Monday, June 14, 2010

Ransom Clayton 1806-1890

Ransom Clayton is buried at Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontotoc County, Mississippi. The cemetery, located behind Oak Hill Baptist Church, is just off Highway 9 between Sherman and Pontotoc. Ransom's ancestry is somewhat of a mystery. He has been claimed by some researchers to be the son of Charles Collier Clayton, but I do not think so. I believe that he is the son of Thompson Clayton Sr. or one of the other Clayton men of Spartanburg, South Carolina. While Charles Collier Clayton and his sons lived near present-day Mooreville in what was then Itawamba County, now Lee County, Ransom Clayton was in Pontotoc County. There is, of course, the possibility that there were two Ransom Claytons in the area but that doesn't seem too likely.

Ransom first shows up in the records of Spartanburg County, South Carolina in 1830 when he witnesses a deed for Thompson Clayton, probably his father or uncle. He is also enumerated in the census for Spartanburg County that year, with a wife age 15-20 and a young male under age 5 in his household. Next door to Ransom was a similarly-aged Sampson Clayton. In 1835, Ransom bought 50 acres of land from Thompson Clayton, and the transaction was witnessed by Sampson and Matilda Clayton. Later that same year, Ransom sold the land, and apparently moved to Alabama.

If Ransom was the son of Thompson Clayton, Sr. then he could possibly have been a brother to my Thompson Clayton, Jr. who moved to Itawamba County in the 1860s. Of course, all of the relationships of the Spartanburg Claytons have yet to be proved. I am only assuming at this point that the younger Thompson Clayton was the son of the elder Thompson Clayton, but what we have learned so far seems to point to that conclusion.

Some researchers indicate that Ransom Clayton had a son named Sampson, which if correct, connects Ransom with the Sampson Clayton of Spartanburg and later in Georgia. Also, this same Sampson Clayton named a son Levi Ransom Clayton. Too many coincidences.

Where Ransom lived in Alabama is still a mystery since he cannot be found in the 1840 census. After selling his land in Spartanburg in 1835, the next time we find Ransom is in Pontotoc County, Mississippi with wife Matilda Phillips Roach and two step-sons. Seems that Ransom's first wife died, and he remarried. After Matilda died in 1871, Ransom married for a third time to Susan Weaver, also a widow.

One of Ransom's sons indicated that he was born in Calhoun County, Alabama in 1835 although no record has turned up yet for Ransom in that county, which actually was known as Benton County in 1835. Ransom's second wife, Matilda, was a young widow with two sons enumerated in the 1840 census for DeKalb County, Alabama so it would appear that Ransom landed in DeKalb County at some point after 1840. Maybe more research in these areas will turn up additional information. If anyone has additional information to share, please e-mail me at the address shown on the left sidebar.

Some Spartanburg Deed Abstracts:

Deed Book V
Page 647-648
Aug 10, 1835
Thompson Clayton of Spartanburg Dist. to Ransom Clayton, for $50 sold 50 acres of land more or less, it being a part of a tract originaly granted to Goodjoint. Border: Easleys Creek. Witness: Sampson Clayton, Metilda Clayton. Signed Thompson Clayton. Witness oath by Sampson Clayton 3 Sept 1835 to John Grogan JP. Rec 21 May 1836

Deed Book W
Page 105
Sept 2, 1835
Ransom Clayton of Spartanburg Dist. to John Grogan Jr. Esq, for $80 sold a tract of land originally granted to Goodjoint. Border: Easley Creek. Witness Augustus Clayton, D. A. Bowling. SIgned Ransom Clayton. Witness oath by Augustus Clayton 25 Oct 1835 to Jn. Martin JP


Arvel said...

glad to see Bro. Ken Petre is a follower. and missing

Anonymous said...

Hi Arvel! Computer problems has kept me away until tonight!! Good to see you also. Turned out our modem went bad!

My reason for commenting is intended for the next photo of the couple sitting in front of the bushes and what appears to be a yard in bad need of a "brush broom" - know what that is? Well, you couldn't buy one of 'em at a store!! As I recall, a brush broom consisted of more than one limb from a plum bush/tree tied together - they were light and cleared those dusty yards of all the tracks left by kids playing in that sandy dust! I have seen a couple of photos with an almost idetenical "floor" - and with careful study, it appears that a traveling photographer has a rug placed on the ground to create a background.

I can tell you that this North Texas weather is getting a tad too warm to spend much time recalling those summertime memories. . . . bettye

John Clayton said...

Hi, I have DNA results from descendants of Joseph Alexander Clayton, Augustus Clayton and Sampson Clayton. These descendants are very tightly related, most likely meaning that the Clayton boys of Spartanburg were brothers. Yes, the interchange of given names between the brothers strongly demonstrate that our assumption is correct. At the very least, they were 1st cousins. I am a one step genetic distance with one and a two step distance from the other. If anyone from Ransom has performed DNA testing, it would be most interesting to see if it confirms our thoughts about them being brothers. If anyone has additional thoughts about this, I would appreciate hearing the. John

John Clayton said...

Additional post. DNA testing has shown no relationship to Charles Collier Clayton, so the Spartanburg Clayton boys were not his children. I believe his DNA belongs in a totally separate grouping of Claytons in the Clayton project.