Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Joseph Clayton

Joseph Clayton

Male Abt 1750 - 1824  (~ 63 years)

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  • Photos
    joseph clayton
    joseph clayton
    Land-Office Military Warrant. For Joseph Clayton's service in the Continental Army, Virginia state line. From http://apps.sos.ky.gov/land/military/revwar/Revdetail.asp?Type=v&warrant=1337.0

  • Name Joseph Clayton 
    Born Abt 1750  Chesterfield County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Male 
    Died Between 1813 and 1824  Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Person ID I5836  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others | Ancestor of PNH
    Last Modified 11 Jun 2021 

    Father Francis Clayton,   d. Aft 4 Nov 1771, Chesterfield County, Virginia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Elizabeth,   d. Aft 4 Nov 1771 
    Family ID F20840  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Eleanor Cole,   b. Between 1755 and 1760,   d. Between 1830 and 1848  (Age ~ 75 years) 
    Children 
     1. Sally Clayton
     2. Sarah Clayton,   b. Abt 1785
     3. Mary "Polly" Clayton,   b. Abt 1788
     4. John Clayton,   b. 1790, Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 7 Nov 1859, Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 69 years)
     5. William Clayton,   b. Between 1790 and 1800, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 1865  (Age ~ 76 years)
     6. Thomas Clayton,   b. Between 1790 and 1800,   d. Abt 1839  (Age ~ 49 years)
     7. Joseph Clayton,   b. Abt 1799, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location
     8. Charles C. Clayton,   b. 2 Feb 1802, Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Nov 1874, Daviess County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    +9. Catherine Clayton,   b. Bef 1803, Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1840, Nelson County, Kentucky Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age > 37 years)
    Last Modified 11 Oct 2020 
    Family ID F1827  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • The most thoroughly-researched work we've seen about Joseph Clayton has been by Paul Nordberg. His earlier monograph "Joseph Clayton of Nelson County, Kentucky" dispensed briskly with a number of misconceptions, at least one of which we'd been responsible for perpetuating. More recently, he revised and extended his work on Joseph and his wife Eleanor, combining it into a single paper called "Joseph and Eleanor (Cole) Clayton of Nelson County, Kentucky." Reversing his earlier conclusion that Joseph Clayton was born in St. Mary's County, Nordberg now argues, we think convincingly, that the preponderance of the evidence indicates that he was born in Chesterfield County, Virginia, a son of Francis and Elizabeth Clayton, as first proposed in 2002 by Ann Whalen:
      Briefly speaking, I have changed my mind about Joseph's ancestry because of very good demographic and temporal fit, identifiable uncertainties about interpretation of the genetic evidence, and two very specific ties. (1) Both Francis and Elizabeth Clayton of Chesterfield, and Joseph and Eleanor Clayton of Nelson County, had five reported sons, four of whom were named William, John, Joseph and Thomas. Each name by itself is common, but I estimate that the likelihood of the combination occurring purely by coincidence is less than five in one hundred. (2) As will be discussed more fully below, Drury Ragsdale, captain of the artillery company that Joseph Clayton (later of Nelson County) joined, was a close neighbor of Joseph Clayton of Chesterfield County, and the two families were notably associated in their migrations. The odds of this pair of circumstances happening just by chance seem to me almost infinitesimal. As Thoreau remarked, "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
      The new paper also cites recent DNA results from a living paternal descendant of Joseph Clayton that, added to already-assembled circumstantial evidence, strongly suggests that Joseph's wife Eleanor was the Eleanor mentioned as a daughter in the 1771 will of Robert Cole.

      Nordberg also has an online family tree, and while we recommend that researchers consult the monographs mentioned above, and the older one about Joseph's wife Eleanor which is linked from our page for her, his briefer remarks in his entry for Joseph Clayton are worth excerpting here.

      From Paul Nordberg at paulnordberg.net/family-history-reunion/ps07/ps07_325.html:

      He fought in the Revolutionary War. He was a matross, an artillery private. He enlisted in 1777 and served through at least March of 1780, when he was stationed in Morristown, New Jersey. His regiment, just being formed when he enlisted, initially did garrison duty at Portsmouth and Yorktown, Virginia, near where enemy ships were "hovering" in Chesapeake Bay near Hampton Roads. (This was the area from which a number of the men in Joseph Clayton's company came.) In March of 1778, the regiment was jointed Washington's army at Valley Forge. For the rest of the War, they fought in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. Joseph Clayton took part in several battles.

      In 1783, he received £111 13s 7d as the balance of his pay according to an act of 1781, and he was granted a Military Warrant for two hundred acres of land, an entitlement of every soldier who fought until the end of the war. There are signs that he sold out rights to the assigned parcel on Paint Creek to one David Nisbitt, one of a group of land speculators. It seems reasonable to suppose that he married between his military discharge and the move to Kentucky.

      He first appears in the records of Nelson County in 1786, when he witnessed the will of John Brients. In 1792, tax books show him with no land, four horses, and seven cattle, appearing immediately after Joseph Clark. In 1793, he had 66 acres of land, five horses and seven cattle, perhaps funded in part with proceeds from the sale of his assigned warrant rights. Various Clarks are on the same page. On October 3, 1793, as he is listed on the court records as a bondsman for the marriage of George Clark and Sarah Brothers, both of St. Mary's County, Maryland. Joseph's serving as bondsman suggests a prior relationship with George, who had come to Nelson County in 1786 or 1787. In 1800, Joseph Clayton is shown purchasing land from James With[e]row. He is regularly present in Nelson County records though 1813. I have found no trace of him after that. In 1823, "widow Eleanor Clayton" gave consent for the marriage of their daughter Catherine. An affadavit in much later pension application of 1851 by 84 year-old Peter Blair, whose brother knew Joseph Clayton during the Revolutionary War, reports that Joseph "as he was informed & believes...died on the [blank] day of [blank] 1824." This information seems a bit squishy, since it is hearsay much after the fact, and occurs amid statements that are factually incorrect in some other particulars. I suspect that Joseph died around 1813 when the records for him seem to end, and that Eleanor stayed with their son John, who has a female over 45 in his household according to the 1820 census.

  • Sources 
    1. [S5871] Paul Nordberg, "Joseph and Eleanor (Cole) Clayton of Nelson County, Kentucky.".

    2. [S1503] Paul Nordberg, "Joseph Clayton of Nelson County, Kentucky.".