History – Clay Pitts

Reprinted from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6
November – December 1986


This abandoned community close to Little Hearts Ease was settled around 1850 by Bensons and Vardys from Grates Cove. George Vardy, an immigrant from Christchurch, England, married a Mary Martin at Grates Cove in the 1840s before moving to Clay Pits. He was a justice of the peace and a Church of England lay reader.

One of George’s sons later moved to Clarenville and founded the Clarenville Vardys. Another son, James, moved to Random Island and founded the Hickman’s Harbour Vardys. There are also Vardys to be found in the Port aux Basques region being descendants of George’s brother, John. The Bensons ultimately moved to Little Harbour.

No separate census for Clay Pits appears until 1884 when 12 people in two families were reported. The same number was again reported in 1891, but by 1901 the community had been abandoned.


See also the community history under Communities


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.