Maj. Robert Clark Floyd

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Maj. Robert Clark Floyd

Birthplace: Albemarle and Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Death: before March 7, 1807
Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of William Floyd and Abadiah Floyd
Husband of Lillian Floyd
Father of Elizabeth R. Winn; Judge Davis Floyd; Sgt. Charles Floyd and Mary Lee Walton
Brother of William Floyd; Sarah Powell; Isham Floyd; Elizabeth Tuley; James John Floyd and 6 others

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maj. Robert Clark Floyd

From Descendants of John Floyd:


  • was born Abt. 1752 in Albemarle or Amherst Co., VA [146],[147],[148], and
  • died Bef. 07 March 1807 in Jefferson Co., KY ? [149].
  • He married LILLIAN PARKER [149],[150] Bef. 1779 [151],
    • daughter of (UNK) PARKER and LILLIAN. She was born Abt. 1755 [152], and
    • died 1802 in Jefferson Co., KY ? [153].


NOTE TO FLOYD MEMBERS: If you are a male Floyd, here is a good way to help in the research into the Floyd family. Sharon at >< is organizing a Floyd DNA site:

"Pat-- can you put out the word to Floyd surname males to see if any of them want to participate with us in this project? We are using the lab at Ancestry and they are having a 40% off special. We are using the 46 marker kit which provides the closest possible match potential. I have also posted results on >< Their public (non-member) site is I haven't had any close matches yet, but I think the technology is still too new for most people to want to participate. Plus, they're not giving it away for free. I can understand hesitation. Anyhow, I just thought I'd ask. Thanks for your help. I'll keep you posted if any new information comes along. Sharon"



Given the relationship of the families, it is likely, or at least possible, that Robert was named for the great uncle of William Clark (Robert Clark of Va.), with whom his son Charles ventured forth on the Lewis and Clark journey.

The wonderful biographies of the Lewis and Clark expedition members contains this at <> and it is a wonderful statement of what is true and what has been thought so:

"On January 15, 1807, Meriwether Lewis wrote in the official muster roll of the Expedition that Charles Floyd's father "who now resides in Kentucky, is a man much rispected, tho' possessed of but moderate wealth." 6 Yet he never sold Charles Floyd's land bounty warrant. It remained in the family, passing on to the sergeant's brothers and sisters. Not until November 1, 1839, was it sold. It was then in the possession of Mrs. Mary Lee Walton, the youngest of Robert Clark's children. She was only ten years old when her brother died on the Expedition. She sold the warrant for $640 to John G. Berry and John T. Winn. The latter, I would surmise, was her nephew, the son of her sister Betsy Winn. 7

"Some researchers have concluded that Sergeant Floyd was the son of Charles Floyd, the near-neighbor of the Field family on Pond Creek. This confusion is understandable, since Charles Floyd also had a son named Charles, the first cousin of Sergeant Floyd. A scrap of a letter may also have contributed to the confusion. This letter, apparently now missing, was once in the possession of the Floyd Memorial Association in Sioux City. It is from Nathaniel Floyd, son of the elder Charles, to his sister Nancy. He had apparently just read the letter that Sergeant Floyd had dictated to Clark. Nathaniel wrote that: "Our dear Charles died on the voyage of colic. He was well cared for, as Clark was there, my heart is too full to say any more ... I will see you soon, your brother Nat." Nat was speaking of his cousin, but it would be easy to conclude that he was speaking of his brother. 8

"That Robert Clark Floyd was the sergeant's father is obvious from the heirs who actually came into possession of the land warrant. Also, on November 26, 1807, in the same letter that recommended to the War Department a lieutenancy for Reubin Field, Clark also recommended a captaincy for an R.C. Floyd. Only one Floyd had those initials - Robert Clark Floyd. It was probably Clark's way of compensating in some measure for Robert Clark's loss of a son. Robert Floyd served as an officer in the Kentucky militia and in 1796 had been promoted to major. Finally, Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton, Sergeant Floyd's youngest sister, noted in a letter to Lyman C. Draper, that remarkable collector of manuscripts and recollections of the early West, that her father's name was Robert. 9"


The footnotes above are:

  • "6. Robert Floyd, described as a resident of Jefferson County, purchased 112 acres of land on Floyd's Fork in that county on August 10, 1802: Jefferson County Deed Book 5:262. On the same day, he sold 500 acres on Floyd's Fork, Ibid., 252. Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962), 366.
  • 7. Jackson, Letters, 381. Cartlidge, Children and Grandchildren, unpaged.
  • 8. Jackson, Letters, 370. Cartlidge, Children and Grandchildren, unpaged.
  • 9. Jackson, Letters, 371. Cartlidge, Children and Grandchildren, unpaged. Letter of Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton of Vicksburg, Miss., to Lyman C. Draper, October 5, 1872, Draper Manuscripts 13VV120."


Larry Reno, a descendant of Charles Floyd and Mary Stewart (see elsewhere) says: The children of Robert Clark Floyd and Lilleyann Hampton were:

  • 1. Elizabeth R. ("Betsey") Floyd, born circa 1772, probably in VA.
  • 2. Davis Floyd, born in 1774 in VA.
  • 3. Charles Floyd, born circa 1782 at Floyd's Station, Jefferson CO, VA.
  • 4. Mary Lee Floyd, born circa 1794 in Jefferson Co., KY.

By letter dated 5 Oct 1872, Mary Lee Floyd Walton, wrote to Dr. Lyman Draper: "...I remember nothing of Gen. Clark's expedition to the rocky mountains as I was a child, except that I had a brother who went with him, and who died during the expedition, his name was 'Charles Floyd.' Col. John Floyd was my Uncle - my father's name was Robert."

On 6 Mar 1807 William Clark acknowledged receiving Land Warrant No. 5 for 320 acres as "attorney in fact" for the heirs of Sgt. Floyd, which was his land grant for being on the expedition. Those heirs were Davis, Elizabeth and Mary Lee. her siblings gave it all to Mary, see below. By 1839, she sold it to others. The original conveyance is fascinating, including both Lewis's and Clark's signatures. Inscribed on the back of the land warrant itself is this:



Agreeably to a power of attorney executed to me by Thomas M. Winn, Elizabeth Winn and Davis Floyd, bearing date the 14th day of December, 1806 I do hereby assign the within lands (?) to Mary Floyd of the Indiana Territory her heirs or assigns. (signed) Wm Clark atty in fact for Thos M. Winn Eliz Winn Davis Floyd heirs at law to Charles Floyd deceased.

