William Clayton Bordley, Jr.

William Clayton BORDLEY, Jr. (c. 1800-1883) was born about 1800 in Chesterfield, Queen Anne’s County, Maryland.

His parents were William Clayton Bordley, Sr.(c. 1770-1803) and Margaret Keener.

William lost his father when he was about three years old.  His father’s estate was insolvent and his mother Margaret returned to Baltimore to open a fashionable boarding house.

By the time William was 14, he entered West Point Military Academy in New York.   Four years later, his brother John Melcher Keener Bordley was killed in a duel in 1818 and was buried in Sicily, Italy.  William’s mother asked him to leave military school and return home to her.  He did.

In 1828, William C. Bordley Jr. married Mary Heritage at Otterbein’s Church.  Mary was the daughter of Thomas Heritage.  They had eight children: James Malcolm Bordley, Thomas Higginbotham Bordley, Mary Elizabeth “Pinkie” Bordley, William Clayton Bordley, Sallie Fisher Bordley, and three others.  Two sons died in the U.S. Navy:

James Malcolm died in 1855 at age 25 during the “up the Yazoo” River attack.  Thomas Higginbotham was in the China Squadron and in Japan in 1859 and in first attack on Charleston, South Carolina on U.S. Monitor Nahant under Admiral DuPont.  He served on ironclads as First Assistant Engineer and died in Bahia (San Salvador) Brazil at age 28 from Yellow Fever while serving on U.S.S. Kansas blockading a Confederate fleet.

After his wife Mary’s death, William C. Bordley, Jr. married her sister Amelia Heritage (c. 1826-) on November 21, 1848.  She was many years his junior.  Her father was Thomas Heritage of England.  Her sister Mary was born in England while she was born in Baltimore, MD.

William C. Bordley, Jr. worked in the City Tax Office and lived in Waverly, Maryland in a Victorian brick house located at 194 Old York Road near Montpelier Street.

William and Amelia’s children were born in Baltimore County, Maryland:

Child Born Married Departed
 George Small Bordley 1848
 Mary Bordley 1851 Augustus Ducas Clemens, Jr. 1881  1928
 Elizabeth Penn Bordley 1853 Richard Fitz Hallick & Frank Bonavita
 Anna Margaretta Bordley 25 Dec 1855 Col. George Washington Hyde           14 Dec 1877 25 Sep 1909
 Harry Francis Fulton Bordley 1859 Minna Thompson
 Melchoir R. Bordley 1865
 Daisy Amelia Bordley 1868 A. Frank Stafford  1958

According to Baltimore: Its History and Its People, William Clayton Bordley, Jr.

“was a graduate of West Point Military Academy, and a man of culture and versatility. He, however, was engaged in mercantile pursuits all his life, and thus made no use of his military training. Two of his sons, Thomas and James Bordley, entered the service of the United States Navy, and rose to the rank of lieutenant, both dying in the service.”

William fathered 16 children.  Strikingly, there is a span of 158 years across the two generations from birth of the first to death of the last in 1958.  One can only wonder what it feels like to be responsible for so many offspring.

St. John’s Episcopal – Huntingdon, Waverly, MD

William Clayton Bordley, Jr. was a vestryman at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Huntingdon located a block from his home.  It is there that William and his son Harry are buried.

Amelia‘s burying place is unknown.


U.S. Indexed County Land Ownership Maps, 1860-1918,  Maryland, County: Baltimore Town: Garrison; Waverly; Harrisonville Year: 1877

Bordley Pedigree compiled by Bryden Bordley Hyde

Baltimore: Baltimore Its History and Its People, Vol. 3, 1912

1850, 1860, 1870, 1880 U.S. Federal Census

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