The Children of Dennis Linchey/Lindsey (abt. 1700-1762): Elizabeth Lindsey and Husband Ephraim Clanton — Notes on Their (Probable) Sons Ephraim Jr. and John

Clanton, David SC Plats Vol. 14 p 89
1770 plat for David Clanton for 350 acres on Little River in Craven (later Kershaw) County, South Carolina, South Carolina Plat Bk. 14, p. 89

Or, Subtitled: Trying to Make Much Hay from a Few Blades of Grass

As I promised in my penultimate posting, I now want to tell you what little I know (or think I know) about Ephraim and Elizabeth Lindsey’s children — and that’s not much at all, to be candid. As the posting I’ve just linked tells you, I haven’t been able to find an estate document for Ephraim naming his children, though the 1790 and 1800 census (discussed in that linked posting) suggest that he may have had a number of children including both sons and daughters. In the absence of estate records naming his heirs, or land, court, and tax records from which we might deduce the names of children, we have to engage in guesswork based on sparse evidence. The partial list of two (or, for some researchers, three) likely sons we can create on the basis of the limited evidence available to us (there’s simply no documentation, insofar as I’ve been able to determine, on which to base deductions about daughters) is pretty certainly incomplete.

Much about the life of Ephraim and his family after he moved to South Carolina around 1765 is a mystery to me (and apparently to other researchers), because of the lack of records to track him and his family in Camden District and then Kershaw County, when that county was formed from Camden in 1798. As the posting linked above tells you, we know from a plat for Adam McWillie on 30 June 1792 that Ephraim owned land joining the land surveyed for McWillie on branches of Beaver Creek. Other adjoining landowners were Arthur Cunningham, Cloud Ingram, and Thomas Jones.[1] I believe the Ephraim in this document is Ephraim the father and not a son we’ll discover he likely had who shared his name: that son seems first to have acquired land in 1795.

In addition, a 20 September 1792 plat for Isaac Knox for 135 acres on branches of Beaver Creek shows the land bounding Ephraim Clanton, along with Alexander Archer, George Keys, Knox himself, and Robert Lee.[2] And a July 1817 deed of John Johnston to Adin Tillman states that the land Johnston was selling on Beaver Creek bordered land surveyed for Adam McWillie and Ephraim Clanton.[3] (Note that Ephraim Clanton elder is enumerated two households after Isaac Knox on the 1800 federal census in Kershaw County.)[4]

The puzzle about this set of documents, showing that, by 1792, Ephraim Clanton owned land in Camden District joining land of Adam McWillie, is that I have been unable to find any grants, plats, or memorials for land owned by Ephraim Clanton in Camden District or Kershaw County. I cannot tell you with absolute certainty that I have searched deeds filed at the state level (where deeds were filed in colonial South Carolina for a considerable period of time), though I did spend quite a bit of time several years ago at the LDS library in Salt Lake City combing Kershaw County records for Ephraim Clanton, without turning up information about the land he owned by 1792. The consolidated index maintained by the South Carolina Archives, which is now online at the Archives’ website and should be one of researchers’ first go-to sources when they discover a colonial South Carolina ancestral line, does not turn up any information about Ephraim’s landholdings in Kershaw. The index covers a wide range of South Carolina records.

Land Transactions Involving Ephraim Clanton, Camden District/Kershaw County, South Carolina

I do find two deeds in Kershaw County deed books showing an Ephraim Clanton buying and selling land. The second of these deeds, which is dated 1 April 1807, clearly belongs to a younger Ephraim Clanton with wife Jamima who is thought to be son of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey. The first, dated December 1795, could be a deed to Ephraim elder, but in my view, is likely a deed recording a land purchase by Ephraim younger with wife Jamima.

In December 1795 (the deed has a blank for the day), John Clanton sold to Ephraim Clanton for one shilling 100 acres John had bought from Samuel Thompson bounded by George Hayes, Isaac Knox, and Alexander Archer. John signed by mark with Thomas Archer and T. Lee witnessing the deed. Archer proved the deed 22 February 1796.[5]

Note that this deed mentions the same Isaac Knox who is named as a landowner joining Ephraim Clanton in the September 1792 plat discussed above, and it also involves a Thomas Archer as a witness; the 1792 plat to Knox names Alexander Archer as another landowner with land joining Knox. This deed, which records a transaction that occurred in Camden District before Kershaw County was created in 1798, might be a deed for a sale of land to the older Ephraim, who was living up to 1800-1810, as we saw in the posting linked above. I’ll explain in a moment why I think that it’s a deed to that Ephraim’s son Ephraim.