  • Witness
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • C Rogers
  • John W Winn
  • Mary F Winn



Robert might have married a second time, after the mother of these children died, and had an Alexander? (Alex Luken)

This Robert is most likely (Clifton F. Davis, 1946, op. cit., says he is, and that he was appointed a major in 1796, see Reg. Ky. Hist. Soc. vol. 28, p 298) the one who raised a company "in the service of the United States," in July, 1793, Lt. Col. John Adair's Regiment, Maj. Gen. Charles Scott's command of the Kentucky Mounted Volunteers in the Frontier Wars, which served until Nov. 11, 1793. Among the 83 officers and men are William Tuley, a sergeant, John Calloway, a corporal, and a John Floyd, a private. In the spring of 1794 another force is raised, again led by Gen. Scott, and Capt. Robert Floyd is on the battalion staff in Major Aquila Whittaker's battalion as a mounted volunteer until the following October.

See also Murtie June Clark's "American Militia in the Frontier Wars, 1790-1796," Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1990, Kentucky section, where Alex notes the following entries: Major Aquila Whitakers Battalion for June 13 to Oct. 26 1794 included Captain Robert Floyd, for 77 days service: Major General Charles Scott's Command, Ky. Mounted Militia, 1793 Wayne's War, July to November 1793, Captain Robert Floyd; and Company, Adair's Regiment, Wayne's War, 1794 June to Oct. 1794, Captain Robert Floyd.

There is a John Floyd in Robert Floyd's Compamy from 10/9 to 11/9/1793

Davis notes that the Minute Book of the Court of General Quarter Sessions, Clark Co., Ind., April Term, 1801, records that "it is ordered that the ferry kept across the Ohio by Major Robert Floyd should be taxed seven dollars for the present year."


Alex Luken provides this excellent summary of Robert and his son Davis, et al:

"Robert Clark Floyd liquidated his property in Jefferson Co. KY in 1799 and moved with his wife Lillian to "Knox Co. Northwest Territory." He resided in Vincennes IN, where in 1802, he was a juror in United States v. Hurst. Lillian, it is believed, died ca. 1802. Charles Floyd (editor: later of the Lewis and Clark journey) was given the job delivering the mail between Vincennes and Louisville, where Thomas Minor Winn was the postmaster. Mary Lee was sent to live with Elizabeth and Thomas in Louisville. After Charles' death on the expedition, George Rogers Clark arranged for a commission for Robert, and he was not heard from again. It is believed that he moved back to KY and died here, possibly marrying again. There is a family in Hardin Co.which is of the right age, that of Alexander Floyd, who had a son named Robert C. Floyd, so perhaps Robert did marry a second time.

"Davis Floyd was married first to Susannah Jones Johnston Lewis, daughter of Benjamin Johnston and Dorothy Jones. She was the widow of G. W. Lewis, having only been married two years before he died. Susannah's brother, William Johnston, was the county recorder for Jefferson Co., KY and married Thomas Minor Winn's sister, Betsy Winn. They owned Cave Hill Farm, which is now Cave Hill Cemetery. Davis and Susannah had two known children, possibly three--Gabriel Jones Floyd, was the oldest, then Charles Floyd, named for his brother. Davis Floyd resided first in Clarksville, IN, about 200 yards from George Rogers Clark's cabin. He was a pilot on the falls of the Ohio. He also resided for a time in Knox Co., as he was a territorial legislator and a close friend of William Henry Harrison. Susannah's brother, General Washington Johnston (that's his name, not a military title) was a respected judge in Knox Co. Davis Floyd was the contractor responsible for building the courthouse in the "new" capital in Corydon, IN. The house that he built is still standing and is a historic site as it became Gov. Hendricks headquarters.

"Susannah died ca. 1808, and in 1809, Davis Floyd married Elizabeth Robards Davis, widow of Thomas Terry Davis, congressional representative and U. S. Territorial Judge for the Indiana territory. Coincidentally, he was both responsible for introducing Davis Floyd to Aaron Burr, and the judge at Davis' treason trial for his involvement with the Burr affair. The move to Natchez ca. 1808 it is believed, coincided with the death of both Robert and Susannah, and with Winn cousins taking up residence in Mississippi. Elizabeth Robards Davis was the niece of Lewis Robards, who married first Rachel Donelson, wife of Andrew Jackson, and second, Hannah Withers Winn, sister of Thomas Minor Winn. Lewis Robards resided in Bullitt Co., KY but had slave trading interests in Natchez.

"Both Davis and his son Gabriel served in the military during the War of 1812. Davis remained politically active, both as a legislator and a judge in Harrison Co. He was a bit of a jack of all trades, running a brick kiln in Corydon, while also having a dry goods business with his son Gabriel, and I believe also running an inn, plus acting as contractor for various building projects. In 1819, he lost everything he had in the financial panic of that year. All of his property was sold at the courthouse door to satisfy his mortgages which were called in. He then ran for Congress as a representative from Indiana but was defeated by either Harrison or Hendricks (doing this off the top of my head.) After that, he wasn't heard from for a year or so, except that he did surface in Cincinnati with something to do about canal development. In 1823, he was appointed land commissioner to Florida by James Monroe. He died in December 1831, in Leon Co. In 1835, his estate was involved in lawsuits pertaining to the Lafayette property in Florida; his executors were Benjamin Chaires and Betsy Floyd.

"Charles, his son, is listed on the 1830 census in Leon Co. Gabriel was appointed customs officer for Appalachicola in 1832. He died in St. Louis in 1842, beaten to death in a break-in at his home. His widow, Sarah M. Conn Floyd, is listed on the 1850 Clark Co. IN census, with a young boy named Gabriel Jones Floyd. Elizabeth Floyd, his daughter, not sure which mother, married James S. Linn, clerk of the courts, in Leon Co. FL in 1828.

