Mon 19 Oct 2009 11:20:22 AM EDT
The Clayton Family
The Clayton Family

The Clayton Family of Middlewich and Concordia Parish LA

Capt. John M. Clayton, CSA, coming home from the War between the States, homesteaded a piece of property in Concordia Parish, LA between the Tensas and Mississippi Rivers, a few miles from Natchez; it was at a town called Trivia. About 1890 the Missouri Pacific railroad came through; Capt. Clayton gave the right of way and the town was renamed Clayton. Capt. Clayton was a member of a family that came from Middlewich Eng in 1682 and lived successively in PA, DE, NC, GA, AL and MS before coming to LA shortly before the Civil War.

Here are the 11 generations from James of Middlewich to yours truly, Larry, of Ocala, FL: (The dates of these Claytons are approximate and sometimes mere guesswork; Cousin Margaret Clayton Russell provided much useful information re dates in her book, James Clayton of NC and his Descendants in the Old South-west.)
(Study of this family will give some idea of the nomadic nature of a fairly typical Southern family.

1. James Clayton of Middlewich (1632-84) came to America with Penn's Fleet in 1682, accompanied by his wife, Jane, and their six children: James, Sarah, John, Mary, Joshua, and Lydia.

2. James Clayton II of Kent Co. DE (1666-97) married Mary Bedwell Webb ca 1690 and had two sons, James and John.

3. James Clayton III of Hyde Co. NC (1695-1761) married a daughter of John Newell of Kent Co. DE and had a son, James. (This is evidenced by an item in De Hist. and Gen Recall, p. 3. Taken from Arch. A-37-100; states that before 1737 ...Newell, dau of John was the wife of James Clayton with a son, James.)

4. James Clayton IV of Craven Co. NC (1725-83), like his father was born in Kent Co. DE. His wife is unknown to this writer. His will indicates that he had four sons: John, William, James. and Thomas, and all of them appear to have been born in DE. He also had a daughter named Tamison (Tomson?), and by a later marriage (to Mary Edwards) daughters, Eunice and Elizabeth.

5. William Clayton of Craven Co. NC (1750-????) with wife Rhoda Ann, three sons, William, James and Demson, and probably a daughter, Mary.

6. Rev James Clayton of Butts Co. GA (1776-1860) md1 Sarah Carraway and md2 Sarah Mixon. (For children see below)

7. James Clayton of Red River Parish LA (1809-79) married Mary McBride in 1828 and Mrs. Amanda Hobbs Curry Cox about 1865. (For children see below)

8. John M. Clayton of Clayton, LA (1830-1902) md1 Lousette Mary Eugenia Gahagan; md2 Eudora Gibson. (For children see below)

9. John Elliott Clayton of Roswell NM (1863-1919) married Lula Harveth Bright of Louisville and had three children, John Elliott Clayton, Jr. Ethel Clayton and Robert L. Clayton

10. Rev Robert L. Clayton of New Orleans, LA (1897-1968) married Mary Maude Leech of Memphis in 1922 and had two children, Margaret and Robert L, Jr.

11. Rev Robert L Clayton II of Ocala, FL (1926--) married Eleanor Mae Babylon of New Orleans and had three sons, Paul, Mark and Robert.

1. James Clayton, the Blacksmith of Middlewich

James Clayton (1632-1683?) was married to Jane (1648). (Birthdates taken from the ship's log of the Submission. The ship landed at Choptank MD, and most of the passengers walked up to Bucks Co. PA. Six children came with James and Jane:

James II (1666-97) appeared in Kent Co. DE ca 1687.
Sarah (1668)
John (1671) appeared in Kent Co. DE by 1690.
Mary (1674)
Joshua (1677) appeared in Kent Co. DE by 1698.
Lydia (1677)

Cheshire County

Cheshire County is east of Wales, south of Liverpool and Manchester. It contains the most concentrated dairying industry in England. The county seat, Chester, is on the boundary between England and Wales. Chester Castle contains the genealogical records of the inhabitants of the County. A few miles east of Chester is Delamere Forest. Formerly a hunting preserve, it is now a significant national forest. Further east one finds Middlewich, the 17th century home of blacksmith James Clayton and his family. Some 12 miles north of Middlewich is Mobberley, family seat of the Mobley family, who intermarried with the Claytons in the 19th century in GA. Yet farther north is Stockport, where lived the Warren clan. Several Warrens were sheriffs of Cheshire, and another, Henry Warren, the rector of Stockport, had a wife named Catherine Clayton. (Some years later a Warren in Kent County, Delaware was a maternal ancestor of James Clayton, blacksmith, of Kent.