The John Clanton selling this tract of land to Ephraim Clanton? I think it’s the same John Clanton discussed in the posting linked at the top of this one, who is listed two houses from Ephraim Clanton younger on the 1800 federal census in Kershaw County, and who gave an affidavit on behalf of Thomas Ballard’s Revolutionary pension claim in July 1839 stating that he served in Ballard’s Beaver Creek Militia Company in 1780-1. As I also told you in that previous posting, I’m inclined to think this John is a son of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey. If that’s the case, then this would be a brother selling land to a brother in the vicinity of land owned by their father.

The second deed I’ve found in Kershaw County mentioning Ephraim Clanton is a 1 April 1807 deed of Ephraim Clanton, planter of Kershaw District, to Alexander Archer of the same for $400 127 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek out of two tracts, one granted to Adam McWillie and the other to Isaac Knox. The land was bounded north by a line dividing Joseph Cumming and the said Ephraim, west by George Hayes and Isaac Knox, south by heirs of Robert Lee, and east by Alexander Archer. Ephraim signed this deed with wife Jamima signing by mark. Witnesses were Thomas Archer, John McWalley Archer, and Ace Reeves. Thomas Archer proved the deed 23 June 1807.[6]

Note the mention of Adam McWillie and Isaac Knox, as well as Thomas and Alexander Archer. This is the younger Ephraim selling land in the vicinity of land his father, Ephraim elder, owned by September 1792. If the older Ephraim had died by 1805, as Minnie Bonner and Doris Welsh think,[7] then I wonder if this piece of land or a portion of it was land previously owned by the older Ephraim, and had passed to his son Ephraim at the father’s death. I’ll say more about this later.

Land Records of John and David Clanton, Camden District/Kershaw County, South Carolina

In the absence of many records mentioning Ephraim Clanton (whether Sr. or Jr.) in Camden District/Kershaw County, I’ve combed through land records of other Clanton men in that area, who seem to have ties to Ephraim, in the hope of finding information that helps us have a clearer picture of Ephraim and his family:

A John Clanton had a grant for 328 acres in Camden District on 10 February 1792. The tract was surveyed by Adam McWillie and was on Singletons Creek in what later became Kershaw County, bounded east by James Perry, southwest by David Clanton and Adam McWillie, and northwest by James Cunningham and Robert Marshall.[8] A plat for this piece of land was filed 1 October 1792.[9]

A number of indicators in this survey and plat suggest to me that the John Clanton receiving this grant in February 1792 is not the John Clanton who deeded 100 acres to Ephraim Clanton in December 1795. That land was on a branch of Beaver Creek, something we can easily deduce from Ephraim Clanton’s April 1807 deed of 127 acres on a branch of Beaver Creek to Alexander Archer. Both deeds show the land being sold bounding George Hayes, Isaac Knox, and Alexander Archer among others. Isaac Knox’s September 1792 plat for 135 acres on branches of Beaver Creek shows the land bounding Ephraim Clanton, along with Alexander Archer, Isaac Knox, and Robert Lee. Robert Lee is mentioned as a neighbor to the younger Ephraim in his April sale of land to Alexander Archer. This tells us that Ephraim, the father of the younger Ephraim and John, had land by 1792 right in the vicinity of the land John sold the younger Ephraim in 1795 and that Ephraim then deeded to Archer in 1807.

Note that the February 1792 grant to John Clanton is for land on Singletons Creek next to David Clanton, brother of Ephraim Clanton Sr. As we’ll see in a moment, several documents in the 1790s place David on Singletons Creek. The John receiving this 1792 land grant is likely David’s son. The 1790 federal census enumerates a John Clanton next to David,[10]and a number of documents show David selling land to John.

The John Clanton enumerated next to David is the only John Clanton found in Camden District in 1790. By 1800, there are two John Clantons in Kershaw County on the federal census, one listed as John Sr., the other, who doesn’t have a Jr. or Sr. designation, living two houses from Ephraim Clanton the younger.[11] Both this John and the John designated as Sr. are in the age group 26-44. It seems to me very unlikely that these are men are father and son. John Sr. is enumerated beside two men named William Clanton.[12] Ephraim Clanton and the other John are listed on the same page with (but not next to or near) a Nathaniel Clanton thought to be David’s son, who has Samuel Clanton next to him. As the posting linked at the top of this posting tells you, we can determine that the Ephraim Clanton with John Clanton listed two houses away is the younger Ephraim and not his father who had the same name; the older Ephraim is enumerated separately in Kershaw County in 1800.

