Monday, May 29, 2017

Early KY Ancestral FAN Club

While researching Thomas Clark, I have found that he was associated with a very interesting FAN club including George Rogers Clark, John Crittenden, Elias Tolin, William Lynn, Andrew Lynn, Edward Worthington, Jacob Myers and several others.  In addition he was known to have traveled to a variety of geographic locations including Fort Wheeling, [West] Virginia,  Boonesborough, Harrodsburg and Lexington, Kentucky.  While being in these localities, he was likely to have crossed paths with people like Daniel Boone, Simon Kenton and John Harrod.  We have documentation of his FAN club from several depositions in Fayette County, Kentucky.

For background on Thomas Clark please review this previous blog post:

FAN Club Defined

When the paper trail left by our ancestors is minimal we often have to turn to other people that are near or dear.  In the words of Elizabeth Shown Mills:

When those we study left no document to handily supply the information we seek, we often find it in the records created by members of their FAN Club—their Friends, Associates, and Neighbors.

For a more detailed explanation,  read more here:

Documents Related to the Key Players in this FAN Club
Deposition of ELIAS TOLIN (taken at WILLIAM FARROW's improvement in Montgomery County, on February 27, 1806): On July 23, 1775 deponent joined the company with WILLIAM LYNN, THOMAS CLARK, ANDREW LYNN, THOMAS BRAZER and JOHN CRITTENDEN at Wheeling fort to come to Kentucky, to improve and take up land and on the Ohio River, near the mouth of the Little Kanawha, was overtaken by THORNTON FARROW, LUKE CANNON, WILLIAM BENNETT and others who informed us they were coming to Kentucky to take up lands for themselves and some gentlemen in Virginia and informed us that the hand they had under their direction were sent by those gentlemen in Virginia as assistant in taking up land for those gentlemen in Virginia and we proceeded on in company to the mouth of the Kentucky where CANNON and BENNETT and their hands parted with us and proceeded on down the Ohio river.  THORNTON FARROW and a man of the name of GUY who appeared to be a servant, joined and we proceeded up the Kentucky to Leestown which place GEORGE ROGERS CLARK joined our company and we proceeded to Boonesborough, from thence to Sommerset and encamped at or near the place known as Severn's Lick... [SOURCE: See citation in the full transcript of the Fayette County depositions at the end of this article]

Here is an explanation of how George Rogers Clark met up with the Crittenden, Lynn and Clark party:

Another man who arrived in Kentucky in 1775 was George Rogers Clark. On May 4 he secured a passage at Wheeling in the canoe of James Nourse and Nicholas Cresswell. The men traveled down the Ohio together, then up the Kentucky River, but Clark joined another company headed by Michael Cresap near Drennons Lick. When Cresap headed back up the river, Clark moved to Leestown. By mid-July he had joined another company headed by Maj. John Crittenden, who had also come down the Ohio from Wheeling. This party included William and Andrew Linn, Thomas Clark, and Thomas Brazer. They were later joined enroute by Thornton Farrow, Luke Cannon, William Bennett, and a man named Guy, who appears to have been a servant. Together they visited Boonesborough,then went northwest to make improvements at Somerset and Grassy Lick Creeks. Above the lick, Farrow, Clark, and Crittenden built cabins, and Clark surveyed 15,360 acres. On July 20 Clark passed through Boonesborough, again enroute to Leestown.

SOURCE: Virginia's Western War: 1775-1786
Google Book Preview
Neal O. Hammon, Richard Taylor
Stackpole Books, 2002 - History - 279 pages

For an excellent profile of William Lynn, check out this World Connect page created by Stan Hendershot:

Wikipedia describes their article about Major John Crittenden as a stub.  We have been invited to help expand it.  Major Crittenden is probably best know for his famous offspring. I also received a comment from Jerry Scott saying that the following text in Italics from Wikipedia is in error. Jerry states: 

"Henry and Margaret Butler Crittenden Will probated Northampton, NC. March 1783. Only had sons Robert and Henry Crittenden and  two daughters Elizabeth and Frances Crittenden. Nothing in the records say they had a son John Crittenden. Henry Crittenden is the brother to my 5th great grandmother Mary Crittenden Webb."

