An American Family History


Charles Clay


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

Charles Clay was born about 1675 in Virginia. His parents were Charles Clay and Sarah Wilson.

His wife was named Sarah.

Charles Clay (1715)
William Clay (1718)
Thomas Clay (1719, married Ann Powell)
Judith Clay (1723)
Henry Clay (1725)
James Clay (1730, married Margaret Muse)

They lived in Dale Parish. Dale Parish was formed from Henrico Parish in 1735. In 1749 Chesterfield County was formed from Henrico County and included Dale Parish .

In 1752, Charles Clay deeded land in Amelia County, Virginia to his children:

Thomas 150 acres,
Charles and William 52 acres each,
Judith 50 acres.

Charles wrote his will in 1754 in Chesterfield County, Virginia.

Charles died before August 1765 in Dale Parish, Chesterfield, Virginia.









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.
are trained draft animals and are often castrated adult male cattle.

From Will Book No. 1, Chesterfield Court House, Virginia, p. 341, transcription by Frances Powell Otken,

In the name of God, amen. I, Charles Clay of Dale Parish in the County of Chesterfield, being in good health and perfect memory, thanks be to God for it, do make and order this my last will and testament in manner and form following.

First: I recommend my soul into the hands of Almighty God....

Item. First I give, devise and bequeath unto my well beloved son James Clay 

  • one feather bed, now called his, with all its furnature, also
  • three head of cattle, now called his, also
  • one Bay mare and filly, now called his, also
  • one iron pott and
  • some pewter.

Item. I also give to my daughter Judith Clay 

  • one feather bed and furniture,
  • one cow and calf and
  • some pewter at her day of marriage,

to her the said Judith and her heirs forever.

Item. I also will to my granddaughter Mary Clay, the daughter of Henry Clay deceased,

one certain parcel of land containing 150 acres in Amelia County, adjoining my son Thomas Clay, and to the heirs of her body honestly begotten, and if my said granddaughter should die without such issue, my will and desire is that the above said land be sold to the highest bidder and equally divided amongst all my children.

Item. I also will to my well beloved wife Sarah Clay my plantation wheron I now live, during her natural life or widowhood, also all the remaining part of my estate not already given away, during her natural live and at her death to be equally divided amongst all my children.

Item. I give, devise and bequeath to my well beloved son James Clay my plantation wheron I now live, containing 250 acres, to him the said James Clay his heirs and assigns forever.

Lastly, I appoint my aforesaid wife Sarah Clay and my aforesaid son James Clay joint executors of this my last will and testament, revoking and making null and void all other wills formerly made by me, and desire that my estate be not appraised.

In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the the 28th Daye Of January 1754.
Charles Clay ,
William Bass (mark),
Ephraim Blankinship,
Drury Blankinship (mark)

recorded August 1765, Chesterfield, Va


Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin, but can include lead. It was used for dishes and utensils. Some colonists suffered lead poisoning from using it. It dents easily and lasted about ten years. It was expensive and wooden dishes were used most often.


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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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