On 30 November 1792, David Clanton of Singletons Creek (Shingletons in the original) sold to John Clanton of the same for one shilling 40 acres out of 250 acres granted to Thomas Kemp on 5 June 1770. David signed the deed with his wife Elizabeth signing by mark, with Adam McWillie, Samuel Clanton, and William Clanton witnessing the deed (the two Clantons signed by mark). McWillie proved the deed 4 February 1793.[13] Two days later on 1 December, David and Elizabeth Clanton of Singletons Creek (again, Shingletons in the original) in Camden district sold to John Clanton of the same for £20 50 acres out of 250 granted to Thomas Kemp on 5 June 1770.[14]

Note the reference to Adam McWillie as David Clanton’s neighbor in the February 1792 grant to John Clanton. We know from the June 1792 plat to Adam McWillie for land on branches of Beaver Creek that this piece of land bordered Ephraim Clanton. And we find from the February 1792 grant to John Clanton and other documents of the 1790s that David Clanton also had land joining McWillie’s — but on Singletons Creek and not a branch of Beaver Creek. A plat for Adam McWillie for 955 acres on Singletons Creek in Camden District on 9 February 1792 shows the land being platted bordering David Clanton, James Cunningham, James Perry, and Alexander Sutherland.[15] McWillie was an extensive landowner in Kershaw County, with land in various areas, including pieces that, we know from the documents we’re examining, bordered both Ephraim Clanton and his brother David.

Sometime around 30 August 1805, when his wife Mary relinquished dower — the deed as filmed by the LDS library has the dower relinquishment superimposed over most of the deed — John Clanton sold to John Clanton Sr. 100 acres on Singletons (Shingletons) Creek. Because the body of the deed is obscured in the LDS microfilm copy of Kershaw County deed books, I have no idea what the deed itself says — and that’s unfortunate, since it might cast light on the connections between the two John Clantons involved in this transaction.[16] The 1810 federal census lists two John Clantons in Kershaw County, both on the same page. One John is enumerated next to Gilliam Clanton, a son of David. The census gives his age range as 10-15; also in the household is a female 26-44, but the head of the household is given as John Clanton. On the same page is a John Clanton aged 45+ and listed two houses away from N. Clanton, another son of David, his son Nathaniel.[17]

In my view, neither of these two John Clantons is the John Clanton found two houses from Ephraim Clanton Jr. in 1800. I think it’s very likely that the John aged 45+ is David’s son and is the John listed as John Sr. in 1800. That older John is possibly the John Clanton Sr. who died testate in Kershaw County with a will dated 27 March 1843 mentioning land on Singletons Creek and naming, among other heirs, a son John (a grandson David is also named).[18]

As noted above, when David Clanton sold land on Singletons Creek to John Clanton in November and December 1792, the deeds state that the land David was selling was out of a 250-acre tract granted to Thomas Kemp on 5 June 1770. David Clanton bought this land from Kemp on 5 October 1774. The deed states that Thomas Kemp was of Orange County, North Carolina, and David Clanton was of St. Mark’s parish in Craven County, South Carolina, and that the land (which David acquired for five shillings) lay on the north side of the Wateree River on Singletons (Shingletons) Creek bordering Thomas Myhie. Joseph Camp and Burton Pryde (mark) witnessed the deed, and Camp proved it 3 December 1774.[19] (Note that Camp is a variant spelling of the surname Kemp.)

In addition to the pieces of Kemp’s tract that David Clanton sold to John Clanton in November and December 1792, David and wife Elizabeth sold other portions of the land in October 1792, as well as land David had acquired from a tract granted to John Stuart in 1774. On 10 October 1792, David Clanton of Shingletons Creek, Camden District, and Elizabeth his wife sold to Adam McWillie (McWylie in the original) of the same for a shilling 85 acres out of a tract granted to John Stuart on 9 December 1774. The land was west of Shingletons Creek on both sides of the road leading from Hanging Rock to Starks Ferry on or near the dividing line of Lancaster and Kershaw County, and was bordered by land granted to Thomas Kemp, Adam McWillie, and Archibald (Owings?). Again, David signed, with Elizabeth signing by mark. Witnesses were James Bredin and Sterling and Mary Clanton (both Clantons making a mark).[20]