Your corrections are needed to this Wikipedia article:

John Crittenden Sr.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Crittenden (1754 – 1809) was a Major in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and a member of the Virginia House of Delegates from 1790 to 1805. He was the scion of a powerful family of politicians and military officers who played key roles in the politics of several southern states through the end of the 19th century.
Crittenden was born in New Kent, Virginia, to Henry Crittenden and Margaret Butler. On August 21, 1783 he married Judith Harris daughter of John Harris and Obedience Turpin. John and Judith had nine children including the statesmen John Jordan Crittenden and Robert Crittenden. He was an original member of the Virginia Society of the Cincinnati. He died in Kentucky.
I see from that the correct parents of John Crittenden 1754-1809 are unknown. Perhaps if someone could write a narrative on the known facts regarding John Crittenden, we can request a change to Wikipedia.

There is a Life Sketch on Family Search here:

There is a discrepancy in the date of birth on his Family Tree profile with the date in the Life Story: Profile says born 1752 in New Kent, Virginia. Life Story says  he was born in Burwash, Sussex, England and christened 5 Jan 1750 in the same town.  I am surprised that the parents were not named in the christening record.  That source is not attached on Family Search either.  Do you know how to reconcile these discrepancies? Please comment on this blog post.

Historical Context- Nicholas Cresswell Journal 1774-1777

Nicholas Cresswell unfortunately never mentions Thomas Clark in his journal so it appears they may have not crossed paths as his journal entries are quite detailed.  The Cresswell journal is mandatory reading for anyone interested in the early history of Kentucky.  He was favorably impressed with George Rogers Clark and mentions him several different times.  His descriptions of the exciting life of  early Virginia and the Kentucky frontier are not to be missed.  The story reads like a mash-up of the movies Tom Jones and Little Big Man. The Library of Congress has an excellent copy of the Nicholas Cresswell journals online here:

Key Fact from the Depositions filed  in Fayette County, Kentucky 

The most important key fact in the depositions filed in Fayette County was that Thomas Clark was deceased on March 20, 1801 when Josiah Collins gave his deposition  in Montgomery County, Kentucky.  This supports the supposition that the Thomas Clark that served as a "pilot" for the early surveys and land claims in the 1775-1786 period was the same Thomas Clark that was deceased in 1797 when his heirs were requested to appear in Fayette County Court in a public notice published in the Kentucky Gazette.

Historical citations related to Elias Tolin and Thomas Clark

Kentucky: A History of the State, Embracing a Concise Account of the ...
William Henry Perrin, ‎J. H. Battle, ‎G. C. Kniffin - 1887 - ‎
p.553 BATH COUNTY was the fifty-sixth organized in the State, and dates its formation back to January, 1811. ... Bath County was settled by Thomas Clark and his brother, Hugh Sidwell, Elias Tolin, James Wade, a man named Bollard, Francis Downing, and William Calk. A fort or block-house was built in 1786, on the slate ore bank, where the slate iron furnace was afterward erected. Nothing now remains to mark the spot where the furnace was located.

In Search of Morgan's Station and "the Last Indian Raid in Kentucky"
Harry G. Enoch - 1997 -
In 1776 Thomas Clark led another group of Virginians back to the Licking area of Bath County to locate lands. Tolin returned to Virginia and served in the army during the Revolutionary War. He later settled in Montgomery County...

Full Text of the Fayette County Depositions Mentioning Thomas Clark

Depositions of Elias Tolin AKA Tobin et al mentioning Thomas Clark extracted from "FAYETTE COUNTY KENTUCKY RECORDS, Volume 1" by Michael L. Cook, C.G. and Bettie A. Cumming Cook, Cook Publications, Evansville, Indiana, 1985. Copy inspected at the Clayton Center for Genealogical Research, a branch of the Houston Public Library in April 2017 by Nick Cimino

INTRODUCTION by Mr. and Mrs. Cook
This provides some of the most valuable source material in existence for both genealogical and historical researchers in the very earliest period of the area that became Kentucky. Disputes in land ownership resulted in hundreds of depositions taken of the earliest settlers as a part of these cases. These depositions, in the own words of the deponents, reveal when hundreds of these earliest settlers came to Kentucky, when they returned to Virginia, North Carolina, or Pennsylvania for return trips, where they lived, locations of the earliest stations, details of Indian battles and of those killed by Indians, burials, how they lived, and, important for genealogists, ages, birthdates, death dates, and family relationships. These are even fascinating just to read. These describe creeks and other places, number of settlers in the early stations, and operation of the system by which they obtained land. Many land entries, preemptions, warrants and patents are mentioned and described, as well. Some tell of their military experiences as well. There is much information here that is available nowhere else. Most of the depositions pertain to their lives during the period 1773 to 1780 throughout this volume, and as Fayette County covered a large area at that time, this is important to those researching families in many other counties as well.

