Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty

[Reading] ➻ Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty By Katherine R. Bateman –
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages
  • Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty
  • Katherine R. Bateman
  • English
  • 24 March 2018
  • 9781556527951

About the Author: Katherine R. Bateman

Katherine Bateman received an M.A and Ph.D at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and has taught art history at Berea College in Kentucky and at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Author of The Young Investor, she had a second career as a municipal bond analyst and as financial advisor for the Illinois Educational Facilities Authority She was born in Ashland, Kentucky and now reside

Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern DynastyThis Sweeping History Traces Eleven Generations Of The Clays Of Kentucky, A Founding American Family And Southern Dynasty Whose Members Include Henry Clay, Who Ran For President Against James K Polk His Cousin Cassius Marcellus Clay, A Prominent Abolitionist And Lincoln S Advisor Against Slavery And Matriarch Kizzie Clay, Who Buried The Family Silver And Escaped By Flatboat To Avoid Marauding Union Soldiers The History Of The Early Colonial Period Comes To Life, Beginning With The Arrival Of The Clay Family In Jamestown, Virginia, In And The Cecil Family In St Mary S, Maryland, In , Continuing Through Their Trek Across Virginia To The Appalachian Mountains, Leading To The Families Eventual Intermarriage In And Their Move Across The Mountains To Kentucky And Beyond Drawing From Original Sources Such As Civil War Records, Land Deeds, Wills, And Letters, And Through Her Own Dogged Detective Work And Determination To Separate Reality From Exaggeration To Understand The Complex Legacy She Has Inherited, Katherine Bateman Reveals The Adventures, Accomplishments, And Shortcomings Of The Men In Her Family, Alongside The Deep Rooted Stories And Nontraditional Roles Of Its Strong, Sometimes Selfish, And Proud Women

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10 thoughts on “Kentucky Clay: Eleven Generations of a Southern Dynasty

  1. Zack McCullough says:

    This book was good for what it was If you are a relative of this family line or have some connection or interest in the Clay or Cecil familes, this is a well researched book that provides quite a bit of information on each generation and it s people However, if you are interested in the larger history surrounding this family, you ll need to look elsewhere I personally found the personal nature of the stories rather uninteresting and mundane and kept wanting to know about the events that drove these people to act the way they did The author, Katherine Bateman, spends quite a bit of time describing rather bland topics again, to me such as facial features and the physical appearance of her ancestors, the interior of houses owned by previous generations of Kentuckians, and the landscape of Virginia and Kentucky The second half of the book becomes even introspective It feels as if the story is isolated from what s going on in the world, maybe that s intentional Depending on what you are looking for, this book might suit your needs or be interesting, but only with a narrow focus.

  2. Jo-jean Keller says:

    Well researched and interesting book

  3. Anna Ligtenberg says:

    ISBN 1556527950 Because I ve worked on my own genealogy for several decades, the story in Kentucky Clay sounded appealing The surprising fact that I found a relative that might tie my family to the Clay tree was a bonus Those readers who have read family stories like this one, based on both family legends and historical research, will know that most of those books fit the description of love letter to family and history Kentucky Clay does not, however, fit that mold.Katherine Bateman has been told family stories all of her life Years ago, the author left Kentucky and the family stories behind now she s returned to revisit both, beginning with John Thomas Claye in 1612 The family stories can be and are, in Bateman s hands reinforced or disproven to a degree by records of the time The story takes an unusual turn, genealogically speaking, in 1800, when Rebecca Cecil married William Clay Usually, genealogy is male dominated, by virtue of the fact that men keep their surnames, own property and, at one time, were the only actual names on census rolls, and are therefore easier to trace The Clay family story becomes female dominated, thanks to Rebecca Cecil s influence and the certainty she has, and that she passes down, that the women of the family are strong Following her family from 1612 to the present day, the author comes to realize that, by sheer luck and somewhat against her will, she s found her way home to Kentucky land that one of ancestors had owned, long ago.What you get out of this book will depend, in a big way, on what you expect of it Genealogically speaking, if you have a family tie to the Clays, the book is something you ll want to add to your collection The story here is limited to a specific line and expecting the author to go off in various directions is going to lead to disappointment For example, although there is as a genealogist, lacking evidence, I say might be Native American blood in the family, it s a different branch of the tree than the one the book is about Expecting one hundred percent accuracy is equally silly the basis of most of the book is family stories and, if you ve ever tried to verify your own family stories, you realize that s nearly impossible.On the other hand, the description I started with, of a love letter to family and history Really, not even close In genealogy, an honest and fair look at your family can be difficult no one really wants to find criminals lurking in the tree, for example but there s a line between acknowledging reality and airing your family s dirty laundry and the author seems to have had a hard time recognizing it Despite the strong women story she s been told all her life, the women in the family seem to be pretty rotten, and surprisingly weak, with a pattern of opting out of responsibility and choosing alcohol over parenting and the author, oddly, seems to be perfectly comfortable telling all the family tales, ugly as well as those that aren t I give it 4 stars because I thought it was well written and it lived up to my expectations I think the book will appeal to genealogists looking for links to the Clays, et al, but be prepared to be surprised by Bateman s assault on her family AnnaLovesBooks

