Charles Robert Clevenger, Sr. Family History



1964 Photo of Charles Robert Clevenger, Sr. and Myrtle Hinds Clevenger


    Charles Robert Clevenger (b. Oct. 10, 1885; d. Nov. 8, 1968) married Myrtle Minerva Valentine Hinds (b. Feb. 14, 1889, d. Sept. 3, 1973) at Glen Alice, TN on December 25, 1907.  Sam Waller, Baptist Minister, preformed the ceremony.  Charles was named after Charles Gamble, a retired pentioner, who promised to give him a suit of clothes which he gave him on his sixth birthday.

    Charles worked over fifty years on the Southern Railway (CNO & TP), principally as a Baggage Master,  and retired on October 1, 1955.  He served for several years as a deacon and later as an elder of the Cowart Street Church of Christ of which he had been a member since 1919 having been baptized by R. R. Brooks who preached the first sermon at Cowart Street.  They were always faithful in their church work and attendance.


    Sam C. Sherwood, president of the Excelsior Springs, MO Museum & Archives organization has compiled an early history of the Clevenger family in which he states, "The earliest Clevenger recorded went with William the Conqueror, when he crossed the English Channel to take over England," in 1066 AD.  "Clevengers showed up in Wales and Ireland in the early 1400's."

    The name "Clevenger" is derivied from the occupation and is a combination of two words, "clavis" meaning "key", and "gerer" meaning "to bear"; and, corresponds today (1) to a treasurer who protects money deposits, or (2) to an administrator of the law, "lawyer", who holds the "key" to recorded (stored) rules and regulations and "bears" them to any official needing them.

    From English Surnames, Bardsley (1875) - (Gen. R-929.4 B); and, Surnames of Office, Chapter III, Page 185-6 of Dignitaries and Officers of Mediaeval Times:  "Clavenger", "Claver" and "Cleaver" we will mention last as filling up a list of civic offices entirely, so far as the language is concerned, the property of the dominant power.  A "Robert Clavynger" occurs in Parliamentary Rolls.  Its root is "Claviger", the Key Bearer, one whose office it was at this time to protect the deposits, whether of money or parchments [recorded rules or laws], belonging to the civic authorities.  The more common term was that of "Clavier", such entries as "Henry Le Claver" or "John Le Claver", or "John Le Clavier", (I suspect the difference between the "Claviger" and the "Clavier" lay in that the former bore the key, and perhaps even the mace, in all the many public processions and pageants of the day,) being of familiar occurrence at this time.  Thus in a traty agreed upon between the Mayor, Sheriffs, and commonalty of Norwich in 1414, it was declared that the Mayor and twenty-four (of the Council) shall choose a common clerk, a coroner, two clavers and eight constables, and the sixty common council shall choose a common speaker, one coroner, two clavers and eight constables. (History Norfield - Blomefield).  In a day when there were no patent safes, we can readily understand the importance of appointing men whose one care it was to guard the chests wherein were stored up the various parchments [recorded rules and laws], moneys and seals belonging to the civic council.  This comprises our list of Norman Civil Officers."

    On September 15, 2007 the Excelsior Springs, MO Museum & Archives held a Clevenger Day at the facility to honor one of the earliest and founding families of Excelsior Springs, MO.  The museum then provided a Clevenger Display from that date through Christmas (see the flyer above-left).  An extensive record of Clevenger's is maintained by the museum, the link for which is

    In America the earliest recorded Clevenger was named John who came to New York about 1695.  From the Atlantic County Historical Society, Somers Mansion, Somers Point, NJ, Ernest Clevenger, Sr. copied the handwritten accounts of the "Genealogical History of the Clevenger Family in America" as compiled by William M. Clevenger, an attorney, who spent much of his lifetime tracing the Clevenger family in the United States.  From this account it states:

     John Clevenger first appears of record in New Jersey in East Jersey as a signer upon a petition to the King against the proprietors.  Found in 2 N.J. Arch. 322, page 323, it says 'Yet they left us from the latter end of June, 1689, till about the latter end of August, 1692, without any government and that too in time of actual war...'.  This would seem to indicate that John might have been in New Jersey as early as 1689.  George Clevenger's house is mentioned in connection with some property deeds dated Jan. 15, 1682, at Yonkers, New York.  We know to a certainty that John was of the second generation in this country and was first in New York State.

