Or, Subtitled: Tracking 18th-Century Families from Surry County, Virginia, to Granville County, North Carolina, to Kershaw County, South Carolina
I now want to introduce you to another child of Dennis Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762) — his daughter Elizabeth, who married Ephraim Clanton. Though I’m really introducing you primarily to Ephraim, since I have found no information about Elizabeth beyond her listing as a daughter of Dennis Lindsey in his August 1762 will in Granville County, North Carolina….
As I’ve noted previously (and here), we know from Dennis’s will the names of his children who were living when the will was made, the names of his three sons-in-law (Roger Thornton, Robert Phillips, and Ephraim Clanton), and which of his children were not of age in 1762. The will allows us to conclude that Dennis’ three married daughters in August 1762 were Catherine, Margaret, and Elizabeth.
(Note: if you’ve already been reading this series of postings about Dennis Lindsey and his children, much that I’m about to tell you now will be familiar to you. I’m repeating points from previous postings in case new readers are only now logging into this thread and do not have the information I’m about to discuss. If you are an “old” reader, feel free now to skip to “Estimating When Elizabeth Lindsey Clanton Was Born.”)
Unfortunately, the will does not tell us which daughter married which son-in-law. We know from evidence beyond Dennis’s will that Catherine married Roger Thornton. I have provided my reasons for concluding that it was Margaret who married Robert Phillips. This leaves us with the deduction that Elizabeth married Ephraim Clanton. As I’ve told you previously, I have absolutely no idea why one family tree after another concludes that Ephraim Clanton married a “Sarah Elizabeth” Lindsey, when there is no Sarah named in Dennis Lindsey’s will, and no extant document I’ve found provides any basis for giving the Elizabeth of Dennis’ will the additional name Sarah.
I’m equally baffled by all the family trees and published sources I spot stating that Ephraim Clanton married “Catern” Lindsey. We know beyond doubt that Dennis’ daughter Catherine married Roger Thornton, not Ephraim Clanton. And why should the “Catern” spelling used in Dennis’ nuncupative will, which was dictated to an unnamed scribe, be substituted for the name Catherine, when Catern is obviously a colloquial pronunciation, not a formal name? Should a colloquial pronunciation of a given name, or a nickname, be used in a family tree as the actual name of a person? I’ve found documents in colonial eastern North Carolina naming women who were Catherines as Kathern or Cathern — a pronunciation of that name I heard in my own childhood.
But most family trees including these Katherns/Catherns rightly list the person who appears under that colloquial spelling in a will or other document as Katherine/Catherine. Phonetic spellings tell us how people pronounced names, not how those names should properly be spelled or were properly spelled when people who were literate wrote them down formally.
Estimating When Elizabeth Lindsey Clanton Was Born
To return to Dennis Lindsey’s will: the will doesn’t (as other documents also don’t, for that matter) provide any exact information about when Dennis’ children were born. Granville tax records allow us to place the year of birth of Dennis’ son William by 1733, and I suspect for a number of reasons that he was actually born around 1729-1730. If Catherine was born around the same year in which Roger Thornton was born — his birth year can be established as 1725 from the register of North Farnham parish in Richmond County, Virginia — then it seems she would likely have been born in the period 1725-1730.
Robert Phillips was born by 1733, and likely around or before 1730. If Margaret was near him in age, she would perhaps have been born between 1730-1735. In the case of Elizabeth and her spouse Ephraim Clanton, we can fairly well deduce Ephraim’s year of birth from documents in Surry County, Virginia, where he was born. The most well-documented account I have found of the Clanton family to which Ephraim belonged is Velda E. and Lee R. Clanton’s Clanton Family History and Lineage Lines. This source cites Surry County court orders to show that, after his father Richard Clanton died in 1751, Ephraim was under guardianship and not of age from 1751-1757. He appears to have come of age in 1757. This places his date of birth around 1736-1737. If his wife Elizabeth was near him in age, she would apparently have been born in the late 1730s or around 1740.
Ephraim Clanton in Surry County, Virginia, Records
Before I share with you the information I have on Ephraim Clanton’s family in Surry County records, a few provisos: 1) I have not done nearly enough research regarding Ephraim’s ancestry to be confident that I have accurate information; 2) most published accounts of this family I’ve found contradict each other, and very few cite documentation to substantiate their accounts; 3) I’ve relied on the research of Velda and Lee Clanton because they reference documents; 4) my own research on Ephraim and his family tends to pick up on his story after he moved from Surry County to Granville County, North Carolina, about 1760.