The 1682 Fleet of William Penn

William Penn, a very rich young Quaker, owed 16,000 pds by King Charles II, received in payment the colony of Pennsylvania. Having no coastline Penn also acquired from the Duke of York the area of Delaware, a recent conquest from the Dutch.

In 1682 Penn sailed for America with a large fleet of ships carrying immigrants. Perhaps most of these people were Quakers, but many were not. William Penn himself landed at New Castle, but at least one of his fleet made its way into Chesapeake Bay: the Submission, out of Liverpool and Bristol. The Submission arrived at Choptank on the Maryland Eastern Shore in November 1682. The "ship's log" lists her passengers, among them James and Jane Clayton and their six children.
They were from Middlewich, in the County of Cheshire.

Many or most of the passengers of the Submission disembarked at Choptank and traveled overland to Bucks County, Pa., on the west side of the Delaware River a few miles above Philadelphia. It may be assumed that James Clayton and his family were in this number.

It appears that a fourth son, Joseph, was born about this time. We have found no further record of James, the elder in Bucks Co., which suggests that he may have shortly died. (However Walter Sheppard in Passengers and Ships Prior to 1684 in a footnote on page 65 points out that James Clayton obtained a warrant for 250 acres in Chester Co. on June 24, 1683.)

His three older sons all appear in Kent Co. DE as they reach their majority. There appears to be a Joseph Clayton, perhaps the youngest son of James, who may have remained in Bucks.

(This from Wm H. Davis, Gen. and Personal History of Bucks Co. Pa. 1905 NY Lewis Pub. Co. 1975 reprint Gen Pub Co. Page 556:)
William Bonham Clayton of Buckingham is said to descend from James Clayton of the Submission, and particularly from Joseph, who was born at Appoquinimink in 1683 on the journey north from Choptank. Davis thought he was a Quaker blacksmith from Bolton in Lancaster Co. Eng. where lived another family on the Submission passenger list, the Pembertons, and where also lived a family of Claytons.

Mr. Davis gives the same list of children that appear on the passenger list. He tells us that the family settled in Northampton TWP.

In Bucks County there is a 1764 court record of Joseph Clayton, oldest son of Joseph, yeoman, late of the Falls Twp claiming the tract of land assigned to Joseph Clayton, Sr., he paying the several parts.....his brothers and sisters and to the widow.

2. James Clayton II of Kent Co. DE

James Clayton II (1666-97) married Mary Bedwell Webb by 1691. They had two sons:
James III (ca 1692-1761) of Kent DE and Hyde NC
John Clayton the younger (ca 1692-1759)

    On the east side of the Chesapeake Bay is a 
    peninsular containing the state of Delaware 
    in its entirety and also portions of Maryland 
    and Virginia. The northern half of this peninsular
    is made up of Delaware on the east and the eastern 
    shore of Maryland on the west. The Choptank river 
    has its mouth in Chesapeake Bay, coming down from 
    the northeast. Its sources lie in Delaware.

The Claytons had landed at Choptank. This settlement is located on the Choptank River about half way up the river and fairly close to Kent County Delaware where the river arises. Each of the three Clayton sons as he reached his majority appeared in the records of Kent County Delaware . First to arrive was James Clayton (II), the eldest of the three brothers.

In 1687, five years after he had arrived in America as a boy of 16, James Clayton II, a blacksmith like his father, had the resources to buy two pieces of property in Kent Co., Del: 100 acres from John Burton on the north side of the Dover River, which he called Clayton's Hall and 200 acres on Murther Creek (later Murderkill Creek), which property was named Clayton.

At some time within the next four years he married Mary Bedwell Webb. Very likely Mary was somewhat older than James because in 1678 she had married Isaac Webb in Virginia. She in fact had a son named Robert Webb.

In 1688 James Clayton was one of the witnesses to the marriage between Arthur Meston and Elizabeth Haile in the house of John Brinckloe. Another witness was Henry Bedwell who was or soon became Clayton's brother-in-law.

On Feb. 8, 1691 James Clayton was a witness to a deed of gift from his brother-in-law Robert Bedwell to Bedwell's sister, Elizabeth Bedwell Turner. It was adjacent to the property of Mary Clayton and Henry Bedwell. (This deed suggests that James Clayton and Mary Bedwell were married by 1691.)

In 1695 James and Mary Clayton received property from her brother, Thomas Bedwell, a tract on the southwest side of the Dover River.
(We may surmise that this is the same tract that she was in possession of in 1691.)

James II died before March 13, 1697, leaving two young sons, James and John. His widow later married Michael O'Donahoe and lived for another twenty years.