"About Robert Floyd, his son with Elizabeth Robards Davis, nothing is known. There is a marriage in Jefferson Co. KY between Robert Floyd and Sarah Floyd, widow of Gabriel, in 1852, but it is not known if these are the same people. Sarah Floyd filed for Gabriel's pension in 1849." (Many thanks to Alex Luken of Louisville, Ky., May 23, 2002)


And this also from Alex, 2003:

"In the Floyd family correspondence file at the Filson Club, there are several letters of interest. One is a letter dated April 5, 1929 from a Mrs. W. A. Moody RFD #1, Jeffersontown KY, enquiring about Robert Floyd. One of Haley Buckner's daughters, Keziah, I believe, married a Moody. She writes to R. C. Ballard Thruston at the Filson Club:

'Dear Sir; 'I have temporarily in my possession a piece of paper which reads thus:

'Jefferson County, to wit.

At a court held for said county in Louisville on Thursday the third of December 1793 this Indenture of Bargain and sale from Robert Floyd and wife to Andrew Potts was acknowledged by the said Robert Floyd as his act and ordered to be recorded. Teste, Stephen Ormsby, Clerk'

'If possible please answer the following questions concerning this paper.

Was the above mentioned Robert Floyd a relative of Colonel John Floyd and if so, what was the relationship. Also, did Robert Floyd own a considerable tract of land along Floyd's Fork in Jefferson County? If so, when and how did he obtain possession of this land?'

The response, from Ludie Kinkead of the Filson Club:

'...In Old Kentucky Deeds and Entries by Willard Rouse Jillson I find in Jefferson County for Robert Floyd, entry for 500 acres recorded in Book A, page 277, April 13, 1783 located in the Knobbs. In deed book 2 Jefferson County you will find a deed from Philip Buckner and Tabby his wife of this county to, Oct. 14, 1791, to Robert Floyd for 250 acres on headwaters of the Licking Fork of Beargrass, acknowledged Jan. 3, 1792. In Deed Book 5, page ? deed from Robert Floyd and wife Lillian of Northwest Territory to Henry Tups of Jefferson County dated September 24, 1799, one tract of 243 acres on Floyd's Fork, also a deed from Robert Floyd and wife Lillian of the Western Territory also dated September 24, 1799 to Jacob Zehnder, of 95 acres in Jefferson County, and still another from Robert Floyd and wife Lillian of Knox County, Territory Northwest of the Ohio River to Davis Floyd of Jefferson County, 500 acres on Chenoweth Run, being a moirty of 1000 acres an entry survey made in the name of Granville Smith and said Robert Floyd, original deed to Robert Tyler, agent vendue of Davis Floyd, etc. I also find his name in the index to Deed Book 6 and 7 in Jefferson County.

'I do not find anything specific stating where he got land but as John Floyd says Robert and Charles are to complete his surveys and as the surveyors received a percentage of land for the work, I imagine he got at least some of it that way...'

"(Alex continues) I believe that tract of land in the Knobbs refers to land near where the Jefferson Memorial Forest is located. Robert's brother, Nathaniel Floyd, was a resident of Williamsville, which I understand was located on the Ohio River on the opposite side of the Salt River from West Point, KY This lies not too far from Harrison Co., I do believe. A ferry back and forth would be a simple thing, and moving across the river would be simple. The last two mentions I have seen for Robert is that he and Davis testified at the trial of US v. Hurst in Vincennes in 1802, and in either 1804 or 1807 (this is off the top of my head...) William Clark asked for a commission for a R C Floyd, in the event that the US went to war with Spain over the free navigation of the Mississippi River. Nothing ever came of it. It is possible that Robert Floyd moved to Hardin Co. and married again to a Hart because there is a family there with a son named Alexander Floyd, who had a son named Robert C. Floyd. In one of the letters in Corydon from Clifton Davis, there is an inquiry about an Alexander Floyd, but does not specify the relationship. BTW, there is an unspecified Floyd-Hurst relationship..."



Anna Cartlidge says her name was Lillian and that she MAY have been a Hampton. Alex Luken speculates "I really wonder if Lillian Hampton is correct...." But we know she was a Lillian......

And, later, in November 2001, Alex notes: If Robert Clark Floyd died in 1807, and Lillian died ca. 1800, it is possible that he married again and had another child? It appears likely that Robert Floyd moved back to KY before he died. There was correspondence in the Floyd file in Corydon responding in part to an inquiry from Clifton Davis regarding an Alexander Floyd. An Alexander Floyd pops up in Hardin Co. KY and marries Mary Polly Hart, daughter of Aaron Hart, in 1820. He has three children with her: Robert C. Floyd b. abt. 1825, Edward Floyd, and Sally Floyd. Robert and Edward eventually migrate to IL. Is it possible this Alexander is the half brother of Charles and Davis? The ages fit. The location fits. Hardin Co. is very close to Bullitt Co. and Jefferson Co., and Corydon IN. (editor-- I agree with Alex. This is something to research.)


Alex, in Nov., 2002: "Robert and Lilyann Floyd conveyed land in Jefferson Co. KY on 6/30/1794 to James WEBB. Witnesses were T. KEY, John TULEY, Benjamin KIRK and Landen DAVIS. Also, on 7/1/1794 there is a conveyance by Robert Floyd to Jean DAVIS witnessed by John TULEY, T. KEY, and Benjmain KIRK."


And this from an old posting on the surname Parker rootsweb board, sent me courtesy Alex Luken. I have entered Sam Parker in these notes but not connected him as yet. (July, 2002)


Dianne Conaway Blankenstein, November 15, 1997: "Need help with Samuel Parker - believe he was orphaned early & his mother may have been Lillian Hampton at the time of her death. Samuel married Mary & they moved to Tenn where he died in Humphreys Co about 1820. Son Joshua Parker b 1776 in Virginia d 1826 Humphreys Co,Tenn m. 1800 Shelby Co, KY Mary Patterson b 1782 - dau of ?James Patterson. Son James M. Parker b 1801 Shelby Co, KY d 1859 Dallas, Texas m. abt 1820 Humphreys Co, Tenn to Anna ?Carnell dau of Hubbard Carnell & Elizabeth Dixon. Daughter Malvina Dixon Parker b 1833 d 1862 White Co, Arkansas m. 1852 Tenn Lewis Comer Smith. Would like to correspond with someone on this line."


