Monday, October 6, 2014

(SCOFIELD) James Clayton

{This is one of four posts about my children's ancestors named James--one James from each grandparent's ancestral line.}

According to, James Clayton was born around 1780. In 1798, he married Elizabeth Price. Their 8 children were born in North Carolina in the early 1800s.

At that time, North Carolina was sparsely populated. The State consisted principally of farms and very small towns. The majority of North Carolinians, probably including the Claytons, were not slaveholders. There was little industry—raw goods were typically processed out of state. There were no public schools.1 

The State lacked good roads, many farmers used outdated practices, and poverty and ignorance flourished.2 

North Carolina made so little progress during this era that it became known as the “Rip Van Winkle State.”3

During the first half of the 19th Century, many people emigrated from North Carolina “due to a struggling economy, indifference to education, resistance to taxation for any reason, and general backwardness.”4 “In 1834 a Raleigh newspaper reported that 'our roads are thronged with emigrants to a more favored Country.'”5  

Despite all this, the James Clayton family remained. James's descendants lived in the State for several generations, and his posterity, including his 6th great grandson, are thriving today.

Line of descent:
James Clayton, born 1780
Deborah Clayton, born 1803
Susan Myrick, born 1826
Mary Elizabeth Shearin, born 1851
Claudia Helen Reid, born 1889
Clara Lavon Cheshire, born 1915


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