James Clayton II had two brothers, John and Joshua (and possibly a third, Joseph, who was said to have been born in 1683.)(Wm H. Davis, Gen. and Personal History of Bucks Co. Pa. 1905 NY Lewis Pub. Co. 1975 reprint Gen Pub Co. Page 556)

James Clayton II is said to have had two sons: John and James. John (ca 1692-1759) was the forbear of the illustrious Delaware Claytons who gave the state its first governor and a U.S.Secretary of State. Their family history has been extensively described by other writers.

John Clayton

John, born in 1671 in Cheshire Co., England, was in Kent County as early as 1690 when his earmark was recorded. He served as apprentice blacksmith to his older brother, and in 1705, several years after the death of James, he received 100 acres of the Murther Creek property in accordance with the terms of the apprenticeship. In 1693 he was assessed six pence, the usual rate for single young men without real property. However he is listed as a grand juror that year and for most of the time until 1705 when our grand juror records end. He acquired land in Kent County in 1695.

In 1698, when his younger brother, Joshua became 21, the two boys bought Shoemaker's Hall (formerly the property of Isaac Webb, the first husband of Mary Bedwell Webb Clayton) on Walker Branch of the Dover River. About the same time John married Mary, the daughter of Maurice Smith. They had two children, Mary and Joshua. His wife soon died and John married another Mary, daughter of William Willson, the sheriff of Kent County. When Willson died, John, as his administrator was charged with recording all the levy lists which the sheriff had prepared.

John Clayton, who had been a blacksmith apprentice for his brother, now took his brother in law, William Willson, Jr. as his apprentice for 5 years, part of the payment being a 2 year old mare.

In 1703 John Clayton was appointed constable of Little Creek Hundred in Kent Co., but we read of his arrest for disorderly conduct when Robt Porter was appointed constable in his place. Soon the affair was smoothed over. John apparently had six children by his second wife:
1. Susanna (Mrs. Abraham Vanhoy)
2. Hannah (Mrs. John Levick, then Mrs. Henry Stevens)
3. Elizabeth (Mrs. Mark Manlove, Jr.)
4. Daniel
5. Jonathan
6. John

John died before 1718, his estate being administered by wife Mary, who remarried Joseph Buckmaster. (Daniel was a prominent name in the Clayton family of Person Co., N.C., and it is possible that John's descendants were represented there.)

Joshua Clayton

Joshua, born in 1677, and at 21 bought Shoemakers Hall in Kent on the south side of Walker's Branch of the Dover River, with his brother, John. His first wife was Mary, widow of Henry Bedwell (Henry of course was the brother of Mary Bedwell Webb Clayton). Joshua was called a Quaker preacher and lived into his eighties. In 1747 he married again--to Sarah Cummins, a widow of Sussex Co. This marriage took place at the Little Creek Quaker Meeting. His only known descendants were two daughters, Sarah and Lydia, in all likelihood named after his two sisters with those names; Sarah and Lydia both married Cowgills (another Quaker family).

3. James Clayton III of Hyde Co. NC

Not much is known about James III in Delaware. We do know that he married a daughter of John Newell, a Kent County planter and had a son named James. In 1718 he disposed of a 100 acre tract called New Bristol in Dover Hundred in a deed to George Hart, who was living there.

James Clayton and his son, James Clayton (smith) are both mentioned in the will of his father-in-law, John Newell. The younger man was Newell's grandson.

He disposed of his Delaware property in 1738 and was thought to have left the state although his family remained with the Newells.

James may have left Delaware in company with John Webb, who signed as witness to the deed liquidating James' property (May 11, 1738). On the same date Webb sold property himself. However John Webb's name continues to appear in Kent County deeds, and another John Webb, perhaps a son or nephew, appeared in Edgecombe County in the 1740's. These Webbs were most likely cousins of James Clayton.

The Clayton family was associated in several court records in Delaware with the Brooks . In 1745 William Brooks of N.C. conveyed his headrights to James Clayton of Currituck Co, part of which later became a part of Hyde Co.

Although James Clayton III does not appear in Delaware after 1738, two other James Claytons begin to appear on the tax records about that time; they are distinguished in the records by their occupations. James Clayton, blacksmith, was his son. James Clayton, miller, was his nephew, son of John. (James Clayton, miller, was the father of Dr. Joshua Clayton, first governor of Delaware.)

