Clay County Kentucky Genealogy

Clay county was formed in 1807. It is located in the Eastern Coal Field region of the state. The elevation in the county ranges from 690 to 2235 feet above sea level. In 1990 the county population was 21,746 in a land area of 471 square miles, an average of 46.2 people per square mile. The county seat is Manchester. Most of Clay County is within the Daniel Boone National Forest. , 660,000 acres in Clay and other counties.

Manchester, the seat of Clay County, was established along Goose Creek in 1807 as Greenville, named for Green Clay, for whom the county was also named. It was renamed Manchester later that year since there was already a Greenville, Kentucky (in Muhlenberg County). The name Manchester may come from the city in England, reflecting local hopes for a future in industry. The post office opened in 1813 as Clay County Court House. The population in 1990 was 1,634.

Brief History of Clay County, Kentucky

The Kentucky Legislature created Clay County in December of 1806 from parts of Madison, Floyd, and Knox Counties. This went into effect on April 01, 1807. Between the years 1807 – 1878 parts of Clay County were used to help form other counties:  Estill, Perry, Laurel, Breathhitt, Lee, Owsley, Jackson, and Leslie.

Clay County was named after General Green Clay who lived in Madison County.  He was cousin to Henry Clay. General Clay served in the war of 1812.  He was a Madison County legislator and a Kentucky surveyor.  Green Clay was born in 1757 and died in 1826.

Clay County was the leading salt producer in the state during the nineteenth century.  Salt was so important; Daniel Boone offered to re-route the Wilderness Road to pass the Goose Creek salt works.  He did not get the approval, however, and the area had no suitable roads for some time.  In 1811 the Kentucky River was made navigational, and a canal system was proposed during the 1820/1830’s.  A pass by the Goose Creek salt works helped expand the market.  Salt production peaked between 1835 and 1845.  During the Civil War, about October of 1862, the Union ordered all salt production sites destroyed rather than risk them falling into the hands of the Confederates again.  Only four salt sites remained after the war, the last one closed in 1908.  Afterwards, Clay County had little contact with the outside world for quite a while, mostly due to lack of transportation.  The railroad service came to the area in the early twentieth century; after the coal fields started developing, around 1914.  In 1971, the Daniel Boone Parkway opened and linked Manchester to I-75.

Today, Clay County, Kentucky covers 471 square miles and is the sixteenth largest county in the area.  Population of Clay County was 21,746 in 1990.  Coal mines still provide approximately one-third of the local employment. The eastern Kentucky coal field covers the eastern end of the state, stretching from the Appalachian Mountains westward across the Cumberland Plateau to the Pottsville Escarpment. Coal mining is the major industry. Bordering counties are Knox, Laurel, Jackson, Owsley, Perry, Leslie, and Bell.  Other neighboring counties include: Harlan, Whitley, Rockcastle, Madison, Estill, Breathitt, and Letcher.  Clay County was the 47th county to be formed in the state of Kentucky.  The county seat is in the city of Manchester.

New Clay County Kentucky Genealogy

1830 Clay County Kentucky Census Transcription

Remember to search for various spellings of surnames. Some of the names were hard to read, keep in mind they could be wrong, and as usual some typos may exist. FWM = Free White Males FWF = Free White Females FCM = Free Colored Males FCF = Free Colored Females SECTION 1 (Microfilm pages 165-174) Hiram Luncford FWM (20-30) 2 FWF (under 5) 2,   (20-30) 1 George Farzer FWM (50-60) 1 James Henson FWM (20-30) 1 FWF (under 5) 1,   (15-20) 1 Stephen Reid FWM (5-10) 2,   (15-20) 1,   (20-30) 1,   (40-50) 1 FWF (under…

Clay County, Kentucky Look Up’s

“Lookup” Volunteers are needed, please contact me with your information Judy Please, do not ask the volunteers for “everything on ____ name”. Limit your request to two a month, one person per request. Give as much information as possible. Given name, if known. middle name or initials if known, and surname and time period. Do not ask for copyrighted material or copies from copyrighted material. Be prepared to pay for copies made or other expenses such as photos, postage, travel, etc. Please do not expect immediate answers or results, they are simply very kind people willing to assist others. They…

Clay County, Kentucky Military Resources

At the start of the Civil War Kentucky tried to be neutral. Because of it’s location and the divided loyalties of the citizens, Kentucky was put right in the middle. Use of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers were important to the north and important plantation owners were needed in the south. Kentucky was a divided state, with family and friends finding themselves fighting each other. Therefore you will find Union and Confederate soldiers. If you find any link below that does not work, please let me know so I can check it. Also, if you know of a link to…

Clay County, Kentucky Resources

Kentucky General Information Capital:  Frankfort Statehood:  June 1, 1792, the 15th state State Motto:  “United we stand, divided we fall” State Flower:  Goldenrod State Tree:  Coffee Tree State Nickname:  Bluegrass State (the name comes from the kind of grass that grows around Lexington and Louisville.  Though not really blue, the grass has a blueish tinge in early spring.) State Song:  “My Old Kentucky Home” by Stephen Foster State Flag:  The state seal in the center of a navy blue field. State Seal:  In the center of the seal are two friends embracing.  The words of the state motto are above…

Clay County Census

1790 Clay County, Kentucky Census Records Free 1790 Census Form for your Research Hosted at – 14 Days Free Hosted at Census Guide 1800 U.S. Census Guide 1800 Clay County, Kentucky Census Records Free 1800 Census Form for your Research Hosted at – 14 Days Free Hosted at Census Guide 1800 U.S. Census Guide 1810 Clay County, Kentucky Census Records Free 1810 Census Form for your Research Hosted at – 14 Days Free Hosted at Clay County USGenWeb Archives Project 1810 Census Index Hosted at Census Guide 1810 U.S. Census Guide 1820 Clay County, Kentucky Census Records…

Clay County, Kentucky Family Tree’s

Smith Family Tree Father – Steve Smith possible son of Elias & Eddy Smith & Liza Lewis, daughter of Judah Lewis & Rebecca Hoskins Son Daniel Smith born about 1876 Mother – Bud Baker (Franklin James Baker) son of Thomas Baker & Elvira Stubblefield & Linda/Malinda Frederick Daughter Vesta (Nirvesta) Baker born about 1882 Daniel Smith married Vesta Baker  April 13, 1899 Daniel & Vesta had 7 children, including my grandfather, Arla Smith. Gray Family Tree  James Gray Gadi Gray Stephan Gray married Lucinda Bowling John Gray married Sally Henson William Gray Elisha Abner Sr Enoch Abner Sr Enoch Abner Jr…

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