Quick survey of assorted Clinch / Clench / Clynch information

Source: Virginia in 1740: A Reconstructed Census, TLC Genealogy, Inc., 1992

No Clench; 7 listings for Clinch, all in Surry County; No Clynch

Source: Virginia County Records — Spotsylvania County, Volume I by Crozier

No Clench, Clinch, or Clynch

The following are all too late to be of help in terms of ancestry of William Logan of Spotsylvania County, VA, but for reference:

Virginia Marriages Early to 1800, Jordan R. Dodd, 2001

No Clench; No Clynch; 5 Clinch listings, but all in the timeframe 1786-1787: Surry, Frederick, and Culpeper counties

Virginia Wills and Administrations –1632-1800 by Torrence

No Clench; No Clynch; 1 Clinch, Brunswick County, Christopher, 1768

Virginia Tax Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. 1983

No Clench, Clinch, or Clynch

Virginia in 1760: A Reconstructed Census, TLC Genealogy, Inc., 1996

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch: one in Bedford and two in Surry County

Virginia Will Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch, Christopher, Brunswick County, 1768; Surry County Will and Deed Book, 1730-1739

Virginia Marriages 1700-1799, Cecil D. McDonald, Jr.

Clinch, William and Rebecca Thompson, 29 Dec. 1777, Surry County

Virginia Land Records, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1982

No Clench; No Clynch; Clinch, Mary; Clinch, Rebecca Edloe; Clinch, William

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William Logan, “Clench / Clinch,” and Illegitimacy

Most William Logan (of Spotsylvania County, Virginia) researchers believe the court alias “Clench” or “Clinch” refers to illegitimacy. So do some impartial (non-Logan) Virginia researchers. Let me quote one, Ann Avery Hunter. This correspondence with Ann is from nearly 20 years ago (1999). Some excerpts:

“I have never seen an alias in a Court record that was assigned by the individual and I can’t think of any reason for it. I have seen records that say ‘William Garthright, known as Whisperer’ and ‘John Jones, called Frognose,’ but the only times I’ve seen ‘alias,” and I have seen a number of them, it has been in the case of an illegitimate birth. I have also heard that [so] stated in a talk by one of the experts on VA genealogy at a statewide conference.”

Ann Avery Hunter goes on to give some specific examples from her research. It’s a different county (Chesterfield), but the Virginia law/court system is the same, of course. “I spent a year reading the Chesterfield Co., VA Court Order books page by page and saw any number of ‘alias’ deeds and will beneficiaries. They were all illegitimate offspring who had to use their mother’s maiden name in legal documents. In many cases, the father was brought to court by the mother and ordered to pay support, so there was no question about why the ‘alias’ was used on later documents. Sometimes when these people left wills themselves, they had been using their father’s surname for so long that the will was recorded in that name. I guess by that time no one remembered or cared that this was not a legal name.” [Note: The Spotsylvania County, VA, court records referring to William Logan “alias Clench or Clinch” do not pertain to deeds and wills, so these specific examples don’t pertain except to bolster the case about aliases used in the colony of Virginia’s courts.]

Researcher Hunter goes on to offer this advice: “… look at the Spotsylvania Court Order books from the time your Logan ancestor was born until he was 14 or so and see if there is anything on a Clinch/Clench paying for his support. For the most part this happened just before the father was being legally married, probably because the mother was worried about not getting any help from him after his marriage.” [Note: The Spotsylvania Co. and Orange Co. records all appear to be after William Logan was older than 14; however, it’s still a good tip in terms of researching other counties where he may have been raised before coming to Spotsylvania.]

Ann Avery Hunter adds this: “Sometimes you need to read through ‘all’ of the Court documents in the time period in which your ancestor lived. About 1/3 of relevant information is found in documents not indexed under the surname you are searching for [!, exclamation mine].” She gives an example of three generations of one of her family lines that was indexed in the name of an unknown sister’s husband. None of her family left wills and had no other deeds, “so it was a dream come true.”