      John's children were:

            1.  Mary, m. Sept. 12, 1728 to Thomas Hankiers.
            2.  Hannal, m. Aug. 21, 1731 to William Derckworth.
            3.  Catherine, m. June 26, 1732 to Charles Miller.
            4.  George, m. July 19, 1737 to Deliverance Horner.
            5.  John, m. March 17, 1742 to Hannah Baker.
            6. Abraham, m. July 26, 1742 to Jane Platt.
            7. Margaret, m. Feb. 9, 1746 to Thomas Asson.
            8. William, m Aug. 17, 1850 to Marcy Asson.

Abraham, fought in the Revolutionary War.


George: John Clevenger settled in Fredrick County, VA in the early 1700's; his son, George (b. 1717) married Deliverance Horner (m. July 19,1737).  In handwritten notes of Ernest Clevenger, Sr. it reads:  "William Clevenger says, 'I am inclined to guess that it was George and Deliverance who founded the Virginia branch and that the[ir son's] name Asa came to the family from the Horners.  I am certain that Asa, or his father, came from New Jersey for the reason that Elizabeth Clevenger and John Atkinson of Burlington, who married Feb. 8, 1764, had a son Aden.  This is the only family in which the name Aden appears; and it is said by a descendant that the first Aden returned to N.J. and there died. Asa was brother to Joseph as appears by Joseph's will appointing Asa one of his executors.  I think it pretty well settled now that he and Joseph joined the Fairfax Virginia Colony in 1738-39 and there remained until their deaths.  In 1782 he is returned with family of twelve on Elisha Williams' list of inhabitants of Frederick County, Virginia.' (1790 Census, 22).  In the clerk's office at Winchester, Frederick Co., Virginia it appears as follows, concerning the estate of Asa Clevenger:

         March 1809  -  Appraisement showing personal property aggregating $1,126.15 (Book 8/418).

         October 1809 -  Sales account showing proceeds of sale to have been $1,082.31 (Book 8/494).'"


        1.  Joseph b. cr. 1739
        2.  Asa     b. cr. 1744 d. 1809
        3.  Thomas b. cr. 1746, d. Feb. 1810 

Thomas (b. about 1746 in Shenandoah County, VA, d. Feb. 1810, in Cocke County, TN) moved to Cocke County, TN where he married Syche [also spelled "Psyche"] Pittman (maiden name unsubstantiated, but there is a "Pittman Center" on the Greenbrier River in Cocke County) (Sitchie, on her tombstone ) b. 1743, d Aug. 17, 1847, age 104.  Thomas and Syche are buried in the Clevenger Cemetery in Cocke County, TN. near Clevenger's Crossroads (now known on the state of Tennessee roadmap as "Clevenger") on a hill behind the tannery on old Columbus Clevenger's home place.

    A note on the Clevenger Cemetery TNGenWeb project states, "The husband of Sitchie Clevenger listed above was Thomas Clevenger who died in February 1810, and is probably buried here.  Thomas and Sitchie  migrated to Cocke County from Shenandoah County, VA and were the progenitors of all the Clevengers in Cocke County.  They were members of the Big Pigeon Baptist Church.  Sources:  Minutes of the Big Pigeon baptist church and Cocke county cemetery book."

    The Thomas Clevenger's lived in Jamestown, Virginia and Syche went to work there for the soldiers while Thomas went into Washington's army.  Later he became a large land owner in Virginia and later moved to Tennessee.  In the history of Cocke County, Over the Misty Blue Hills, it states that Thomas Clevenger joined the Baptists Church by letter on January 2, 1796.  It also gives the date of his death as Feb. 1810.

Asa Clevenger b. cr. 1745, d. 1809, m. Hannah ------.


