John Clay & Anne
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Charles City Co., Va Records Weisiger 975.544W

Page 153 Fragment of an Order Book Book 1641-1642 (Mss 3c3807 a26)

Thomas Drawsey professed to court that JOHN CLAY, Sr. owed him 50 lbs tobacco, and CLAY is to pay.

Deed 2 Oct. in 10th year of reign of Our Sovereign Lord, Charles, Thomas Pawlett of Westover, Va., Esq., to John Fludd, Gent of same, for diverse goods, etc. 50 acres in Corporation of Charles City, next to land of JOHN CLAY and John Davies, next to another parcel now in possession of said Fludd A.D. 1634

Wit: John Hermon, Edward Fellowes

Signed: Tho. Pawlett Recorded 1 April 1642


Virginia Colonial Abstract, Charles City County 1655-1568

Page 19 page 24 Abstract. Deed. 17 Dec. 1655. William Clay of Westover Par., sells John Dibdall, minister, for 2500 lb. Tobo. And cask, 550 acres. This land part of 1000 acres "bought by my father JOHN CLAY dec’d of Capt Edd Hoeke of Virginia aforesd com’nly called and Knowne by the name of Clayes Clossett". Of the balance of 450 acres, 400 acres was sold to Willm Bayly, and "fiftie given by me to Cornelius Clemence". Land lying on the South West side or South and by West of the Crosse Creeke.

Wit: Signed "Wm Clay

Hamblin the seale

H. Pryse his x mk"

Rec. 22 Dec. 1655

Page 101 page 132. Howell Pryse hath proved right by testimony and assignment granted unto him for 3950 acres of land for the importation of

JOHN CLAY… & others


Seventeenth Century Isle of Wight

Bacon’s Rebellion

Page 160 "Thus as in duty bound, Praying for His Majesties Temporal and Eternal Happiness and your Honors prosperity, we subscribe ourselves His Majesties Obedient and Loyal Subjects. [Cal. State Papers, Vol. 39, Folio 84. PRR. London.]


Some Isle of Wight Families

Page 212-4

JOHN CLAY was the first of this family in Virginia. He was living at Jordan’s Journey, Charles City County, in 1625, when he made a muster of his family in the census of that year, as follows:

‘JOHN CLAYE, in the Treasurer, February 1613

ANN, his wife, in the Ann, August 1623

William Nichols, servant, aged 16 in the Duke, May, 1619."

On the 13th of July, 1635, he was granted 1200 acres in Charles City County, bounded on the land of Captain Francis Hooke—to the head of Wards Creek and east upon the same, and north by the James River. 100 acres due him as an Ancient Planter before the time of Sir Thomas Dale and 1100 acres for the transportation of 22 persons.

August 23, 1643, John Wall patented 1790 acres on Chippoakes Creek, between John Hooke and William Pilkington, adacent John Clay and John Freme.

One William Bailey patented 400 acres of land in Charles City, May 1st, 1655 "part of a dividend of 200 acres granted Captain Francis Hooke 26 October, 1637, and assigned to John Clay and John Freme and by inheritance descended unto William Clay son of said John and by William Bailey purchased of said William Clay, the younger."

[Dianne’s note: see references that explain the John I and John II Clay theory. The last 2 paragraphs are believed to be John II.]


Treesearching with Doris    Boyd Co, Press Observer Jan 19, 1976

…Sir John Clay (1558-1632)…had a son Captain JOHN CLAY (1587-1656) who was a British Grenadier. Would you like to know what a British Grenadier was? I was curious, and found that apparently he was one of a special company of soldiers attached to each British regiment or battalion. This company was posted at the right of the battle line, and its members wore a special uniform. It must have been an elite corps, with an outstanding leader as captain.

Was it love of adventure or ambition to become a prosperous landowner which brought Captain JOHN to Virginia at the age of 26 on the ship Treasurer, arriving in February of 1613? If the later, he achieved his desire. He was married in Virginia to ANN (last name not known), who arrived on the ship Ann in August , 1623. Wonder if she was one of the maids brought out as wives for the colonists or a girl he had know how had inspired him to come to America t found a home for them?

Captain JOHN and ANN settled at Jordans Journey in Charles City County. He had a patent, dated July 13, 1635, for 1200 acres of land, the first 100 due him as an "old planter" before the government of Sir Thomas Dale, and the other 1100 for "transporting" (paying for passage of) 22 emigrants. This couple had four sons: Francis, William, Thomas, and Charles.

[Dianne’s note: The sons referenced are believed to be incorrect per other articles.]


