|AncestryDNA match after research built out the Beard and Mitchell line|
I am actually related to these DNA matches in three ways. The mother of Effie David Beard, my great grandmother, was Barbara Ann Mitchell. She was the daughter of Daniel Mitchell, a grandson of Robert and Mary (Enos or Innes) Mitchell. And Effie Davis Beard's great grandfather, Samuel Beard, married Mary Mitchell, another daughter of Robert Mitchell.
Martha Ann Mitchell married Samuel Claytor on 25 August 1788, becoming his second wife. Samuel Claytor acquired a great deal of land in Bedford County, Virginia, as well as large tracts in Kentucky. It is thought the family lived quite comfortably. They had 10 children and Harvey Claytor was their seventh child. Harvey married Adeline Walker in 1830. The couple had three children. Before the Civil War Harvey Claytor owned 3,000 acres of land in Franklin County, Virginia, and perhaps as many as 100 slaves.
One of his slaves was Letitia who was described as a "very fair skinned, red-headed mulatto." We know nothing about her parentage but believe she was born about 1814. She was the family cook. She had a slave husband named Henry, who was the father of five of her seven children. Her youngest son, William Armstead Claytor, born in June 1849, was fathered by Harvey Claytor or one of his close male relatives as proven by DNA. According to Claytor family lore, William bore an uncanny resemblance to his father. His father was also known to be a bit of a womanizer and, of course, slaves could refuse their masters nothing.
|Photograph courtesy of Ancestry.com member cclaytonarizona|
After the war, William moved to Floyd County, married Judith Ann Reynolds, and started his own family, which would come to include 13 very accomplished children. He purchased land and became a farmer and was known throughout the county for his skill in caring for farm animals. The family prospered. William and his wife believed strongly in the power of an education and it showed in their children:
- Harvey David Claytor: Farmer and teacher
- Henry Shields Claytor: Farmer and teacher
- John Bunyan Claytor: Medical doctor
- William Oat Claytor: Farmer, teacher and dentist
- Manon Irvin Claytor: Farmer and teacher
- Solon Leonidas Claytor: Farmer and teacher
- Eura Ellen Claytor: Attended college and married Morton Harrison Hopkins
- Roy Homer Claytor: Teacher
- Carrie Jane Claytor: Attended college and married John Dave Hairston
- Dorinda Addison Claytor: Attended college and married Frederick Douglas Charlton
- Archer Adams Claytor: Medical doctor and World War I veteran
- Hunter McGuire Claytor: World War I veteran who died as a young adult due to a mustard gas attack
- Robert White Claytor: Medical doctor
The Claytors accomplished much of this when a "hands off" approach to the "Southern problem" was informal federal policy. Southern states began enacting a series of laws that amounted to legalized discrimination and created near slave-like conditions for African-Americans.
It is truly amazing the people you meet and the lives you uncover as you pursue your research.
I am indebted to Ruth C. Marsh and Margaret C. Woodbury, authors of Virginia Kaleidoscope, for capturing so much of their family's oral history. Any errors in the research are strictly my own.