Most of us genies don’t get exercised about illegitimacy; nonetheless, since not everyone in one’s family is a genealogist (I repeat: alas), it’s always good to add some context:

  • In colonial Virginia, for the most part, the “crime” of bearing an illegitimate child fell on the mother. [Aside: Women couldn’t vote or serve in the House of Burgesses. All laws were written by men and adjudicated by men.]
  • For colonial Virginia, there are three major factors to keep in mind regarding extramarital activity: gender (see first bullet point), class, and race. [Aside: Come to think of it, we’re not that far removed from colonial times after all.]
  • In terms of social class, many colonists were indentured servants, that is, people who got their ocean passage paid and were then “bound” in service for several years’ work. (Far more people came over by indenture than paid their own passage.) By definition and circumstance, these people were not the wealthy upper class, of course.
  • Indentured servants weren’t allowed to marry. A term of indenture could be seven years. This presented some challenges when a young couple fell in love, but had to wait several years to marry.
  • At the same time, women who were indentured as servants often worked in their master’s home, isolated. Sexual predation by men to whom they were indentured was common. Those men held most of the power in the equation. In addition, masters sometimes deliberately tried to impregnate indentured females to extend their time of indenture.
  • Several writers point to both the gender imbalance in colonial Virginia and the comparative “weakness of community institutions and standards,” especially in the frontier communities, which is what Spotsylvania County was at the time, to explain why the illegitimacy rate in the colony was 2-3 times higher than in England.

William Logan and “Clench/Clinch” confusion

When it comes to William Logan of Spotsylvania County, Virginia, I’m reminded of the famous Mark Twain line: “The researches of many commentators have thrown much darkness upon this subject, and it is probable that if they continue we shall soon know nothing at all about it.” Certainly a broad overstatement in this case, and besides, I’ve been one of those well-meaning “commentators.” That said, however….

Here’s my concern. Many Logan researchers, in their attempt to IDENTIFY William Logan, sometimes “alias Clench / Clinch” in Virginia court records, from among all the other potential William Logans “out there,” refer to him as William “Clench” Logan. This is very helpful as an identifier for us genie researchers and also as a clue to possible ancestry (more on that in a subsequent post); however, it neither accurately reflects how William Logan referred to himself nor how other people referred to him and knew him.

This is an important distinction. Think about yourself. Take off your “genie” hat for a moment. What if, years from now, people referred to you in a way you never were referred to in life? Family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, yourself: Nobody used your name this way or called you by this court alias when you were alive. It would be exceedingly odd for people to “begin” to use a name never used in your lifetime (except in court). Alas, not everybody is, or will be, a genie. Unintentionally, we may have confused the issue for future readers of our research and for those new to researching William Logan of Spotsylvania County.

This rendering of his name has led some people to think William Logan had an alias in the popular, not legal, sense; that is, that “Clench” or “Clinch” was an alias like Billy “The Kid”, Alan “The Horse” Ameche, Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, or Vito “Babe” Parilli. That is most certainly not the case with William Logan at that time and place (1720s, 30s, and 40s in colonial Virginia). Nobody called him “Clench” or “Clinch” on the street.

Then there’s the fact that William Logan, “alias Clinch or Clench” (certainly the two spellings are simply a matter of interpreting the writing: Is it an “i” or an “e”), has somehow become only “Clench.” Why not “Clinch”? Why is one picked over the other? I have never heard an explanation for that choice.

It’s also important to point out that, in all the Spotsylvania and Orange County, Virginia, court records that reference William Logan (once or twice, Login), there are approximately four times as many which refer to him as “William Logan” than as “alias Clench or Clinch.”

My view is that we should look at Clench or Clinch as valuable clues to possible ancestry (more in another post) and that among ourselves as genealogical researchers, it may be helpful to use “Clench or Clinch” as an identifier. But we may want to do a bit of explaining, too; provide some context; and not merely call him William “Clench” Logan. With the best of intentions, in the process of identifying this William Logan, we are simultaneously misleading people about his name. We are unintentionally “throwing darkness on this subject.”

