Clugstons in Kentucky

It seems that the brothers John and George Clugston left Ireland around 1815, possibly together with their mother, and probably also with William K Clugston.

William K Clugston died on 1837.9.18. I do not think he could have been their father. He could not have been a son of George; it’s extremely unlikely he could have been a son of John.

Where did they come from? “George” is an unusual name for a Clugston; it is very English. The only other early examples are George Cluxton 1695-1825 of County Louth, whose son moved to Ontario, George M Clugston b 1832 Ireland, living in Iowa 1860, and George Clugstine b 1824 of Antrim.

A lot of old newspapers are available online from

DEATHS: “In this city on Tuesday last, William K Clugston.” — Kentucky Gazette, Thurs 1837.9.21
(This could not be correct, because the sale of his estate began two weeks earlier).

On Saturday, September 30, 1837, will be sold at the residence of George Clugston, three miles from Lexington, on the Winchester Turnpike, the Personal Estate of William K Clugston, deceased, consisting of 1 Young NEGRO MAN, 1 Young NEGRO WOMAN, and two children, HORSES, 1 MULE, BEDS, &c
Sale to commence at 11 o’clock, n., m., on a credit of nine months, for all sums over Five Dollars, bond and approved security required. GEORGE CLUGSTON, Adm’r
Kentucky Gazette, Sept 14,

Despite being treated as possessions, by a quirk of history the names of the slaves were preserved: they were “Merrit, Mary, Jordan and Malinda, all young and valuable”. – Kentucky Gazette, 1837.12.21. Apparently they were not bought in the September sale.

“On the 1st inst, Mrs. Eliza Clugston, consort of John Clugston, of this vicinity.” — Kentucky Gazette, 1838 June 7.

From the Kentucky Gazette:
1823.7.8 John Clugston and Jane Clugston unclaimed mail
1839.1.17 Mrs Eliza Cluxton, unclaimed mail
1839.7.4 John Cluxton, unclaimed mail
1839.4.4 George Clugston, unclaimed mail
1840.4.2 George Clugston, unclaimed mail
1840.10.1 John Clugston, unclaimed mail

In 1840, George Clugston was the head of the household in Eastern Division, Fayette, Kentucky. The household had one man age 50-60 (George), one 40-50 (John), one 20-30,
2 boys 10-15 (George Junior), one woman 80-90 (probably, George’s mother, or grandmother Cromwell), one woman age 60-70 (unknown, perhaps William’s wife), one woman 50-60 (Jeannette Hague), one girl 15-20, three girls 10-15 (Mary).
In 1850, John had 6 slaves.
In 1850, George and John were living on the same farm in Fayette, Kentucky, with George Junior, Jane, and Mary.
In 1860 George Junior was living with John.

George Clugston 1785.12.31-1852.1.8  b Ireland d. Lexington, Kentucky
  = Jeannette Hague 1789.2.3-1860.1.6  b Scotland (or Jane)  2 children.
   (emmigrated from Ireland about 1815 ("nearly 40 years ago" in 1852))
   (George bought land in Lexington in 1835)
   Sarah Jane Clugston 1824-1832.8.11 d. Lexington
   George Clugston 1828.8- b Kentucky 
      = Laura G Cromwell 1837.9-1920.5.17 b Kentucky m 1857.7.12 Fayette
       (George's mother born Kentucky)
       (1880: Dog Fennell, Fayette, Kentucky, "Clougstan")
       (In 1880 George said he was born in Ireland)
       (1900, 1920: Fayette, Kentucky)
       (George died before 1910)
       John Edward Clugston 1859.7-1932.5.6 b Kentucky = Hannah Monaghan -1899.1.5
           (1930: Fayette, Kentucky, with Geroge and William)
           William George Clugston 1889.9.19-1966.6 = Bessie May Thomson 1913.6.21
           Mary Jane Clugston 1893.11.7-1979.2.25 d Columbus Ohio
           Rose Bud Elizabeth Clugston 1895 -1917.11.17 d. Three Mile, Fayette, Kentucky
       George P Clugston 1858.12.24-1931 d. Lexington b Kentucky
       William Clugston 1861.3.3 -1930 b Kentucky
       Mary Gaugh Clugston 1865.2-1918.6.9 b&d Fayette, Kentucky
       Etta Clugston 1867.11-1946.2.2 b Kentucky
       Frances Clugston 1869.3-1946 d. Lexington, Kentucky
       Lila Clugston 1871- b Kentucky
       Leslie Newton Clugston 1872.2-1961.10.19 b&d Kentucky = Oma B Wheat 1881-1952
          (1900: Fayette, Kentucky. Boarding)
          (1910: Living with Oma's parents, Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky)
   Mary Clugston 1830-  b Kentucky
John Clugston 1790- b Ireland = Eliza _____ -1838.6.1
   (1850: Fayette, Kentucky)
   (1860: Fayette, Kentucky)

“Sarah Jane, eldest daughter of George Clugston, of Fayette county. Died Aug. 11, 1832, aged about eight years. ” — Lexington Observer and Reporter 1832.8.23

This family was not very religious and was extremely pro-slavery.

“As the offspring of sires and dams who entered the Kentucky wilderness in ox-drawn wagons shortly after the Revolutionary War… As the last male in my family, and so far childless, … with Roundhead, Cavalier, and Celtic strains mixed in my blood, and with the good fortune to have had both Catholic and Campellite guardians at my cradle, I have no religious astigmatisms.”

“They had leisure for the development of the personal graces; their slaves did all the work. Their women were ladies of luxury. I remember my own father’s mother telling me that until after the Civil War she had never prepared a meal with her own hands, although at the time of the war she was already the mother of five of her eight children and the family had not been very fortunate in accumulating wealth.”
— “The Collapse of Kentucky”, William G Clugston, The American Mercury (1925).

The reference to “Roundhead” is clearly because his grandmother was a Cromwell.

The family was clearly in Kentucky in 1830, yet they do not appear in the 1830 census. I think this was because they did not yet own land.
In June 1835 the court confirmed the purchase of the land by George Clugston from the children of James Fleming who died a few years earlier. James’ widow, Susan Fleming, used the money to buy a house in the town.
Perhaps they were staying with the Flemings.
In 1820, James Fleming had 1 man 45+, 1 man 26-44, 1 woman 26-44, 2 boys 10-15, 3 boys 0-10 2 girls 0-10.
Susan Fleming (James’ widow) had 1 woman 26-44, 1 man 16-25, 2 girls 10-15, 2 boys 0-10, and 2 girls 0-10, and also 9 slaves.

The Fleming family is:

James Fleming = Susan 1786- b Maryland
    (1850, 1860: Susan was staying with Priscilla)
    William W Fleming
    Mary Fleming = ?? Vaughn
    Priscilla Fleming 1808 b Kentucky = Charles Robinson (died before 1850)
        (1850, 1860: Lexington. Susan Fleming was staying with her)
    Jane F Fleming 1810- = John Keiser 1805- (1860: Lexington)
    Isabella Fleming
    James E Fleming 1823.1.26-1855.2.8 d. Lexington
    Augustus Fleming

Or perhaps they were living with George’s parents-in-law.
Rachel, Benjamin and Joshua Cromwell also had land in Fayette county in 1820.
Benjamin Cromwell 1 man 26-44, 1 woman 26-44, and some children
(In 1830: 1 man 40-50, 1 woman 40-50, 1 man 30-40, 1 woman 30-40,
Joshua Cromwell 1 man 26-44 living alone
Rachel Cromwell 1 woman 45+, 3 men 16-25, 2 women 16-25.

At the time, George would have been 35 and John 30 years old.