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William Randolph Mayfield and his wife Sarah Amanda Davis ca. 1900.

Mayfield Family Genealogy

Website Created by Phil Norfleet

 

Tombstone of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838), Revolutionary War Veteran.

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John Mayfield (ca. 1754-1828) of Amherst County VA, Fayette County KY and Barren County KY

 

This John Mayfield was probably the eldest son of Isaac Mayfield (d. 1795) and probably spent his early life in Virginia. His place of birth is unknown, but it probably was in Albemarle County VA in about 1754. John and his father probably lived in that part of Albemarle that became Amherst County in 1761; all the VA records pertaining to this John Mayfield are found within Amherst County.

 

John Mayfield in Amherst County VA

The following official records appear to pertain to this John Mayfield in Amherst County VA:

18 February 1775: A 116-acre tract of land on the south branch of Buffalo Creek is surveyed for John Mayfield (son of Isaac?). [See Amherst County VA Plat Book 1. page 205]

May Court 1778: John Mayfield, "son of Isaac," is appointed surveyor of a road in Amherst County. [See Amherst County VA Court Minutes, page 230]

June Court 1782: Jacob Higgenbottom is appointed surveyor of the road in room of John Mayfield. [See Amherst County VA Court Minutes, page 509]

1783: The Personal Property Tax List for Amherst County VA shows the following Mayfields (apparently Isaac Mayfield and his two sons John and George):

George Mayfield - 1 white poll, 2 horses

Isaac Mayfield - 1 white poll, 2 horses, 9 cattle

John Mayfield - 1 white poll, 2 slaves, 5 horses, 12 cattle

 

John Mayfield in Fayette County KY

John Mayfield, his father, Isaac Mayfield, and at least one of his brothers, George Mayfield, apparently removed to Kentucky in about 1784. We do know that Isaac was in Lincoln County KY (then part of VA) by 1787 as his name and that of his son, George, appear in the 1787 tax lists for that county. John Mayfield's presence in Kentucky at an early date is confirmed by his witnessing of a deed, for his brother George, in Lincoln County in 1788. Also, John seems to have resided and acquired land in Fayette County by 1788, as he appears in the Fayette County KY Tax Lists for that year.

 

John Mayfield in Barren County KY

It appears that John Mayfield and his wife, Sally, removed to southern KY In 1799.  John acquired land on Beaver Creek in what was then Warren County. Subsequently, Barren County was formed and the Mayfield land fell within the boundaries of this new county.

John and Sally Mayfield had two sons, John and Thomas, who, in 1805, married sisters, Nancy Mathews and Polly Mathews, respectively.  Nancy and Polly were the daughters of John Mathews, a blacksmith and tavern owner. John Mathews probably died late in the year 1811; his will, dated 11 May 1811 was probated in the Barren County Court in January 1812. In his will, John Mathews mentions his wife Jainey; his four sons: Pleasant, John, Jr., James, and George W.; and his four daughters: Betty Welsh, Sally Bush, Nancy Mayfield and Polly Mayfield.

John and Sally Mayfield had another son, George Mayfield, who married Betsy Clark in 1807; and four daughters: Sally who married Obediah Boucher in 1799; Lucy Mayfield who married Jesse Howard in 1812; Lucinda Mayfield who married Dabney Turner; and Leaney Mayfield who married James Means in 1814.

By 1804, in addition to farming on Beaver Creek, John Mayfield, Sr. was also a tavern keeper. John’s son, Thomas, also became a tavern keeper in 1807. Both taverns were in the Town of Glasgow.

The following extracts are from Barren County Heritage, Cecil E. Goode and Woodford L. Gardner Jr., editors (published 1980):

Page 258: “...The tax Lists for 1800 pick up John Gorin, who kept a tavern and had a retail store. In 1801, John Mathews paid a tavern license on Skaggs Creek. Then in 1804, John Mayfield, Sr. had a store and tavern; and in 1807, Thomas Mayfield kept a tavern. And Henry Crutcher a store. ...“

Page 259: “...John Anderson and John Mathews were our first blacksmiths ... John Mathews built his first blacksmith shop and tavern, but his place burned in 1805, reportedly the first home to burn in Glasgow. Later, his son-in-law, Thomas Mayfield, continued in the tavern business. John Mathews, Jr., built his home and tavern at the corner of Race and Washington Streets in Glasgow; ... "

Official Records Chronology

Abstracts (taken from various published books) of pertinent records involving the early Mayfields of Barren County KY are presented below:

01 April 1799:  Abraham and Elizabeth Chapline of Mercer County KY convey a 500-acre tract of land on Beaver Creek in Warren County to John Mayfield; the tract being part of a 1000-acre tract granted to Chapline on 5 July 1786. [See Warren County KY Deed Book 2 B, page 36.]

