 1380.
  • 3. William Clay, b. 1735, Henrico, Virginia1381, d. Oct 1810, Franklin, Virginia1381.
  • 4. +Elizabeth Clay, b. 17 Apr 1735, Henrico, Virginia1381, d. Aft. 17931381.
  • 5. Ezekiah Clay, b. 17371381, d. 17771381.
  • 6. Pearce Clay, b. 1738, Henrico, Virginia1381.
  • 7. Obediah Clay, b. 1738, Henrico, Virginia1381.
  • 8. Mitchell Clay, b. 1739, Henrico, Virginia1381, d. 20 Mar 1811, Giles, Virginia1381.
  • 9. David Clay, b. 1740, Henrico, Virginia1381, d. Aft. 18251382, 1383.
  • 10. Meredith Clay, b. 1742, Henrico, Virginia1384, d. Abt. 18061385, 1386.
  • 11. Nancy Clay, b. 1744, Henrico, Virginia1387, d. Abt. 18351388, 1389.
  • 12. Mary Clay, b. Abt. 1755, Henrico, Virginia1390.

Children of William Mitchell Clay and Mary Belcher are:

  • 1. Mary Clay, b. Abt. 1755, Henrico, Virginia [1390].

Notes for William Mitchell Clay: [1Clay.ged]

William Mitchell Clay:

Married and settled in Bedford Co., VA now Franklin Co., VA

He is listed by David Johnston in his history of Middle New River Settlement, page 396

Tradition says he was killed in 1774 at "The Battle of Point Pleasent" (governor Dunsmore's last fight against the Indians). According to researchers on this line his wife Agnes deserted him for no wife appears on deeds from 1771 "on". He lived in Henrico, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Bedford, and Pittsylvania Counties, Virginia.

More About William Mitchell Clay:

  • Fact 1: Killed in the Battle of Point Pleasent [2078]
  • Fact 2: He lived in Henrico, Chesterfield, Cumberland, Bedford, and Pittsylvania Countie [2078]
view all 23

William Mitchell Clay, Sr.'s Timeline

1710
January 15, 1710
Henrico County, Province of Virginia
1732
1732
Age 21
Henrico, Virginia, USA
1734
March 20, 1734
Age 24
Henrico County, Province of Virginia
1735
April 17, 1735
Age 25
Chantilly, Fairfax County, Province of Virginia
1735
Age 24
Henrico County, Province of Virginia
1737
1737
Age 26
1737
Age 26
Henrico Co., VA
1738
1738
Age 27
Henrico Co, Virginia
1738
Age 27
Henrico Co. VA.
1740
1740
Age 29
Henrico Co, Virginia