The McClure Family/McClures in North and South Carolina

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It is morally certain that the families in North Carolina and Virginia were related. The first mention of the name is Richard McClure in petition Nov. 22, 1744, for 300 acres of land in Currituck County. He was doubtless a brother of James and John McClure, of Chester County, Penn. It is stated in Clarke's Colonial Records that on Dec. 4, 1744, he was paid one hundred pounds for his services as Clerk of the Committee of Public Accounts at Bath.

"April 20, 1745.

Gentlemen of His Majestie's Council.

We have resolved that Richard McClure, Clerke of the Committee of Publick Accounts, be allowed forty pounds for acting as Clerke of the said Com. this session, &c.

Will'm Herritage, Cl'ke Gen'l As'bly."

It is certain he did not remain in Currituck, but moved either to the western part of the State or back to Penn.

John McClure died in Mecklenburg County, 1778. His will is recorded at Charlotte, book B, p. 57. Son, Joseph and a brother, Charles. Jas. Montgomery and Wm. McLure, witnesses.

The census of 1790 gives the following:

In Burke County, 1790.

A. Andrew McClure, two sons over sixteen, five under sixteen and four daughters.

B. Francis McClure, two sons over sixteen, three daughters. He is doubtless the Francis McClure, Revolutionary soldier, who enlisted in 1777.

In Rutherford, an adjoining county, 1790:

A. John McClure, two sons over sixteen, two daughters.

B. John McClure, three sons, all under sixteen.

C. Richard McClure, two sons over sixteen, three under sixteen; two daughters. Rovolutionary soldier, pensioned 1830.

In Mecklenburg County, 1790:

A. John McClure, Jr., three sons over sixteen, one under sixteen; two daughters.

B. John McClure, Jr., two sons under sixteen, three daughters. Probably son of Mathew.

C. Moses McClure, son of Thomas; two sons under sixteen, two daughters.

D. Moses McClure, Jr., single. Probably of the Rockbridge family. See p. 140.

E. Capt. Mathew McClure.

F. Thos. McClure, Sr., one son over sixteen, one under sixteen, one daughter. Revolutionary soldier, ensign, wounded and pensioned. See p. 131.

G. Thomas McClure, Jr., married. No children. Probably son of Mathew.

H. "Widow" McClure, one son over sixteen, one under sixteen; one daughter. Possibly the wife of Captain John McClure, of South Carolina, who died in Charlotte 1780.

I. William McClure, two sons over sixteen, two under sixteen; five daughters. Probable brother of Captain Mathew McClure.

In Orange County, 1790:

Henry McClure, two polls and 1,230 acres of land.

John McLure died in Mecklenburg County 1817. His will is recorded. Book E, p. 21, Charlotte, N. C. He married about 1774, Ann McKragan. Six children:

I. Hugh, b. about 1775, and died single in Mecklenburg County 1840. His will is recorded, Book H, p. 74, Charlotte.

II. Thomas, b. 1779, and d. 1860. He m. 1825 Ann Ferris Camfield. Son,

1. Judge John Joseph McLure, a prominent citizen and Elder in the Purity Presbyterian church, Chester, S. C. He m. Bettie McIntosh. Several children:
a. J. C. McLure, Chester, S. C.
b. Elizabeth, b. in Chester, m. Paul Hemphill, of South Carolina.

III. William.

IV. John.

V. Patsy, died single after 1840.

VI. Ann, died single after 1840.

The best known of the early North Carolina McClures is

Capt. Matthew McClure referred to in Wheeler's History of N. C, p. 70, as one of the signers of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, May 20, 1775. In The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Lives of its Signers, by Geo. W. Graham, M. D., p. 123-4, we read, "In the North of Ireland, about 1725, was born Matthew McClure, where he married; came to America and settled in Mecklenburg County, five miles south of Davidson College about 1751. It is an evidence of his worth that he was chosen one of the delegates to the Mecklenburg Convention of May, 1775. It is not known that he filled any other public position. His house was a rendezvous for the patriots of his section. In January, 1782, the County Court ordered that no person in Charlotte or within two miles of the place, should be permitted to sell any spirituous liquors so long as the hospital was continued in that town and employed Matthew McClure to take possession of all such contraband liquors for the use of the hospital, as the commanding officer should direct. Too old himself to enter active service in the field, his sons were much engaged in the army."

His name is mentioned a number of times in Clark's Colonial Records of N. C.

He died 1805 about 80 years of age. In his will, recorded May 4, 1805. (See Book E, p. 4, Mecklenburg Co.). He disposes of his 1,000 acre farm in Mecklenburg Co.; 800 acres to his son, William, and 200 acres to his grandson, Matthew, the son of William; $200 to his son, Thomas; $1,000 to his daughter, Sarah, the wife of John Henderson and the mother of Jennet Henderson; bequests to his daughter, Martha, wife of Hugh Houston; to his daughter, Jane, w, of Wm. Kerns, and to her four children by her first husband, Geo. Houston; to his d. Betsy, wife of Samuel Harris, and their two children, James and Peggy: to his son, Joseph, "if he can be found;" to Matthew, son of his brother, William McClure, deceased of S. C., and to Matthew Morrison, his kinsman of S. C.

He mentions other property in lands west of the Alleghanies, and owned in 1790, six slaves.

The witnesses were William Alexander, Jos. McKnitt Alexander, and J. M. L. Alexander, The administrators, Samuel Harris, Wm. Kerns and Jos. McKnitt Alexander.