03 October 1799:  Marriage bond issued - Sally Mayfield to Obediah Boucher. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

23 February 1800:  John Mayfield and Sally his wife of Barren County convey a 100-acre tract of land on Beaver Creek to Jonah Combs of Franklin County KY; the tract was part of the land purchased by Mayfield from John Garnett. [See Barren County KY Deed Book AA, page 23.]

25 February 1800: John Mayfield and Sally his wife of Barren County convey a 100-acre tract of land on Beaver Creek to Samuel Gassaway; the tract was part of the Land Mayfield had purchased from a certain John Garnett. [See Barren County KY Deed Book AA, pages 5-6.]

November 1804:  At the November 1804 term of the Barren County Court it was ordered “...on motion of John Mayfield, Sr., leave is granted him to keep a tavern at his store house in the town of Glasgow, he giving bond.” [See Barren County KY Order Book 2, page 734.]

22 December 1804:  John Mayfield, Sr. and his wife Sally convey a 100-acre tract “beginning ... with the line of Mayfield’s ... and thence with Thomas Mayfield’s line ... “to Nicholas Gassay. [See Barren County KY Deed Book AA, page 83.]

04 March 1805:  Marriage bond issued - John Mayfield to Nancy Mathews. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

11 July 1805:  Marriage bond issued - Thomas Mayfield to Polly Mathews. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

August 1805:  “Ordered that John Mayfield, Sr., John Mathews, Sr., John Mayfield, Jr. and Kiah Davidson or any three of them ... to view the nearest and best way for to alter the road from the Courthouse to Mayfield’s Mill to leave the said road on the top of the hill near John Mayfield, Jr.’s house and to intersect the road near David Rasdell’s and report to the court.” [See Barren County KY Order Book 2, page 810.]

21 August 1805:  Simeon Buford and his wife Margaret convey a 297-acre tract of land situate on the north side of Beaver Creek to John Mayfield, Sr. [See Barren County Deed Book A, page 422.]

30 September 1805:  William Croghan and Lucy his wife of Jefferson County KY convey a 340-acre tract of Land in Warren County KY to John Mayfield of Barren County KY.  Land is situated on the north side of the Big Barren River. Indenture was witnessed by George Mayfield, Nicholas Clarke and John Croghan. [See Jefferson County KY Deed Book 7, page 354.]

November 1806:  “On motion of Thomas Mayfield Leave is granted him to keep a tavern at his house in the Town of Glasgow he having given bond with John Mayfield, Sr. his security.” [See Barren County KY Order Book 3.]

16 December 1807:  Marriage bond issued - George Mayfield to Betsy Clark. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

18 April 1808:  John Mayfield, Sr. and his wife Sally convey part of Lot 51, located on Race Street in the Town of GLasgow KY to Thomas Mayfield. [See Barren County KY Deed Book B, page 191.]

1810:  John Mayfield and his wife Sarah convey a 100-acre tract of Land to John Jenkins. The Land was part of a tract that Mayfield had purchased from Abraham Chaplin on 01 April 1799. [See Barren County Deed Book B, page 301.]

January 1812:  The will of John Mathews, Sr., dated 11 May 1811, is entered into probate. In his will, John Mathews mentions his wife Jainey; his four sons: Pleasant, John, Jr., James, and George W.; and his four daughters: Betty Welsh, Sally Bush, Nancy Mayfield and Polly Mayfield. [See Barren County KY Will Book 1, page 174.]

08 December 1812:  Marriage bond issued - Lucy Mayfield to Jesse Howard. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

27 May 1813:  Marriage bond issued - Lucinda Mayfield to Dabney Turner. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

28 July 1814:  Marriage bond issued - Leaney Mayfield to James Means. [See Barren County KY Marriage Bonds.]

11 February 1818:  John Mayfield, Sr. and his wife Sally of Barren County KY convey a 500-acre tract of land to Dabney Turner for $2000. [See Warren County KY Deed Book H-8, page 406.]

