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Family history



Family History



     What little we know about this ancestral line centers on our 3rd great-grandmother Elizabeth Clemens.  It is speculated that Elizabeth may be the daughter of Joseph Clemmons of Christian County, Kentucky.

     Elizabeth Clemens was born in Kentucky around 1799. She probably lived her early years in Christian County located in the southwestern part of the state.  She married Asa Pinnell when she was quite young maybe only age 13.  In 1813 the young couple struck out for Missouri, reaching it that same year.  Although Asa and Elizabeth eventually settled east of Lanes Prairie in what is now Maries County the Pinnell family name is well represented in Crawford County as well.  Elizabeth lived well into her nineties and passed away around 1896.

Origins of the surname


Origins of the Surname

Research into the history of this Clemens family line indicates that the meaning and history of this surname is most likely linked to that area of Europe where the English* language is commonly spoken. 


Meaning of the Name

Clemens is an English patronymic surname from the personal name Clement.  English, French, and Dutch in origin Clement is from the Latin personal name Clemens meaning ‘merciful’ (genitive Clementis). This achieved popularity firstly through having been borne by an early saint who was a disciple of St. Paul, and later because it was selected as a symbolic name by a number of early popes. There has also been some confusion with the personal name Clemence (Latin Clementia, meaning ‘mercy’, an abstract noun derived from the adjective; in part a masculine name from Latin Clementius, a later derivative of Clemens). As an American family name, Clement has absorbed cognates in other continental European languages. 


History of the Name

This surname was first found in Oxfordshire and thought to have been introduced into England by the Normans after the Conquest of 1066.  The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Robertus Clemens, which was dated 1155, in the Knight Templars rolls of Oxfordshire, during the reign of King Henry II.  Early examples of other personal name recordings include 'Clemens' in 1153, in

the Records of St. Benets Abbey, Norfolk, and 'Clemens filius Clementis', in the Curia Regis rolls for Essex in the year 1212. William Clement as a surname is recorded in the 1275 Hundred Rolls of Norfolk, whilst Richard Clemence is listed in the Huntingdonshire Hundred Rolls of 1279.The coat of arms was granted in Plymouth in 1620. This has the blazon of a silver field, two red bends wavy, and on a red chief, three gold estoiles. The crest is a gold griffin on a green mount.


Early Immigrants to North America

During the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries hundreds of thousands of Europeans made the perilous ocean voyage to America.  For many it was an escape from economic hardship and religious persecution.  For most it was an opportunity for to start over, own their own land, and make a better future for their descendents.  Immigration records show a number of people bearing the name of Clemens, or one of its variants, as arriving in North America between the 17th and 20th centuries.  Some of these immigrants were: Elizabeth Clements, who came to Jamestown, Virginia in 1611; August Clement, who immigrated to Massachusetts in 1635; Edey Clement, who settled in Virginia in 1635; and Thomas Clements who was one of the early emigrants to the American Colonies, leaving London on the "Abraham" in October 1635, bound for Virginia.

*English Surname Meanings & Origins

Although the Domesday Book compiled by William the Conqueror required surnames, the use of them in the British Isles did not become fixed until the time period between 1250 and 1450.  The broad range of ethnic and linguistic roots for British surnames reflects the history of Britain as an oft-invaded land. These roots include, but are not limited to, Old English, Middle English, Old French, Old Norse, Irish, Gaelic, Celtic, Pictish, Welsh, Gaulish, Germanic, Latin, Greek and Hebrew.  Throughout the British Isles, there are basically five types of native surnames. Some surnames were derived from a man's occupation (Carpenter, Taylor, Brewer, Mason), a practice that was commonplace by the end of the 14th century.  Place names reflected a location of residence and were also commonly used (Hill, Brook, Forrest, Dale) as a basis for the surname, for reasons that can be easily understood.  Nicknames that stuck also became surnames.  About one-third of all US surnames in the United States are Patronymic in origin, and identified the first bearer of the name by his father (or grandfather in the case of some Irish names).  Acquired ornamental names were simply made up, and had no specific reflection on the first who bore the name. They simply sounded nice, or were made up as a means of identification, generally much later than most surnames were adopted.  Source:

Variations of the surname


Variations of
the Surname

Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to unfold and expand often leading to an overwhelming number of variants.  As such one can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames because in early times, spelling in general and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized.Later on spellings would change with the branching and movement of families.  Spelling variations of this family name include: Clements, Clement, Clemens, Climer, and many others.


The complexity of researching records is compounded by the fact that in many cases an ancestors surname may also have been misspelled.  This is especially true when searching census documents. The Soundex system was developed in an effort to assist with identifying spelling variations for a given surname.  Soundex is a method of indexing names in the 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 US Census, and can aid genealogists in their research.  The Soundex Code for Clemens is C455. Other surnames sharing this Soundex Code:  CALLINAN | CALNAN | CLANIN | CLEMENT | CLEMENTINE | CLEMENTS | CLEMMONS | CLEMONS | CLENNAN | CLIMENSON | CLONINGER | COLEMAN | COLMAN | CULLINAN |.

Source: Surname Resources at ROOTSWEB


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Direct ancestors


Ancestral Lineage


Descendant Register

Generation 1

1.           ?? Joseph Clemmons-1 was born on Bet. 1766-1784 in South Carolina. He married Mrs. Joseph  Clemmons (Mdn. Nm. Unk.). She was born on Bet. 1766-1784 in Kentucky.

