John Bruce Clay

John Bruce Clay

Birth
Hanover County, Virginia, USA
Death 19 Nov 1829 (aged 55–56)
Burial Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, USA
Memorial ID 197656824 · View Source
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"John Clay, Esq. brother of the late Secretary of State, died on board the seam-boat Rover, about 20 miles below Memphis, on the Mississippi, on the 19th ult." This excerpt from The Middlebury People's press, Middlebury VT Wednesday Jan 6th 1830. There is a mistake in this, though he was the brother of the Statesmen Henry Clay, Henry Clay was not deceased in 1830 and the article refers to him as the "late statesman". John Bruce Clay father was Rev John Clay from Hanover VA born 1742 died 1781.

SIBLINGS: Betty Hudson Clay in Hanover County, VA, before 1771, Henry Clay in Hanover County, VA, before 1771, George Hudson Clay in Hanover County, VA, before 1771, Sarah Clay Hanover Co., VA, ca 1774, Henry Clay in Hanover County, VA, April 12, 1777, Porter Clay Hanover Co., VA, 1779. FROM THE WILL OF REV. JOHN CLAY

A note on the image of John Bruce Clay. I found this image about 10 years ago online. I was unable to contact the creator of that web page, therefore I could not authenticate the picture or its origin. I do not post photos or images unless I can at least trace it back to the original poster and verify that it was a personal family photograph or image and not downloaded from another web source. This photo was labeled John Clay and it was downloaded from the internet. I finally found the original source which is a digitized collection held by the University of Kentucky and it is NOT labeled as John Clay but rather "Young Henry Clay, now in the possession of Mrs. John Clay". I believe this to be erroneous and considered carefully before posting it here. The collection was owned by a history buff and private collector and contains more than 10,000 items. This collector was NOT a historian or genealogist by profession nor was he of any relation to the Clay family whatsoever and he was not even of their generation born 1871. It stands to reason that he acquired his collection at Estate and Probate sales being that he was a Kentucky attorney. Probably the estate sale of Josephine Deborah Russell Clay in 1920 or 1921. I know from researching hundreds of my personal family photos and images from the 19th century that pictures are often mislabeled generations after having been made. I highly doubt this was in the possession of the wife of John Bruce Clay (Julie Duralde who would have been able to accurately identify a picture of her own husband and never left New Orleans) but more probably the widow of John Morrison Clay son of Sen Henry Clay due to locations and death dates. Based on how I acquired a collection of hundreds of 19th century images and photographs in my family, it's my best guess that this is a picture of John Bruce Clay originally owned by Sen Henry Clay (his brother), passed to Henry's son (John Morrison Clay) most probably after his death or less likely after the death of his wife (Lucretia Hart Clay), and then in the possession of John Morrison Clays wife (Josephine Deborah Russell Clay) after his death. It was obviously not inscribed until long after it was made or the inscriber wouldn't have labeled it as she did. And because being brothers they did look a lot alike it was most likely assumed to be Henry Clay by a distant post generational in-law. (Even many distant Clay relations have nearly exact features.)But because the photo does not look exactly like Sen Henry Clay it was probably assumed he was young in the image and was labeled as such. If in fact the image was in the possession of the widow Clay, that would have been after 1887 when her husband died, 35 years after Sen Henry Clay died, 26 years after Julie Duralde died, and 58 years after John Bruce Clay died. It is also extremely likely that it was in her possession up until her death in 1920 making the image more than 100 years old at that time. It could have been inscribed as late as 1920 making a mistake very probable. It was held after that by the private collector until donated to the University of Kentucky either in 1946 when the collector died or in 1959 when his wife died and the remainder of the collection was donated. (Probably 1946 as I would assume the widow of the collector only donated the items non related to their own family upon his death). In any event, I so strongly believe this image is of John Bruce Clay that I decided to go ahead and post it here with this explanation. I have contacted the University of Kentucky special collections and asked them to authenticate or correct this image and am currently waiting to hear back from them. I will edit with any updates at such time.
https://exploreuk.uky.edu/catalog/xt7mkk948324_56_1


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  • Created by: Alethea Farber
  • Added: 19 Mar 2019
  • Find a Grave Memorial 197656824
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Bruce Clay (1773–19 Nov 1829), Find a Grave Memorial no. 197656824, citing Graveyard Hill, Helena, Phillips County, Arkansas, USA ; Maintained by Alethea Farber (contributor 48152953) .