The following day, 11th October, David and Elizabeth sold to Adam McWillie (all of Singletons Creek), for £30 sterling and 10 shillings 85 acres in the same location, with the same witnesses. James Bredin/Breden proved the two deeds on 6 July 1793.[21]

Two deeds following the preceding deed in Kershaw County deed books have the date 10 and 11 October 1790, but seem to have been made at the same time as the preceding deeds dated 10 and 11 October 1792. The first of this pair of deeds says that on 10 October 1790, David and Elizabeth Clanton of Shingletons Creek sold to Adam McWillie of the same for a shilling 65 acres from 250 acres granted to Thomas Kemp, with the land description and witnesses the same as in the preceding two deeds. Then the following day David and Elizabeth sold McWillie 65 acres out of the same Kemp tract, again with the same land description and witnesses.[22]

Finally, on 24 October 1792, David Clanton sold to Samuel Clanton two more pieces of the Kemp land — two 65-acre tracts — with David alone signing the deed, and William Kirkland, Sterling Clanton (mark), and Robert R(—) witnessing. Sterling Clanton proved the deeds 23 July 1793.[23]

Singleton Creek, as it is now called, runs parallel to Beaver Creek, both running north-south through Kershaw County to empty into Lake Wateree. The community of Liberty Hill is between the two creeks, with Beaver Creek just to the east of that community and Singleton Creek just to the west of Liberty Hill.

Questions about These Clanton Land Records in Camden District/Kershaw County

What to make of these Clanton land documents? In particular, what do they tell us about Ephraim Clanton (married Elizabeth Lindsey) and his family?

  1. First, they tell us that Ephraim Clanton and his brother David had land in the same vicinity in Camden District (later Kershaw County), but they did not live side by side. The land of both men seems to have been near what would become the border of Lancaster and Kershaw County, with their land falling on the Kershaw side of the county line, and David’s near Singleton Creek, while Ephraim’s was near Beaver Creek.
  2. It’s possible that part of the 127 acres Ephraim Clanton (wife Jamima) sold to Alexander Archer on branches of Beaver Creek in April 1807 came to him from John Clanton’s deed of 100 acres in December 1795. That deed says that John bought the 100 acres from Samuel Thompson. It does not say who had owned or been granted the land before Thompson had it, and I have been unable to find the original deed of Thompson to Clanton to see whether it clarifies that point.

If Thompson’s land was out of grants to Adam McWillie or Isaac Knox, both mentioned as original grantees of the 127 acres Ephraim Clanton sold to Alexander Archer in April 1807, then 100 of the 127 acres Ephraim was deeding in that deed might have come to him from John Clanton’s deed of December 1795. It also seems possible that some of the 127 acres Ephraim was deeding in April 1807 may have belonged to his father Ephraim Sr., as I’ve noted previously. Ephraim Sr. disappears from the federal census between 1800-1810, and appears to have died in Kershaw County during that period.

The following is worth repeating, I think: the December 1795 deed of John Clanton to Ephraim Clanton says that the land John was selling was bounded by George Hayes, Isaac Knox, and Alexander Archer. And the April 1807 deed of Ephraim with wife Jamima to Alexander Archer says that the land he was selling joined Joseph Cumming, Ephraim himself, George Hayes, Isaac Knox, Robert Lee, and Alexander Archer. The September 1792 plat for Isaac Knox for 135 acres on branches of Beaver Creek that shows Knox’s land bounding Ephraim Clanton says that other adjoining landowners were shows Alexander Archer, George Keys, Isaac Knox, and Robert Lee.

This set of land records seems to me to confirm that the younger Ephraim Clanton with wife Jamima was very likely son of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey, and that the John Clanton selling land to the younger Ephraim in December 1795 was likely another son of the older Ephraim. Both John and Ephraim Jr.  were of age by December 1795. If the John selling land to the younger Ephraim in December 1795 is the John Clanton listed two households from the younger Ephraim on the 1800 census — and I think he is — then John and the younger Ephraim are likely the two additional males aged 16+ (their father Ephraim being the third) in Ephraim Sr.’s household in 1790. As the 1800 census suggests, John was likely older than his brother Ephraim Jr., and he had bought some land by December 1795 and was selling it to his brother Ephraim as Ephraim Jr. set up his own household — and this helps explains why both these men appear on the 1800 census when they are not listed in 1790.

