The Claiborne Family
William Claiborne is perhaps the earliest ancestor of mine to reach the north American continent and he is certainly one of the most colorful. He was born in 1587 in England and came to the Jamestown Colony as newly appointed Royal Surveyor on board the “George” in 1621. He accompanied newly named governor, Sir Francis Wyatt. Moving up the Chesapeake Bay north of present day Virginia, Claiborne found and purchased an Island from the Indians for 15 pounds sterling, which he named Kent Island. Here, he established a wharf and trading post and began to amass a small merchant fleet. Four years later, a new colonial charter appeared to give this land to the newly formed colony of Maryland. Claiborne never really accepted this, and in fact, when Maryland tried to seize the island by force, had his merchant ships engage the Maryland fleet with their cannon. Nevertheless, Claiborne removed himself back to the Virginia territory where he formed a plantation he called Romancoke. (Given the land prices on Kent Island today in 2005, Claiborne should have hung on to it at all costs!) Romancoke then, was home to the Claiborne family for 4 generations afterwards.
Claiborne's accomplishments in the fledgling Virginia colony and neighboring Maryland, would fill this page, but among other things, he was at various times, Treasurer of the Colony, Secretary of State for the colony for some 40 years, and a member of the colonial legislature. His great great-granddaughter, Lucy (or Lucie) Claiborne married Samuel DuVal about 1745 in King William County Virginia, and then established their household at Mt. Comfort, near the village of Richmond Virginia.
Lucy Claiborne Duval had nine grandchildren by her son Claiborne Duval, two of which settled in Union County Kentucky. Claiborne Lawson Duval became the first Methodist Episcopal minister in Union County Kentucky. He was ordained in 1816, and after being a circuit rider for a few years, by 1820, had established Antioch M.E. Church several miles west of Morganfield. He married Jane Elizabeth Russell in 1816 and they had seven children. Claiborne Lawson's brother, Lucius Claiborne Duval, also settled in Union County Kentucky. He was a veteran of the War of 1812, and married Tabitha Adams Russell, sister of Jane Elizabeth name above. Lucius Claiborne and Tabitha parented eleven children, the second of whom, Mary Ann Duval, married Robert E. Rowley 30 March 1843 in Union County Kentucky. They are my 3rd great-grandparents.
The church at the top of this page is St. John's Church in Richmond Virginia. Lucy Claiborne and her husband Samuel DuVal were communicants of this church and she is probably buried with him in this church yard. Patrick Henry gave his famous 1775 “Give me liberty or give me death” speech in this building. It was chosen simply because it was the largest building in Richmond at the time.