Bona fide Clanton researchers will likely have a much more complete and accurate picture of Ephraim Clanton’s ancestry and life in Surry County than I have, and I’d surely welcome additions and corrections to what I’m saying here from Clanton researchers. I also encourage readers interested in this topic (and myself) to do further first-hand research in Surry County records.
According to Velda and Lee Clanton, Ephraim Clanton is the son of Richard and Agnes West Clanton of Surry County. The Clantons indicate that Richard and Agnes Clanton had sons Ephraim and David, both of whom moved from Surry County, Virginia, to Granville County, North Carolina, and on to Kershaw County, South Carolina. Other sources add a son Richard, and it seems to me likely that a Richard Clanton found in Granville and Kershaw records is, indeed, a brother of Ephraim and David. David appears to have been close in age to Ephraim, and Richard slightly older.
Velda and Lee Clanton indicate that Richard Clanton elder died in Albemarle parish in Surry County in 1751. I find other sources giving the year of Richard’s death as 1750. If the information of Velda and Lee Clanton about David and Ephraim beginning to appear in Surry County court orders under guardianship in 1751 is correct, then Richard had definitely died by 1751. Gregory A. Gilliam’s well-documented Gilliams of Virginia website has a page entitled “Gilliams of Surry County” which includes an abstract of a 21 July 1752 estate account for Richard Clanton, deceased.
According to Velma and Lee Clanton, Richard Clanton was the son of William Clanton and Mary Seward Holt, daughter of Thomas Holt, whose parents were William Holt and Elizabeth Seward. Mary Seward Holt is thought to have been born about 1687 in Surry County. William Clanton was born in 1684-1685, the Clantons think, and is thought to have been a son of Edward Clanton, who was born in James City County, Virginia, in 1658. William Clanton died testate in Surry County with a will dated 15 September 1725 naming wife Mary and a son Richard. The Clantons state that Richard Clanton’s wife Agnes was the daughter of John West and Agnes Jones, and that John West died testate in Amelia County, Virginia, with a will dated 3 August 1742.
As noted previously, not long after he came of age, Ephraim Clanton moved with his brother David — around 1760 or shortly thereafter, Velda and Lee Clanton suggest — to Granville County, North Carolina. Since he had come of age only in 1757, Surry County documents providing information about his life there are understandably sparse. The one tidbit of information I’ve found about Ephraim in Surry County records just as he was coming of age is his listing as a godfather for Harris Gilliam, son of Levi and Elizabeth Gilliam, on 12 April 1756 when Harris Gilliam was baptized in Albemarle parish in Surry County. Two other godparents are also listed — Burrell Mcklemore and Mary Rachel.
This baptismal record is important because it captures information about families to which the Clanton family was long closely connected in Surry County, some of whose members made the trek to Granville County, North Carolina, in the same time frame in which the Clanton brothers moved there. As we’ll see shortly, when Ephraim Clanton first purchased land in Granville County, he bought his land from a Young Macklemore (Mclemore in the original) whose roots are intertwined with those of the Macklemores in Albemarle parish in Surry County, Virginia.
The Burrell/Burwell Macklemore who was a godfather along with Ephraim Clanton for Harris Gilliam was son of John (abt. 1698 – abt. 1767) and Faith Macklemore of Albemarle parish, who married Amy Gilliam (abt. 1730 – bef. 1793). John Macklemore’s parents were James Macklemore and Fortune Gilliam.
According to Gregory Gilliam, in his work Historical Southern Families, John Bennett Boddie indicates that Charles Gilliam, son of Hinchea Gilliam and Fortune Flood of Surry County, married Mary Clanton — linking the Gilliam and Clanton families by marriage. According to Gregory Gilliam, Boddie is incorrect on this point and Charles Gilliam’s wife was Mary Jones and not Clanton. I mention this discussion because a number of online Gilliam family trees, apparently relying on Boddie’s work, state that Burrell/Burwell Macklemore’s wife Amy Gilliam was a daughter of Charles Gilliam and Mary Clanton.
