1 Joseph Clay of Merrybower
The first Clay of our family of which we are certain is Joseph Clay of Merrybower, probably born in Merrybower in 1665, although where and when he was born has yet to be firmly established. We know little of his life, but he appears to have married twice. He married his first wife, Miriam Witso, on 3 Novemeber 1682 at Ticknall, Derbyshire, and they had two daughters and a son:
Miriam, baptised at Barrow in December 1683, and was married at St Peter's, Nottingham on 16 April 1710, when she was 27, to Joseph Shirebrook, `taylor'. Their daughter Elizabeth was born 16 September 1711 at Merrybower.
Joseph, baptised at Barrow on 28 July 1688, of whom nothing more is known, so presumably he died young.
Joseph Clay of Merrybower married Elizabeth Gybson as his second wife; they had but one child,
Thomas, from whom we are descended
Joseph Clay was described in about 1712 as "Husbandman" ‑ that is, a yeoman farmer. Joseph Clay was buried also at Barrow, on 24 October 1728.
Joseph Clay’s first wife was Miriam Witso. They were married on 3 November 1682 at Ticknall, Derbyshre; her birth place and date have not yet been discovered, but she was buried on 30 Jun 1691 in Swarkestone, Derbyshire.
Joseph Clay married again, at Barrow on 5 September 1696. His second wife was Elizabeth Gybson, who was born in 1678 in Barrow-on-Trent. She was buried at Barrow on 25 October 1722. Gybson (or Gibson) was at that time a common Barrow name; and in those days, spelling was not important.
 in the Repton School Register's account of his son.