James Clayton IV (blacksmith) is the man whose description most closely links the Delaware and the North Carolina Clayton families. It appears that he remained in Delaware when his father departed, and that he was closely identified with his mother's family. His grandfather, John Newell, in his 1739 will , left property to grandson James Clayton. This James Clayton's mother had three brothers, William, John, and Thomas Newell. (These are the names of the sons of James Clayton, blacksmith, who died in Craven Co., N.C. in 1783.)

On May 13, 1741 James Clayton and James Bedwell were witnesses to a deed of Robert Bedwell to John Webb, carpenter, 1/2 of the tract where Robert and James Bedwell now dwell in Murtherkill on the south side of Isaacs Branch--344 acres. Bedwell appointed John Clayton, Jr. to acknowledge the deed in court.

In 1748 James Clayton was a witness in the will of John Newell's son, William Newell.

In 1756 James Clayton IV sold property to John Newell, his uncle. In 1759 James Clayton, blacksmith, son of James Clayton of Hyde County, N.C. acquired property on Lake Matamuskeet from his father, and in 1761 he inherited his father's remaining property in Hyde County, NC.

Related Delaware Families

Several Kent County families provided the wives of the Clayton men, and thus became (maternal) ancestors or other relations: The Bedwells The Newells The Halls and Thompsons

The History of the southern branch of the Delaware Claytons continues with

The Southern Branch

For corrections, comment, or inquiry write to

Larry Clayton
1906 SE 8th St.
Ocala FL 34471

2001 Larry Clayton

Appendix 1

On Feb. 14, 1687 James Clayton was conveyed 200 acres, a tract of land called Clayton which lay southwest of Murther Creek. The grantor was John Manloe (Manlove) and the price 2000 lbs of tobacco.
Witnesses were John Bradshaw and John Heath.
(Kent Co. Deeds Vol 1, p. 564. See also Mary Brewers Abstracts.)

On Nov. 8, 1687 James Clayton was conveyed 100 acres, a tract called Clayton's Hall, by William Burton for 5000 lbs of tobacco. The property was on the north side of Dover River, part of a tract where John Burton lived. (Kent Co. Deeds Vol 1, p. 618)

Thomas Bedwell on Feb. 8, 1691 deeded 150 acres of their father's estate to his sister Elizabeth Turner, wife of Annamias Turner. The property was adjacent to similar tracts of Mary Clayton and Henry Bedwell, two other children of Robert Bedwell, decd.
witnesses were James Clayton and Samuel Burbery.
page 864 of Kent Co. Deed Book 1.

In 1695 Thomas Bedwell made a deed of 175 acres to Mary Clayton, the wife of James Clayton, a tract called Claytons Lott on the southwest side of Dover River.
(p. 1086 of Kent Co. Deed Book 1)

On May 30 1696 James Clayton, blacksmith and Mary his wife sold 50 acres to Daniel Ruttey on the south side of St. JOne Cr. alias Dover River, part of land of Thomas Bedwell.
witness were Thomas Bedwell and William Mortion.

On 11 May 1738 James Clayton, late of Murtherkill sold to Peter Coudret of Little Creek half of the tract of 520 acres called Partners Range in the forest of Murtherkill, which was granted to him and to John Clayton (his brother) by the proprietor's agents in 1724. He empowered James and Joseph Howell to acknowledge the deed in open court. This deed was witnessed by James Bedwell and John Webb (Deed book L page 274).

Note that John Webb was the son of Robert Webb. Robert was the half brother of James Clayton's father, James Clayton, the son of his grandmother, Mary Bedwell Webb Clayton. Note also that John Webb in the deed immediately preceding this one sold similar property.

On 11 May 1738 John Webb, eldest son of Robert Webb late of Murtherkill sold to George Morgan now of the same place a tract in Murtherkill laid out for Robert Webb and another tract east of it on the south side of Isaacs Branch where Robert Webb lived also and purchased from Thomas Bedwell. (Deed book L page 273)

(These deeds and many others of interest to the Clayton, Bedwell and Webb families were abstracted a few years ago by Mary Brewer and published by Family Line Publications in several volumes entitled Kent Co. DE Land Records.)

In 1718 James Clayton, yeoman of Kent sold to George Hart, another yeoman of Kent 100 acres in Dover HUndred called New Bristol, "where Hart now dwell". (Kent deeds E p. 350; abstracted by Mary Brewer)

In 1756 James Clayton, Jr. of Kent Co., blacksmith, sold to John Newell (his uncle), a tract formerly belonging to Thomas Newell (another uncle), who died intestate the property going to his brothers and to James Clayton, Jr. Another tract, a "pencil of land adjacent to aforesaid land" was included.
witnesses were Thomas Clark and CA Rodeney. (Deed book O, p. 344; abstracted by Mary Brewer). Larry Clayton