Regardless of the correctness or incorrectness of Boddie’s assertion that Charles Gilliam married Mary Clanton, there were definitely close ties between the Clanton and Gilliam (and Macklemore) families in Surry County. When Ephraim Clanton’s grandfather William Clanton made his will in Surry County on 15 September 1725, one of the witnesses to the will (along with Edward Clanton) was John Gilliam. Edward Clanton also witnessed the will of Charles Gilliam’s father Hinchea/Hinshea Gilliam in Surry County on 13 January 1733. William Clanton (died 1726) had both a brother and a son Edward, and the latter was of age by the time William’s will was made; it appears that either Edward might be the Edward Clanton of these two documents.
By 1738, Edward Clanton was in Brunswick County, Virginia, where, with wife Sarah, he deeded to John Gilliam (Gillum in the original) of Surry County, Virginia, two tracts of land amounting to 550 acres on the south side of the Nottoway River. Clanton had patented the two tracts on 24 March 1725 and 27 September 1729.
An 8 March 1744 processioning account in Albemarle parish vestry minutes shows that Ephraim Clanton’s father was a neighbor to Hinchia/Hinchea Gilliam. Vestry minutes for that date state that, per a 13 October 1743 to procession lands from the mouth of Raccoon Swamp to the mouth of Little Swamp up to Stoakes Road and the Hunting Quarter and then to the Nottoway, the land had been processioned. Richard Clanton’s name is next to Hinchia Gilliam’s on this processioning list, indicating that they had adjoining land.
In addition, a 20 June 1749 Surry County deed of James Hearn and wife Mary to Hinchia Gilliam, all of Albemarle parish in Surry, for land on the south side of Nottoway River states that the land bordered Richard Clanton among others. The 21 July 1752 account of the estate of Ephraim Clanton’s father Richard cited above shows Hinchia Gilliam as one of those to whom Clanton was either indebted or from whom a note of debt was to be collected.
It should also be noted that Albemarle parish baptism records show Ephraim Clanton’s brother David acting as a godfather when Jordan, son of Charles and Mary Gilliam was baptized on 2 October 1757. This is the same Charles Gilliam with wife Mary discussed above.
A work by James Latinus McLemore entitled B. F. McLemore, His Ancestors and Descendants: A History of the McLemore-Westbrook Family of Southside Virginia, part of which is reproduced online at William P. McLemore’s James and Abraham Macklemore website, casts further interesting light on the interconnections of the Clanton, Gilliam, and Macklemore families. This source indicates that the James Macklemore who married Fortune Gilliam (mentioned above) had a brother Abraham, who married about 1720 a second wife Mary Young, who may have had some tie to the family of Benjamin Harrison II of James River, who owned land next to that of Hinchea Gilliam (married Fortune Flood) in Surry County.
According to James Latinus McLemore, Abraham Macklemore sold land to William Gilliam (Gillum in the original) on the north side of the Morratock (i.e., Roanoke) River in Bertie (later Northampton) County, North Carolina, on 10 May 1735. Two days later, he sold land in Bertie on Pigeon Ruse Creek to William Clanton. Abraham died testate in Bertie with a will dated 4 January 1735/1736. The will, which is transcribed by James Latinus McLemore, was witnessed by William Gillum and William Clanton. It names Young Macklemore as his son. This is the Young Macklemore from whom Ephraim Clanton bought land in Granville County, North Carolina, on 11 May 1761. An 8 February 1736 Bertie deed of Abraham Macklemore’s wife Mary shows her deeding land to sons Atkin and Young Macklemore below William Gilliam’s tract (Gillam in the original).
Ephraim Clanton in Granville County, North Carolina, Records
By 1761, Ephraim Clanton seems to have established himself in Granville County, since he appears on a Granville tax list in that year with Dennis Lindsey as a poll in his household. This suggests to me that he had married Elizabeth Lindsey not long after his arrival in Granville County. If that’s the case, then one wonders about the possibility of some pre-existing connection between Ephraim and Dennis. As we’ve seen in previous postings, Dennis Lindsey was closely associated in Granville County with Aaron Fussell, who witnessed Dennis’ will. Given the ties of the Surry County Clanton (and Gilliam and Macklemore) family to Bertie County, is it possible that there was some yet-to-be-recognized relationship between Ephraim Clanton and Aaron Fussell?
