The McCleary family has been very difficult to trace. In an effort to find my ancestor I literally logged every McCleary, McClary, McCleery, McCleerey, McCleerie, McClery and McClerey I could find in the Colony of Virginia between the years 1700 and 1800. My sources included the Internet, The Family History Center, the Public Library and the Federal Archives. I found a lost generation and therein found my ancestor.
John McCleary "Land Grant John" received a land grant of 420 acres in Augusta County, Va on 04 Feb 1748. A map of The Beverley Patent shows Johns grant to be on the western boundery of Beverley Manor and identifies all his neighbors. This proved invaluable in determining that John's three sons, James, John and Samuel, also lived on the 420 acre grant. It also established that the above spellings for the name were all used on the same individuals.
Neither James McCleary or his brothers owned land in the Borden Grant or Beverly Manor until "Land Grant Johns" son John was sold 100 acreas in 1762. Some researchers have confused James McClure for James McCleary. This James McClure received a 408 acre land grant in Beverley in 1739, died in 1761, and was the son of James McClure of Northern Ireland. No relation to the McClearys.
In a 1798 deposition, James says he settled in Augusta County "In the spring of 1742". This along with other early Augusta County records suggests that James was probably born as early as 1724 if not before. "Land Grant John" was probably born about 1695 to 1700. Many of his neighbors were first generation Scots and there is a good possibility John was also. James McCleary had three sons of record; John born about 1752; Samuel born about 1755 and James born about 1758. John and Samuel served in the American Revolution and I believe both received land grants in Fayette County, KY even though Samuel's 1,125 acre grant is the only one I have seen referenced. James followed his sons to Fayette County KY before 1798. Elizabeth McCleary is living in Woodward County, KY in 1810. Woodward was formed from Fayette. Elizabeth was James' daughter-in-law, wife of son John. Elizabeth was the daughter of Charles Berry a neighbor of "Land Grant John" and a first generation Scot.
"Land Grant John's" son John had a son named John and he is my ancestor.
There's a lot more but this is enough for now. Glain