        1.  Enos        b. April 5, 1780, d. April 23, 1844, m. Sept. 5, 1805 Susanna E. Martin b. Jan. 12, 1787, d. 1872.
        2.  Adan        b.  ?, d. 1840, m. Sept. 27, 1807  Sarah Beadles
        3.  Esther       m. Peter Tomlin
        4.  Ruth        b. 1783, d. 1854, m. Johnston Lacy, b. 1762, d. 1860
        5. David        m. Sept. 17,1807 Polly Trenary
        6. Asa            m. Oct. 8, 1809 Rebecca Danks
        7. Jacob        m. Aug. 26, 1795 (1) Catherine Tomlin (2) Elizabeth Crouse
        8. Nancy Ann    m. John Matson
        9. Achsah    m. Jan. 26, 1809 Joseph Archer
      10. Fielden
      11. Eben

In 1810 Enos Clevenger and Susanna, his wife, and Adan Clevenger and Sarah, his wife, all of Ohio, Enos and Adan being described as "part of the children of Asa Clevenger" conveyed a tract of land in Frederick Co., Va.

In 1809 Peter Tomlln and Esther, his wife, late Esther Clevenger; Johnston Lacy and Ruth, his wife, late Ruth Clevenger; David Clevenger and Polly, his wife; Joseph Archer and Achsah,  his wife; Esther, Ruth, David and Achsah being described as "part of the children of and distributees of Asa Clevenger, deceased"~ conveyed unto Jacob Clevenger his 1/llth interest in a tract of land of which Asa died seized.

In 1810 Enos Clevenger and Susanna, his wife, and Adan Clevenger and Sarah, his wife all being described as residents of Warren County, Ohio, conveyed land in Frederick Co., Va.

In 1811 Asa Clevenger and Rebecca, his wife, describing himself as "one of the children of Asa Clevenger, deceased", conveyed unto Jacob Clevenger his 1/11th interest in a tract of land of which Asa died seized.

In 1815 Jacob Clevenger, Nancy (Ann) Clevenger Matson and John Matson, her husband, and Asa Clevenger, being described as a part of the children of Asa Clevenger, deceased, conveyed a tract of land in Frederick Co., Va.

   Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and their Descendants, T. K. Cartwell, 1909: Chapter, "A History of Frederick County, Virginia); "The Clevenger Family", page 474.  "This family, tho not one of the oldest, has continually resided in Frederick County for over 100 years.  They have been found in several sections of the county, chiefly in what is now known as Stonewall Magisterial District.  The Gainesboro District had the John Clevenger branch. East of Stephens City at this writing may be found John W. Clevenger and his family.  The well known families of Alfred, Thomas, Asa and others north of Winchester are well represented.  James T. Clevenger, son of Alfred, and his sons, are large land owners, and very successful farmers.

    Virginia Historical Index (Vol. I), E. G. Swen, Librarian of the College of William and Mary, 1934, records that John Clevenger, b. Aug. 15, 1775, married Bula Ridgeway, Jan. 1, 1801 and Mary Brown, March 11, 1829, and lived in Frederick County, VA.  Records also list other Clevenger's in Frederick County in 1782 as:  Samuel, George, Joshua, Edwin, Asa and Absolom.


    The following information for the most part is taken from handwritten and types notes prepared by Ernest A. Clevenger, Sr. (b. Oct. 22, 1908, d. Jan. 26, 1984) who spent considerable time researching and compiling a history of the Clevenger, Hinds and Fridell families.

    Over the Misty Blue Hills, the Story of Cocke, County, Tennessee, Ruth Webb O'Dell, 1951, relates the following:  "There seem to be very little recorded information regarding the origin of the Clevengers in Tennessee, but all available information points to their having come from Virginia.  In 1876 the court house at Newport, Tennessee was destroyed by fire and more than three-quarters of a century of Cocke County's official records went up in smoke." 