January 1829:  At the January 1829 term of the Barren County Court it was ordered: 

“On motion of Stephen T Logan, Cert of Adm of the estate of John Mayfield, Sr. decd., is granted him. Sec: John Mathews, Thomas Mayfield & James Mathews.

“Ordered that Benjamin Davidson, Wm. Edmonds, George Murrel & Samuel Murrel appraise personal estate of John Mayfield Sr., decd.

“Ordered that Benjamin Davidson, Wm. Edmonds, George Murrel & Samuel Murrel, lay and allot to Sally Mayfield, widow of John Mayfield, decd. her Right of Dower in the land of and personal estate of John Mayfield.

“Ordered that same individuals be appointed Commissioners to divide and assign to each of the heirs and legatees of John Mayfield decd. their portion of the estate.”

[See Barren County KY, Order Book 5.]

February 1829:  At the February 1829 term of the Barren County Court it was:

“Ordered that George Rogers. Wilson Ritter. James Jeffries and Wm. Everett be appt. Commissioners to appraise personal estate John Mayfield, Jr. decd.

“On motion of Nancy Mayfield, widow of John Mayfield, decd. Certificate of Admr Is granted her of the estate of John Mayfield Jr., her late husband. Sec: John Perkins, Anthony Cake, Wm. T. Mayfield.”

[See Barren County KY, Order Book 5.]

February 1835:  At the February 1835 term of the Barren County Court the “Will of Nancy Mayfield, decd. Proved by oath of Pleasant Mathews a George W. Welsh.” [See Barren County KY, Order Book 5.]

 

ANECDOTE RE JOHN MAYFIELD of Barren County

Clarabell Davis of Jacksonville FL has graciously provided the following story, concerning John Mayfield, Sr. of Barren County; it is taken from a book titled The Times of Long Ago by Franklin Gorin, page 53. The book is a history of Barren County that was first published as a series of articles printed in the Glasgow Times newspaper in 1876. The anecdote is interesting because it is written by a person who had a lot of (nearly) first hand knowledge.



... John Mayfield, Sr. had a fine tract of land on the banks of Beaver Creek. He came here from the Blue Grass Region. After he had been here a few years and had opened a considerable farm, knowing there was no blue grass around Lexington for thirty years after its first visit; (it is said it was introduced from England accidentally), he thought there was no reason why it would not beautify and make as fine grazing lands here as around Lexington. So thinking, he determined to make a trial of it. Accordingly, he mounted his horse and made the trip to Lexington, procured a half bushel of blue grass seed and riding home with it he built air castles on the way of what beautiful fields he would have and what fine fat horses and cattle, how his scattered neighbors and now and then a traveler (for he lived on the road to Bowling Green), would be struck with admiration.

His finest field having been prepared in his absence, the next morning after his arrival at home (the night before having been spent in pleasant conversation on the glory which awaited them), he early entered his field and sowed and harrowed the seed. Then he quietly and pleasurably awaited its springing up. He watched it closely and saw it come up; his hopes ran high, his joy was full. It grew apace, it was luxurious. In the meantime he visited Lexington and boasted among his friends of his success, When he returned his blue grass had begun to top. He accounted for the top being different from that of his much beloved blue grass on the ground of the deepness and richness of the soil. It grew so thick and luxuriant that he concluded to turn his stock on it, when lo and behold his stock would not eat it. He exclaimed, 'an enemy has done this, sown foxtail.' After discovering what a misfortune had befallen him, he determined to eradicate it, but found it impossible. It spread over his whole plantation, and entered his neighbors until it covered the whole country. It was named fox tail from the top resembling a fox tail. ...

 

DEATH OF JOHN MAYFIELD

It appears that John Mayfield Sr. and his son, John Mayfield, Jr., died at almost the same time - in late 1828 and/or early 1829. Administration for the estate of John Mayfield Sr. was granted in January 1829; administration for the estate of John Mayfield, Jr. was granted a month Later, in February 1829!

The following entry was made in the Order Book of the Barren County Court during the January 1829 Term of Court:

" ... On motion of Stephen T Logan, Cert of Adm of the estate of John Mayfield, Sr. decd., is granted him. Sec: John Mathews, Thomas Mayfield & James Mathews.