October 1, 1985


Complete Record Book A p.536, Deposition of ELIAS TOLIN (at his house in Montgomery County on August 17, 1804) by consent: That in 1775 himself in company w1th WILLIAM LINN, THOMAS CLARK ANDREW LINN and THOMAS BRASIER traveled and built cabbins on the largest creek between Upper Blue Licks and Slate creek on west side of Licking and we called it Flat Creek and I have never heard of any other name for it. In the year 1780 I was part of the time in the Northern Army and part of the time in Virginia.
Question by THOMAS SINCLERE for defendant: When did you return to Kentucky after you first left it.
Answer: In the year 1786. Question by same: Did not yourself, Clark and company make a number of improvements on the waters of Flat creek? Answer: We did.

p.537, Deposition of JOHN McINTIRE (taken in Montgomery County April 8,1803, before JOHN ROBERTS and JEREMIAH DAVIS: That he went to Harrodsburg in spring of 1780 and there met with THOMAS CLARK at which time he informed this deponent that he had made a number of entries on waters of Flat Creek and Slate creek and that he has entered 500 acres in name of FORRESTER WEBB on waters of Flat Creek and others adjoining the same, which he was to have a part of the land and deponent says Thomas Clark came to STRODE's in fall of 1783 and he set out with Clark, JOSHUA BENNET and others to Flat Creek, in order to survey lands and as they passed down Flat creek and came near to the mouth of the branch, that JOHN DOWNING now lives on that said Clark pointed over the creek and said - up that branch he had entered 500 acres of land for Webb at a spring and improvement and they continued on down said creek and went up the branch that is now called Rogers branch and surveyed 400 acres of land in name of WILLIAM SCOTT and while they were at said place this deponent enquired of said Clark where and how far Forrester Webb's land lay from that place, and if he intended to survey the same at that time and Clark made answer that he did not, nor never would until they gave him a part of the land for entering the same.

p.537, Deposition of GEORGE BALLA [GEORGE BALLOU ?] (taken August 15, 1804, before a single Justice, BENJAMIN SOUTH): In the year 1776 there was [blank] of us came down the Ohio river to improve lands. THOMAS CLARK was our pilot and we came up Licking River in our canoes to the Upper Blue Licks and after resting ourselves there some days, we started on by water and landed near the mouth of a small branch that now goes by the name of Little Flat Creek, and we went up said creek until we came to a Buffalo road and followed that over a ridge to another creek that is now Big Flat Creek and crossed over and camped at what is now Macks Run and we allowed it to be 10 miles to the Blue Licks, and then we began to hunt for land and to build cabbins which we called our improvement cabbins, and one day we went out to improve we went up creek until we came to mouth of a branch now called Rogers and built a cabbin and returned down creek passed a spring which we called Elm springs for a Big elm that growed over same, and we built a cabbin there, a little way below the spring and then we divided into two companies. THOMAS CLARK and 3 men went down near the creek, myself and three other men returned back to spring and there we built cabbins. I think about as high as my head or shoulders thence we went down said branch some distance and built a cabbin, I think 3 or 4 logs high, then we met THOMAS CLARK at a cabbin they had built near the creek. The cabbins of both parties belong to Our company undivided. Question by defendants: Did you know the name of the creek in the year 1780? Answer: in the year 1776 our company called it Broad creek but I do not know when the name was changed to Flat creek.

Question by complainant: Do you know how many of the cabbins that you built were springs at - over the ten miles from the Upper Blue Licks?
Answer: I know of but one on west side and two on the east side at which we built cabbins.

Question by same: How many cabbins did you build on Flat creek and its waters?
 Answer. Fourteen as well as I recollect.

