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The Bays

            The Bay family had several members in McLean County in the early years, but emigration decreased their numbers. The Bays in Bloomington descend from David Bay a Revolutionary War soldier of Frederick County, Virginia. They are represented on the 1838 map by Henry Bay on Front Street, one of the grandsons of David Bay and the son of William Bay, who died in Berwick, IL in 1845. 


            Henry Bay left no trace in the history of Bloomington and died in 1860, leaving no visible wife or children. His brother James Simpson Bay (1816- 1895) lived a long life in Bloomington, marrying three times, first to Sarah Routt, the sister of the Governor of the Colorado Territory, then to his first cousin, Albina Bay, the daughter of his Uncle James M Bay and finally to Sarah Reid, a young woman fifty years his junior.  Although James Simpson fathered 15 children, fourteen in Illinois, none of those children lived to adulthood in McLean County. He was a farmer in McLean County.


            Jonathan Glympse (1811 – 1878) was a constable in Bloomington and was a cattle dealer. He was in Bloomington early enough to serve with the men who responded to the Black Hawk War (1832). He married Henry’s sister, Elizabeth Bay in Indianapolis, the place where both the Bay and Glympse families settled for a few years before moving further west. He and Elizabeth Bay had three children, all of whom left Illinois and died in Utah or California, continuing the westward travels of both families.


             Henry’s Uncle James M Bay, who also settled in Bloomington had a son named James M Bay (1822 – 1881) who lived his life in Bloomington. The young James Bay married Ann Glympse in Bloomington, the sister of Jonathan Glympse (see above), who appears on the 1838 map on Main Street north of Jefferson. It was James and Ann Glympse Bay who created a family that still exists in McLean County.  Their daughter Cuba Ann Bay (b. 1854) was the great grandmother of Mary Sheehan Claxton  (1929 – 2008) who enlisted during World War II and trained at the Chanute weather school and then served at Lowry Air Force Base in Colorado throughout the war. Cuba Ann was also the great grandmother of James Sheehan (1931 – 2011) who served as a fireman at atomic bomb test sites in Nevada and also in Korea and Japan.

If you are related to one of these people, you are a descendant of the Bay family of 1838:


Helen Leslie Dyson (1911 – 2000)

Marguerite Leslie Sheehan (1901 – 1965)

Esther Leslie Schmidt (1924 – 2012).

James Sheehan (1931 – 2011)

Mary Sheehan Claxton  (1929 – 2008)

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