Clay Tentative Lineage by Ruth Clay Burrell, Peggy Carswell Peacock, and Shirley Langdon Wilcox September 22, 1983

Charles Clay (1645-1686) and his wife, Hannah Wilson are our earliest proven ancestors, but the records that do exist, and Traditions passed down through various branches of the family, lend validity to the belief that these were indeed our forebearers.

Sir John Claye (Tradition) Coal Baron of Wales; Knighted by Queen Elizabeth I, and given lands in Monmouthshire, Wales; said to be the son of John Claye of Glouchester, who was the son of John Claye of Derby, Knighted by Edward IV at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471; b. ca 1565, probably Glouchester Co., England; d. ca 1632, probably Monmouthshire, Wales; wife unknown; the traditional names of his three sons were: Richard, William, JOHN (Called "The English Grenadier")

JOHN (Called "The Englilsh Grenadier") b. ca 1592, probably Monmouthshire, Wales; d ca 1638, Charles City Co., Va; md. ca 1623, probably at Jamestown to ANNE _____, who arrived in Aug 1623 on the "Ann".

It is generally believed that JOHN CLAY was a young man when he came to Virginia as one of the Muskeeters ("Gernadier" or foot soldier) aboard Captain Samuel Argall’s ship "Treasurer", and that he never returned to England. As an "Ancient Planter" before the time of Sir Thomas Dale’s departure for England in 1616, with the land patents attributed to him, it seems that he remained in the Colony, and that he married in Virginia. Besides, there were no children listed in JOHN CLAY’s Muster (Census) of 1624.

Hotten says that JOHN CLAY arrived in the Colony in 1613 on the "Treasurer". In a letter from Captain Samuel Argall to a friend, Nicholas Hawes, we learn that the "Treasurer" arrived at Point Comfort on the 17th of September, 1612 (Ref: The Genesis of the United States, by Alexander Brown, p 640).

JOHN CLAY (Called "The English Grenadier"), b. ca 1592, probably Monmouthshire, Wales; d. ca 1638, Charles City Co., Va; md. ca 1623, probably at Jamestown to ANNE _____. Who arrived in 1623 on the "ANN". [Notes written in say: Settled at Jordans Journey in Charles City, Co. Patent dated July 13, 1635 for 1200 acres.] Had sons:

John Jr. B ca 1624, probably Charles City Co., Va; d. ca 1647, probably Charles City Co., Va.; md. ca 1644, probably Charles City Co., Va. to Elizabeth _____m who survived him to md. (2) John Wall and (3) John Tate

William b ca 1628 Charles City Co., Va; d 1663 Wayanoke Parish, Charles City Co, VA…md ca 1656 Emlin… 


[Dianne’s note: the below may be incorrect. It appears there were 2 John Clay’s & this article combines both.]

Adventurers of Purse and Person Jester

CLAY p 192-3

JOHN 1 CLAY, earliest American Ancestor of Henry Clay of Kentucky, came to Virginia, Feb 1613/4, in the Treasurer and was among the Ancient Planters accorded certain privileges by the Virginia Company for settling in the colony before 1616. His wife ANN, listed with him in the muster, 1624/5, came to Virginia in the Ann, Aug. 1623 2 They settled at "Jordan’s Journey," Charles City on the south side of James River below the site of the present city of Hopewell. On 13 July 1635 JOHN CLAY patented 1200 acres of land in Charles City, bounding from land granted by order of Court to Capt. Francis Hooke to the land of Ward his creek, east upon the same, southwest into the maine land and north upon James River, 100 acres being due him as an old planter before the government of Sir. Thomas Dale and 1100 acres due for the transportation of 22 persons. 3

CLAY also owned land on the north side of James River near "Westover", described in patents to Richard Milton, 29 Nov. 1636 and 26 May 1637. 4 In addition to these holdings, he owned 1000 acres called "Clay’s Clossett," which adjoined his 1635 patent on the south side of the James. This was part of a 2000 acre tract which he, together with John Frame, had purchased from Capt. Francis Hooke. 5

JOHN CLAY married (1), about 1624, ANN ______ and (2), before 1645, Elizabeth _____, who married (2) John Wall of Charles City. Wall conveyed two ewes, 3 Oct 1660, to his "sonne in Law" [step-son] Charles Clay. 6 Wall had patented land 20 Sept. 1629 adjoining John 1 Clay. 7 He was dead by 4 Feb. 1664/5 when his widow Elizabeth Wall proved his will, now lost. 8 On 3 Feb. 1665/6 mention is made of John Tate "who married the relict of Capt. Jno. Wall. " 9

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. 1660, 12 married Emlyn _____ who was granted probate of his will, now lost, 22 Oct 1663, 13 and was still living, 3 Aug 1664, when Anthony Wyatt, agent, attached the "estate of Emlin Clay, widd. And executrix of William Clay, dec’d," 14 but had no known issue; Charles.