Two Granville deeds on 11 May 1761 show Ephraim Clanton buying 640 acres from Young Macklemore (Mclemore in the original) and on the same day, selling half of the tract to his brother David. The land was on both sides of Flat Creek on the Great Branch. Neither deed has witnesses to it, and Ephraim signs by mark. On 29 July 1761, a Richard Clanton that I take to be Ephraim and David’s brother (see above) had a survey for 556 acres on a branch on both sides of Flat Creek. According to William S. Powell, Flat Creek rises in eastern Granville County and flows northeast into Vance County, where it empties into Nutbush Creek.
In 1762, Ephraim Clanton appears twice on Granville tax lists. I find him in Ragland district listed with one poll beside Richard Clanton, who has two polls. I also find him on the insolvent list for this year. In August of the same year, Dennis Lindsey named Ephraim as his son-in-law in his will. The will makes Dennis’ three sons-in-law his executors, and stipulates that Ephraim is to have the care of Dennis’ minor children Benjamin and Winifred and to teach Benjamin the carpenter’s trade, unless Benjamin’s brother William provides care for him.
On 3 November 1764, Ephraim sold to his brother David the 320 acres that was Ephraim’s half of the land he had acquired from Young Macklemore in 1761, the other half of which he sold to David immediately after buying the land. The land description mentions neither watercourses nor adjoining landowners. The deed was witnessed by Christmas Ray, Fanny Ray (mark), Amea (Fl—?) (mark), and Richard Clanton. Ephraim signed by mark. Richard Clanton proved the deed at August 1765 court.
The following year on 14 March 1765, David Clanton sold the 640 acres he had bought from Ephraim to Ben Ragland, noting that the land was bought from Ephraim and was on Richard Clanton’s line. David signed by mark, with Nathaniel Harris, Evan Ragland, and William Ragland witnessing the deed. With the 1764-5 sale of their Granville land, the Clanton brothers were preparing for their move down to Camden District, South Carolina, where they settled in what would become Kershaw County in 1798.
The Final Years in South Carolina
David Clanton had settled in Camden District by August 1770. In an 18 July 1787 affidavit filed in Lancaster County, South Carolina, David Clanton states that in August 1770, he had seen Thomas Goutcher, brother of the widow Mary McKee, release his title to 100 acres of land on the Saltketchers to Thomas and Mary’s sister Martha Goutcher (now Bell), and that David had witnessed that deed along with John Findlay of Beaver Creek.
Ephraim was definitely in South Carolina by 1 May 1772, when a memorial for land for John Wyly on Beaver Creek in Craven County mentions Ephraim. John was executor of Samuel Wyly, who appears to have been the original owner of the land. Note the reference to Beaver Creek in the preceding August 1770 deed witnessed by David Clanton and in this 1772 land memorial mentioning Ephraim Clanton. There are quite a few indicators that, when the Clanton brothers left Granville County, they settled right away in Camden District near what would become the border of Kershaw and Lancaster Counties when those counties were formed in 1798, with Ephraim settling on branches of Beaver Creek and David on branches of Singleton Creek, and they remained there until both of their deaths.
A plat for Adam McWilie for land on Beaver Creek in Camden District dated 30 June 1792 mentions Ephraim Clanton as an adjoining landowner, as well as one for Isaac Knox on and 20 September 1792. When John Johnston of Lancaster County sold to Adin Tillman of Kershaw County 85 acres on Beaver Creek on 19 July 1817, the deed states that the land bordered, among others, lands surveyed for Adam McWillie and Ephraim Clanton.
In addition, affidavits in the Revolutionary pension file of Thomas Ballard seem to place the Clanton families in the Beaver Creek neighborhood in the early 1780s. The file contains an affidavit of John Clanton of Kershaw County dated 3 July 1839, which states that he had become acquainted with Ballard in 1780-1, when he served a tour with him and other Whigs and Ballard was commanding the Beaver Creek Company of Kershaw County. On 5 November 1839, John Trousdale and Thomas Mackey, both of Lancaster County, also affirmed that Ballard was captain of the Beaver Creek Militia Company and a well-known Whig of the Beaver Creek neighborhood. On the same day, Ballard himself testified that he had received a commission in 1781 to command the Beaver Creek Militia Company in Kershaw.