"Ordered that Benjamin Davidson, Wm. Edmonds, George Murrel Samuel Murrel appraise personal estate of John Mayfield Sr., decd.

"Ordered that Benjamin Davidson, Wm. Edmonds, George Murrel & Samuel Murrel lay and allot to Sally Mayfield, widow of John Mayfield, decd. her Right of Dower in the land of and personal estate of John Mayfield.

"Ordered that same individuals be appointed Commissioners to divide and assign to each of the heirs and legatees of John Mayfield decd. their portion of the estate. ... " [See Barren County KY, Order Book 5.]
 

Barren County Lawsuit Provides the Names of the Children of John and Sally Mayfield

Thanks to the people at the Barren County KY Circuit Court. I have been able to obtain a copy of the Bill of Complaint re the Chancery Court Case of Thomas Mayfield versus Sally Jenkins, et al., first filed in Barren County KY Circuit on 07 June 1837. The entire set of court papers concerning this lawsuit is found under Circuit Court Case Number 833. The current location of this and other old Barren County Circuit Court papers is in the basement of the old Barren County Court House in Glasgow. However, as I write these words on 11 July 2000, the records are in the process of being organized and boxed for shipment to the Kentucky State Archives in Frankfort. Accordingly, if you wish to review these papers for yourself, it would be best to wait a few months and then do so at the State Archives.

The instant Bill of Complaint is genealogically significant because it provides the names of all the children of John Mayfield, Sr. (ca. 1754-1828) and his wife, Sally Mayfield, Sr. of Barren County Kentucky. Not only are their seven children (including Thomas Mayfield, Jr. -- the Complainant) named, but since two children were deceased at the time of filing the Complaint, the children and/or heirs of the two deceased persons are also named! With this document, we can account for almost all the early Mayfield residents of Barren County.

Based on the Bill of Complaint, the following are the seven children of John Mayfield, Sr.:

Thomas Mayfield (Complainant);

Sally Jenkins, wife of James Jenkins;

Lavisa Strother, wife of Samuel Strother;

Lucinda Emerson, wife of Henry Emerson;

George Mayfield;

Nancy Gassaway (deceased as of 07 Jun 1836), wife of George P. Gassaway;

John Mayfield, Jr. (deceased as of 07 Jun 1836).

The following is my transcript of the Bill of Complaint, presented just as written except for modernizing the spelling and adding a few paragraph breaks to make reading a bit easier -- the original is written as one paragraph! Unfortunately, the dates of death for both John Mayfield, Sr. and Sally, his wife, cited in the Complaint have been left blank in the official Chancery Court copy.

Transcript - Thomas Mayfield Bill of Complaint (Filed 07 June 1836)

To the honorable the Judge of the Barren Circuit Court in Chancery sitting:

Respectfully complaining sheweth unto your honors your orator Thomas Mayfield.

That about the __ day of 18__, John Mayfield, Sr. departed this life at his residence in the County of Barren intestate, leaving a considerable estate consisting of lands, staves and personal property. That after his death, his estate was divided and distributed among several persons entitled thereto by law, viz, his widow Sally Mayfield, Sr. & the children of said John Mayfield, Sr. and their descendants. That certain slaves were allotted to the said Sally Mayfield, Sr. during her lifetime being her third part of the slaves of her dead husband, and __ acres of land lying in the County of Barren assigned to her for her dower in the divided estate of her said husband.

Copies of the orders of the County Court of Barren County & the reports of the commissioners allotting said slaves and assigning dower to said Sally, Sr. are herewith filed as part of this Answer, and the same are referred to for greater Certainty as to the description of the property and boundary of the land.

Your Orator further represents to your Honor that the said Sally Mayfield, Sr. remained in the use and possession of the said slaves & land, allotted and assigned to her for her dower as aforesaid, until the __ day of 18__, when she departed this life intestate, & your Orator has since legally taken out letters of Administration on her estate. Your Orator further states that the said Sally Mayfield, Sr. left at her death the following dower slaves, now belonging to the estate of the said John Mayfield deceased, viz, three Negro men named Abram, Lewis & Adam, four Negro women named Betty, Luk, Mary and Rachael; and one Negro girl named Elizabeth. All which together with the land assigned to the said Sally, Sr. in her lifetime as aforesaid for her dower are now subject to division among the Heirs and representatives of the said John Mayfield decd, the residue of his estate having been divided among them in he lifetime of the said Sally Mayfield, Sr.

