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An American Family History

 

Mitchell Clay

 

The French and Indian War lasted from 1754 to 1763 and was the North American phase of the Seven Years' War.

European and indiginous American fought fierce battles as the Europeans expanded their territory.

The New River flows through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia .In 1755, Mary Draper Ingles (1732-1815) was captured by Shawnee warriors near Blacksburg and taken to Ohio. She escaped and made her way home by following the Ohio, Kanawha, and New Rivers.

Mitchell Clay was born about 1739 in Henrico County (now Chesterfield), Virginia. His father was William Clay.

He married Phoebe Belcher.

Mitchell and Phoebe's children included:

Tabitha Clay (1763),
Rebecca Clay Pearis (1764, married George Pearis),
Bartley Clay (1765),
Obedience Clay (1766, married John French),
Ezekial Clay (1767),
Patience Clay Chapman (1768, married George Chapman),
David Clay (1769),
John Clay (1771),
Mary Clay (1772, married Ralph Stewart),
Mitchell Clay (1772, married Judith Clay),
Naomie Clay (1773, married Joseph Hare),
Charles Clay (1774),
William Clay (1777, married Rebecca Cecil),
Henry Clay (1781, married Sarah Stewart),
Sarah Clay Peters (1783, married John Peters) and
Polly Clay Stewart (1789).

In April, 1774, Mitchell applied for, and was granted, land in the short-lived Fincastle County, Virginia for serving in the French and Indian War. He received 800 acres on Bluestone Creek in Clover Bottom.

On May 29, 1774 "John Umphries, Mitchel Clay, [and] others, were on a report to Col. William Preston by Michael Woods, proving their service in Dunmore's War." (from Virginia's Colonial Soldiers, Bockstuck, p. 150)

On June 2, 1774, Mitchell was listed as a private in Captain Daniel Smith's militia company in Fincastle County. He participated in the Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore's War along with his sons David and Zekiel, John Chapman, and John Peck.

Rich Creek 15th September 1774 
Sir—we are Stop'd a day to Get what Beeves and Catties We Can Pick up.
Capt. woods and his Party is Joynd me Which makes our number of the Whole 55
the Soldiers I had at Mr. Woods Desird Discharges from me which I have given them, though they are willing to Inlist again, if you See Cause.

I have sent you an Acct. of their time Likewise finding their Provisions for the time

Mitchel Clay 51 days on Duty found his own Provisions
Zekil Clay 51 days found his Provisions
David Clay 51 days found Do
Richd. Blankenship 44 days Do

P. S. I must be for Ever Obliged to all my good friends for assisting me in Getting my Compy made up as I thought it was meerely Impossible to do it in the time and I am sure there is not Such an Other Compny for the Quaintyty of men belonging to the Whole Dr. Sir, I wish you Every thing that Would make you happy.
I am your Obedt. Servant
James Robertson
from Historic Sullivan by Oliver Taylor

On October 13, 1777, Mitchel, David, and Zekil Clay swore their allegiance to the state in Fincastle County, Virginia. (from Virginia Military Records)

In August, 1783 the family was attacked by a party of Shawnee men and Bartley and Tabitha died and Ezekiel was captured. A party of men led by Captain Matthew Farle pursued the Native Americans.

After the attack, the family moved near Pearisburg in Giles County, Virginia.

On June 1, 1790, Mitchell and Phoebe sold 203 acres in Clover Bottom to their son-in-law, George Pearis, for 300£. They also sold him one acre on the east side of New River for 10£ and 109 acres on Black Lick Creek for 50£.

On June 6, 1792, Mitchell Clay was recommended for captain of the 2nd Battalion, 86th Regt., Charles Clay was recommended as lieutnant, and William Clay was recommended as an ensign.

On April 3, 1797, Mitchell Clay sold Reuben Roberts 100 acres on the New River for 180£.

Mitchell Clay died in April, 1811 on New River. On April 24, 1811 his last will and testament was proved by the oaths of Andrew Johnston, John Brown, and Henry Dillon.

Mitchell and his family were buried in Pearisburg, Giles County, Virginia.

Henrico County was established in 1634 as one Virginia's eight original shires. Its boundaries incorporated an area from which ten Virginia counties were later formed.

Chesterfield County, Virginia was organized in 1749 when the territory south of the James River was separated from Henrico County.

Fincastle County, Virginia was created in 1772 from Botetourt County and abolished in 1776. It was divided into Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties.

In 1774 Governor Dunmore declared war against Native Americans. The war ended after Virginia's victory in the Battle of Point Pleasant on October 10, 1774. However, during the American Revolution, the Indian nations regained power and mobilized to attack the colonists.
 

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Slavery is an immoral system of forced labor where people are treated as property to be bought and sold. It was legal in the American Colonies and the United States until the Civil War.

Cattle were vital to a household and an important legacy.
Unweaned cattle are calves.
Female cattle are heifers and cows (had a calf).
Male cattle are steers (castrated) and bulls.
Oxen
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

In the name of God, Amen, I Mitchell Clay Senior, of the County of Giles and State of Virginia, being sick in body but perfect in mind and memory.......do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament.

First. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter, Patience Chapman, one dollar.
Secondly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter, Rebecca Pearis, one dollar.