  4. Todd Stockslager says:

    The author s photo on the inside back flap shows a strong, handsome older woman with striking dark eyes and a faint smile that speaks of wry humor and dry pain In Kentucky Clay , we will learn that the eyes, along with the humor and the pain, are family traits well earned and well honored.Bateman has ancestors from both the Clays founding families of Virginia and Kentucky and Cecils founding families of Maryland and Virginia , placing her in the direct lineage of American royalty But to say that she traces her lineage to those families would be incorrect rather, as she writes near the end of her personal journey, my family found me As a genealogist and family biographer, Bateman is in a unique position since the core Clay and Cecil families are so well known and historically important, the basic genealogies had already been done and family stories remembered and compiled What she brings to the table, from her career as an art historian, is the research and writing skills to turn family stories into solid documented history.Not to say that this is an impersonal, dry history, even though in the course of her researches Bateman is forced to revise some family legends and enjoys the thrill of confirming others with documentary evidence Bateman does a great job of helping us meet and understand the strong Clay men, and stronger Cecil women in her past, and in the end the story becomes very personal indeed We learn how Bateman s grandmother and mother both lived out the best and worst traits of their lineage, and passed them on to her.The book includes a map and family tree that you will reference frequently to help you place people and events in geographic and family context The photograph section features portraits and candids of many of the key places houses are important to the history and people, although I wished for pictures of Bateman s grandmother Wynemah a central character in the history, and a sultry beauty in the picture of her as a young woman with her children and grandchildren Of course, as events unfold, their absence is perhaps understandable and for the best.I debated whether to rate this book four stars worth my time see my profile for a description of my personal rating scale or a full five stars, indicating a timeless and universal classic While a personal genealogy and memoir would normally limit the universal appeal of a book, the historical significance of the Clay and Cecil families extends the reach of this effort, and Bateman s personalization of the stories of pain, joys, and personalities are timeless So I decided to rate this a classic I think any reader will see how their families shape them, and how they can embrace the pains and the joys to take their own place.

  5. Dave says:

    I found Kentucky Clay , by Katherine Bateman, to be a difficult book to properly categorize There are far too many passages and sections where the author imagines or visualizes things in her mind to call this a history For a similar reason, it doesn t work as a biography of the Clay family If she were to include this as a section discussing how her ancestors history affected her life, then it could work as part of her memoirs, but there isn t enough about her own life in this book to call it that either As a result, I suspect that there is rather a limited audience who would get much value out of this work.That being said, there are some good things about the book The writing style is easy to follow, and she does a good job of describing the sights, sounds, etc., of the events she is discussing In addition, there are quite a few interesting stories which are enjoyable, though not the most complimentary to many members of her family Lastly, the organization of the bibliography was excellent as it clearly lists sources for each aspect of what she discusses in the book At the end, though, the reader is left wondering what to do with what they have read Repeatedly she refers to her own ideas and imagination in her discussion of events and how she thinks things happened She uses as sources the family stories which were passed down to her, from the same sources which she shows are unreliable when she chooses to deviate from their narrative So what the reader really ends up with is Katherine Bateman s version of handing down the family stories She has added a few new ones, and changed a few of the older ones, and she has allowed those of us who are not in the family a chance to hear them But when all is said and done, the reader is simply a fly on the wall as Katherine tells the family stories to the next generation of her family.I don t think people will hate this book, and it certainly would give you something to do on a lazy afternoon However, I don t think it delivers much than that.

  6. Joankite says:

    If you re interested in American and or Kentucky history from the view of the uppity Southern woman, here it is I did enjoy her take on how Southern women become attached to, fight over, and sometimes set ablaze their houses as testaments to their emotional lives.