This is doubtless the Matthew McClure who was in Augusta County 1760, and who is mentioned only once; one of the appraisers of the estate of Robert Houston. Chalkley III, p. 66.

A family certainly connected with that of Mecklenburg County, N. C., settled some time before the Revolution on Pacolet River, Cherokee County, S. C. The records at Greenville, S. C, give deeds and wills of James, James R., John, Richard, Samuel, Thomas W., Mollie, et al. The best known ancestor is Mary (Gaston) McClure, known in the history of South Carolina as "The Heroine of the Cherokee." She was a sister of Dr. Gaston, a Revolutionary patriot and is said to have been born 1725 and died 1800. Four sons in the Revolutionary War.

I. Capt. John McClure, wounded at Hanging Rock Aug. 6, 1780, and died in Liberty Hall, Charlotte, N. C., Aug. 18. Gen. Davis spoke of him as one of the bravest men he had ever known. See Vol. XII, p. 129, "The South in the Building of the Nation." It is also probable that this family is descended from John McClure, of Burt, near Londonderry.

He left a son, John McClure, who m. Mary Porter; parents of Hugh McClure, who m. Margaret Crain; parents of Eliza Jane McClure, who m. Dr. Abram Da Vega in South Carolina.

II. Ensign James McClure, also wounded at Hanging Rock Aug. 6, 1780. He, with his brother-in-law, Edward Martin, while melting pewter to make bullets were captured by Huck and condemned to death. For the full account see McCurdy's History of South Carolina, p. 594.

III. Hugh McClure, Revolutionary soldier. McCrady's History of S. C, p. 762, giving the personnel of the Provincial Congress, 1775, says: "It is at least significant that we find among the returned none of the Brattons, McLures, Hills, Gastons and Laceys who so distinguished themselves when the war of the Revolution rolled back to the upper part of the State."

IV. Dr. William McClure, mentioned in Wheeler's History of N. C, p. 79, as a soldier of the Revolution, appointed April 17, 1776, surgeon Sixth Regiment; transferred June 7, 1776, to the Second Regiment, Col. John Patten, Commanding. Was captured at the fall of Fort Moultrie, May 12, 1780, and later exchanged.

From a number of letters from him to Gen. Sumter, published in the Colonial records of N. C., we learn that he had an uncle, a Dr. Gaston, killed by the enemy; that all his property in S. C, "which was considerable," had been lost by the war; that his aged mother, who was in affluent circumstances in S. C., had been reduced to poverty by the war; that in the year 1776, in S. C, he was surgeon for the Eighth Virginia Regiment in addition to his own; that he was detained in New Bern, N. C., for some time by reason of ill health.

He was in 1784 appointed one of the trustees and directors of the New Bern Academy. He was on Dec. 29, 1785, appointed one of the commissioners on pension claims.

On Nov, 22, 1785, the Legislature appointed a committee "to examine the model of a boat invented by Dr. McClure, which is represented to be calculated to improve the inland navigation of this State."

In the Senate Journal for December, 1786, "we nominate Dr. William McClure, &c., &c., Councillors of State," to which office he was elected.

In 1790 the Senate endorsed memoranda submitted by him. He died in New Bern, N. C., 1804.

The New Bern, N. C., records show that he owned a great deal of property in and around the town.

Heitman gives his death at 1825. This is positively wrong, as his will is recorded in Book B, Folio 207, New Bern, written 1794 and proven 1804. Wife, Elizabeth. Judging from the will he had no sons. He speaks of his brothers and sisters, but not by name. He mentions two daughters, Fanny Bachelor and Hannah, who was not to marry until she was twenty and to live with Margaret Gaston. See Heitman, p. 275.

The name is found in various places in North and South Carolina. Paul Wheeler McLure, Spartanburg, belongs to one of the original families. Also Rev. Daniel Milton McLure, b. Flat Rock, N. C., 1835; graduate Davidson College and Oglethrope University 1858; Columbia Theological Seminary. Ordained 1864 and died 1865.

Thomas Henry McClure, Jr., of Charleston, S. C., is a descendant of David McClure, who came from Londonderry, Ireland. Had a son, William John McClure, father of James and William McClure now (1913), living in Chattanooga, Tenn., and Thomas Henry McClure, Sr., his father. Misses Emily and Margaret McClure, of Charleston, also belong to this family.

Doubtless the best known to-day of the family in the Carolinas is Rev. Alexader Doak McClure, D. D., the beloved pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian church, Wilmington, N. C., since 1891.

His grandfather, William McClure, was born near Ballemony, County Antrim, Ireland; was brought when three years old to America by his parents, who settled in Tennessee about 1790. He married at Greenville, Tenn., later moving to Marshall County.

Rev. Alexander Doak McClure was b. at Lewisburg, Tenn., July 9, 1850, and was named for his father's friend, Rev. Alexander Doak, of p. 126. Graduated at Princeton University 1874, and Princeton Seminary 1879. Ordained 1878. He m. 1888 Roberta Calloway, of Louisville, Ky. Two children: Edwin McClure, graduate Davidson College, and Elizabeth McClure.

A brother, Robert G. McClure, is married and lives in Indianapolis, Ind. A sister, Mrs. John B. Knox, in Anniston, Ala.

This family is probably related to that of S. S. McClure of McClure's Magazine.

Rev. H. E, McClure, a retired Presbyterian minister living in Waynesboro, Ga., states that his grandfather, James McClure, came to Georgia from South Carolina many years ago. The family, a large one, settled first in Maryland; some of them em. West. His family was related to that of the late Hon. A. K. McClure, LL. D., of Philadelphia.