THE QUAKER CLAYTON FAMILY


First Generation

William CLAYTON of Chichester, Sussex, England made his last will and testament 1 Feb 1658/9 at Pancras Parish, Chichester, Sussex, England. This document indicates that he was a timberman residing in the Parish of Pancras without the East Gate of Chichester, Sussex. He married first on 30 Oct 1631 Boxgrove Parish, Sussex to Joan SMITH who was buried 27 Apr 1644 at Boxgrove. He married next 6 Jan 1644/5 at Boxgrove to Elizabeth SIMMONS who died 6 Oct 1660 according to the records of Lewes & Chichester Monthly Meeting and was buried at Rumboldswyke Steeple House Yard.


Second Generation

The children of William Clayton and Joan Smith included:

(1) William CLAYTON was baptized 9 Dec 1632 Boxgrove, Sussex, England. He married 7 Nov 1653 Pancras Parish, Chichester, Sussex, England to Prudence LANCKFORD, the daughter of William LANCKFORD of Broughton Parish, Hampshire, England. Early adherents to the teachings of George Fox, William and Prudence became members of the Society of Friends. On 7th day 12th month 1663 William was committed to jail in Sussex and fined 6 pounds for meeting with other Quakers. Having refused to pay his fines, William was jailed for six months in the House of Correction in the town of Arundel.

William Clayton and his family came to America about 1677 but the exact date of their arrival is uncertain. There was a William Clayton who arrived in 1677 in New Jersey on the ship "Kent" reportedly from London in the company of certain commissioners sent by the proprietors of New Jersey to purchase land from the Indians. This may have been another William Clayton who has been mistaken for our William Clayton by Hepburn and others over the years. On 6th day 8th month 1678, William Clayton Sr., William Clayton Jr. and Prudence Clayton were witnesses to the first marriage recorded at Burlington Monthly Meeting, Society of Friends, West Jersey. In March 1679 William Clayton purchased the share of Hans Oelson, one of the original grantees of Marcus Hook and settled at that place. Their daughter Honour Clayton married 6th month1679 at "Markers Hook" under the care of Burlington Monthly Meeting.

The family moved within the next decade to Chester Co., PA where William's estate was administered 1st day 8th month 1689.

(2) Joan CLAYTON baptized 23 Aug 1635 Boxgrove, Sussex, England. She was buried 20 July 1644 a short time after her mother's death.

(3) Elizabeth CLAYTON baptized 11 Feb 1637 Boxgrove, Sussex, England.

(4) Richard CLAYTON baptized 13 Sept 1640 Boxgrove, Sussex, England. He is said to have married 29 Jan 1657 Rudgwick, Sussex, England to Joan KNIGHT.

(5) Thomas CLAYTON baptized 26 Feb 1642 Boxgrove, Sussex, England. A minor in 1659 when his father's will was made.

The child of William Clayton and Elizabeth Simmons was:

(6) Mary CLAYTON, a minor in 1659.


Third Generation

The children of William Clayton and Prudence Lanckford included:

(1) William CLAYTON born 11 3m 1656 recorded Lewes, and Chichester Monthly Meeting, Sussex. Died 22 2m 1727 Chichester, Chester Co., PA. He married by Feb 1684/5 to Elizabeth BEZER, the daughter of Edward Bezer and Ann Fry. Their children were William Clayton, Richard Clayton, Rachel Howell, Edward Clayton, Ambrose Clayton, Thomas Clayton and Elizabeth Davis.

(2) Prudence CLAYTON born 20 8th month 1657 recorded Lewes and Chichester Monthly Meeting, Sussex, England. Married 10 11th month 1678 Burlington MM, NJ to Henry REYNOLDS (1655-1720) the son of William Reynolds and Margaret Exton. Prudence made her will 17 Nov 1726 at Chichester and died by April 1728. Their children were Margaret Moulder, Mary Reynolds, Francis Reynolds, Prudence Reynolds, Deborah Reynolds, William Reynolds, Henry Reynolds, John Reynolds, Hannah Browne, and William Reynolds Jr.

(3) Joseph CLAYTON was born 11 12th month 1659 recorded Lewes and Chichester Monthly Meeting, Sussex, England. He married 5 2nd month 1683 at Sussex to Elizabeth BALZER and probably remained in England.

(4) Honour CLAYTON was born 16 1st month 1661/2 Rumboldswyke, Sussex, England. She married 8 6th month 1679 Darlington Meeting House, Burlington Monthly Meeting, NJ to James BROWN of Marcus Hook, NJ. Honour was still living in 1715 when James Brown made his will at Nottingham Twp., Chester Co., PA. Their children were James Jr., William, Clayton, Jeremiah, Margery Piggott, Daniel, and Mary Butterfield.