The next post will look at the possibilities that “alias Clench or Clinch” give us for furthering our knowledge of his ancestry — and ours.

 

 

 

 

More information on Larkin Chew of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (part 2)

Two articles, “The Silver Mine in 1713,” in Beyond Germanna, Vol. 12, No. 5, September 2000 by Stephen Jacobsen and John Blankenbaker and “The Silver Mine Patent” by John Blankenbaker have additional information on Larkin Chew. Some excerpts:

“In 1713, Larkin Chew patented 4020 acres that lay on both sides of Mine Run in present day Orange County, Virginia.” Fractional interests were quickly sold and Chew himself was left with only a fractional interest. (One of those to whom an interest was sold was Alexander Spotswood.) The sales were in Essex County, Virginia, one of the parent counties of Spotsylvania County.

Apparently, this mine was not successful.

The above might lead us to see if early Essex County, Virginia, records have anything to offer us on William Logan. Might he have been associated with Larkin Chew at this early date either as an indentured servant or workman?

Also, it’s interesting to note that Essex County was created out of old Rappahannock County. Rappahannock County is where we find one of our earliest potential — unproven — Logan connections: Margaret Logan. This is pure speculation at this point, but is intriguing for further study.

More information on Larkin Chew of Spotsylvania County, Virginia (part 1)

William Logan is referenced several times in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, court documents in conjunction with Larkin Chew. We have assumed that either William Logan was an indentured servant of Larkin Chew, or a former indentured servant of Chew’s, or perhaps he simply worked for Chew. We know they lived in close proximity from the interactions cited in court documents.

The excerpts which follow concerning Larkin Chew give us a bit more to go on in terms of Chew’s possible relationship with William Logan. More pieces of the puzzle. The source is “Larkin Chew of Spotsylvania County and His Family” by Rudolf Loeser, The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 47, No. 1, January-March 2003 and Vol. 47, No. 2, April-June, 2003. The editor of The Virginia Genealogist is John Frederick Dorman.

“Larkin Chew deeply offended Alexander Spotswood [for whom Spotsylvania County is named], who damned Chew as that “base, drunken, infamous … vilest of fellows.” Chew had served me as a Common Carpenter for Wages….” [In other words, originally Chew was not a “gentleman” by birth or status in Virginia; that is, he “worked with his hands” for “wages.” Later, as we’ll see, Chew did achieve gentleman status.]

Larkin Chew’s age: “Spotswood was 48 years old in 1724 while Larkin Chew was about five years older.”

“Larkin Chew is thought to have come to Virginia from Maryland. His father is supposed to have been Joseph Chew of Virginia and Maryland, son of the immigrant John Chew of Jamestown.” [Unproven, as far as I know.]

Chew “married into the family of Roy.” [William Logan is referenced in Spotsylvania County documents in conjunction with John Roy as well.]

Larkin Chew was a carpenter and surveyor. Again, because he “worked with his hands,” he would not initially have been a member of the gentleman class in Virginia at that time. Class was highly important in the colony of Virginia at that time. Chew’s skills led to wealth which led to county offices which led, in turn, to gentleman status.

Chew was a member of the Essex County, Virginia, militia. Essex County was one of the counties from which Spotsylvania County was created. John Roy was an Essex County planter.

In 1722, “Larkin Chew and his son Thomas were sworn justices of the peace. Appointment to this office entitled Larkin Chew by common usage, to style himself ‘Gentleman.'”

In 1723 and 1726, Larkin Chew was a Burgess; in 1724, 1726, and 1727, one of the county coroners; and in 1728, he was appointed sheriff of Spotsylvania County. “… With his son Thomas he was vestryman of St. George’s parish….” [This is helpful because it gives us a location for Chew and, because he and William Logan lived in close proximity, it means Logan lived either in or near St. George’s Parish. (We have a reference from 1734 where William Logan is a witness to a document concerning land sold for a glebe for St. Mary’s Parish in Spotsylvania County, so the St. George’s Parish information gives us another clue for where to search.)]

