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Mini Bios of People of Scots Descent

This biography was submitted by Sandy Spradling, E-mail address: <>

History of Greenbrier County 
J. R. Cole 
Lewisburg, WV 1917 
p. 264-267


(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 veins.

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 county.

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.

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