Zachary R. Smith and Mary Rogers Clay, The Clay Family (The Filson Club, Publications, SIV; Louisville, 1899).

Neither one appears in the census, 1623/4, which has many known omissions, Smith. Op. Cit., p. 65 states that JOHN CLAY married before coming to Virginia and his wife ANN joined him eleven years later. This statement is now questioned.

Patent Bk. 1, p. 230. Charles City at this period embraced land on both sides of James River.

Ibid. pp. 404, 432.

This descended by inheritance to William Clay who sold to William Bayly, who repatented 400 acres of it, 1 May 1658 (Patent Bk. 3, p. 334). On 17 Dec. 1655 William Clay of Weyanoke Parish sold 550 acres of this tract, stating that he had sold 400 acres t Bayly and had given 50 acres to Cornelius Clemmence (Charles City Co. Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 24). This deed also mentions the grantor’s father, "JOHN CLAY, dec’d."

Charles City Co. Order Bk. 1655-65 p. 245. By a previous wife John Wall was the father of the wife of John Price (See Price).

Patent Bk. 1, p. 888

Charles City Co. Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 531.

Ibid., p. 620.

There is a possibility that JOHN CLAY, who was in Surry County in the 1660s, was another son of JOHN 1 CLAY and ANN CLAY, particularly since Charles Clay had an early Surry connection. This possible John 2 Clay left a will, 7 April 1675-20 Oct. 1675, naming wife Mary and sons Thomas, William, and John (Isle of Wight Co. Deeds &c 1661-1719, pp. 135-36).

Charles City. Co. Order Bk. 1655-65, p. 225

Ibid, p. 318

Ibid, p. 418.

Ibid, p. 484.


[Dianne’s note: Part of the following is believed to be incorrect. Mrs. Clay used Rev. Southall’s information & it appears she misunderstood - per his article.]

The Clay Family. Mrs. Mary Rogers Clay 929.2C

The Genealogy of the Clays pp. 63-68

In "Hotten’s List of Emigrants to America, 1600-1700" we find among the "Musters of the inhabitants of Virginia" these items:

"The Muster of JOHN CLAYE.

JOHN CLAYE arrived in the Treasuror, February, 1613

ANNE, his wife, in the Ann, August 1623


William Nichols aged 16 yeres, in the Dutie, in May, 1619."

This is the first mention of the name in colonial records. At this period of Virginia history Sir Thomas Dale was governor, and, having been bred a soldier, ruled with great severity. He was so harsh the people hated him. He punished men by flogging and by setting them to work in irons for years. Those who rebelled or ran away were put to death in cruel ways: some were burned alive, others were broken on the wheel, and one man, for merely steeling food, was starved to death; yet the colony prospered under his administration… Each man was granted a home and three acres of land, which he himself must cultivate, paying therefor two and a half barrels of corn to the public granary. These allotments of land were gradually increased, and finally Governor Dale persuaded the London Company to grant fifty acres in fee-simple to each colonist who would clear and cultivate them and pay annually a nominal rent to the King "at the feast of St. Michael the Archangel." From this allotment there gradually grew up along the James River and some of its tributaries a settled though scattered community of planters dependent upon their own exertions for support and free from the evil associations and vices engendered in the earlier days of Jamestown.

Of this class was Captain JOHN CLAY, " the English Grenadier," of whom we have so many traditions. He was living in Charles City in 1624.

"Patent (210) grants JOHN CLAY twelve hundred acres in Charles county, Virginia, beginning at the lands granted by order of Court to Francis Hooke, up to the head of Ward’s, his creek, and bounded on the north by James River. Due 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 I, page 230.)

"These lands granted JOHN CLAY were near the present City Point, only a few miles from what is now Chesterfield County, and no other settler of the name is mentioned in any record in this section." –Richmond Critic, 1888.

Captain CLAY had been married before leaving England, and left his wife behind.

He probably sent for her as soon as he had prepared a comfortable home. Why he delayed so long, those familiar with the history of the Jamestown Colony best understand. Hunger, despair, and death followed the one so fast in the wake of the other that twice within a few years that colony was reduced from five hundred persons to less than sixty souls, and in 1616 there were only three hundred and fifty English people in all North America.

The children of Captain JOHN and ANN CLAY, so far as known, were:

Francis Clay, who name appears on the records of Northumberland County, Virginia, from October 19, 1652, in the grants of lands, until June 8, 1658, and in Westmoreland County on May 21, 1666.

William Clay. In 1655 William Bayley had a patent for four hundred acres of land on Ward’s Creek, purchased of William Clay, son of John Clay, assignee of Francis Hooke, patentee of 1637.

