The Jackson Purchase region of Kentucky is comprised of the eight westernmost counties - Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall and McCracken. It is bordered on the west by the Mississippi River, on the north by the Ohio River, on the east by the Tennessee River and the state of Tennessee to the south. By Kentuckians it is generally referred to simply as "the Purchase".

Andrew Jackson and Isaac Shelby purchased the land lying west of the Tennessee River from the Chickasaw tribe and opened the area for settlement around 1820. Within the next few years, my grandfather's ancestors came there from Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee - the Beadles, Clapps, Pryors and Wingos settled in Graves County with the Reeves and Halls in neighboring Ballard County.


Jorg (George) Valentine Klap was born on May 24, 1702 in Bingen on the Rhine, Weisenheim, Pfalz, Germany. He was the son of Johann Jost (Joseph) Klapp and Anna Margaretha (her maiden name is unknown). On August 24, 1723 in Weisenheim, George Valentine Clapp married Anna Barbara Stiess, daughter of Philip Stiess. She was born in Weisenheim in 1706.

Sometime after April of 1727, he sailed on the ship James Goodwill, along with thirteen family members, out of Rotterdam. They landed in Philadelphia on September 27, 1727 where he took the Oath of Fidelity signing his name Jorg Valentin Clap.

For a few years the family settled in what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania in the Oley Valley. Around 1745, Valentine moved south to North Carolina where large tracts of land were being granted by Lord Granville and Henry McCulloch. His brother John Ludwig Clapp and other family members soon followed to North Carolina where tradition says they first settled in the Beaver Creek section of modern day Guilford County. Valentine became a naturalized citizen Sep 22, 1763 in the Salisbury District, Rowan County, North Carolina.

Valentine and his brother, Ludwig, were instrumental in establishing the German Reformed church at Beaver Creek which is now known as The Brick Church in Guilford or present day Alamance County, North Carolina. For that reason the church was called for many years, Der Klapp Kirche (The Clapp Church).

Valentine Clapp died on October 12, 1773 in Guilford, North Carolina at age 71. He was buried at the Brick Church. From the Brick Church record on page 97 - "Valentine Clapp died Oct. 12, 1773 aged 71 years, 4 months, 2 weeks and 4 days. He was born May 24, 1702. He was married 51 years and had 12 children, 7 sons and 5 daughters." Rev. Samuel Suther, then pastor of the German Reformed church delivered an address at Valentine's funeral. It is believed that Anna Barbara died between 1773 and 1774. Both Valentine and Anna Barbara are said to have been buried in the churchyard of the Brick Church but neither of their gravestones have survived.

The Clapp family of the Jackson Purchase area descends from Johann Phillip Clapp, son of George Valentine Clapp and Anna Barbara Stiess. He was born on 20 Feb 1731 in Oley, Berks County, Pennsylvania and christened there on 22 Feb 1731.

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