McClung Family in Virginia


Early McClung Families in Virginia and West Virginia

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Please beware of undocumented research into the McClung line or any other line. As I search to document the history of the Virginia and West Virginia McClung lines, I have encountered published works that contain myths and repeat family histories which cannot be backed up with valid documents. Recent books have been published which seem to provide legitimate documents and information, but when examined, there is no trail back to the sources. These publications cause  false confidence that the information is valid. In research on another family line, we encountered a person who was selling fraudulent genealogies - primarily to assist people with their DAR and SAR applications. Her information created false genealogies until someone uncovered the truth.  Her erroneous information is still being used and repeated as 'fact'.   Please be very cautious in using any information from a published work that cannot be documented independently from other sources.  

The McClungs were originally from Scotland, but those who migrated to America in the 1700s were Scots from Northern Ireland.  They were Presbyterians, and not wanting to be considered Irish Catholics, they became known as Scot-Irish (or Scotch-Irish) in America.  Most arrived in William Penn's Colony, landing near Philadelphia.  As they migrated westward into Chester and Lancaster counties in Pennsylvania, good land became scarce and more expensive.

On the other hand, early landholders in the Virginia Colony were receiving grants of thousands of acres. Wanting to attract settlers, they marketed land to new settlers in Maryland and Pennsylvania. The colonial government of Virginia wanted settlement to provide a buffer between the settled tidewater area of Virginia and the French and Indian problems of the frontier. Land was much cheaper in the valley than in Maryland and Pennsylvania or eastern Virginia.

Augusta County, Virginia, formed in 1739, was a vast territory with an indefinite western boundary. The county included what is now West Virginia as well as the whole of Kentucky, the territory north and west of those areas, and theoretically all the way to the Pacific Ocean.William Beverley established his home on a 7050 acre parcel on Lewis Creek in then Orange County in 1734. In 1739, Benjamin Borden a New Jersey Quaker, was promised 1,000 acres for every settler he located, amounting in all to 92,100 acres.  His grant was also located in Augusta County. 

Map of Beverley's Manor

More information about Early Settlers and Landowners in Augusta 

William and James McClung were among the first wave of settlement in Borden's Grant with purchases in 1754.  Henry McClung purchased 70 acres in 1764.  In 1759, John McClung bought 279 acres from William Ward of South Carolina, 249 acres were part of Benjamin Borden's tract and 30 acres were part of an entry of King's land adjoining. Deed Book 14, Page 388

As Augusta County and the Shenandoah Valley became settled, it was divided into new counties. Botetourt was created in 1769 from Augusta county. In 1778 Rockbridge and Greenbrier counties were formed from Augusta and Botetourt counties, and in 1790 Bath County was created from Augusta, Botetourt and Greenbrier counties. In the late 1700s, records of the Virginia McClungs are found primarily in these counties, but by 1782, many of the descendants of John McClung, who died in Rockbridge county about 1788, had migrated to Greenbrier County, now a part of West Virginia, where they appear on tax lists.

To research the many McClung lines of America, including those in Virginia, please visit The McClung Family Association Site 

Another site has images of Rockbridge Virginia Marriage Bonds, many of which are for McClungs and show the name of the father of the bride

The McClung Genealogy 1904 by Rev William McClung  is a free On-line Book which covers descendants of the Virginia McClung lines. 

Rev McClung says that Thomas was the first McClung to emigrate to America, coming from Ireland to near Christiana, Pennsylvania in 1729. About 1731 a John McClung came to Boston and in 1734 went to Lancaster County Pennsylvania where he was joined by the rest of the family about 1740. James was the father of John, but his mother's name is unknown. Eight children were James, William, Hugh, Charles, Matthew, Mary, Isabel and John. About 1742 James, William and Hugh emigrated to the Borden Grant while Charles, Matthew, Mary and Isabel remained in Lancaster County, and John migrated to Northumberland County, PA. From 1772 to 1785 Matthew, Samuel, James and Charles are showing on Lancaster county personal property tax lists. They may be part of the original settlers or their descendants.  Once the brothers settled in the Augusta - later Rockbridge area - there are many records and family histories, but with so many common names and multiple marriages, it's often difficult to be certain one has the correct McClung lineage. It is thought that the John McClung who purchased the land in 1769 was probably the John McClung who was later an elder in the Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church which was about 30 miles south of Staunton, Virginia, and now in Rockbridge county. He died around 1817 and is believed to be buried there.  There was a 2nd John McClung in the area who died about 1788 in Rockbridge county, Virginia. His arrival date is unknown, and we know little about him until after his death.

Again, remember to do your own research to back up this information.

More Research on the John McClung line, progenitor of the Greenbrier McClungs can be found on WeRelate.

