This biography was submitted by Sandy
Spradling, E-mail address: <[email protected]>
History of Greenbrier County
J. R. Cole
Lewisburg, WV 1917
THE McCLUNG FAMILY.
(By James W. McClung.)
The McClung family is of Scotch descent. Its history begins in the time of
Agricola, the Roman emperor who found in them a foe among the Grampian Hills
of Scotland, which successfully resisted his further progress in that direction. It was a foe who had won their spurs in the days of Wallace and
Bruce at the time they had won their independence from the English crown. In
the days of John Knox they did defiance to tyrants and vindicated their belief that king and queen were amenable to law and could not enslave and
oppress their subjects with impunity.
As a clan belonging to the Scotch race, the McClungs were of a Romanized
Britton stock and from whence its Celtic blood. It obtained from occasional
intermarriages with other races its Saxon and Teutonic blood. These racial
characteristics had strongly blended into a composite whole before emigrations were made by any of them to Ireland, and from that source came
the Scotch-Irish Americans of the present day. No blending of the Scotch-Irish races by intermarriage ever occurred to any great extent. The
native Irish are zealous Roman Catholics, the Scotch are equally Protestant,
and on account of religious intolerance and persecution, the Scotch left
their country for Ireland, when, because of unity of faith, they were called
Scotch-Irish, there not being a 4rop of Irish blood, however, in their Scotch
The race from which the McClungs of Greenbrier county came left for their
descendants an immortal legacy in the memory of their heroic faith and deeds.
They are preeminently a liberty-loving race, as has been attested by their
blood on many a field of battle. The name is found on the muster roll of
every war in the history of our Nation; a large list is given in the registry
of our higher educational institutions and a greater list still on the reg-istries of our churches.
The earliest known record of the McClung family is located in Galloway,
Scotland. Tradition says that three McClungs, James, John and Robert, left
Scotland on account of religious persecution and settled in Ulster, Ireland.
That was in i690. They were Presbyterians of the true blue-blood type. The first of the family to come to America, so far as known, was Thomas. He
settled first in Christiana, Pa., in 1729. About the year 1731 John McClung
landed in Boston with an aunt and settled in Brookfield, Mass. That was in
1734. He moved from there to Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, ahout the year
1740. His father, whose name was James, came with his family, the mother and
eight children. In the year 1742 they moved to Border Grant, in Augusta county, now Rockbridge county, Virginia.
I. John McClung, born in Scotland, emigrated to Ireland in '690, but little
is known of his history. (See history of Greenbrier McClungs.)
II. John McClung was born in Ireland, came to America and settled in Rockbridge county, Virginia. He married Rebecca Stuart. Died 1788.
Captain Samuel McClung was born in 1744, died in April, 1806. He emigrated
from Rockbridge county, Virginia, to Greenbrier county at the beginning of
the Revolutionary war and served in the quartermaster's department during the
war. He lived on Muddy creek near the Blue Sulphur Springs. He was the last
man wounded by the Indians in this section of the State. They shot the queue off his wig. One Indian pressed him until they came to a
creek, and now it was a case of life or death, as the creek was wide enough
it would seem to prevent his escape; but summoning all his strength, and with
a desperate bound, he leaped clear over. It was a wonderful leap and it so
disheartened the Indian that he abandoned the chase. Capt. Samuel McClung married in Augusta county, Virginia, Rebecca
Bourland, born 1749, died October 8, 1825. He and his wife are buried near Smoot, this
Joseph McClung, born July 12, 1776, married Elizabeth Ellis, October 14,
1800. They lived near Blue Sulphur Springs. He died July 7, 1850. She died
December 30, 1861.
Madison Mcclung, born June 30, 1809, died June 10, 1874. He married Margaret
Lamb Hanna, February 8, 1838. Mrs. McClung's mother was a McNeel and her
grandmother was a Lamb of the Maryland family. Mr. McClung was a farmer and a
very popular man. He served as sheriff of the county from 18?? to 1848.
William Washington McClung was born February 22, 1846. He married Mary
Genevieve Putney (born January 31, 1850), October, 1875. He served in the
Confederate army during the Civil war, is a farmer and owns a large farm near
Hughart, this county.
James W. McClung was born near Charleston, W. Va., May 13, 1880. He was
educated in the public schools and at the Lewisburg Academy. In 1904 he was
elected assessor of the Upper district and held that position until 1909. He
was then in the sheriff's office for four years. In 1912 he was elected
assessor of Greenbrier county and filled that position until 1917. In 1913 Mr. McClung married Miss Minnie Pugh, of Hyattsville, Md., and now
resides in Lewisburg, W. Va. Two children, Virginia and James W., Jr., came
of this union.
The origin of the name McClung is a matter of conjecture. Some authorities
derive the name from McClau, and if that is correct the lineage is traceable
to Gilean, or McGilean, who dwelt in Lorn and who fought in the battle of
Lam, and whose name signifies a servant of St. John. Mac, the Celtic prefix
meaning son of, Gille meaning servant and a contraction of "iahan" meaning
John the Saint. Hence son of the servant of John the Saint is the full meaning of the name.
There is a greater probability, however, that the original name was Lung. The
Celtic prefix Mac, abbreviated to Mc and a doubling of the "C", resulted in
the present form.
The name McClung appears in a list of names collected by Lord Stair and
published in Patronymic Brittanica under the title of seven hundred specimens
of Celtic aristocracy.