10 May 2010

Robert Young Clay Passes, Age 73


Robert Young Clay, age 73, of Richmond, Va., and a native of Dixon Springs, Tenn., died May 6, 2010 in Richmond. He was born September 4, 1936 to the late Robert Bell and Ruth Young Clay. Through his life, Mr. Clay was a heraldic artist, producing hundreds of paintings of coats of arms. After retirement, he returned to landscape paintings, sold through galleries in Richmond and Alexandria, Va. He also conducted a lifetime of research on the Clay genealogy.

He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1960 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, having studied painting under C. Kermit Ewing and Walter H. Stephens, after which he was employed by the UT Library. In 1969, he received his Master of Library Science degree from George Peabody College in Nashville. From 1970, when he moved to Richmond, until retirement in 2001, he worked as a genealogical reference archivist with the Virginia State Library and Archives, now the Library of Virginia. During that time and in retirement he spoke nationally on research in Virginia records. Mr. Clay was a member of The Order of First Families of Virginia, The Order of First Families of North Carolina, the Order of the Crown in America and he was a fellow of the Virginia Genealogical Society. He was a member of the Church of Christ.

Mr. Clay will be buried with his parents and grandparents in the Clay family plot in the Dixon Springs, Tenn. Cemetery following services at a later date. Memorials may be made to: Smith County Tennencie Historical & Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 112, Carthage, Tenn. 37030