“Larkin Chew died between 7 February 1728/9 and 11 March 1728/9.” [His will is quoted in the article.] Interestingly, in 1730 and 1731, after Larkin’s death, William Logan and John Chew, Gent.[leman] were in Spotsylvania County court because of assault and battery and trespass charges. John Chew was Larkin Chew’s son. (The other children were Thomas, Larkin, and Ann.)

 

Some Cason family information

One of the major family groups among our cluster of DNA-linked Logans is that of William Logan and Joanna Cason Logan and their descendants. William Logan married Joanna Cason in (we assume) Edgefield County, South Carolina, in 1806. One of the many intriguing, but still dangling, aspects of our connected Logans and kin is that the Casons also were in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, the same county where our earliest William Logan is first found.

The following information is from Spotsylvania County, Virginia Marriage References and Family Relationships 1721-1800 by F. Edward Wright, 2013:

Cason, Edward of St. George’s Parish m. b. 3 Dec 1759 Joanna. Edward had sons William, Seth and Thomas and perhaps a daughter Susannah. Edward and Joanna were residing in Buckingham County in 1775.

Cason, Edward S. of Prince Edward County had a son John who had a son Edward of Hanover County, as of 1779.

Cason, Edward (b. 1752 in Spotsylvania County, resided in Hanover County, d. 1834 in Spotsylvania County) served in Revolutionary War as private.

Cason, Roger m. bef. 21 Aug 1756 Elizabeth, intending to remove to North Carolina.

Cason, William m. bef. 1 May 1776 Susannah.

Note: No Logans are listed in this reference.

 

Militia, Spotsylvania County, Virginia, 1726 (Might William Logan have been a member of the militia?)

We don’t know whether William Logan was a member of the Spotsylvania County, Virginia, militia or not, but he might well have been.

In 1726, Spotsylvania County’s militia consisted of 75 horse and 294 foot soldiers. According to a 1720 Virginia law, “each Christian tithable should receive ‘one firelock, musket, one socket, bayonet fitted thereto, one cartouche box, eight pounds bullets, two pounds powder….”

The above is quoted in Forgotten Companions: The First Settlers of Spotsylvania County and Fredericksburgh Town [with notes on early land use] by Paula S. Felder.

Are you researching CHEW in VA? CHORPENNING in PA & IL? COULTER in IL? DODSON in SC and KY and AL and TN? These are some of the “allied families & significant others” in “Logan Connections.”

Allied Families and Significant Others, part 2:

  • Chew family in Spotsylvania County, Virginia — Primarily Larkin and Thomas Chew references
  • David Chorpenning and Sophia Bomden — From Fayette County, Pennsylvania to Washington County, Illinois
  • John Chorpenning — From Fayette or Somerset County, Pennsylvania, to Washington County, Illinois
  • Archibald Coulter and his three wives — Born in South Carolina, Archibald Coulter moved to southern Illinois where he was a highly successful miller (St. Clair County). Later, he moved his milling business to DeWitt County, Illinois.
  • Charles Dodson and Lucy Morgan — Charles Dodson was born in Virginia. He married Lucy Morgan in (probably) North Carolina. They lived in Pendleton District, South Carolina. Charles was a minister at Keowee Church, a church Joseph Logan also was affiliated with. Charles and Lucy and their family moved to Warren County, Kentucky, the portion that later became Allen County. The Dodsons and Logans were co-religionists and neighbors and the families intermarried.
  • Elisha Jefferson Dodson and Betsy G. Wren and Jane Elizabeth Blackwell — Elisha was born in North Carolina. He received a Grant South of Green River in Warren County, Kentucky, in 1799. He later moved to Madison County, Alabama, then later to Marshall County, Tennessee.