And Alex sends this in Nov., 2002: "I have more circumstantial evidence for PARKER being the last name of Robert's wife.

  • "1) There is a letter at the Filson Club in the Floyd family file from from the 1930's from a MOODY of Jeffersontown, enquiring about a Robert Floyd deed. The Moodys married into the family of Haley Buckner and Lillian Parker, daughter of Samuel Parker.
  • "2) Philip Johnston, who is a son of William Johnston and Ann Chew or his second wife Elizabeth Taylor, married a Margaret Elizabeth Parker. I believe Philip Johnston settled in Shelby Co., KY which is near Jeffersontown. Haley Buckner also settled in Shelby Co. This is all near the Floyds Fork area.

"I'll just keep stirring until something pops up to the surface... "


So... a Parker? Alex finds more in October, 2003 which seems to confirm the Parker name. She writes:

"Devereaux Gilliam was the executor or the will of Lilyann HAMPTON in 1779 which mentions her daughter Lilyann FLEWD, and is the source for the name of Robert Clark Floyd's wife. Also mentioned are sons by the last name Samuel PARKER and John RUSSELL. I maintain that Lilyann FLEWD was Lilyann PARKER, and that Hampton was the name of her mother's 3rd husband. Co-executor to the will is Thomas STOCKTON. Witnesses to to the will were Eda GILLIAM (I believe this to be Edna Ellis Gilliam),

Elizabeth HUTCHESON, and Deverix (Devereaux) GILLIAM."


She notes this rootsweb site for this wonderful will: <>

"pages 22-23 - LILYAN HAMPTON

Being very sick and weak; will dated April 14, 1779;

  • To son John Russel one sorrell mare
  • To his daughter Susannah Russel one haffer yearling
  • To my son Samuel Parker one cow and yerling
  • To my daughter Lillayan Flewd one cow and all my clothes and side saddle
  • All my house furniture equally to son John Russel and Samuel Parker and Lillayan Flewd.
  • My cash accounts due me from David Right and William Bowman equally to son John Russel and

Samuel Parker.

  • Executors: Diverix Gilliam and Thomas Stockton
  • Lilleyan (her mark) Hamton
  • Wit: Deverix Gilliam, Elizabeth Hutcheson, Eda Gilliam
  • Dec. 27, 1779; Exh. by Deverix Gilliam who gave bond with James East his security."


Then, in Nov., 2003:

"You know how I have been working on Lillian Parker/Hampton, wife of Robert Clark Floyd. Well, I have my first link in Amherst County! of sorts. Theodosia Davis, daughter of Nathaniel Davis and Elizabeth Atkins, married Jarratt Gilliam. Theodosia would be the first cousin of Robert Clark Floyd.

"Jarratt Gilliam would have to be related to Devereaux Gilliam who was an executor of Lilleyann Hampton's will, because Devereaux Gilliam's mother was Mary Jarratt.

"Also note the marriage to Edith Ellis. I have an e-mail from Robin Chism in my file that says that Robert and Elizabeth Atkins Davis lived in a place known as the Old Orchard, which was subsequently owned by Charles I. Ellis, and during the Revolutionary War was engaged in the manufacture if firearms.... She lives in Ala. and says that William Floyd and Abadiah Davis are her 8th great-grandparents.... Regards, As always, Alex"


And in June 2004, this note:


"Ellis, Thomas Harding. .1 cubic feet.

Papers, n.d., of Thomas Harding Ellis (1814-1898) consisting of Ellis family genealogical notes and notes concerning the trial of Aaron Burr in 1807. The genealogical notes contain information found in Ellis’ published volume A Memorandum of the Ellis Family (1849). Notes concerning the trial of Aaron Burr contain information on Ellis' uncle and the deputy marshall in the case, Josiah Ellis, and his father-in-law and Burr's security officer, Thomas Taylor. Gift of Archer Ellis Hansen, Winchester. (40060)"

Alex: "I am thinking Lillian Parker Floyd's mother was an ELLIS, perhaps daughter of John Ellis and Susannah Royall. I should add as another part to the hypothesis, that John Ellis and Susannah Royall are the parents of Charles Ellis m. Susannah Harding, parents of Edith Ellis who married Devereaux Gilliam and who were witnesses to the will of Lilyann Hampton. Also, John Ellis and Susannah were from Tuckahoe, Henrico Co. VA, which is where Lilyann's will was probated, Henrico Co. Also the possibility that Charles Floyd's middle initial was "E" based upon a rock carving found in MO."

So-- Lillian Parker (Hampton) married Floyd. And from the below conjunction of families, I think she is Lillian Parker, perhaps the daughter of Richard Parker. Recall that we think William Floyd's wife was the "widow Burgamy," Micha(el) Harris.

And, in February 2006, with reference to an inquiry to me from Ellen Carper, webmistress of "Kentucky Kinfolk Organization" at: <>:

"Hi Ellen-- Pat forwarded your message to me. Ellen, as a way of introduction, I'm Pat's genealogical "Della Street". Not a Floyd relation except by honorary status :-) but I have staked out the line of Robert Clark Floyd as my own in the absence of any active descendants. And, I'm in Louisville and have access to the Filson Club....

"So I have a couple of things that might be of interest. First of all, somewhere in the mounds of paper we have is a reference to Gov. John Floyd's daughter attending Jefferson Davis' first wedding here in Louisville. In spite of the somewhat touchy relationship between the Gov. and the Breckinridge kin, his daughters did visit Louisville quite often and maintained ties to family here. Zarchary Taylor's family property bordered the Floyd holdings along what is now Brownsboro Rd., and the Taylors were literally next door neighbors to Lucy Clark Croghan. The other end of the Floyd holdings touched Taylorsville Rd. near Bowman Field Airport. Further out Taylorsville Road was the plantations of the numerous Taylor cousins, Gov. Floyd's brother, George Rogers Clark Floyd, and property owned by Robert Clark Floyd.