Question by same: Do you know that the creek was called Flat creek in the year 1782?
Answer: I was not in the country in that year - in the year 1782. I was on the south side of the Kentucky [River] but do not remember to have heard it called Flat Creek at that time. I had a preemption on it which in the year 1783 I entered and called for Flat Creek.

Question: On what side of the branch is the cabin and spring?
Answer: The cabbin is on the north side - the sprlng is on the north side of the right hand fork as we go up the creek. The cabb1n stood on west of lower side of left hand fork.

p 538 Deposition of JOHN DOWNING (taken on April 18, 1802 before JOHN ROBERTS and JEREMIAH DAVIS in Montgomery County): He removed to the place called FORRESTER WEBB's Elm spring improvement in the year 1795 which he, the said deponent, had purchased a part of, from said Webb. and the same time saw a small improvement at said spring and the appearances of cabbins below said spring.

p 538 Deposition of JOSIAH COLLINS (taken on March 20, 1801 before DAVID HUGHES and WILLIAM ROBINSON, in Montgomery County): He was present when FORRESTER WEBB's survey was made on a branch of Flat creek which survey includes the Elm spring. He came in company with THOMAS CLARK, deceased, BENJAMIN BERRY, ROBERT PARKER, surveyor, and others. THOMAS CLARK was pilot from Strode's station to the place where said survey was made. We struck Flat creek at or near the mouth of the branch which is included in part of WILLIAM SCOTT's 400 acres survey and Clark informed the company that the next branch above was the one alluded to. We went up the creek to the mouth of said branch and up same to the Elm spring and said Clark informed said Berry and Parker that that was the spring alluded to in Forrester Webb's entry. Said Berry directed the surveyors to survey said Webb's land in that place. I remember to see a cabbin or pen at the Elm spring. I am not interested in this claim now but was once. I gave the bond I had for part of the land to Mr. BROWN. I had received bond for part of this land for assisting in making the entries of land which depended on Forrester Webb.

p.540, Deposition of PATRICK JORDAN (taken at the house of ELISHA WOOLDRIDGE in Woodford County on May 23 1801 before Elisha Wooldridge, Justice of the Peace): Sometime in the spring of the year 1780 he was with Thomas Clark at a spring which he called Elm spring where there were a number of trees deadened and what was called a cabbin in them days. Clark told me he meant to make an entry for Forrester Webb on this improvment - did not tell me distance it was from Blue Licks. I was also present when Mr. Clark made the entry in the office on this improvement. Mr. Clark and I were the only ones present at the spring. The deadening of the trees looked to be three or four years old and the cabbin was breast high and without a door but it was not covered. We had started to this place from my improvement three miles west of Paris and we went directly to this spring. It took us about one and one-half days to make the trip. I saw a number of improvements which Clark said he and his company had made some years previous. It was eighteen years before I visited this spring again.

p.542, Deposition of THOMAS CARTMELL (taken April 8, 1802 in Montgomery County, before JOHN ROBERTS and JEREMIAH DAVIS): In the year 1793 Thomas Clark came to his house where he now lives on Flat creek in search of Forrester Webb's land - inquired for the Elm spring and a cabbin below the same and improvement, and the day after he came to said deponent's house when he got up in the morning said Deponent directed him, the said Clark, where to go and find it, and described the place by some trees marked at a spring and a cabbin below the same and said Clark set out and found it by this description, and when he, the said Clark, returned to said deponent's house he informed deponent that it was the same place he was in search of.

p.542, Copy of Certificate dated May 19 , 1780, FORREST WEBB enters 500 acres of land on a treasury warrant on a branch of a creek running into Licking, known by the name of Flat Creek,
including a cabbin and improvement at a spring, about 12 miles nearly a south east corner from the Upper Blue Lick...