Thomas Clay, one of fourteen persons "who did unlawfully Assemble at ye pish church o Lawnes Creeke, with Intent to declare they would not pay theire publiq taxes, & yt they expected diverse others to meet them. (Surry Co., 3rd Jany Ao. Dom. 1673)" (William and Mary Quarterly Magazine.)

Charles Clay, born 1638, died 1686 (intestate). He married Hannah Wilson, daughter of John Wilson, senior, of Henrico Co, Virginia, and states in Court, April 1686, that he has received his wife’s part of her father’s estate. (1688-1697, page 360.)


Genealogy of VA Families VII 1981

Some Notes on the Clay Family p 77-80

Contributed by the late Reverend Stephen O. Southall

Note: After this article had gone to press we received word of the Reverend Mr. Southall’s death, Dec. 10th 1943, aged 86 years. For well over a half-century Mr. Southall had been an indefatigable searcher of Virginia local records and hundreds of persons of Virginia descent are indebted to him for solving their genealogical problems. Scholarly in his research, always generous and kind, he leaves numberless friends who honor his name. – Editor.

In her excellent book entitled The Clay Family (Filson Club. Publications No. 14. Louisville, Kentucky, 1899) Mrs. Mary Rogers Clay states (pages 65-66) that JOHN CLAY, the emigrant, had four (4) sons, naming as two (2) of them Francis Clay of Northumberland county and Thomas Clay, one of the fourteen persons "who did unlawfully assemble at ye p’ish church of Lawnes Creek [Surry County] with intent to declare they would not pay their publiq taxes…"

This is certainly an error and as I was partly the cause of the error, I wish to correct it, and give as far as I can, the true history, though the facts are meagre. When Mr. Clay asked me for the names of the Clays in Virginia, I gave her these names of Francis Clay and Thomas Clay; but failed to tell her that they were not descended from John Clay, the emigrant.

The meagre facts are as follows: In the Muster of the Inhabitants of Jordan’s Journey, Charles Cittie, taken the 21st of January 1624 (see Hotten’s The Original Lists..Emigrants…to the American Plantations 1600-1700, page211) the muster of JOHN CLAY is given thus:

"JOHN CLAYE arrived in the Treasurer February 1613

ANN his wife in the Ann August 1623


Willliam Nicholl’s aged 26 years in the Dutie in May 1619."

On July 13, 1365, JOHN CLAY was granted, in Charles City County, 1200 acres bounding from the land granted to Capt. Francis Hooke, by the heads of Ward his creek; south east upon the creek; south west into the main land and north up the main river; 100 acres due the said JOHN CLAY as being an old planter at or before the government of Sir Thomas Dale; the other 1100 acres due unto him for the transporting of 22 other persons at his own cost. (Patent Book I, page 230)

Again, May 1, 1655, William Bayly was granted 400 acres in Charles City County at Ward’s Creek on lower Cross Creek, a part of a divident of 2000 acres granted to Capt. Francis Hooke and assigned to JOHN CLAY and John Frame, and by inheritance descended unto William Clay, a son of said JOHN CLAY, and by the said William Bayly purchased of said William Clay, the younger. (Patent Book 3, page 334)

These grants show the Clays lived in what is now Prince George County, which was taken from Charles City County (south of the James River) in 1702, and they lived between Ward’s Creek and Bailey’s Creek, just below the mouth of the Appomattox River. These grants are nearly all the data we have on the Clays in the public records and we must refer to some of the family records, and especially to General Green Clay’s account….

General Green Clay (born 1757, died 1828) says the father of Charles Clay (born 1638, died 1686) 1 was John Clay II, and grandson of the immigrant of JOHN CLAY. All the records which go back to JOHN CLAY agree with General Green Clay’s account.

Now let us try to find out how old the first JOHN CLAY was when he came to Virginia in February 1613. Unfortunately his age is not given as it often is in the lists made for the "Musters" of the inhabitants in 1624. However the immigrants at that time were mature men. When their names and ages are both given we find that out of 21 immigrants 17 of them range from 30 to 44 years in age; so I think JOHN CLAY must have been over 35 years old when he came to Virginia. He was not much younger. At any rate he was old enough to have children in England as Mrs. Mary Rogers Clay says in her book.

Now what became of the 1200 acres granted to JOHN CLAY in July 1635? They are not mentioned again, at least for some hundred years after the grant. It seems to me that JOHN CLAY, the immigrant, must have died shortly after the grant was made to him in July 1635. He must have been over 50 years of age at the time of his death; and the early immigrants died like flies. And, I am almost sure that the John Clay who with John Frame received the assignment of 2000 acres from Captain Francis Hooke (as appears in patent to William Bayly in May 1655; see above) was the second John Clay.

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, viz:

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).


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