Some early McClung Records in Augusta County from  Chalkley's Chronicles of the Scotch Irish 

20 May 1747 James and Mary McClung are mentioned in regard to a trial of Rebecca Buchanan Jr.
5 Mar 1765  James McClung vs. Berrisford; In 1761 John Berrisford sold land on North Branch James river; but before deed was made, Berrisford died. McClung vs. Berrisford.--John Berrisford owned land on North Branch James River, adjoining William Halman, John Harper and James Edmondson. He sold in 1761 to James McClung, but before deed was made Berrisford died, leaving no sons, but seven daughters--Mary, Catherine, Margaret, Agnes, Frances, Lydia and Jennet. Most were infants. 
21 Nov 1755 John McClung is mentioned as married to Jennet, niece of Robert Means: Wm. Akry has removed out of the Colony. James McMurdie witness from Bedford. Robert Means's will proved. Admr. moved for by Thos. Thompson, his nephew and heir-at-law, and also by John McClung, who married Jennet, niece of decd.--given to Thomas.
Mar 1767 McClung vs. Fleming.--This day Mr. Jas. Knox came before me as a garnishee for the estate of John Flimon, soldier, formerly of Capt. Lewis's Company, and declared that he has no part of said Flimon's estate in his hands, nor hasn't had since said Flimon left the County. Sworn before me this 29th October, 1766. (Signed) John Dickinson.
18 Aug 1767 James McClung produced a certificate for hemp.
20 Nov 1767 Joseph McClung was a Juror
15 Mar 1768 John McClung produced a certificate for hemp.
20 May 1783 William McClung granted certificate to be examined for license to practice law.
19 Dec 1787 Claim of John McClung for 422 lbs. beef.

Joseph Addison Waddell discusses some of the McClung families in a Supplement to his Annals of Augusta County Virginia published in 1888. These McClungs probably were settlers around the Timber Ridge area of now Rockbridge County. The wife of Judge Samuel McDowell was Mary McClung. Her brother, John McClung, was the father of William McClung, who removed to Kentucky and became a judge . . . sons were Alexander K McClung and Rev John A McClung. A brother of Judge McClung, Joseph McClung, lived and died on Timber Ridge. William Wilson and wife Barbara came to America about 1720 and settled at the Forks of Brandywine, Chester County, PA. William Wilson Jr m. Sally McClung. Children were John died unmarried; Susan m. Washington Stephenson and Sarah who m. Adam Stephenson. David Moore - with his mother and 10 brothers and a sister, came from northern Ireland and settled in Borden's Grant. David Moore's wife was Mary Evans, and his sons were William and Andrew. The wife of Capt William Moore was Nancy McClung and children were Samuel, David, John, Eliab, Jane, Isabella, Elizabeth and Nancy. Children of John and Rebecca Allen Crawford who married McClungs: James Crawford m. Cynthia McClung of Greenbrier; John married Harriet McClung of Greenbrier; Rebecca m. Stuart McClung of Greenbrier.James Crawford who married Mary Crawford had 2 daughters who married McClungs. Sarah m. Charles McClung. Elizabeth m. Col. Samuel McClung. Alexander Stuart m. 1st to Mary Patterson. Children were Archibald, Robert, Frances, Jane, Mary, Elizabeth and Eleanor. Robert Stuart married Elizabeth McClung.

As can be seen, without more documents, it's very difficult to be sure the lineages are accurate.  More family details can be found in Rev McClung's book.

Greenbrier County Descendants of John McClung

Little is known about John McClung (died 1788 in Rockbridge) until after his death.  We now know that he was the progenitor of the "Greenbrier McClungs"  because of a 1796 lawsuit in Rockbridge County, Virginia.  From that case, we have been able to learn of his children's names as well as the names of some of his grandchildren.  The complete lawsuit (191 pages) can be found HERE. Through other documents and records, we have learned the names of most of the spouses.  


From court testimony, We know the (last) wife of John McClung died in 1781. The following information on the children of John is based on records, but some of the dates are estimated. Please do your own research if you believe one of these people is your ancestor. The only one I have questioned is whether John Bath McClung was the same John reported to be a son of John. More research is needed. I am constantly researching and amending my information as new details and documentation are found. If you are a member of Ancestry, you can view my tree.  Check in the Gallery Section for documentation.

With this lawsuit and other information, it is believed the children of John and his wife (or wives) were:  

John "John Bath" McClung (1733-1830) married Sarah McCutcheon (1756 - 1846)
William "Grandfather Billy" McClung  (1738-1833) married Abigail Carpenter (1746-1820)
Thomas McClung (1740-1784) married Nancy Black (1748-1799) 
James McClung (1742-1790) married Nancy Dickinson (1752-1790)
Joseph "Sinking Creek Joe" McClung (1744 - ?) married Margaret Bell (1731-1806)
Samuel McClung (1744-1806) married Rebecca Bourland (1750-1825)
Nancy McClung (1748 - 1841) married William Moore (1748-1841)
Charles McClung (1748 - 1793) died unmarried
Edward McClung (1756 - 1793) married Letitia Black (1766-1849)
Janette "Jenny" McClung (1762 - 1804) married David Moore (1764 -1826)

See Transcription of Will for William "Grandfather Billy" McClung which lists his children and other heirs.