"It is my quest for information about Robert Clark Floyd's wife Lillian that has led me to some information that I am not quite sure what it means, but I think there is something significant buried in it. I will send you the information via snail mail if you send me your address, Ellen.

"Robert Clark Floyd's wife is believed to be Lillian Hampton based upon the 1779 Henrico Co. will of Lilleyann Hampton. In it, she mentions a son, John (I am doing this from memory, may not be John; his first name is immaterial) Russell, daughter Lilleyann Flewd, and son Samuel Parker. Since it's customary to name children in birth order, It would appear that Lillian Hampton was married 3 times (Russell, Parker, Hampton) and as Lilleyann is between two brothers it is more probable that her maiden name was either Russell or Parker, and not Hampton. I believe it to be Parker. The reason why is that Samuel Parker turns up in Jefferson Co. in the late 1700's, at the same time Robert Clark Floyd and wife Lillian is here. Samuel Parker has a daughter named Lillian. His daughter marries Haley Buckner. Haley Buckner is the nephew of Philip and Tabitha Daniel. Robert Floyd sells property near Jeffersontown to Philip Buckner. Haley Buckner settles in Shelby Co. near the Jefferson Co. line, near where Robert Floyd had property. Robert's brother Charles was present at the death of Walker Daniel. At the very least, all these people knew each other quite well.

"The name Lillian is an unusual name for the time period. In an effort to find connection of Lillian Russell Parker Hampton to the Floyds, thereby ascertaining the likelyhood that the Lilleyann Flewd in the will was the wife of Robert Clark Floyd, I looked at all the parties who were a party to the will, and didn't have to dig too deep. The executor of the will was Devereaux Gilliam. Devereaux's wife was a daughter of Charles Ellis, of Pedlar Mills VA. Charles Ellis bought property in Pedlar Mills from Abadiah Davis' brother, and the Ellis-Gilliam-Davis families are intermarried, thus making highly likely that the Lilleyann Flewd in the will is Robert's wife.

"I have been on a quest to link the name Lillian to the Parker, Russell and Hampton families. As part of the digging process I turned up an old Russell family history at the Louisville Public Library. In there is reference to the Russells, John Smith of Jamestown, Opechancanough, and Morris Loyd. There are intstances of Loyd/Floyd being the same family, mislabeled because of handwriting. This had me thinking about the social standing of Abadiah Davis. The Cabell, Venable and Burke connections were very prosperous and well-connected. Pocahontas was considered royalty, and therefore Abadiah must have been considered "a catch" for the time period. William Floyd was not wealthy, and much of what they had appears to have connections to the Davis family. What would make William Floyd an acceptable marriage for Abadiah? The one thing that comes to mind is family connections that date back several generations. While none of the Floyds themselves became wealthy, they appear to have married into prominent families and have the connections that come to one either through money or family connections. What if there is an earlier intangible connection between the families?"


Then we have this, sent to me by Alex Luken:

In June court 1741, a suit was settled and recorded in Order Book 4, page 546. The suit is reported in part as follows:

A suit in Chancery Court, Goochland County between Harris Wilson and John Wilson by Richard Parker, their next friend, plaintiff, and William Bostick and Micah his wife, John Bostick, Wm. Floyd and Wm. Burgamy, defendants. The sheriff having returned the subpoenas executed on John Bostick, and he failing to appear, ordered a judgement be issued against John Bostick, Wm. Bostick and wife Micah, Wm. Floyd and Wm. Burgamy.

Alex: "It is interesting to note that a deed dated 16 Apr 1755, executed about 13 years after the above suit. Harris Wilson and John Wilson (mentioned above) of Cumberland County, VA (Cumberland formed from Goochland in 1748) sold to John Bostick, for 100 pounds, 150 acres surveyed for Peter Burgamy, dec'd, it being the plantation where William Bostick now lives. This was part of 350 acres sold to Richard Wilson, dec'd, and Richard Wilson left to his two sons, Harris and John Wilson. The deed was proved in May Court 1755."




  • 1. 37. i. ELIZABETH R.6 FLOYD,
    • b. 1774, VA.
  • 2. 38. ii. JUDGE DAVIS FLOYD,
    • b. 1776, VA;
    • d. 12 December 1831, Leon Co., FL.
  • 3. iii. SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD [154],[155],
    • b. 1780, KY [156];
    • d. 20 August 1804, the Lewis and Clark expedition on the bank of the Missouri River near Sioux City, IA.
      • More About SERGEANT CHARLES FLOYD: Burial: 20 August 1804, Sergt. Floyd's Bluff on the Missouri River near Sioux City, IA
  • 4. 39. iv. MARY LEE FLOYD,
    • b. 1793, Jefferson Co., KY;
    • d. 25 June 1875, Calviton Plantation, Jefferson Co., MS.



"Born in Kentucky, son of Robert Clark Floyd, and a grandson of William and Abadiah (Davis) Floyd. He was one of the first to enlist in the party, which he did on August 1) 1803, in Kentucky, and is therefore listed as one of the "Nine young men from Kentucky." He was a cousin of Nathaniel Pryor, also one of the party. Captain Clark called him "A man of much merit." He kept a journal which is published in Thwaites' edition of the Lewis and Clark journals. He died on August 20, 1804, of what has since been diagnosed as a ruptured appendix - the only man to die on the expedition. He is buried at Floyd's Bluff, on the Missouri near Sioux City, Iowa. He was posthumously awarded a land grant, which was deeded to his brother, Davis, and two sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Lee Floyd. " Charles G. Clarke, " The Men of the Lewis and Clark Expedition: A Biographical Roster of the Fifty-One Members and a Composite Diary of their Activities from all Known Sources (Glendale: Arthur H. Clark, 1970), 37-61."

There has been considerable debate about who the parents of Sergeant Charles Floyd of the expedition were; I now believe there is little question that Robert is his father. Sergeant Floyd is the child of Robert Clark Floyd, not Charles, as N.J. Floyd asserted. Discussions in these notes reflect my gradually turning view over time, but I have also removed some incorrect speculations that I had adopted.