Your Orator states that he and the following named persons are the only children of the said John Mayfield, Sr. (and were also the children of the said Sally Mayfield, Sr.) now living, namely, Sally Jenkins, widow of James Jenkins, dec’d; Lavisa Strother, wife of Samuel Strother; Lucinda Emerson, wife of Henry Emerson; & George Mayfield.

The only other children of the said John Mayfield, Sr. dec'd (& also of that said Sally, Sr. dec'd) have departed this Life as intestate, leaving children as follows: Nancy Gassaway (Late Mayfield) who intermarried with George P. Gassaway has departed this Life intestate Leaving George P. Gassaway and Sally Gassaway her only children, the Latter of whom intermarried with a certain Robert Lewis and has since also departed this life intestate, leaving Richard Lewis her only child, who is an infant under the age of twenty-one years. John Mayfield, Jr., another son of said John, Sr. has departed this Life leaving Powhatan Mayfield, William Tandy Mayfield, Adeline Cake (late Mayfield) wife of Anthony Cake & Jane Ragland (Late Mayfield) wife of John Ragland his only children and Heirs at Law. Thus it appears that your Orator and the above named children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the said John Mayfield, Sr. dec'd & also of the said Sally, Sr. decd are the only Heirs and representatives of the said John Mayfield, Sr. decd and also of the said Sally Mayfield, Sr. dec'd. Your Orator prays that all the said Heirs ft representatives together with Samuel Strother, husband of Lavisa Strother; Henry Emerson, husband of Lucinda Emerson; Anthony Cake, husband of Adeline Cake; & James Ragland, husband of Jane Ragland; be made defendants to this Bill.

Your Orator further states that the slaves aforesaid are not capable of being divided in kind among the several persons entitled thereto and that the share in the aforesaid tract of land of the aforesaid co-partners would each, upon partition, be of less value than one hundred dollars or thirty pounds.

Your Orator further represents to your Honor, that he has purchased for a valuable consideration all the estate rights, claims ft interest of the said George Mayfield and also of Lucinda Emerson in and to the tract of land aforesaid, as will more fully ft certainly appear by the respective deeds of conveyance executed to your Orator by the said George ft said Henry Emerson ft Lucinda, his wife respectively by which have been duly admitted to record in the proper office which are herewith filed as part of this Bill. He further states that the defendant George Gassaway for a valuable consideration sold and conveyed all his estate, right, claim and interest, in and to the said tract of land to the defendant Samuel Strother, who in like manner sold and conveyed the same to your Orator. The said two last mentioned deeds, which have been duly admitted to record in the proper office, are also filed herewith as part of this Bill.

Your Orator further represents to your Honor, that he has purchased for a valuable consideration all the estate rights, claims & interest of the said George Mayfield and also of Lucinda Emerson in and to the tract of land aforesaid, as wilt more fully ft certainty appear by the respective deeds of conveyance executed to your Orator by the said George & said Henry Emerson & Lucinda, his wife respectively by which have been duly admitted to record in the proper office which are herewith filed as part of this Bill. He further states that the defendant George Gassaway for a valuable consideration sold and conveyed all his estate, right, claim and interest, in and to the said tract of land to the defendant Samuel Strother, who in like manner sold and conveyed the same to your Orator. The said two last mentioned deeds, which have been duly admitted to record in the proper office, are also filed herewith as part of this Bill.

In tender consideration whereof, & foreasmuch as your Orator is without remedy at Common Law; and only relievable in this honorable court, where matters of this kind are properly cognizable: To the end therefore that said defendants may true and perfect answer make to all and singular the allegations of this Bill as fully and distinctly reflected, ft they thereunto particularly interrogated. That said slaves ft tract of land with the appurtenances be decreed to be sold for cash in such manner and upon such terms as may be deemed most advisable: That one seventh part of the money of the money from the sale of said land and slaves be decreed to your Orator; and such portions of the money arising from the sale of the land as the said defendant George Mayfield, Lucinda Emerson, & George P. Gassaway should respectively have been entitled to be also decreed to your Orator (the residue of the proceeds of the sale of said land ft slaves to be divided among those entitled to the same). And that such other and further relief be granted to your Orator as justice ft equity may require.

May it please your Honor, the premises as needed to grant to your Orator the Commonwealth writ of subpoena directed & commanding etc.