Thirdly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter, Obedience French, one dollar.
Fourthly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter, Polly Stewart, one dollar.
Fifthly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved daughter, Sally Peters, one dollar.
Sixthly. I give and bequeath to each of the children of David Clay, deceased, one dollar.
Seventhly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son, Mitchell Clay, the younger, one negro girl named Lidy.
Eighthly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son, William Clay, one negro boy named Ned.
Ninethly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son, Charles Clay, one negro boy named May.
Tenthly. I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son, Henry Clay, one negro girl named Rachel, together with all and singular, the tract of land whereupon I now live, it lying on the North side of New River adjoining and below the lands of Mitchell Clay, the younger, with all its appurtenances, mesauges, tenants, dwelling house and out-house, also all my stock of horses, cattle, hogs and stock of every kind and household and kitchen furniture, excepting three cows of an average value which I give and bequeath to my son, Charles Clay.

Also I give to my sons, Mitchell Clay, the younger, and Henry Clay, the tract of land I bought of Reuben Roberts and was by the heirs of Reuben Roberts conveyed to me, to them and their heirs forever to be equally divided between them, provided the said, Mitchell Clay and Henry Clay do pay unto Reuben Roberts adminstrator the sum of one hundred and sixteen dollars, or thereabouts, with the interest on the same, which sum I am owing to the estate of Roberts, and in case they fail to make the payment aforesaid, then it is my will and desire that the said tract of land be sold and the money arising thereunto to be appropriated to the payment of the debt aforesaid.

Also it is my will that a tract of land I own on the Five Fork of East River of about 100 acres, shall be sold to pay my debts.

I also give and bequeath to my four sons, Mitchell, the younger, Charles Clay, William Clay and Henry Clay, one negro woman, named Phoebe and her boy child named Jack, to be equally divided between them, that is to say that either two of my sons may keep the two negroes and pay the other two sons their share of their value, and in case they cannot agree, they, the two said negroes, be sold and the money divided among my four sons aforesaid equally.

Also it is my will and desire that my four sons to wit: Mitchell Clay, Charles Clay, William Clay and Henry Clay do pay all my just debts that remain unpaid after the payments are made hereunto provided for and in case they fail to pay the remaining debts aforesaid, then the negro woman and her child, Jack to be sold and the remaining debts paid and the residue of the money to be equally divided between my four sons aforesaid.

Also it is my will and desire that my executors collect all the debts that are coming to me and appropriate them in payment of my debts.

I do hereby ordain, constitute and appoint my four sons my executors of this my last Will and Testament,

in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twenty sixth day of July 1810.

Signed: Mitchell Clay (X) (Seal)

Witnesses:
A. Johnston
John Brown
Joseph Stephens
Henry Drillian (His mark)

Codicill to the Will of Mitchell Clay Sr.

I Mitchell Clay Sr of the County of Giles and State of Virginia being in perfect health of body and of sound mind and memory do now ordain and constitute the following

as part of my will made and acknowledged the Twenty sixth day of July 1810.

That is to say that so much of the said will and devise as bequeathed one Negro girl named Lidy to my son Mitchell Clay the younger. I do hereby revoke and disannul and in leiu thereof. I give and bequeath unto my son Mitchell Clay my black woman named Phobe and her boy child named Jack to him and his heirs forever revoking and disannuling that part of said will here referred to as given the said Phoebe and her child Jack to my four sons Mitchell Clay, Charles Clay, William Clay, and Henry Clay.

2ly I give and bequeath unto my son William Clay one negro girl named Lidy to him and his heirs forever in lieu of a negro boy named Ned as mentioned in my former will to which this is a supplement revoking that part of the said will or bequeath the said Ned to my son William Clay.

3ly in my former will to which this is a supplement I give and bequeath unto my son Charles Clay 3 cows of an average value and since the making of the said desire I have given him two of the cows therein mentioned. I therefore Now give and bequeath unto the said Charles Clay only one cow agreeable to the terms in the said will mentioned.

4ly It is my will and desire that my negro boy named Ned shall be sold and the money applied to the payment of my trust and debts in case the provisions made in my former will to which this is a supplement proves insufficient to the payment of my debts, but in case the provisions therein mentioned be found equal to my debts or in case there should be a surplus of the price of the negro boy after paying the debts in either case my will is that the money be equally divided between my four sons Mitchell Clay, Charles Clay, William Clay, and Henry Clay,

and I do hereby disannul all and every part of my former will to which this is a supplement, that comes within the provisions of this codicill. Ratifying and confirming this codicill together with my former will to which this is a supplement to much thereof as is not attained nor changed by this codicill to be my last will and testament in

whereof I have here and set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of March in the year of our Lord, 1811. Mitchell Clay

At Giles County April 1811 this last will and testament of Mitchell Clay deceased, was proven in Court by the oaths of Andrew Johnson, John Brown, and Henry Dillon, also this codicill was proven by the oaths of Andrew Johnson and David Johnson, two of the witnesses there to subscribe which codicill together with the original will is ordered to be recorded.

Test XXX David French

Testis (Test) is latin for witness. Testes is the plural.

 

In 1607 the London Company established Virginia as the first permanent New World English colony.