Col. Clement READ


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Col. Clement READ

  • Born: 1707
  • Marriage: Mary HILL in 1732
  • Died: 2 Jan 1763 aged 56

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Notes for Col. Clement Read:
It is not proven that Clement Read is a son of Thomas Reade and Lucy Gwynn, but there are definitely family ties, especially to the Robinson family.
Trustee of William and Mary College, 1729. Educated at William and mary under Commissary Blair.
The original attorneys who practiced in the courts of (Albemarle) county, were ... Clement Read ... (who) resided on the south side of James River. Albemarle County History.
Clement Reade was an active vestryman of St Andrew's Parish in Brunswick and Lunenburg Counties. In 1745 Lunenburg County was formed from Brunswick . In 1732 he was the first Kings Attorney from Brunswick. In 1745 Lunenburg County was formed from Brunswick and his home fell in Lunenburg. In 1746 he was appointed Clerk of that County by Secretary Thomas Nelson. He served in the House of Burgesses with leaders of the Revolution. 1750-53 with Henry Embra and 1752-53 with Col. Wm. Byrd III of Westover.
Excerpt from Chapter 1, " Tidewater Reads", The Reads and Their Relatives, by Alice Read Rouse (1930):
Though far and wide the research in attempts to discover indisputable evidence of the parentage of Clement Read (1707-1763), a veil translucent but still unpenetrated hangs between this vivid character of Virginian Colonial history and his origins.
From time to time for years the remaining local and general records of the Colony have been investigated first by one then another of Colonel Read's descendants and by genealogists interested in elucidation of the mystery. But n this day nothing absolutely conclusive has been established. The shade of Colonel Clement may well borrow Napoleon's mt, declaring: "Moi, je suis antre!" And all his descendants may feel just pride in the heritage of his blood.
It is known that he came up from lower Virginia, a young man of education, influential connections, money, character and ability; settled in the frontier counties upon part of his thousands of acres, becoming captain, colonel, vestryman, clerk, surveyor, burgess, an officer in active service in the early colonial wars, a lawyer of wide practice, and a statesman of distinction; that he died with little warning and in he flower of his years, leaving a handsome estate, a youthful family, and an imperious consort who survived him twenty-three years.
Within the half-century following his death, his descendants took vigorous part in revolution, war with England, reorganization of the country, and re-colonization; activities which were not conducive to the keeping of archives. And "his seat, Bushy Forest," was early in the following century burned to the ground with its contents, thus eliminating clues which might have rendered less fatal the destruction of most of the early county records by subsequent war, rapine and fire.
Enough, however, survives to demonstrate beyond a peradventure that Colonel Clement Read, though we go but seven generations back to him, is a good ancestor with whom to begin. If, as some of the Relatives believe, we should trace back twenty generations or more to Kirk Alfred, that great Saxon chief and absent-minded chef this counting has been made and a genealogy constructed. But we confess that these more-or-less fanciful Begats leave us cold. It is estimated that, stemming back the required twenty generations or so, King Alfred would have about the 2,352,113,408th fraction of hereditary influence on this one. And yet, one must remember that if a single one of the two hundred and fifty-odd matings necessary had not been, then I should not be I, nor You, You. Perhaps to be quite sure that We Are, we should be content to count seven and stop: with salutes to Clement Read the First.
The Reads of "Greenfield" in Charlotte County, though a cadet branch, have never left the neighborhood where Colonel Clement Read, when he came up from lower Virginia settled, lived most of his life and died. Consequently, they have been regarded as his representative descendants in Virginia. The most constant family tradition with them is as follows:
Thomas Read came from Yorkshire, settled at Williamsburg, married and died, leaving two sons, Clement and James. This record is said to have come from the Great Bible of Clement and Mary Read which was destroyed when Bushy Forest was burned. Research to date (1930) has failed to produce evidence of proof or disproof of this tradition in its entirety.
The records of James City County, in which Williamsburg is situated, have been destroyed; there are no records in existence for the City of Williamsburg, and research in the remaining records of York, Surry, Isle of Wight, Essex, Middlesex, and the fragments of King William County,( all of which have from time to time been investigated, for the purpose) has failed to produce evidence in regard to the parentage of Clement Read. The Register of Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, (p. 139) contains this entry: "Died 1719 - Anne, w. of Mr. Thomas Read." Nothing further has been found relative to this specific Thomas Read and his (w) - wife or widow - Anne. 1 According to Tyler's Quarterly Historical Magazine (Volume X, 1929, p. 104) Ann was the wife of James, not of Thomas. The editor of Tyler's Quarterly gives a list of 11 children of Thomas and his wife, Lucy Gwynn, including Thomas and James.
Source Rouse, Alice Read, The Reads and Their Relatives, Johnson & Hardin Press: Cincinnati, 1930, pp 2-4. Thanks to: Anne K. Stiller 1998
From: Carolyn Rozelle posted to Rootsweb 1997.
One of the Reades, who has not been placed, is Clement Reade, born 1 Jan. 1707; Clement was made a ward of John Robinson at an unknown date, therefore Clement's parents must have been deceased before he became 18 years old. Clement Read lived near the Reades of Prince Edward County, Va., Richard Randolph was a surety for Elizabeth Owen, formerly the wife of John Reade of Henrico Co., Virginia, in 1739. Richard Randolph or a son went with Clement Reade sr. in 1730 to then Lunenburg County, where they purchased 10,000 acres of land. The land later became a part of Charlotte Co., Va..
Col. Clement Reade had a son named Clement Reade Jr., who married a Mary Nash, daughter of Col. John Nash of "Templeton Manor", Prince Edward County, Va.. Samuel Reade, son of James Reade also married a Nash. A John Nash made his will in 1776, in Prince Edward Co., Va.; John named sons, Abner; John; and Francis; grandson Nash Legrand; daughters Ann Haskins; Mary, Betty Reade, and Prissila Johnston.
Mary Reade, wife of Clement Read 1st. died in 1786; her will although plainly written, obscures exact relationships within this family. Mary named her granddaughter, Mary Jameson, and daughter of Ann Jameson; great/grand daughter, Mary Reade Cameron, daughter of Ann Owen Cameron: sons, Johnathan, Thomas and Edmund. Mary states in the will that her son Thomas is to pay 5 pounds a year to his aunt, Ann Reade, the widow of James Reade. Clement and Mary are said to have had eight children.
The will of Mary Reade Sr. indicates that James and Clement Reade may have been brothers, and that they were orphaned at an early age. ...
A John Reade obtained possession of land in Prince Edward County in 1742. /SS Va. Mag. p66/P.E. Co. P 532. This was 12 years after Clement Reade Sr., and Col. Randolph had visited the area, and Clement Reade purchased 10,000 acres of land. James Reade witnessed a deed in the same county in 1749; the deed was from James Alexander to John Reade, and the land was discribed as adjacent Col. Randolph. This would seem to suggest that Clement Sr. was a relative to John and to the James, who was named in Mary Reade's will. Since Robert and Sarah named their son Robert Alexander Reade, it appears that either John or James' wife was probably the granddaughter of an Alexander, and also a Baird.
'It has been said that John Robinson, known as "President Robinson," was his guardian, and superintended his education, which was completed at William and Mary. He was educated to the law...' The Cabells and Their Kin, Alexander Brown.


Clement married Mary HILL, daughter of William HILL and Priscilla JENINGS, in 1732. (Mary HILL was born about 1711 in Virginia and died on 11 Nov 1780 in Lunenburg Co., VA, USA, "Bushy Forset".)


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