  1. None of this explains, however, why mention of Ephraim Clanton elder is very sparse in Kershaw County land records. Since he was paid in 1786 for providing corn for the Continental troops in 1781, and since he is mentioned as an adjoining landowner in a June 1792 plat for Adam McWillie and a September 1792 plat for Isaac Knox, we know that he had land in Camden District (later Kershaw County), and was farming there by at least 1781 and probably earlier. In addition, there’s the July 1817 deed of John Johnston to Adin Tillman which states that the land Johnston was selling on Beaver Creek bordered land surveyed for Adam McWillie and Ephraim Clanton.

David had a precent for 350 acres on Little River in Craven County, South Carolina, within not many years after he and Ephraim left Granville County, North Carolina, and moved south. The precept is dated 1 May 1770; the survey for this tract was recorded 28 October the same year, and the grant to David for the 350 acres was made 19 August 1774.[24] (See the digital image at the head of the posting.)

Clanton, David, Royal Land Grants SC Vol. 32
Grant to David Clanton for 350 acres on Little River, Craven (later Kershaw) County, South Carolina, 19 August 1774, South Carolina Royal Land Grant Bk. 32, p. 175

I don’t know how to explain the sparsity of land records for Ephraim Clanton in Camden/Kershaw. Perhaps his land passed to his sons with no deeds being recorded when he died. It does appear that his brother David may have been a more extensive landholder and a more active buyer and seller of land. Perhaps Ephraim farmed in collaboration with David, though their homeplaces seem to have been separated from each other on branches of Beaver Creek and Singleton Creek.

Sons of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey

In the absence of information about a daughter or daughters Ephraim Clanton may have had (since both the 1790 and 1800 federal censuses show females who seem to be younger than his wife in his household, though these could have been grandchildren), we can deduce, as I’ve just told you, that he likely had at least two sons, John and Ephraim, both of age by December 1795. The 1790 census also shows him with seven males aged under 16. Are these (or some of these) other of his sons, or, if one of his sons was married by 1790 — the household has two females in it — are some of these younger males sons of a married son?

Clanton researcher Lee R. Clanton thinks Ephraim Clanton had only two known sons — Ephraim Jr. and John.[25] Researcher Tom Goldrup adds to this list a third probable son: Burrell Alexander Clanton.[26] In my view, there are strong indicators that Burrell Alexander belongs to the family of Ephraim Clanton’s brother David, and not to the family of Ephraim Clanton. Though, as I’ve shown you, I find Kershaw County records suggesting that a younger Ephraim Clanton and a John Clanton were probably sons of the older Ephraim and lived near him by the mid-1790s, I find no mention of Burrell Alexander Clanton in connection with any of these men.

As I’ve noted, both the younger Ephraim and John appear to be of age by December 1795. The 1800 federal census, in which both men appear on the same page in Kershaw County,[27] indicates that John was born between 1756-1774 and Ephraim between 1775-1784. The difference in their ages is consistent with what I deduce from the 1795 deed of John to Ephraim — that John was older than his brother Ephraim. If Ephraim was one of the three males aged over 16 in the household of Ephraim Sr. in 1790, then his year of birth would seem to be close to 1775.

Ephraim younger had a son whose name was given as Ephraim L. Clanton when he married Nancy Malinda Lee in Lauderdale County, Alabama, on 22 January 1837[28] and who is evidently the Linsay Clanton with wife Malinda found on the 1850 federal census in Lauderdale County, aged 59 and born in South Carolina (note that the 1860 and 1880 censuses, cited below, place Ephraim Lindsey Clanton’s birth around 1810, however).[29] If Ephraim Clanton (with wife Jamima) had a son born by 1791, it seems likely to me that Ephraim was born by 1771 — and the 1800 census is therefore probably somewhat off in estimating his birth range as 16-25. The 1810 federal census (Kershaw County) indicates that Ephraim was born between 1766-1784, and the 1820 federal census (Fairfield County, South Carolina) has him born before 1775.[30] Taken together, these three censuses suggest that Ephraim’s year of birth fell between 1766 and 1775.

Tom Goldrup cites a debt case of Jonathan Barnes v. Ephraim Clanton and John Clanton chronicled in Kershaw County court minutes on 9 February 1793.[31] If the Ephraim Clanton of this citation is the younger Ephraim, then the citation is further evidence that the younger Ephraim was likely born by the early 1770s. The case definitely confirms that his brother John was born by the early 1770s.

