Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Claytons of Spartanburg

As noted in a previous post to this blog, I believe that the Thompson Clayton found in Itawamba County belongs to the Claytons of extreme northwestern Spartanburg County. Thompson was likely the son of an elder Thompson Clayton who lived along Motley's Creek and Easley's Creek close to the border with North Carolina. Other Clayton men who lived in this area were Gowen Clayton Jr., Gowen Clayton Sr., Sampson Clayton, Augustus Clayton, Ransom Clayton, Solomon Clayton and others. These names are found on deed records together, signifying a close connection to one another although the exact relationship is as yet unknown.

Augustus Clayton was a well-known Primitive Baptist preacher who served several churches in northern Spartanburg and Greenville counties, including Holly Spring Church where Thompson Clayton is found in the record book as a member of the constitution committee in 1834 and Sampson Clayton joined as a member in 1846. Augustus, also found as Austin and Augustine, moved to Kentucky about 1810.

There is another, younger Augustus Clayton found in Spartanburg County. His name appears in deed records as a witness or as an adjacent landowner to Thompson, Ransom and the others. This Augustus left South Carolina between 1843 and 1846 . In the 1850 census Augustus was in Gilmer County, Georgia (formed out of Cherokee) notably with a 19 year old son named Thompson and a 4 year old son named Nathaniel.

Sampson Clayton moved to Cherokee County, Georgia before 1850 to what eventually became part of Forsyth County. He is found in Division 15 of Cherokee County in the 1850 census, as is the younger Thompson Clayton, Jr. who later moved to Itawamba County. Although the two men were not shown as living next to each other in the census record, it is significant that they are found there together. Also in the same county and division is a similarly-aged Seward Clayton although Clayton researchers indicate that Seward is connected to the set of Claytons that lived around Mooreville in extreme western Itawamba County, now Lee County.

Ransom Clayton is found in the 1830 census living next to Sampson in Spartanburg County (Sampson named a son Ransom). Ransom moved to Pontotoc County, Mississippi before 1850. Records show that he sold his land in Spartanburg County in 1835 in a transaction witnessed by an Augustus Clayton (not the one who moved to Kentucky, but a namesake), moved to Alabama, and then to Mississippi around 1845. Ransom witnessed an 1830 deed of conveyance from Thompson Clayton (Sr) to Augustus Clayton for land on Motley Creek.

Gowen Clayton, Sr. is the old man of the bunch, possibly the father of some or all of these men. I believe him to be the father of Thompson Sr. since the two men are found practically side by side in several census records, along with Gowen Clayton, Jr. Gowen Sr. and Thompson also owned land adjacent to each other according to deed records.

Solomon Clayton has been indicated to be the son of Gowen Clayton, Jr. Gowen Jr. and Solomon Clayton, unlike some of the other Clayton men, stayed in Spartanburg County.

More research is needed to determine how these Clayton families connect. Hopefully, if I keep picking at the threads, the puzzle will unravel. The research get confusing when you realize that there were another Sampson and Solomon Clayton, brothers born in Tennessee, who were of the same age and lived in the same area of Alabama as some of our Claytons. How do they fit into the picture? Maybe time will tell.


Anonymous said...

Augustus Clayton (born about 1805 in South Carolina) has his family in the 1850 Gilmer County, Georgia census, is in the 1860 Jackson County, Alabama census. Several of his children are then on the 1870 Middle, Franklin County, Arkansas census.

Kerry Clayton said...

Sampson Clayton is my direct descendant. He had two brother's Solomon and Richard E. Clayton. Their parents are unknown?
Any light you can shed on this?