Allied families in “Logan Connections” (part 1)

A person inquiring about Logan Connections asked about affiliated families to try and determine possible connections with her family research. To help those searching for associated families, here is a listing of the Allied Families and Significant Others” in the book:

  • Beggs / Baggs family — This is a compilation of miscellaneous records concerning the Beggs family (often pronounced “Baggs” in the old Scots-Irish fashion) from Perry and Washington counties, Illinois, and a few who moved on to Cherokee County, Kansas.
  • Benedict family — Another compilation of miscellaneous records. Much of this work began with correspondence and original research of Gladys Benedict Wilson. This section begins with Benjamin Benedict, Sr. and Mary “Molly” Ritchey in Virginia, then as they moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky; then follows their descendants in Barren, Warren, later Allen County, Kentucky, then on to Perry County, Illinois.
  • Lindsey Benedict and his three wives — Lindsey Benedict was a son of Benjamin and Mary Ritchey Benedict. His profile traces him from Warren (later Allen) County, Kentucky, to Perry County, Illinois.
  • Sampson Bethel/Bethell and Mary Cantrell — The Bethel family was closely associated with pioneer Baptist preacher John Hightower. Hightower was one of the three “master builders” of churches in Warren County, Kentucky. The others were our Joseph Logan and Alexander Devin. Sampson Bethel lived in Spartanburg County, South Carolina, as did John Hightower. The Bethels and John Hightower moved to Warren County, Kentucky. The Bethels then moved on to Warren County, Tennessee. Larkin Bethel is referenced in this section, too, as are members of the Byars family who lived in Warren County, Tennessee.
  • Sampson, Lemuel, and Isaac Cantrell — Miscellaneous records — A few records from Warren County, Tennessee, and references to Isaac Cantrell.
  • Bias, Byas, Byers, Byars, Byess, Bice, etc. surname variants — This is simply an accumulation of Bias/Byas/Byers/Byars, etc. gathered along the way. It is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. Byars/Bias, etc. families are listed in Warren County, Tennessee (above), and are scattered throughout Logan Connections.
  • Joseph M. Boleyn, W.R. Bolin, and William Bolin — These are Boleyn/Bolin families from York District, South Carolina.
  • Cason family — This section focuses on Edward Cason in Essex County, Virginia; then Spotsylvania County, Virginia. Casons are listed in Anson County, North Carolina; Halifax County, Virginia; and Edgefield District, South Carolina. Casons in the various Georgia Land Lotteries are enumerated (1805, 1807) as well as Georgia’s Gold Lottery of 1832. This section is for reference and further study.
  • Triplet or Triplett Cason — Two Triplet Casons are outlined in this section. One went to Bienville Parish, Louisiana, as did the William Logan and Joanna Cason Logan family. The other died in Georgia after 1830.

More to follow….

 

Newspaper casualty list: David Logan, Private, Co. F, 55th Regiment, North Carolina Troops, C.S.A., Battle of the Wilderness, 5 May 1864

David Logan, son of Joseph Logan and Jane McGlamery Logan, was born circa 1825 in Rutherford County, North Carolina. He married Hannah Self 10 April 1856 in Cleveland County, North Carolina. David and Hannah had four children: Andrew “Andy” Francis Logan, Nancy Logan, Mary E. Logan, and William Franklin Logan.

David Logan was killed at the Wilderness in Virginia 5 May 1864. David’s brother, Philip Logan, died of disease 1 November 1864 while serving as a private in Co. H, 30th North Carolina Regiment, C.S.A., in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The following casualty report listing Private David Logan’s death is from The Daily Confederate, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Hannah Self Logan died prior to 1 September 1869 in Cleveland County, North Carolina.

For the Confederate. BATTLE-FIELD, May 8th, 1864

Messrs Editors: Please publish the following list of casualties in the 55th regiment N.C. Troops, commanded by Lieut. Col. A.H. Belo, in the battle of May 5th, 1864: [each company’s casualties follow. Private David Logan served in Co. F. The “battle of May 5th, 1864″ is the first day of the Battle of the Wilderness. The other companies of the 55th North Carolina had similar casualty rates.]

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