The following is the sparse information I’ve been able to glean about the two probable sons of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey, John and Ephraim Clanton Jr., from the limited records I’ve turned up in Kershaw County, and from records to which Lee R. Clanton and Tom Goldrup point:

John Clanton

Tom Goldrup thinks that John was born between 1780-1790 — but this is not possible if he is the John Clanton who sold land to Ephraim Clanton Jr. in December 1795. That John was of age by 1795, and if he’s the John Clanton of the 9 February 1793 Kershaw court record cited by Tom Goldrup (and I think he is), he was almost certainly born prior to about 1774. As I noted previously, the 1800 census has him born between 1756-1774. It seems to me very likely that Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey married soon after Ephraim came to Granville County, North Carolina in 1760 or 1761, and, if so, John Clanton would likely have been born between about 1762-1774.

Tom Goldrup thinks that Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey’s son John had a wife Rhoda, who was born about 1804 in Georgia, according to the 1850 federal census; she is enumerated with her children in Hardin County, Tennessee, on that census, with her age listed as 46.[32] According to Tom Goldrup, John Clanton is found on the 1840 census in Lauderdale County, Alabama, near Ephraim Lindsey Clanton, son of Ephraim and Jamima Clanton, and near a Moses Clanton thought to be a brother of Ephraim Lindsey Clanton. I don’t find John Clanton in Lauderdale County on the 1840 census, however. In my view, the John Clanton who was likely a son of Ephraim Clanton and Elizabeth Lindsey probably died between 1800 and 1810 in Kershaw County.

Ephraim Clanton Jr.

Tom Goldrup thinks that Ephraim Clanton Jr. was born about 1766. As I have explained above, census data suggest that he was born between 1766 and 1775. Since he seems to have been living in his father’s household in 1790, and first buying land in 1795, and since he also seems to have been younger than his brother John, I think he was likely born closer to 1770 or shortly after that date. As we’ll note in a moment, the 1860 census indicates that Ephraim’s wife Jamima was born about 1769. If the 1791 birthdate of their son Ephraim Lindsey Clanton on the 1850 federal census is correct, Ephraim Jr. probably married around 1790.

Researchers contributing to a wiki page for Moses Reeves at the collaborative international Reeves Project website, think that Ephraim’s wife Jamima was likely a daughter of Moses Reeves and wife Jane. Moses was born in Virginia about 1734, and died in Camden District (later Kershaw County), South Carolina, in 1797. As this wiki page notes, Ephraim and Jamima’s April 1807 deed to Alexander Archer, discussed above, has as a witness an Asa (Ace in the original) Reeves who seems closely related to Moses, and who moved to Lauderdale County, Alabama, along with Ephraim and Jamima’s sons Ephraim Lindsey Clanton and Moses Clanton.

As stated above, Ephraim Clanton is on the 1820 federal census in Fairfield County, South Carolina. A loose-papers probate file for him in Fairfield County shows that he had died there by 17 July 1823, when his widow Jamima appealed for probate of his estate with (S—?) Elkins and Moses Reaves (i.e., Reeves) giving bond with her. The estate was inventoried 2 August 1823 by John Rugely, John Brown, and Darrell Ford. The estate’s personal property was sold on the 9th. The estate documents don’t name Ephraim and Jamima’s children, unfortunately.[33]

Tom Goldrup notes that Ephraim’s widow Jamima Clanton is on the 1830 census in Fairfield County, and then is gone from the census until 1860, when she is enumerated in the household of Darkis Clanton Welch in Lauderdale County, Alabama, aged 91.[34] It appears that Jamima moved with sons Ephraim Lindsey Clanton and Moses Clanton to Lauderdale County between 1830 and 1840, since both men are enumerated on the 1840 census (by initial) in 1840.[35] As previously noted, Ephraim Lindsey Clanton married Nancy Malinda Lee in Lauderdale County on 22 January 1837, so it appears that the family had moved there between 1830 and 1837.

Jamima Clanton disappears from the federal census between 1860-1870 and likely died in Lauderdale County, Alabama, in that decade. The 1850 federal census indicates that Ephraim Lindsey Clanton was born about 1791 in South Carolina, and gives his occupation as carpenter.[36] In 1860, Ephraim Lindsey Clanton and his family are enumerated on the federal census in Greene County, Arkansas, with the census indicating that he was born about 1807 in South Carolina.[37] I last find Ephraim Lindsay Clanton (enumerated as Lindsay Clanton) on the 1880 census in Lauderdale County, Alabama, listed as a widower and father-in-law of William C. Dowdy with wife Martha, who are in the preceding household. This census gives Ephraim Lindsey Clanton’s age as 70.[38] I suspect that he died after this date in Lauderdale County. Those wishing to track his children and their families can find helpful information in the 1850 and 1860 censuses I’ve just cited, as well as in the records of Lauderdale County, Alabama.