    "Richard Clevenger, born in New Jersey, with his wife, Sarah Wood, who were married in Shenandoah County, Virginia June 16, 1795, travelled through Virginia and on into Cocke County about the beginning of 1800, and went on West with Jesse and Samuel Clevenger...John Clevenger, 'a natural leader', was born in 1798...Sometime between 1787 and 1800 Bartlett and Scathy Clevenger joined the Baptist church by letter...Among those who joined the church were Thomas Clevenger by letter, January 2, 1796; Joshua Clevenger, Sepember 3, 1796...Cocke County Regiments of Militia Commissioned Officers (178801801) lists Richard Clevenger, commissioned Ensign, April 12, 1798...On May 15, 1837 and May 14, 1839, Captain Allen Clevenger was a generous buyer at Rankin & Pulliam's Store...Clevengers Cross Roads (about 10 miles from old Newport) on the Knoxville Highway, was named for the Clevenger family.  Zeb Clevenger was for many years a member of the County Court.  His sons are Mack, Shell, and Walter...(EAC Sr.'s noted: Shell Clevenger, whom I met, is Vice President and Sales Manager of Bush Brothers, Newport, TN in 1951).

    "Homer Clevenger, Greenville, Tenn., formally of Cocke County, told me (May 2, 1952, EAC, Sr.), that according to family history, three Clevenger brothers left Culpepper, Va. after the Revolutionary War, and came to Cocke, County. With this general background of the Clevenger in Cocke Co. who came originally from Virginia, and who were doubtless descendants of the Clevengers in New Jersey and New York, I now come to those of my immediate family."

    "Accoring to family history, Asa Clevenger made frequent trips from Newport, Tennessee to Greenville, South Carolina and it is through he engaged in the 'hog traffic' which was important commerce between these sections in the early part of 1800 to the Civil War.  This business is mentioned in O'Dell's Over the Misty Blue Hills, pages 76-78.  He is remembered as having owned slaves prior to the war.  He married Betsy Hanks of South Carolina, where he may have lived for a time.  (On March 28, 1955 at the Public Library in Greenville, South Carolina under 'Heads of Families at the First Census - 1790', I found listed 'Ann Hanks, head of family, with two free white males over 16 year of age, three under 16 years, and six females.  96 Dist. Pendleton County, S.C.').  'Aunt Nan' Clevenger, who was Nancy Britel before she married John Clevenger, son of Asa, and who died in 1953 in Ontario, California at an advanced age, supplied some of the above information regarding her father-in-law, Asa Clevenger.  Unfortunately, I was not able to get more information due to her advanced age and lapse of memory."

    Asa Clevenger


    1. Samuel        (Oldest son)
    2. John            b. 1845, d. Dec. 1905.
    3. Allen C.      b. Apr. 1851, d. Dec. 30, 1901.
    4. William M  (Youngest son)
    5. Judy            (died in Arkansas)
    6. Si

        Samuel Clevenger moved to Rockford, Illinois and there reared a family; Lillie Clevenger Foust visited them many years ago, and some of their family visited in Chattanooga.

        William M. Clevenger married Sarah E. Morgan Nov. 25, 1874.  They, withtheir daughter, Maggie, who married Bill Ervin, lived on W. Delbert Powell's farm in the Big Springs community until their deaths, and wee buried in Powell's Cemetery.  "Bill" was confined for a while before his death at Lions View, Knoxville, Tenn. because of a mental dearrangement.

        John Clevenger married Nancy Britel, May 26, 1886 (by J. M. Wolfe, M.G.).  After his death at Big Springs, Tennessee in December 1905, his wife and family moved to California.  She never remarried.


    1. Tom
    2. Annas
    3. James
    4. Mary (?)
    5. Gracie Mae (?)

        Allen C. Clevenger (middle name unknown) married Matilda Jane Hammontree at Decatur, Tennessee, December 23, 1871 (by R. C. Powell, J. P.) who was reared by her Aunt Dean at Rock Creek, now Sale Creek, Hamilton County, Tennessee. (Her aunt afterwards moved to Houston, Texas). They moved from Big Springs (Meigs County) to Glen Alice, Tennessee about 1897 where they bought a large farm.  Allen died December 30, 1901, age 50 and was buried in the Glen Alice cemetery. His wife died December 14, 1915 and was also buried there.