Later in November, 2002, about two years after the above notes, courtesy of Alex Luken of Kentucky, I have a copy of Mary Lee Floyd's letter to Lyman C. Draper, Oct. 5th, 1872, which is contained in Clifton Davis' letter of 1946 cited in the footnotes:

"...I remember nothing of General Clark's expedition to the Rocky Mountains as I was a child, except that I had a brother who went with him, and who died during the expedition. His name was 'Charles Floyd.' Col. John Floyd was my uncle. My father's name was 'Robert.' Col. Geo. R. C. Floyd was my first cousin; he lived in Ky and left one son John G. Floyd. I know nothing of him but refer you to the daughter of Gov. John Floyd of Va., Mrs. Holmes of University of Va.... Mrs. Mary Lee Walton"

All of these people are recorded in these notes.

In his celebrated work, "Undaunted Courage," 1996, Stephen Ambrose says of the forming of the Lewis and Clark expedition: "Seven of the men the captains picked had previously been conditionally approved by Clark, two by Lewis. They made Charles Floyd and Nathaniel Pryor sergeants. Floyd was the son of Captain Charles Floyd, who had soldiered with George Rogers Clark. When these nine men were sworn into the army, in solemn ceremony, in the presence of General Clark, the Corps of Discovery was born." p. 118, my edition is the first, printed in 1996. He footnotes Appleman, "Lewis and Clark," p. 57.


N.J. Floyd, op. cit., 1912, notes: "This young man seems to have been quite a favorite in the large family of which he was a member. He was less sedate than his eldest brother and was more responsive to the call of the forests and streams contiguous to the settlement, than to the silent suggestion of the crude log schoolhouse belonging to the neighborhood. He eagerly mastered the secrets of the former, but the dogeared elementary books of the latter contained mysteries that were too irksome for a youth with red blood in his veins; and though he picked up a moderately fair "backwoods education," it can be safely surmised, on the authority of a journal kept by him, which came to light ninety years after his death--and which the Floyd Memorial Association, of Sioux City, Iowa, has had lithographed in full--that the log schoolhouse probably never awarded him a premium for spelling or writing. But the same has been said "of many far wiser than he"; for instance, of his father's friend, General George Rogers Clark.... When Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, commissioned by President Jefferson, 1803, were carefully selecting men to form the small party which was to explore the vast 'Louisiana Purchase,' almost as large as the entire territory of the United States as it then was, it was but natural that Charles Floyd, Jr., should have been chosen as the first in command under themselves. The father of one and the elder brother of the other had acted in concert with his father and uncles in many trying situations, and personal association among the young men themselves also dictated the appointment."


Sergeant Charles Floyd accompanied Lewis and Clark on the trip into the West, 1803-1806. He died on the Missouri River in 1804, the first American soldier to die west of the Mississippi. He kept a journal of the trip, and it complements the Lewis journal. He was buried near present day Sioux City, Iowa, on a bluff the explorers named after him-- Floyd's Bluff. A large monument is there today, placed there under an Act of Congress by the Army Corps of Engineers, Hiram Chittenden, a Corps officer, directing the work, about 1904. The Floyds and the Lewises and the the Clarks were all known to one another. Interestingly, young Meriwether Lewis was partially raised in Oglethorpe Co., Ga., where the Stewarts and Floyds from Va. and Ky. lived, after his father died and his mother remarried and accompanied her husband there. Meriwether later returned to his family lands near Charlottesville, and became Thomas Jefferson's secretary for a time before the expedition was formed. Young Floyd's death on the expedition was tragic; his was the only death of the company in the harrowing journey across the continent. (cf Stephen Ambrose, Undaunted Courage).


From the Merriwether Lewis Journal:

"20th August Monday 1804...I am Dull & heavy been up the greater Part of last night with Serjt. Floyd, who is as bad as he can be to live...We set out under a jental Breeze from the S.E....We came to make a warm bath for Sergt. Floyd hoping it would brace him a little, before we get him into his bath he expired, with a great deel of composure..haveing Said to me before his death that he was going away and wished me to write a letter...We buried him to the top of a high round hill overlooking the river & Countrey for a great distance situated just below a small river without a name to which we name & call Floyds river, the Bluffs Sergt. Floyds Bluff...we buried him with all the honors of War, and fixed a Ceeder post at his head with his name title and Day of the month & year...we returned to the Boat & proceeded to the Mouth of the little river 30 yd wide & camped a beautiful evening."

Sergeant Charles Floyd is dead, probably from a burst appendix, and is buried near present-day Sioux City, Iowa.


Steve Everley at <> who will reenact Charles Floyd on the US Park Service- sanctioned official reenactment of the trip west, sent me this note about Charles' Journal, August 2001:

"Dear Mr. Steve Everley: The Wisconsin Historical Society Archives does indeed hold the Charles Floyd diary. It is part of the Draper Manuscripts, specifically volume 6 of Draper series M, "The William Clark Papers." The original is available for use here at the Society headquarters. In addition the entire collection of Draper Manuscripts is on microfilm and available at many libraries throughout the nation.

  • Sincerely, Harold L. Miller Reference Archivist Wisconsin Historical Society
  • 816 State Street
  • Madison WI 53706-1482"


From the wonderful Lewis and Clark pages of the Public Broadcasting System site at:

"Sergeant Charles Floyd was born in Kentucky, and was among the first to volunteer for service in the Corps, joining on August l, 1803. Among those included as one of the “Nine young men from Kentucky,” Floyd was a cousin of the expedition’s Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor. Considered a “man of much merit” by Captain Clark, he kept an uninterrupted daily record from May 14, 1804, until August 18, two days prior to his untimely death on August 20. Floyd’s death was the only fatality among expedition members during the two years, four months and nine days of their transcontinental odyssey.

"Floyd’s published journal reproduces verbatim his inspired spelling and fractured grammar, characteristics found also in the journals of the two captains and the four enlisted men who kept journals. Floyd’s journal has been published jointly with that of Corps member, Sergeant John Ordway, as Volume 9, The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, Gary E. Moulton, Editor, 11 volumes to date (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1995).

