Early Mayfield Settlers of Kentucky
By Phil Norfleet
My research efforts regarding the early Mayfield settlers of Kentucky indicate that four Mayfield migration groups entered Kentucky before the War of 1812 during the time period 1779-1803. These four groups are as follows:
1 - The Family of James Mayfield (d. 1780) Who Migrated to KY in 1779
Many members of the family of James Mayfield (d. 1780) enlisted in the Illinois Regiment of George Rogers Clark. Because there were insufficient volunteers in KY (a county of VA at that time) to replenish the regiment, in 1778, Clark received permission from the Governor of VA to recruit soldiers from other counties along the VA frontier. Clark sent agents to several of the frontier counties including Montgomery and Washington Counties in VA and Washington County in NC. In the New River area of Montgomery County, Clark's agents recruited James Mayfield and several of his sons, including Micajah, Isaac, Elijah, Elisha and James, Jr. Apparently, James wife, Ellender, accompanied the group. I understand that this was not unusual; to get enough volunteers, Clark's agents had to allow whole families to join the troop caravan into KY. The new recruits and their families were sent to the Falls of the Ohio (now the City of Louisville), which was used as a staging area. While at the Falls, the men were given some basic military training and then sent forth in support of the Regiment. The women and children remained at the Falls of the Ohio, at which point a settlement rapidly grew up which eventually became the town of Louisville. In July 1780, at the end of their 18 month tour of duty, James Sr., Isaac, Elijah and Elisha removed to the Cumberland Settlements where James, Sr. was killed by the Delaware Indians in August of 1780. Micajah and apparently James, Jr. also, opted to stay in the area. Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838) signed up for another tour of service and then stayed in KY for many years thereafter. Micajah's brother, James Mayfield, Jr. apparently did not reenlist, but he and his family stayed in the general Indiana/Kentucky area until about 1806 when he removed to Middle TN.
2 - The Family of Isaac Mayfield (d. 1795) Who Migrated to KY in about 1785
Isaac Mayfield (d. 1795), his wife, Jean Baxter, and at least three of his sons, i.e., John, George and Isaac, Jr., leave Amherst County VA in about the year 1785 and remove to the Blue Grass region of KY. In Kentucky, Isaac, Sr. acquired land in Lincoln County and died a few years later in 1795. The sons of Isaac, Sr. settled in the following areas of Kentucky:
a. John Mayfield settled first in Fayette County KY and then removed to Barren County KY in about 1796 where he resided until his death in 1828.
b. George Mayfield settled in Gallatin County KY where he died in about the year 1811.
c. Isaac Mayfield, Jr. married Mary Banks in 1789, lived in Garrard County for many years, and then removed to Barren County in about 1814. His first wife, Mary Banks, died sometime in the 1820's. In 1830, Isaac married, as his second wife, Mary Woolf Mayfield of Pulaski County KY. Mary Woolf Mayfield (1770-1848) was the widow of John Mayfield (1768-1813) of Pulaski County. Unfortunately, the marriage did not work out. In about 1835, Isaac, without his wife, removed to Monroe County, Indiana where he died in 1849.
3 - Mayfield-Brummett Migration Group Who Migrated to KY in about 1796
The Mayfield-Brummett Migration Group arrived in KY from South Carolina in about 1796. The Mayfield contingent of this group seems to have included three brothers and their families, i.e., Isaac Mayfield (1742-1822), Randolph Mayfield (ca. 1760- aft 1822), and Micajah Mayfield (d. 1798).
a. Isaac Mayfield lived first in Lincoln County and then in Pulaski County near his son John Mayfield (husband of Mary Woolf); in about 1812 he removed to Giles County TN and finally to Lauderdale County AL, where he died in 1822.
b. Randolph Mayfield settled in Casey County KY where he resided until about 1812; he then removed to Lincoln County TN where he died some time after the year 1822.
c. Micajah Mayfield settled in Garrard County KY, but only for a short time; he died in 1798.
4 - Family of Israel Mayfield Who Migrated to KY in 1803
The last group of Mayfields to enter KY before the War of 1812 is the family of Israel Mayfield. He, his wife, Martha Ann Pruet, and other members of the Pruet family arrived in Knox County KY, from Green County TN, in about the year 1803. Israel is another one of those legendary Mayfields. He was reputed to be a notorious gambler and racer of horses. He is said to have abandoned his wife and family and headed for the City of Natchez on the Mississippi River, where he supposedly resided in "Natchez-Under-The-Hill" - the red light district of old Natchez! I have not been able to find very much factual data on him. He did apparently leave KY in about 1806, but I have never found any documentation that he ever lived in Natchez. However, there is evidence that he lived in the Nashville, Tennessee area.
In 1808, Israel was swindled by two of the sons of Micajah Mayfield (1748-1838) involving some land located near Mayfields Station, south of Nashville. Israel sued Micajah Mayfield and his sons in the Circuit Court of Fayette County KY. Israel Mayfield was dead by the year 1812, as another lawsuit, that had originated in Knox County KY, was brought against the "heirs of Israel Mayfield" in the Williamson County TN Court in that year.