The other probable son of Ephraim and Jamima Clanton that I find in Lauderdale County, Alabama, records is Moses Clanton. As noted above, he appears on the federal census in 1840 in Lauderdale County as M. Clanton and is enumerated not far from his brother Lindsey Clanton (listed as L. Clanton).[39] The 1850 census lists him as a laborer, age 40, born in South Carolina, living in Lauderdale County with a wife Kisiah, who evidently died between 1850 and 17 December 1858, when Moses married Jane Weatherford in Lauderdale County.[40]

Moses continues in Lauderdale County on the federal censuses of 1860 and 1870, with the 1860 census giving his age as 49 and the 1870 census showing him as 60 years old.[41] Both give his birthplace as South Carolina. His spouse in 1860 is Jane, evidently the Jane Weatherford he married in 1858; in 1870, he’s married to a Louisa.

The Find a Grave website has a memorial page for Moses Clanton created by Joan Viney, stating that he’s buried in Murphy’s Chapel cemetery in Lauderdale County. The page doesn’t have a photo of a tombstone or any information about whether a tombstone is extant. It states that the Jane of the 1860 census and the Louisa of the 1870 census are Moses’ second wife Louisa Jane, who was a widow Weatherford when he married her.

The 1850-1860-1870-1880 censuses I’ve cited above have information about children of both Ephraim Lindsey Clanton and Moses Clanton. I have not included that information here, since my goal with this blog is to help people who can track their families back to the period of those censuses find solid, documented information about their family lines prior to the mid-19th century.

A Brief Note about Adam McWillie

Here’s a bit of information about the Adam McWillie who is mentioned in many records of the Clanton family in Camden District/Kershaw County, South Carolina:

He was born in Ireland in 1766 and came to South Carolina shortly after the Revolution, settling near Camden in what became Kershaw County. He is buried in the cemetery of Beaver Creek Presbyterian church in Kershaw County with a tombstone inscription reading,

Sacred to the memory of Col. Adam McWillie who departed this life on the 23rd of April, 1827 in the 61st year of his age. He was a native of Ireland but early in life, removed to this neighborhood where he continued to reside until his death. He left a sife and seven children to lament their bereavement.

Adam McWillie married Ann, daughter of James McCullough, a Loyalist who returned to Ireland from South Carolina during the Revolution, and James’ wife Ann Beall. During the War of 1812, he raised a militia company in Kershaw County in which his son William, who was born at Liberty Hill, South Carolina, in 1795, served. William represented Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives, 1849-1851, and then was governor of Mississippi 1857-1859. According to John Bennett Boddie, the name was pronounced “Macquillie” in both Ulster and South Carolina.[42]

[1] South Carolina Plat Bk. 28, p. 275.

[2] Ibid., Bk. 31 p. 9.

[3] Kershaw County, South Carolina, Deed Bk. H, p. 392.

[4] 1800 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 151.

[5] Kershaw County Deed Bk. C, p. 44.

[6] Ibid., Bk. E, pp. 382-3.

[7] Minnie Bonner and Doris Welsh, The Clanton Family (Austin, TX: Nortex, 1991, p. xvii)

[8] South Carolina Grant Bk. 31, p. 183.

[9] South Carolina Plat Bk. 28, p. 365.

[10] 1790 federal census, Camden District, Lancaster County, South Carolina, p. 241.

[11] 1800 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 163.

[12] Ibid., p. 161.

[13] Kershaw County Deed Bk. B, pp. 300-1.

[14] Ibid., pp. 301-2.

[15] South Carolina Plat Bk. 28, p. 95.

[16] Kershaw County Deed Bk. E, pp. 165-6.

[17] 1810 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 413. In 1810, there is also a Another John Clanton in Lancaster County, South Carolina, aged 16-25, with a female 26-44 also in the household (1810 federal census, Lancaster County, South Carolina, p. 401).

[18] Kershaw County Will Bk. A, pp. 55-6.

[19] Kershaw County Deed Bk. B, pp. 160-2.

[20] Ibid., pp. 284-5.

