Facts and Events
Major John Gay was one of the Early Settlers of Augusta County, Virginia
Information on Major John Gay
From: Gay Families of Augusta and Rockbridge Counties, Virginia Author(s): Robert H. Montgomery Source: The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr., 1951), pp. 195-215 Published by: Virginia Historical Society
Major John 2 (John') Gay, son of John Gay of the Calfpasture, men- tioned in the will of his father, was with his mother appointed administrator c.t.a. of that will. He was a justice of Rockbridge County from 1778 until after i8oi. In 1782 John Gay, Esq., was taxed in Rockbridge for 7 slaves, i o horses and 26 cattle. He was sheriff of Rockbridge Co. in I789 and again in 179I. On one or more of his bonds as such were John Bratton, Humphrey Montgomery, Samuel Lyle, Matthew Hanna, John Letcher, John Lear, Arthur Walkup, William Jamieson, J. Ramsey, James Houston, John McBride, Samuel Ramsey and James Crockett (Rockbridge Wills, i: 344, 38I ). Walker Kelso of Mount Sterling, Kentucky, interviewed by John D. Shane said in part: "Major John Gay that lived near the North Moun- tain in the Gap where North Fork comes through - iron works there now (Goshen Pass) got i,ooo pounds of ginseng and sent it to China. . . took in one Walkup . . . handsome profit in silks. This was about I8oo. Gay after- wards married and removed to Indiana. . . . " (Draper MSS., quoted in Morton, Alleghany, p. 2I7).
He was a trustee of the Little River Congre- gation in the Calf Pasture in i 8oo (Chalkley, III, 596). In I803 he res- signed as major of Rockbridge Militia (Morton, Rockbridge, 397). It is said that he went to Woodford Co., Kentucky about this time. We find him before I 809 near Richmond, Wayne County, Indiana. In that year he sold land on the East Fork of the Whitewater to Jacob Crist. He was among the early settlers of Centreville, Centre Twp. and acted as Deputy County Clerk (History of Wayne Co., Indiana, Chicago, I884, Vol. I, 3I4, 358). William M. Doughty was appointed administrator of John Gay in Wayne Co., Indiana, April 2, 1827. No will and no other papers in existence (Letter of Clerk of Court, September 1949).
It is said that he married Nancy McKee, daughter of John and Esther (Houston) McKee, and that one of his daughters married James Brown Ray, Governor of Indiana, i 825-I831, and that another, Jane, married Rev. Andrew W. Poague about i8i9, their first child bom March I2, 1820, named Nancy McKee Poague (Letter of Boutwell Dunlap). The biography of Governor Ray does not mention the name Gay but it is possible that his second wife, Mrs. Esther Booker of Centreville, Indiana, to whom he was married September 1825, was by birth a Gay (W. W. Woollen, Biographical Sketches of Early Indiana, Indianapolis, 1883).1