    1. Louise Victoria                b. Dec. 15, 1872        d. Jan. 15, 1874
    2. Samuel Daries                  b. Feb. 16, 1874        d. Dec. 1948
    3. Oscar William                  b. Feb. 1, 1877          d. June 15, 1911
    4. Lillie Jane                        b. May 28, 1880        d. Sept. 9, 1972
    5. Ida Belle                          b. July 1, 1882
    6. Robert Lee                      b. Sept. 11, 1884        d. Oct. 13, 1884
    7. Charles Robert                b. Oct. 10,1885          d. Nov. 11, 1968
    8. Alice G.                           b. Jan 28, 1887          d. Nov. 26, 1889
    9. John Franklin                  b. Apr. 30, 1890
  10. George Washington        b. Mar. 20, 1890        d. Apr. 19, 1953
  11. Mintie Belle                    b. June 1, 1896          d. June 9, 1961
  12. (Un-named twin bro.)     b. June 1, 1896          d. June 1, 1896
  13. Dewey Marshall              b. July 4, 1898
  14. (Un-named)                                                        d. In infancy

Samuel Daries Clevenger married Edna Price.


    1. Woodrow
    2. Elizabeth
    3. Nell
    4. Allen

Oscar William Clevenger never married.  He was an assistant supervisor on the Tennessee Central Railway before his death at age 34. He was buried at the Glen Alice Cemetery.

Lillie Jane Clevenger Foust married Lewis Foust.  She was born in Tennessee (b. May 28, 1880) and moved to the Imperial Valley, California in 1924 where she remained until her death.  She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery beside her husband.  Until she entered the Valley Convalescent Home, whee she died, she lived on Main  Street, Heber, California.

Ida Belle Clevenger Majors married Feb. 22, 1903 Van Ross Majors (b. Sept. 26, 1883, d. Nov. 9, 1957).  Van was a supervisor on the A.G.S. Railway (Southern) and prior to moving with his family to Heber, California in Dec. 1918 he lived at Glen Alice and Coulterville, Tennessee, Ft. Payne and Eutaw, Alabama.  In Heber he became interested in farming, operating a hotel and a drug store, and owned and managed other properties.  He was also Postmaster in Heber until he retired due to age; his only daughter, Juanita, succeeded him as Postmistress.  Van was buried in Evergreen Cemetery, El Centro, Calif.

    1. George Casper Majors    m. Gladys Marsh, July 9, 1929.  Issue:  Eugene Majors, b. 1931.
                                                m. Millie Kneitz, Aug. 15, 1939 (b. July 12, 1909). 
            Kenneth Majors (b. Aug. 14, 1941)
            [Millie Kneitz had 2 children by a previous marriage:  Dolores (m. Arthur F. Vieweg) and Atalka (m. Greer)].
    2. William Oscar Majors     b. July 29, 1907 m. Margaret Felix Apr. 4, 1963 (b. Feb. 23, 1920).
    3. Juanita Majors  (b. Dec. 4, 1909, d. June 20, 1964)     m. Frank Lee (divorced after a year).  No issue.  Juanita suffered a stroke Oct. 8, 1962 and died in her sleep June 20, 1964. 

    George Washington Clevenger married (1st) Viola Parsons, Daisy, Tennessee.  She died with her baby at childbirth.  George (2nd) married (Mrs.) Lela Parker, a divorcee, who had a son and Daughter, Velma, by her first marriage.  No Issue.  George was a Railway Conductor on the Southern Railway and lived in Red Bank, Chattanooga, TN.  He had an impediment in his speech.  He is buried in Chattanooga Memorial Cemetery.

    Mintie Belle Clevenger married Luther Brady Southerland (b.--, d. 1946).