"Floyd’s entries are laconic but factual. In the spirit of President Jefferson’s instructions and perhaps drawing from an agrarian background, Floyd judged land quality, including soil conditions, enroute up the Missouri. Contributing his personal assessments of what he observed, Floyd, on May 25, 1804, wrote, “[T]he land is Good & handsom the Soil Rich;” June 4, “[A] Butifull a peas of Land as ever I saw.” On June 7, he recorded his own interpretations of Indian pictographs as “pictures of the Devil and other things.” Floyd’s August 7 entry is the only detailed description of Private Moses Reed's “Desarte [desertion] from us with out aney Jest Case [just cause].”

"Unfortunately, Floyd’s contributions to the journey, together with his journal, ended with his premature death. As “Diagnosed” by the captains, Floyd’s illness was considered to be a “bilious cholic.” They could not be faulted for preventing his death, which medical historians have concluded was from a ruptured appendix.

"Captain Clark's journal entry for August 20, reads: “Sergeant Floyd much weaker and no better...Floyd as bad as he can be no pulse & nothing will stay a moment on his Stomach or bowels. Floyd Died with a great deal of Composure, before his death he Said to me, ‘I am going away I want you to write me a letter.’ We buried him on the top of the bluff. 1/2 Mile below [is] a Small river to which we Gave his name, He was buried with the Honors of War much lamented, a Seeder post with the Name Sergt. C. Floyd died here 20th of august 1804 was fixed at the head of his grave. This Man at all times gave us proofs of his firmness and Determined resolution to doe Service to his Countrey and honor to himself. after paying all the honor to our Decesed brother we camped in the Mouth of Floyds River about 30 yards wide, a butiful evening” Today, Floyd enjoys the honor of having had erected at his gravesite in present Sioux City, Iowa, the most prestigious memorial of the explorers. A 100 foot high sandstone masonry obelisk, second in size only to that of the Washington Monument, was dedicated in fitting ceremonies on Memorial Day 1901. Dedication speaker for the occasion was Dr. Elliott Coues, editor of the 1893 annotated reprint of the 1814 Biddle Allen edition of the journals. Coues spoke eloquently of the exploring enterprise:

" 'I must confess that I am what my friends call me – ‘a Lewis and Clark enthusiast.’ But I do not think that anyone can read that ‘national epic of exploration’ without sharing my enthusiasm. It is one of the grandest episodes in the history of our country. Every American can be proud of it. Every person in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South and North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – for the expedition passed through all these states – has an interest in the immortal achievements of these dauntless pioneers. For every Iowan this interest focuses about the saddest incident of the whole journey – the death of Charles Floyd. ' "


Anna Cartlidge in her 1966 unpublished work says Charles Floyd is the son of Robert Clark Floyd. She also has a Charles Stewart Floyd, b. 1788, as the son of Charles and Mary. I note both N.J. Floyd, 1912, and William Floyd Tuley, 1906, say he is the son of Charles, Senior. Additionally all the data passed down through the two first children of Col. John Floyd, Mourning and John Burford Floyd, support Charles as the father. However, researchers should note the comments I have under Mary Lee Floyd, presumably Robert Floyd's daughter and Sergeant Floyd's sister.

N.J. Floyd notes the effort to determine Charles' parents during the planning of the memorial at his place of death: "As soon as the memorial association was formed it commenced an effort to ascertain if anything could be learned concerning the ancestry of the young man whose memory they wished to honor, and though they doubtless heard traditions hoary with age, they were not fully satisfied till in 1906, they received from a relative in Kentucky a letter, falling to pieces with age, written in 1804 by a boy brother of Sergeant Floyd. It said: 'Dear Nancy: Our dear Charles died on the Voyage of Colick. He was well cared for as Clark was there. My heart is too full to say more (some indistinct words follow) I will see you soon. Your brother Nat.'

The writer was Dr. Nathaniel Wilson Floyd who in early manhood made his home near Lynchburg, Virginia. He was eleven years old when his brother Charles died; and "Dear Nancy" was their sister who had recently married George Rogers, a first cousin of General George Rogers Clark and his brother William Clark of the Expedition. The letter was over a century old when it was resurrected by Mrs. Susan Floyd Gunter, of 1627 Brook Street, Louisville, Kentucky, Her mother was a favorite and "chummy" first cousin of "Dear Nancy" and Sergeant Charles, and had treasured the little note as a sad memento."


Kirk LeCompte <kirk.lecompte@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG> who is a Floyd descendant also, sent the following concerning Charles on 4 Apr 2001: " Pat, I received one of the source material books about Charles Floyd. It makes interesting reading, but of particular note is a direct rebuttal of Charles Floyd of the Lewis & Clark expedition as son of Charles Floyd, Sr. I have transcribed that portion below. Yater makes a strong case, but we still need to chase his sources.


From "Nine Young Men From Kentucky" by George H. Yater and Carolyn S. Denton, May 1992, WPO Publication No. 11, WPO is for We Proceeded On, the official publication of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation, Inc. from page 5... 'Some researchers have concluded that Sergeant Floyd was the son of Charles Floyd, the near-neighbor of the Field family on Pond Creek. This confusion is understandable, since Charles Floyd also had a son named Charles, the first cousin of Sergeant Floyd. A scrap of a letter may also have contributed to the confusion. This letter, apparently now missing, was once in the possession of the Floyd Memorial Association in Sioux City. It is from Nathaniel Floyd, son of the elder Charles, to his sister Nancy. He had apparently just read the letter that Sergeant Floyd had dictated to Clark. Nathaniel wrote that: "Our dear Charles died on the voyage of the colic. He was well cared for, as Clark was there, my heart is too full to say any more... I will see you soon, your brother Nat." Nat was speaking of his cousin, but it would be easy to conclude that he was speaking of his brother.

'That Robert Clark Floyd was the sergeant's father is obvious from the heirs who actually came into possession of the land warrant. Also, on November 26, 1807, in the same letter that recommended to the War Department a lieutenancy for Reubin Field, Clark also recommended a captaincy for an R.C. Floyd. Only one Floyd had those initials - Robert Clark Floyd. It was probably Clark's way of compensating in some measure for Robert Clark's loss of a son. Robert Floyd served as an officer in the Kentucky militia and in 1796 had been promoted to major. Finally, Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton, Sergeant Floyd's youngest sister, noted in a letter to Lyman C. Draper, that remarkable collector of manuscripts and recollections of the early West, that her father's name was Robert.'