I am not entirely certain who the John Clanton of this July 1839 affidavit is. If he’s the John Clanton listed two households from Ephraim Clanton on the 1800 census (to be discussed in a moment), it seems to me that he’s very likely that Ephraim’s brother, and both are sons of an older Ephraim Clanton also found on the 1800 census in Kershaw County. Since no estate record for Ephraim Sr. appears to be extant, it has proven impossible to create a complete list of the several children that the 1790 census suggests he had.
Beaver Creek runs north-south through Kershaw County to empty into Lake Wateree just east of Liberty Hill. It parallels present-day highway 21 which runs roughly from Rock Hill to Blythewood just east of interstate 77.
On 7 July 1786, Ephraim Clanton received a Revolutionary pay indent in Kershaw County. He was paid ￡2.12.6 for providing corn for the Continental troops in 1781.
The 1790 federal census shows Ephraim Clanton in Lancaster County, Camden District, South Carolina, census with a household comprised of three males over 16, seven males under 16, and two females. In 1800, two Ephraim Clantons are enumerated on the federal census in Kershaw County, Camden District. One household has one white male over 45, with a white female under 10, one white female 16-25, and one white female over 45. The other household has two white males 16-25, 4 white females under 10, and 2 white females 16-25. A John Clanton is enumerated two households from this Ephraim, and on the same page, listed side by side, are Nathaniel and Samuel Clanton.
The two Ephraims found on the 1800 census in Kershaw County are thought by various researchers to be father and son, the younger man (the second listing) having established his own household between 1790 and 1800. By 1810, only one Ephraim Clanton (who is listed as Eph) appears on the federal census in Kershaw County — evidently the younger Ephraim of the 1800 census.
The 1800-1810 censuses allow us to deduce, I think, that Ephraim Clanton, husband of Elizabeth Lindsey, died between those two dates, very likely in Kershaw County. No estate record for him appears to be extant (at least, not one I’ve found, and I’ve seen no citations of one), and no document I’ve found (or have seen cited by other researchers) provides a list of his children. As I’ll tell you in a subsequent posting about Ephraim’s children, a number of researches speculate that several Clanton men found in Kershaw County records who are younger than Ephraim are likely (some of) his sons. The 1790 and 1800 censuses suggest that he may have had quite a few sons and daughters. Most of these have not been identified. Whether all were by his wife Elizabeth Lindsey, it’s impossible to say on the basis of these two documents.
As I stated at the start of this posting, I’ve found no listing of Elizabeth in any records outside her father’s August 1762 will in Granville County. It’s, of course, possible she’s the woman aged over 45 (i.e., born before 1755) on the 1800 census. In that case, Elizabeth would have lived to 1800 and probably have died after that date in Kershaw County. If I’ve estimated Elizabeth’s probable date of birth correctly, the young female aged less than 10 in Ephraim elder’s household in 1800 would not likely have been Elizabeth’s child — so it’s also possible Elizabeth predeceased Ephraim and he had married another wife by 1800. It’s also possible some of those listed in his household in both 1790 and 1800 are children of married children of Ephraim living in his household when the census was taken.
A Richard Clanton who may be the Richard who received a land grant in Granville County, North Carolina, in 1761 died testate in Kershaw County in 1792, with a will dated 13 August 1792 and probated 16 October 1792. The will names a son William, who is of age and is made executor along with Richard’s unnamed wife. It also names minor sons George and bequeaths a shilling to “each of my other children.” Kershaw County’s index to loose-papers estate files states that there is a loose-papers estate file (box 16, 503) for Richard. Unfortunately, those files are not in the digitized collection of South Carolina loose-papers estate files at the FamilySearch site, and have not been filmed by the LDS library, so I have yet to see this set of documents, which might cast light on the several interrelated Clanton families living in Kershaw County at this time.
(Please see also this subsequent posting explaining how the link to the Macklemore/McLemore family helps explain Ephraim Clanton’s immediate connection to the family of Dennis Lindsey when Ephraim arrived in Granville County about 1760.)
 Velda E. and Lee R. Clanton, Clanton Family History and Lineage Lines, vol. 2 (Hagerstown, MD, 1993).
