The state of Tennessee is only six years older than my church, Clear Fork Baptist Church. Tennessee earned its statehood on this date in 1796. Long before it became a state, one of Clear Fork's founding members, Thomas Stockton, Sr., settled there.
Thomas was born about 1740 in Albemarle County, Virginia. By 1783, he and his wife, Mary, and their children were living in what is now Sevier County, Tennessee. In about 1797, Thomas and his family became the first white settlers to live in what is now Clinton County, Kentucky. They named the place, Stockton's Valley.
Thomas' 200 acre property (at Irwin) was granted to him in 1798. Thomas died on Feb. 9, 1809. In 1824, his son, Thomas Jr. sold 128.5 acres of the property to John Irwin. Irwin Cemetery is located in the northwest corner of that land. Thomas Stockton Sr. is buried there.
Today, many people with the Stockton name live in Clinton County. According to findagrave.com, Thomas Stockton, Sr. had 13 children and 11 brothers and sisters.