FYI - the letter dictated to Clark is documented but lost. It would make a great find. No one knows what it said. I would like to see more definitive documentation as to who the children of R.C. Clark were, as well as definitive documentation that shows the existence of a Charles, Jr., son of Charles Sr, after the death of the Charles of the L&C Expedition. However, it is clear that at least two very good scholars are convinced of the R.C. version. He cites as his sources (a) Donald Jackson, Letters of the Lewis & Clark Expedition (Urbana: Univerity of Illinois Press, 1962) pages 370-371, (b) Anna Margaret Cartlidge, Children and Grandchildren of William & Abidiah (Davis) Floyd, (Baltimore: the author, 1966), unpaged, and (c) Letter of Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton of Vicksburg, Miss. to Lyman C. Draper, October 5, 1872, Draper Manuscripts 13VV120. Regards, Kirk LeCompte <kirk.lecompte@Alum.Dartmouth.ORG>"


Later, he adds in a note to Alex Luken: "I can't help wondering why his (N.J. Floyd's) accounts are so contradictory to Mary Lee (Floyd) Walton's, given that Mary Lee and Nicholas Jackson were contemporaries. Apparently, they didn't know each other, which is unfortunate.... But what I find particularly odd, is that Anna Cartlidge assigns a Charles Stewart Floyd to Charles Floyd I. By her account, N.J. Floyd and this Charles would have been uncle and nephew and certainly known each other, as N.J. would have been 28 years old by the time this Charles died. So how could there be confusion in N.J.'s mind as to which Charles went on the L&C Corps of Discovery? Do you know of anyone who is tracing the lineage of Judge Davis Floyd, who was purportedly Mary Lee's brother? N.J. assigns Davis Floyd to Charles I. Davis Floyd's record is well established and I am wondering whether anyone has done the research to find out whether he left a trail about his parentage and brotherhood with Charles II. Perhaps the Filson Club has some of his papers too? I assume the marriage records of the time do not mention parentage, but if they do, Anna Cartlidge references marriage records for Davis and others. Certainly, if N.J. got Davis's parents wrong, then it is even more likely he got the others wrong too. Ironically, N.J. Floyd, who is a child of Nathaniel Wilson Floyd, has no living descendants (at least as far as I know). The only great-grandchild that I am aware of, John Talburtt Berry, Jr., died in 1993 unmarried. I am trying to find out what happened to his research. As of now, I don't know what became of it, but I am still looking. Regards, Kirk LeCompte"


Finally, in this regard, we have another who wrote me in April 2001, Larry Reno <> " Pat: (ed.: he writes in reply to my query)... The proof involves reams. My cousin's paper is 31 pages, plus several letters; Anna Cartlidge's two unpublished papers (both filed with the DAR) are another 52 pages; Thad Kinnaman's are another 10 (excerpts). That's not even including stuff from the Draper Manuscripts - he's the man who found Sgt. Floyd's Diary; etc.... Robert Clark Floyd... the father of Sgt. Floyd, (is) somehow... omitted from NJ's book, and also the father of Davis Floyd, a very famous (infamous?) man in Indiana, for whom Floyd Co. IN is named. (ed.: Then, referring to N.J. Floyd's possible misreporting the parentage of Sergeant Floyd because of southern sympathies) ... Re: the Northern comment. Isn't it obvious. Pictures (ed.: in NJ Floyd's 1912 book) of all the Floyd CSA officers. Charles Stewart Floyd went north from KY to IL. 6 of his sons fought for the Union, 4 were killed. NJ says Mary Stewart Floyd died at the home of a daughter in Bond Co, IL, without naming anyone. She died at the home of her son, Charles Stewart Floyd, my 2Great-Grandfather. NJ's "picture" of Charles Floyd of KY is bogus, as you may now. It's actually Charles Floyd of GA.... NJ was justifiably proud of his service under Cadmus Wilcox.... My cousin's paper is entitled The Paternity of Sgt. Charles Floyd of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Children of Robert Clark Floyd (1752-1807) and Charles Floyd (1760-1828). It has 194 footnotes... Larry" (Larry Reno has since sent me this paper by James C. Mordy, "The Paternity of Sgt. Charles Floyd....", March, 2000, and it is truly excellent.)

Of interest also in all the debate over the famous Dear Nancy letter, now missing(?), is that there was a Nat on the expedition-- Sergeant Nathaniel Hale Pryor, shown elsewhere in these notes. He was a first cousin of Charles Floyd, his mother Nancy Floyd, the sister of Robert. His letter could have been written home and carried back on the first return shipment-- and he had a sister Nancy!

The weight of evidence has shifted completely and finally away from N. J. Floyd's assertions of 1912, and from those who have adopted them, as I had until 2001.

These interesting records from Alex Luken show this Charles as the first constable in Clarksville, Clark County, Indiana (and Larry Reno, op, cit., notes that "Quite a few references say that he was the first Constable at Clarkville. He lived on that side of the river with his father, who ran a ferry...."):


4/7/1801 First court session called by William Henry HARRISON

  • Called "Court of the General Quarter Sessions of the Peace"
  • Justices:
    • Marston Green CLARK,
    • Abraham HUFF,
    • James Noble WOOD,
    • Thomas DOWNS,
    • William GOODWIN,
    • John GIBSON,
    • Charles TULEY,
    • William HARWOOD

Clark County divided into three townships with three constables appointed:

  • Clarksville Charles FLOYD,
  • Springville William F. TULEY,
  • Spring Hill Robert WARDEL

Officers of the Court appointed:

  • Protho-notary Samuel GWATHMEY;
  • Probate Judge Jesse ROWLAND;
  • Recorder Davis FLOYD;
  • Treasurer Thomas DOWNS;
  • Sheriff Samuel HAY;
  • County Surveyor Marston Green CLARK
view all

Maj. Robert Clark Floyd's Timeline

Albemarle and Amherst County, Province of Virginia
Age 22
Province of Virginia
Age 24
Virginia, United States
Age 28
Virginia, United States
Age 41
Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States
March 7, 1807
Age 55
Jefferson County, Kentucky, United States