    1. Edith            b. Jan 21, 1924, m. William Porter: Issue:  Susan, John, Laurel and Carol.
    2. Lucille          b. Dec. 18, 1926, m. 1st, Ole Olsen: Issue: Gloria, Robert, and Wayne.
    3. Dorthy Lee   b. Jan. 21, 1930, m. 1st, Jack Hardin (1948-married three months) Issue: Dennis (b. Mar. 13, 1949) . 2nd, Harold H. Hill. Issue: Harold Milton (B. July 29, 1952)    

    Dewey Marshall Clevenger (b. July 4, 1889, d. Aug. 8, 1972), never married.  He moved to El Centro, California with family in 1919 and was a farmer in the Imperial Valley for 53 years.  He was a veteran of the Army Air Corps, serving in World War II.  In 1950 he had an auto accident and spent 14 years in hospitals and was released in 1964 when he went to live with William Oscar Majors.  He is buried in Evergreen Cemetery in El Centro, CA. 

    Charles Robert Clevenger (b. Oct. 10, 1885; d. Nov. 8, 1968) married Myrtle Minerva Valentine Hinds (b. Feb. 14, 1889, d. Sept. 3, 1973) at Glen Alice, TN on December 25, 1907.  For 50 years he was a baggage master for Southern Railway.  Charles R. and Myrtle had six children.










Myrtle and Charles 50th Wedding Anniversary, 1957.

    Issue:  Continued on current Clevenger Children page.

From A History of Cowart Street Church of Christ,
 Chattanooga, TN the following was copied with permission.


            The Clevenger Family’s association with the Cowart Street Church covers a period of more than thirty years.  A neighbor, Mrs. Tom Womack, took Ernest to Sunday School and Church before he was ten years old.  Others in the family also attended, and Mrs. C. R. Clevenger was baptized July 1918 by R. R. Brooks.  This was his first sermon in the church after having left the Methodist ministry.  Her husband responded to Billy Sunday’s preaching February 1920. Their six children followed:
                        Ernest, baptized April 1922 by R. E. L. Taylor.
                        Leon, baptized about 1923, by R. E. L. Taylor
                        Margaret, baptized September 1924, by Aruna Clark
                        Charles, Jr., baptized March 1932, by R. E. L. Taylor
                        Eugene, baptized 1931, by R. E. L. Taylor
                        Ralph, baptized April 20, 1937, by R. C. White.
            C. R. Clevenger, Sr., was later appointed a deacon, and assisted in teaching a Bible Class.  He was made an elder January 25, 1931, at the same time, Ernest was made a deacon.
            From January 5, 1932 to July 9, 1933, Ernest served as Treasurer.  He, with Willie Shirley and Horace Brooks were officially approved as gospel preachers.  Records show Ernest preached Sunday, February 10, 1935, although he had preached before.  Later he served as an elder at St. Elmo and then at Brainerd for a total of twenty-five years.  He preaches now (1972) as opportunities arise.  He has now preached in some seventy churches in more than a dozen states.
            Eugene Wert Clevenger now (1972) teaches Bible and Biblical Languages at Abilene Christian College, Abilene, Texas.  He attended Freed-Hardeman College, received his B.A. at Pepperdine University, B. D. at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Th. D. at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.  He is author of a book entitled, “Sermons for Saints and Sinners.”
            Leon and his family attend Bryan Street Church where he was an elder for several years but resigned only recently due to his health.
            Margaret married Lonnie W. Blackwell.  He is minister of the South Pittsburgh, Tennessee Church, having been there for several years.  Their son, Edwin, also preaches occasionally.
            Charles and Ralph and their families attend Brainerd.
            Ernest, Jr., has been minister of the West End Church of Christ, Birmingham, Alabama, for nine years.  He serves as Director and Professor of Bible in the Alabama Christian School of Religion and is a Departmental Editor for CHRISTIAN BIBLE TEACHER Magazine and conducts Teacher Training Workshops.  He has worked with Youth Camps for more than fifteen years as a Director and Educational Supervisor.  He received his B. A. from David Lipscomb and the M. A. from Harding Graduate School and the Th.B. from Alabama Christian School of Religion.
            Mrs. C. R. Clevenger, Sr., is now (1972) in her 84th year and is a member at Brainerd.  Her husband passed away. November 8, 1968, at the age of 83.

A free, downloadable e-Book version of A History of the Cowart Street Church of Christ, Chattanooga, Tennessee can be obtained by clicking on DOWNLOAD.















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