Child of ?? Joseph Clemmons and Mrs. Joseph Clemmons (Mdn. Nm. Unk.) is:

2.            i.        Elizabeth Clemens, B: Abt. 1799 in Kentucky, D: Abt. 1896 in Maries County,  Missouri, M: 1812 in Christian County, Kentucky.


Generation 2

2.           Elizabeth Clemens-2(?? Joseph Clemmons-1) was born on Abt. 1799 in Kentucky. She died on  Abt. 1896 in Maries County, Missouri. She married Asa Pinnell on 1812 in Christian County,  Kentucky, son of Peter Pinnell and Ann "Nancy" Yarborough. He was born on 12 Dec 1792 in  Greenville, Greenville Co., South Carolina. He died on 27 Jul 1871 in Maries County, Missouri.

Children of Elizabeth Clemens and Asa Pinnell are:

i.             Lunsford Lane Pinnell, B: 23 Mar 1813 in Kentucky ?, D: 09 Aug 1865.

ii.            Augustus Pinnell, B: 03 Jun 1818 in Missouri, D: 21 Feb 1900 in Maries County,  Missouri, M: 15 Jan 1839 in Crawford County, Missouri.

iii.          William Lewis Pinnell, B: 27 Jan 1824 in Missouri, D: 17 Jul 1887 in Maries  County, Missouri, M: 22 Jan 1845 in Osage Co., Missouri.


Additional information about our DIRECT ANCESTORS  as well as a complete listing of individuals with this surname may be reviewed by clicking on the following LINK.


MMPS Surname Locator

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will likely improve your results. The different searches will give you many different ways of using Google and the Internet to find ancestry information about this or any other Surname. 

Ancestral locations




Researching the locations where our ancestors lived has provided us with valuable evidence needed to fill-in the gaps in our family trees.  It has also led us to many interesting facts that enhance the overall picture of each family group.  The names of states and counties on the following list were derived from the known places where the persons in the “Direct Ancestors” list (see above) were born, married, and/or died.










Crawford; Maries


Use this LINK to find out more about the locations listed above.


Source documents




The documents contained herein have been located during our research of this family, and used as evidence to prove many of the facts contained within the database of this family’s record.


     Most of these documents can be considered as primary or secondary.  Primary evidence is usually defined as the best available to prove the fact in question, usually in an original document or record.  Secondary evidence is in essence all that evidence which is inferior in its origin to primary evidence. That does not mean secondary evidence is always in error, but there is a greater chance of error.  Examples of this type of evidence would be a copy of an original record, or oral testimony of a record’s contents.  Published genealogies and family histories are also secondary evidence.

     Classifying evidence as either primary or secondary does not tell anything about its accuracy or ultimate value.  This is especially true of secondary evidence.  Thus it is always a good idea to ask the following questions: (1) How far removed from the original is it, (when it is a copy)?;  (2) What was the reason for the creation of the source which contains this evidence?; and (3) Who was responsible for creating this secondary evidence and what interest did they have in its accuracy?

SOURCE:  Greenwood, Val D., The Researcher’s Guide to American Genealogy, 2nd edition, Genealogical Publishing  Co., Baltimore, MD 21202, 1990, pgs. 62-63


You are welcome to download any of the documents contained within this archive.

  Should you encounter a problem obtaining a copy you may get in touch with

 us via the contact information found at the end of this page.

Use the following LINK to view the source documents pertaining

 to this family.



Web resources


Web Resources


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General Surname Resources

Your genealogy research of this surname can be facilitated by use of SURNAME WEB. This website links to the majority of the surname data on the web, as well as to individual family trees, origin and surname meaning if known, and many other related genealogy resources. 


SURNAME FINDER provides easy access to free and commercial resources for 1,731,359 surnames. On each surname specific "finder" page, you can search a variety of online databases all pre-programmed with your surname.


Use the following link to get access to millions of genealogy and surname records with a FREE surname search at THE GENEALOGY REGISTER.


Additional Sites That We Recommend

Linkpendium Surnames - Web sites, obituaries, biographies, and other material specific to a surname.

Cyndi's List - Surnames, Family Associations & Family Newsletters Index - Sites or resources dedicated to specific, individual family surnames. - Family History and Genealogy Records - The largest collection of free family history, family tree and genealogy records in the world.

Top Genealogical Websites - These mighty roots resources compiled by “Family Tree Magazine”, will give you the power to bust through research brick walls and find answers about your ancestors—all from your home computer.

SurnameDB Free database of surname meanings - This site SurnameDB.Com contains a large FREE to access database (almost 50,000 surnames) on the history and meaning of family last names.




The following Link will take you to our library of genealogy reference books.   Here you will find bibliographies, family histories and books about names.  In addition, there are texts that pertain to ethnic and religion groups, history, geography as well as other books that will assist you with your research.


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Images gallery


Family Images

During our research we have collected images and photographs that are of general interest to a particular family.  Some of them are presented on this website because we believe they tend to provide the reader with additional information which may aid in the understanding of our ancestors past lives.


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ancestral family we would greatly appreciate hearing from you.

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Contact Information


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