[21] Ibid., pp. 285-7.

[22] Ibid., pp. 287-9, 289-290.

[23] Ibid., pp. 292-3, 293-4.

[24] South Carolina Plat Bk. 14, p 89; South Carolina Royal Grants Bk. 32, p. 175. It seems likely to me that this land was in the part of Craven District that became Camden and then Kershaw County, though I am not aware of a stream in that part of South Carolina called Little River. Was Little River an earlier name for the Wateree?

[25] Lee R. Clanton, Clanton Family History and Lineage Lines, vol. 2 (Hagerstown, MD; n.d.), p. 105.

[26] Tom Goldrup shared this information in a 29 September 2000 posting to the now-defunct Clanton genealogy group at Yahoo. The webpage of Jerome [Nate] Brewer of San Antonio, Texas, at Family Treemaker.com, which appears no longer to be online, had the same listing of sons for Ephraim Clanton: Ephraim Jr., John, and Burrell Alexander. See also Curtis Thomasson, “Clanton family came to South Alabama in early 1800s,” Andalusia [Alabama] Star News, 24 March 2018. This source has Burrell Alexander Clanton’s birthdate as 1735, which is incorrect. Burrell was in Clarke County, Mississippi, by 1850, with the federal census indicating he was born in 1785. The article also erroneously states that Ephraim Clanton, husband of Elizabeth Lindsey, lived in Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

[27] 1800 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 163.

[28] Lauderdale County, Alabama, Marriage Bk. 3, p. 186.

[29] 1850 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, district 1, dwelling 359, family 371, p. 255B.

[30] 1810 federal census, Kershaw County, South Carolina, p. 144; 1820 federal census, Fairfield County, South Carolina, p. 42.

[31] See supra, n. 23.

[32] 1850 federal census, Hardin County, Tennessee, district 2, dwelling/family 160, p. 262B. Rhoda is in Hardin County in 1860, age 52 (p. 297).

[33] Loose-papers probate file of Ephraim Clanton, Fairfield County, South Carolina, box 13, packets 113-116. Lee R. Clanton, Clanton Family History and Lineage Line, p. 92, also notes that Ephraim died between 1820-1830 in Fairfield County.

[34] 1830 federal census, Fairfield County, South Carolina, p. 365; 1860 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, western division, dwelling/family 132, p. 122. The census gives Jamima’s name as Jemima Clanton and states that she was born in South Carolina.

[35] 1840 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, pp. 82-3.

[36] See supra, n. 28.

[37] 1860 federal census, Salem Twp., Herndon P.O., Greene County, Arkansas, dwel. 144/family 138, p. 537. This census gives his name as Linzy Clanton.

[38] 1880 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, ED 142, dwelling 41/family 40, p. 27A.

[39] See supra, n. 34.

[40] 1850 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, district 1, dwe. 240/family 244, p. 247B.

[41] 1860 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama,western division, Gravelly Springs p.o., dwelling/family 176, p. 128; 1870 federal census, Lauderdale County, Alabama, twp. 2, Gravelly Springs p.o., dwelling 1432/family 1379, p. 540A.

[42] Adam McWillie’s tombstone is transcribed in Perry B. Bennett Hough, “Inscriptions from Beaver Creek Churchyard, Kershaw County, South Carolina,” South Carolina Historical Magazine 60,4 (Oct. 1959), p. 205. His Find a Grave memorial page erroneously reads “in the 61st year of his age” as “in the 31st year of his age.” Robert Brown Johnson, Genealogy of the McWillie and Cunningham Families (Columbia: R.L. Bryan, 1938, transcribes an undated letter from a Mrs. Ann Van Vacter who was a granddaughter of Adam McWillie, and records what she was told about him as she grew up: the letter is in a section of this book entitled, “A History of My Grandfather McWillie As I Have Heard It,” pp. 8-12. Biographical information about Adam and his son William is “Perrymans of Skimino, York County, Virginia,” in John Bennett Boddie, Virginia Historical Genealogies(Redwood City, CA, 1954; repr. Baltimore: Geneal. Publ. Co., 1990), p. 140. Goodspeed’s Biographical and Historical Memoirs of Mississippi (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1891, pp. 1243-7, also has biographical information about Adam and his son William. Biographical information about William is also in John Belton O’Neall, Biographical Sketches of the Bench and Bar of South Carolina, vol. 2 (Charleston, SC: S.G. Courtenay, 1859), pp. 505-8; and in the online Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.

 

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