An American Family History

Clare Oxley

Oxley is also spelled Owsley, Oxleigh and Oxly.
Baptist churches were found in early colonial settlements and grew out of the English Separatist movement and the doctrine of John Smyth who rejected infant baptism.

New Jersey's first permanent European settlement was in 1660.

The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783) was between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the 13 colonies which became the newly formed United States.

Clare Oxley was born on July 23, 1745 in Hopewell, Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey. His parents were Henry Oxley and Mary Everett. He was named in honor of his mother's mother, Elizabeth Clare Everett's, family.

On January 6 1771 his father, Henry, gave him 221 acres of land on Catoctin Mountain adjacent to his siblings, Everett Oxley, Hannah Stephens Rachael Oxley, John Oxley, and Henry Oxley, Jr.

On November 11, 1771 eight year old Jenkin Oxley was bound to Clare Oxley to be brought up as a farmer. The court documents state he was born on March 17, 1763 and was Hannah Stephens' son.

On April 24, 1773 Clare sold 20 acres to his brother Everett.

He married Rachel Stout in the same year as the Boston Tea Party on June 7, 1773 in Loudoun County, Virginia. Her parents were Joseph (James, David, Richard) Stout and Mary Hixon. The Stout family was instrumental in organizing the Hopewell Baptist Church.

Rachel and Clare's children included:
Joseph Oxley (1774, married Mary Baldwin),
Micajah Oxley (1776, married Nancy Rainey),
Mary Oxley (1779),
Everett Oxley (1781, married Celia Scott),
Ann Oxley (1786, died as a baby) and
John Levy Oxley (1793, married Rhoda Dudgeon).

According to his great grandson's biography, Clare lived to be over 100 years old and died in Indiana.

First printed in Boston 1745
Hopewell is currently in Mercer (formerly Hunterdon) County, New Jersey. Mercer County was formed in 1838 from portions of other counties including Hunterdon. Early settlers found that their deeds were worthless and they were forced to repurchase their land or relocate. On April 23, 1715 the settlers who stayed organized Hopewell Baptist Church.
Catoctin Mountain is part of the eastern ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is also called Ketoctin, Kittochiny, Kittockton, Kittocton, and South Mountain. The Ketoctin Baptist Church in Loudoun County, Virginia was founded in 1745. It was a log church with an earth floor. Many settlers in the area were atheists or deists and when others gathered for services, they remained outside socializing.

Hunterdon County was originally part of Burlington County, West Jersey. It was set off from Burlington County on March 11, 1714. It included Amwell, Hopewell, and Maidenhead Townships.

Children of Henry Oxley
and Mary Everett
  • Everit Oxley
  • Mary Oxley Howell
  • Elizabeth Oxley
  • Hannah Oxley Stephens
  • Henry Oxley
  • Rachel Oxley
  • Clare Oxley
  • John Oxley
  • Loudoun County is part of Northern Neck of Virginia. Settling of the Loudoun area began between 1725 and 1730. Settlers came from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland.
    Bound children were indentured servants whose master provided training in a craft, board, lodging, and clothes for seven years or until the child came of age.



    Kentucky was originally a Virginia county and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.

    from History of Linn County Iowa, From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Vol. II, Chicago, The Pioneer Publishing Company, 1911, p. 562-3.

    Marshall Oxley, a prominent and prosperous agriculturist of Linn county, has spent his entire life within its borders and is now the oldest settler in the community where he makes his home. His birth occurred in Marion township on the 18th of February, 1853, his parents being John S. and Jane (Halley) Oxley, who were born in Kentucky a century ago.

    Clair Oxley, the great-grandfather of our subject, came to this country from England in colonial times and lived to attain the remarkable age of one hundred years. His remains were interred in Rush county, Indiana.

    Everett Oxley, the grandfather of Marshall Oxley, passed away near Louisville, Kentucky, when forty-five years of age, his death being occasioned by an accident. While hewing timbers for a cabin the broad ax which he was using struck his knee and inflicted a wound which proved fatal.

    In 1824 the Oxley family left Kentucky and took up their abode near Crawfordsville, Indiana, where the parents of our subject celebrated their marriage September 1, 1831. The year 1840 witnessed their removal to Linn county, Iowa, the date of their arrival being October 18. John S. Oxley built the first grist mill in this county in 1842-3 and the third sawmill. He devoted his attention principally, however, to general agricultural pursuits throughout his active business career and at one time was personally acquainted with every white man in the county.

    A sawmill was an important developmental step in a community. Before sawmills, boards could only be sawn by two men with a whipsaw. In a sawmill, the circular motion of a water wheel was changed to the back-and-forth motion of the saw blade with a pitman arm.

    Indiana became a state in 1819. The north was settled by people from New England and New York, the center by people from the Mid-Atlantic states and Ohio, and the south by people from Southern states, particularly Kentucky and Tennessee.

    April 24, 1773
    Clare Oxley of Loudoun to Everett Oxley of Loudoun B/S of 20 acres adjacent to John Oxley, Rachel Oxley.
    Witnesses Hugh Neilson, Thomas Roper, and Thomas Sanders.

    Colonial Maryland
    Colonial New England
    Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
    Quakers & Mennonites
    New Jersey Baptists
    German Lutherans
    Watauga Settlement
    Pennsylvania Pioneers
    Midwest Pioneers
    Jewish Immigrants

    ©Roberta Tuller 2023
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