Where were your American Clays? Who were your American Clays?

  In 1790, just after the American Revolution, the formerly British Colonies looked like this: 

  • There were approximately 75 heads of household in the extant North American colony records named "Clay."
  • There were 3 in CT;  7 in ME; 3 in MA; 15 in NH; 1 in NY; 12 in PA; 5 in VT.
  • South of the Mason Dixon Line there were 3 in MD;  7 in NC;  and fewer than 25 in VA (1782/83 tax lists.  There were about 43 on "1790 census substitute," but names are replicated.)

  In 1830, the census had gone up considerably:

  • 311 heads of household:  22 in ME;  3 in MA;  26 in NH;  6 in NJ;  13 in NY;  35 in PA;   6 in VT.
  • In the original southern colonies:  19 in GA;  11 in NC;  3 in SC;  3 in MD;  51 in VA;  1 in Wash. DC.
  • Elsewhere "in the west": 9 in AL; 3 in MI; 2 in MS; 9 in MO; 20 in OH; 15 in TN; 9 in IL; 3 in IN; 36 in KY; 3 in LA.

  In 1930, the last census available, things were a bit different. 
  Out of 5266 households where the head of household was surnamed Clay:
 

  • In the northern colonies:  CT had 20;  MA had 81;  ME had 30;  NY had 116;  NH had 26;  NJ had 56;  PA had 252; 
    RI had 8 (2 from England; 1 from Greece);  VT had 7.
  • And, in the southern colonies:  DE had 5;  DC had 14;  GA had 276;  KY 321;  MD had 53;  NC had 123;  SC had 31; 
    TN 173;  VA had 368;  WV 204 
  • Elsewhere:  AL 218;  AZ 16;  AR 187;  CA 188;  CO 32;  FL 67;  HI 1 (from Korea);  ID 22;  IL 194 (including at least one
    from England and one from Czechoslovakia) ;  IN 138;  IA 85 (Swen is from Sweden);  KS 64;  LA 208;  MI 125; 
    MN 31;  MS 363;  MO 245;  MT 6;  NE 38;  NV 1;  NM 19 (Jim Tee Lah Luby Clay, Navajo sheep farmer); 
    ND 2 (including Henry Ton Clay, Holland);  OH 303;  OK 141;  OR 27;  SD 14;  TX 475;  UT 16 (3 from England); 
    WA 56 (1 from Luxembourg);  WI 13;  WY 9
  • Out of the 5266 households: 3324 were identified as white, 1909 as black, and 33 as another ethnicity.

  Pat Dunford -- 2009