Description: William Claiborne; Source: Appleton’s 1880 Cyclopedia of American Biography.
Perhaps you’ve seen before this portrait of William Claiborne of Kent, England and Jamestown, Virginia. William is the progenitor of a branch of the Claiborne (Cleborn; Clayborn, etc) family in America and was an early settler, government official and surveyor of Virginia, arriving as a member of Sir Francis Wyatt‘s party in 1621. William married Elizabeth Jane Butler (aka, ‘Boteler’, b. 1610 Essex, England) but he is not, it seems, a descendant of the ‘landed gentry’ Westmoreland County, England, as some researchers point out. (Blog Note: the banner photo, above, is of Sizergh Castle, home base of the Stricklands of Westmoreland County who have always asserted that none of their clan ever migrated to America. I say maybe, maybe not!)
As Surveyor of Virginia, William laid out the land that became Hampton, Virginia and engaged in a years-long dispute over the property he purchased and named ‘Kent Island‘ (Maryland) in the Chesapeake Bay during one of his expeditions of the area. It’s a rather involved tale of the rebellious William Claiborne who was quite an active fellow:
One of his descendants is my ancestor Leonard Claiborne, father of Martha ‘Peggy’ Claiborne who married John D. Webb. The Webbs moved to Wilkes County, Georgia and experienced a sad ending when their farm was attacked by Tories and Indians in 1781 and John was killed (some sources say “murdered”) and although Peggy and the children were not harmed, their farm was burned to the ground. Peggy married a second time to Patrick Napier and had one son by him (that I know of) but that’s a different tale.
John and Peggy Webb’s daughter Susannah “Sukey” Webb married William Barnett which puts the Claibornes and Webbs directly into my Barnett family tree via their two sons, David Barnett (b. December 25, 1776 VA/d. 1861 Oglethorpe Co, GA) and Benjamin Johnson Barnett (b. abt 1775/d. abt 1828), both ancestors of mine–David doubly so by his two wives. His first wife was the mother of Mary Barnett Coile who married James Coil/e of Oglethorpe Co, GA and bwo David’s second wife, Louvicy Hayes, and one of their daughters who married into my mother’s Simmons line via Turner Simmons (1825–1862; CSA).
Benjamin Johnson Barnett married Martha Hardman (1775–1840) of the Virginia Hardmans (Hardeman, Hardiman, Hardyman, etc) and their daughter Zillah married David Childress (David Green Childress, I believe, of Newton County, GA). Their daughter Martha “Ida” Childress married John David Coile, youngest son of James and Mary Barnett Coile, and J.D. and Ida’s son, William Benjamin Coile married Hulda Strickland, my paternal grandmother who inspired this blog and my years of armchair research into the past.
These days I think of Hulda Strickland Coile as my Laughing Cat Grandmother because she bequeathed me the laughing cat cream pitcher that sat on her kitchen counter and always made shy little me laugh and laugh whenever we visited her. Below is a current photo of the jolly cat that ‘stands guard’ over me from a book shelf as I search online for my Strickland and other family ties!