Map showing JOHN WILKINSON's 3,050 acres, under which the heirs of GEORGE NICHOLAS claim, which contained by survey 3,111 acres of land; FORRESTER WEBB's 500 acre survey, under which THOMAS BROWN complainant depends, which contains 511 acres by survey. Map by THOMAS MOSEBY shows Elm Spring to be 9 miles and 65 poles from Upper Blue Lick.
Complainant's Bill dismissed.

p.572, Deposition of ELIAS TOLIN (taken at a lick in Montgomery County on February 29, 1804 before JACOB COONS, Justice of the Peace): In the year 1775 deponent came to Kentucky in company with WILLIAM LINN, THOMAS CLARKE, THOMAS BRAZIER, JOHN CRITTENDEN, THORTON FARROW and GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, and we came on to Sommerset [creek] and there camped...


p. 478 Deposition of ELIAS TOLIN (taken at WILLIAM FARROW's improvement in Montgomery County, on February 27, 1806): On July 23, 1775 deponent joined the company with WILLIAM LYNN, THOMAS CLARK, ANDREW LYNN, THOMAS BRAZER and JOHN CRITTENDEN at Wheeling fort to come to Kentucky, to improve and take up land and on the Ohio River, near the mouth of the Little Kanawha, was overtaken by THORNTON FARROW, LUKE CANNON, WILLIAM BENNETT and others who informed us they were coming to Kentucky to take up lands for themselves and some gentlemen in Virginia and informed us that the hand they had under their direction were sent by those gentlemen in Virginia as assistant in taking up land for those gentlemen in Virginia and we proceeded on in company to the mouth of the Kentucky where CANNON and BENNETT and their hands parted with us and proceeded on down the Ohio river.  THORNTON FARROW and a man of the name of GUY who appeared to be a servant, joined and we proceeded up the Kentucky to Leestown which place GEORGE ROGERS CLARK joined our company and we proceeded to Boonesborough, from thence to Sommerset and encamped at or near the place known as Severn's Lick and while in that camp in the absence of THORNTON FARROW, some of the company was jokeing the man by the name of GUY about his master, and, that if the man who employed him, mentioning THORNTON FARROW's brother, had come out he would not have been treated with that indifference he now was and in the time while we lay in that camp THORNTON FARROW, JOHN CRITTENDEN and GEORGE ROGERS CLARK was absent from camp some few days and when they returned they informed us they had been making improvements while they were absent.  The next morning this deponent went down Somerset [creek] buffalo hunting and got lost from the company and wandered down on the creek now called Grassy Lick and found a burning camp near to the bank of the creek and no person in camp and this deponent followed a trail from said camp up the creek and come to the lick called Buck Lick, now called Grassy Lick, and then discovered a small cabin built and some trees belted and initial letter of "t f" cut on a tree and then proceeded from thence up the creek until the trail quit it and turned over to Somerset and to camp. In a few days afterwards we concluded to divide the company. Then JOHN CRITTENDEN, GEORGE ROGERS CLARK, THORNTON FARROW, a man by the name of GUY, another by the name of PAUL, formed into one company and WILLIAM LYNN, ANDREW LYNN, THOMAS CLARK, THOMAS BRANNON and this deponent formed the other company and about the time of parting the two companys concluded to meet again about three weeks after at or near the forks of the Somerset and Buck Lick, in order to travel to Boonesborough together and at the appointed time the company with this deponent came to the appointed place and found a written paper fastened to a buckeye informing us that the company of FARROW and CRITTENDEN was under the necessity of going to Boonesborough before the appointed time by reason of one of their company being badly scalded.  We then proceeded on to Boonesborough on their trail and came up Buck Lick and found improvement above this lick, we continued on to this place and found an improvement here which we supposed was made by FARROW, CRITTENDEN and company. Before we left Boonesborough it was agreed by JOHN FLOYD, who was then engaged in making military surveys, and our company, that we would be particular in making our marks that we might not interfere with each other. After discovering the improvement, we passed through the Sassafras grove near head but never fell in with that company of Crittenden and others any more as we went to Boonesborough and they went to Harrodsburg. I have lived in this neighborhood thirteen years. It was common to mark trees at an improvement with an ax or tomahawk and in some few instances with wet powder, but I know of no paint being used. This creek called Buck Lick in 1775. WILLIAM LYNN went out from the camp on Severn's lick and came back with two large buck skins and he said he killed them at a lick he meant to call Buck Lick. Never heard of GUY making any improvement or claiming any right to do so. He appeared to be a man under the subjection of THORNTON FARROW. This ridge was a place of notoriety both on consideration of the resort of Buffalo and the appearance of Blue Grass growing around it. It was in August 1775 when I first saw it.

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