 Ibid., p. 63. For 1754 and 1756, see Surry County, Virginia, Guardians Accounts, 1744-1762, # 138, 189.
 Clanton Family History and Lineage Lines, p. 63.
 See, e.g., Tom Goldrup’s 18 March 2002 posting about the Clanton family to the Whitehorn message board now at Ancestry, which also states, “On July 21, 1752 the Surry County court appointed the sale of the widow’s property as a widow at that time could not hold land without a guardian or a son at least 21 years of age.” He’s speaking of Richard Clanton’s widow Agnes. In a 29 September 2000, posting to the now-defunct Clanton genealogy group at Yahoo, Tom Goldrup also gives 1750 as Richard Clanton’s year of death.
 This source cites Surry County, Virginia, Deeds and Wills, Bk. 9, p. 806.
 Ibid., Bk. 7, p. 649.
 Amelia County, Virginia, Will Bk. 1, p. 185.
 Clanton Family History and Lineage Lines, p. 63.
 See Melinda McLemore Strong and Tom Strong’s well-documented McLemore Strong Genealogy site, which provides a transcript of John Maclemore’s 17 March 1758 will in Nottoway parish, Southampton County, Virginia, naming Burrell Maclemore as his son (Nottoway County, Virginia, Will Bk. B, p. 108).
 See this page discussing Boddie’s account of the Gilliams of Surry County at Gilliams of Virginia. Gregory Gilliam notes that he’s citing John Bennett Boddie, Historical Southern Families, vol. 1 (Redwood City, CA: Pacific Coast Publishers, 1957).
 Surry County, Virginia, Deeds and Wills, Bk. 7, p. 649.
 Ibid., Bk. 8, p. 432.
 Virginia Lee Hutcheson Davis and Andrew Wilburn Hogwood, ed. and trans., Albemarle Parish Vestry Book, 1742-1786: Surry and Sussex Counties, Virginia (Baltimore: Geneal Publ. Co. 2005), p. 13 (p. 17, #8 in original vestry minutes).
 See supra, n. 5.
 Bertie County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. D, p. 167.
 Ibid., p. 155.
 Ibid., Deed Bk. E, p. 413.
 Granville County, North Carolina, Deed Bk D, pp. 315, 375. Young McLemore received the 640 acres on 13 March 1760 (North Carolina Entry Bk. 14, p. 4, entry 699). A shuck for the grant held by the North Carolina Archives appears to contain no papers.
 North Carolina Entry Bk. 11, p. 337, #155. When the land was surveyed by Thomas Person on 23 January 1761, David Clanton was one of the chain carriers. I cannot read the other name; the surname is perhaps Carr.
 William S. Powell, The North Carolina Gazetteer (Chapel Hill: Univ. of North Carolina Press, 1968), p. 173.
 Granville County, North Carolina, Deed Bk. H, p. 38.
 Ibid., p. 109.
 By 1767, Ephraim and David are gone from the Granville tax list, with Richard remaining. On 1 September 1766, Richard bought from Benjamin Ragland half of the land Ephraim had bought from Young Macklemore in 1761, of which their brother David had sold 320 acres to Ragland in March 1765: see ibid., p. 17.
 The affidavit is Lancaster County, South Carolina, Deed Book A, p. 140; the original deed is in ibid., p. 26. See Joe Lineberger’s “Data Abstracts of the South Carolina Duke(s) Families,” at The Genealogical Webpage for Tony and Kathy Cox.
 South Carolina Memorial Bk. 11, p. 115.
 As the brief history of Beaver Creek Presbyterian church in Lancaster County at the SC Picture Project website states, the current church is in Lancaster County, but the original church was in Kershaw County. The present church is about six miles west of Kershaw in Lancaster County almost on the county line, and the original church was near what is now Red Hill in Kershaw County.
 Plat Bk. 28, p. 275 and 31, p. 9.
 Kershaw County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. H, p. 392.
 South Carolina Revolutionary Pay Indents Bk. H, #55 and South Carolina Revolutionary Audited Accounts, file 1252A. See the image at the top of the posting for a snapshot of the pay indent.
 1790 federal census, Lancaster County, South Carolina, Camden District, p. 241.
 1800 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, Camden District, pp. 151, 163.
 1810 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 414.
 Kershaw County, South Carolina, Will Bk. C, p. 96.