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Ancient Planters: Clay Family

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  • John Nichols (aft.1543 - 1597)
    HAPLOGROUP G-S2808 English Origin of Sergeant Francis Nichols of Stratford, Connecticut," an article in the October 2000 edition of "The American Genealogist" [Vol. 75, No. 4, p. 267-271], concludes th...
  • Martha Stanley (1660 - 1734)
    Martha Born 1660 in Chesterfield, Henrico County, Virginia perhaps the Daughter of Charles Clay, of Charles City & Henrico and Hannah Stanley - unproven Wife of Ralph Blankenship Sr — married abo...
  • John Clay, VIII (1668 - 1748)
  • Emlin Clay (b. - aft.1664)
    JOHN CLAY (Ancient Planter) married (1), about 1624, Ann --Issue by (1) William 2 appointed constable for Weyanoke parish, 2 Feb. 1659/60. 11 sold land near the Ashen Swamp to Joseph Harwood, 3. Nov. 1...
  • William Carlton (c.1538 - aft.1566)
    * Updated from MyHeritage Family Trees via daughter Mary Clay (born Caulton) by SmartCopy : Dec 16 2014, 19:25:21 UTC

John Clay(e), Ancient Planter


  • To reconcile the Geni presentation with the "traditional" pedigree
  • Document & supplement any corrections needed to the pedigree


  • The traditional pedigree seemed valid, the geni tree did not
  • The geni tree corrected to conform to pedigree, completed December 2015

The traditional pedigree:

SIR JOHN3 CLAY I (JOHN "OF GLOUCHESTER"2, JOHN "OF DERBY"1) was born 1558 in Wales, England, and died May 16, 1632 in England. 

He married ?MARY CARLTON, daughter of WILLIAM CARLTON.  She was born Abt 1566 in England, and died in England.

Their third child:

JOHN4 CLAY (SIR JOHN3, JOHN "OF GLOUCHESTER"2, JOHN "OF DERBY"1) was born Abt 1592 in Monmouthshire, Wales, and died Abt 1638 in Charles City County, Virginia. 

He married ANNE Bef. 1613 in London, England.  She was born in England, and died in Virginia.

Children of JOHN CLAY and ANNE are:

  1. JOHN5 CLAY, b. Abt 1624, Charles City County, Va; d. Abt 1647, Charles City County, Va.
  2. WILLIAM CLAY, b. Abt 1628, Charles City County, Virginia; d. 1663, Charles City County, Va; m. EMLIN.

Quick reference:

The geni tree, corrections noted.

Capt. John Clay, Ancient Planter was born about 1587 in Monmouthshire, Wales, England. [SIC: England]. John Clay died about 1654 [SIC: before 1638] in Charles City, Virginia.

He was the son of Sir John Clay, "Coal Baron of Wales" & Mary Carlton [check this]

John married Anne Clay, Ancient Planter (Nichols) [SIC: no proof of Nichols name] about 1612 in England and had four [SIC: two] children:

  1. John Clay, Il [inserted as per comments below]
  2. William Clay, of Weyanoke Parish
  3. Thomas Clay [SIC: not his son]
  4. Francis Clay [SIC: not his son]

Ann died before 1645. [SIC: before 1638]

John then married Elizabeth Tate [SIC: this was John ll, son of John "Ancient Planter"]

Their son

  1. Charles Clay, of Charles City & Henrico born 1638 in Charles City, Virginia and died 1 June 1686 in Henrico, Virginia. He married Hannah Wilson, who survived him and married Edward Stanley 2nd.

Elizabeth married 2nd to John Wall, of Charles City and third to John Tate, of Charles City. She was living in Henrico as of February 1686.


In Hotten's, In "List of Emigrants To America 1600 -1700", a "muster of inhabitants to Virginia, includes, "a muster of inhabitants of Jordan's Journey, Charles City, the 21st of January 1624". The section contains the muster of John Clay, noting Clay arrived in Jamestown, Virginia aboard the "Treasurer" February 1613 and his wife Ann arrived on the ship, "Ann", August 1623. John's servant, William Nicholas arrived on the "Dutie" in May 1619.

Patent 210 granted John Clay twelve hundred acres in Charles Citie County, Virginia. The lands were granted by order of the Court of Francis Hooke. Up to the head of Ward's creek and bounded on the north by James River. one hundred acres to him as an old planter before the government of Sir Thomas Dale and the other eleven hundred for the transportation of twenty two persons by the West July 13, 1635, Ledger 1 page 230. These lands were near the present day City Point, a few miles from what is now Chesterfield County, Virgina. (Notable Southern Families, the Clay Family, by Frances Powell Otken, The Lookout).


From Genealogy of VA Families VII 1981 Some Notes on the Clay Family p 77-80 Contributed by the late Reverend Stephen O. Southall

Now, what children did JOHN CLAY, the immigrant have? Bad luck in the way of missing records follows us.
In most cases when a man was granted land the names of the persons he transported are given under the patent; but not so with JOHN CLAY. He transported by 1635 twenty-tw0 (22) persons; but their names are not given. Had their names been given, then our troubles would be at an end. It was not required that the person transported should come over in the same ship with the person who transported them. Clay’s wife and his servant come over at different times, and the rest came at another time.
General Green Clay calls the firs JOHN CLAY "the English Grenadier", while some of the records call him "Captain". We wonder if he made several trips between Virginia and England. Be that as it may, the public records say nothing about it.
We can find only two children who might be sons of JOHN CLAY, viz: a William Clay and A John Clay who lived just across the river from ward’s Creek where "the Grenadier" lived. William Clay, who sold the land to William Bayly (as stated in Bayly’s patent; see above), is called "the son of JOHN CLAY" and also William Clay, the younger." As there was a William Clay, the younger," there must have been a William Clay, the elder.

Therefore, we have for the first JOHN CLAY, the immigrant, two sons,


William Clay; possibly he is the William Clay n the north side of James River.

John Clay; maybe he, too, was the son of JOHN CLAY who was on the north side of James River.

General Green Clay’s account says that this second John Clay had several sons, but only two of them are known, viz:

William Clay, "the younger", who sold land to William Bayly, as we have seen above. We know nothing more of him.

Charles Clay, born 1638, died 1688 who married Hannah Wilson and whose descendants are well accounted for by Mrs. Mary Rogers Clay in her book, The Clay Family.

1. This Charles Clay (born 1638; died 1686) married Hannah Wilson and had a son Henry Clay (born 1672, died 1760) married Mary Mitchell, and had a son, Charles Clay (born 1716, died 1789) married Martha Green, and were the parents of General Green Clay (born 1757, died 1823).

Ancient Planters

From re: Order of Descendants of Ancient Planters

The term "Ancient Planter" is applied to those persons who arrived in Virginia before 1616, remained for a period of three years, paid their passage, and survived the massacre of 1622. They received the first patents of land in the new world as authorized by Sir Thomas Dale in 1618 for their personal adventure.

List of Approved Ancient Planters

  • Ann Clay(e)
  • John Clay(e)


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