An American Family History


Mitchell Clay

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

Mitchell Clay, Jr. was born about 1770 in Virginia. He was the son of Mitchell Clay and Phoebe Belcher.

In August, 1783, his family was attacked by a party of Shawnee men. His siblings, Bartley and Tabitha died and Ezekiel was captured. After the attack, the family moved near Pearisburg in Giles County, Virginia.

He married his cousin, Judith Clay about 1793. Judith was the daughter of William Clay and Millie Tucker.

Mitchell and Judith's children probably included:

John Thomas Clay (1794, married first cousin, Phoebe French),
James Mitchell Clay (1795, married Nancy Prince (Printz)),
Bartley B. Clay (1799,
Lucinda Clay
Amy Clay (1800, married Thomas K. Clarke),
Charles Lewis Clay (1801, married first cousin Ora Stewart),
Mitchell C. Clay
Henry J. Clay (1807),
William B. Clay, and
Meredith Clay (1812, married Nancy Bailey).

At the time of the 1810 and 1820 censuses, he was in Giles County, Virginia.

When his father died in 1811, he inherited.

I give and bequeath to my dearly beloved son, Mitchell Clay, the younger, one negro girl named Lidy.

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.

[ from the Codicile] 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 lieu 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.

In 1830 and 1840 he was in Big Sandy, Lawrence County, Kentucky.

He was a great hunter and remained such all his days. In his old age he still had the large rifle gun that he carried in the Indian expedition, which he called "Old Injun." He was large, tall man of great physical strength, which he retained in large measure until his last days. I have heard my father say that when he was a boy that Uncle Mitchell frequently visited my grandfather at the Old Riffe home on Soak Creek, Raleigh County, and that when he was around eighty years of age he had seen him carry with perfect ease large oak back logs from the woodyard into the house. Mitchell's Ridge which is located between the waters of Piney and Soak Creek on the one side and the waters of Stone Coal and Winding Gulf on the other, was named for him. When he was a young man while hunting on this ridge, he stood in one place and killed five deer within a few minutes. When he reported this to his friends at camp one of them said: "We will call this Mitchell's Ridge" which he laughingly replied: "Yes, call it my ridge." There was a large beech tree on which the inscription "Mitchell Clay 1811" was plainly visible. (by Winton Riffe)

He died in 1851.



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.






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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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