(5) Mary CLAYTON, twin of Elizabeth, was born 29 6th month 1665 Rumboldswyke, Sussex, England. She declared marriage intentions the second time at Chester MM, PA 1 11th month 1682 with John BEALS (1660-1726). Their actual marriage probably took place within the following month.

(6) Elizabeth CLAYTON, twin of Mary, was born 29 6th month 1665 Rumboldswyke, Sussex, England and died 30 7th month 1665.

(7) Hannah CLAYTON born 12 10th month 1667 Rumboldswyke, Sussex, England and died 12 8th month 1668. She was buried at Michael Lighton's Burial Ground in Sussex.


Fourth Generation

The children of William Clayton and Elizabeth Bezer were:

(1) William CLAYTON will made 28 Oct 1757 Chichester, Chester, PA, proved Jan 1757. He married about 1708/9 to Mary MARTEN, daughter of Walter Marten of Chichester.

(2) Richard CLAYTON married by 2 9th month 1724 at Concord MM, Chester Co., PA to Mary NEWLAND.

(3) Rachel CLAYTON married 15 8th month 1720 Concord Meeting House, Chester Co., PA to Thomas HOWELL.

(4) Edward CLAYTON married by 3 1st month 1714 at Concord Monthly Meeting to Ann WHITAKER, daughter of James Whitaker and Jane Martin.

(5) Ambrose CLAYTON

(6) Thomas CLAYTON

(7) Abel CLAYTON married 10 12th month 1725/6 Chichester Meeting House, Chester Co., PA to Esther PAXTON.

(8) Elizabeth CLAYTON born 12 5th month 1685, married by 1 11th month 1706 to Daniel DAVIS.

Beware of Erroneous Clayton Research!

The line tracing a William Clayton back to Charlemagne was first published in: The Clayton family by Henry F. Hepburn. Wilmington : The Historical Society of Delaware, 1904 (Wilmington, Del.: The J.M. Rogers Press). I have also seen this attributed to a Major Frank Beals but I do not have the full title of his work. However, it doesn't really matter since the William Clayton that Hepburn traced back is =not= our William Clayton! Unfortunately, back in the 1970s , the late Jim Bellarts who was publishing the "Quaker Yeoman" got hold of this and he also published it as our William's ancestry and since then it's been hard to keep it from spreading around as the gospel truth!

I fell for it too and for many years had my database cluttered with a long line of "de Claytons" etc. I even paid $50 for Bellarts' book thinking he was somewhat of an authority on the Claytons. Far from it!

Louis E. Jones, in 1982, went to England and uncovered the will of a William Clayton dated ca.1658 in Chichester [England] Miscellaneous Wills 1653-1658, Vol. 21B, p. 59, Consistory Court Will Register in the West Sussex Record Office, Chichester. I have a copy of this will which is extremely difficult to decipher, but I am able to determine that this William identifies himself as a timberman residing in the Parish of Pancras without the East Gate of Chichester, Sussex. It lists his sons William, Richard (not yet 21 years of age), Thomas (not yet 21 years of age); daughter Elizabeth and youngest daughter Mary; and *grandchildren William and Prudence Clayton, children of his son William.* (See above link to full transcript of this will deciphered by Marilyn Winton.)

This William married 30 Oct 1631 Boxgrove Parish to Joan SMITH who was buried 27 Apr 1644. Their children baptized at Boxgrove, Sussex were: William 9 Dec 1632 (our William); Elizabeth 11 Feb 1637; Richard 13 Sep 1640; and Thomas 26 Feb 1642. Daughter Mary is from a second marriage after 1644 to Elizabeth SIMMONS whose death was recorded 6 Oct 1660 in the Lewes & Chichester Monthly Meeting records.

William Clayton (our William), son of William & Joan Smith, married 7 Nov 1653 St. Pancras Parish, Chichester to Prudence Lanckford of St. Peters the Less, daughter of William Lanckford of Broughton Parish, Hampshire. This marriage was copied again by Louis E. Jones in 1982 from the St. Pancras Parish, Chichester, Sussex Parish Register Calendar by V. London, 1945.

This new information was published, oddly enough, by Bellarts in the Quaker Yeoman in Jan. 1985. Long after I decided not to subscribe to it any longer. I do have a photocopy of that issue and I'd have to say that Bellarts much to my dismay continued to hang on to the hope that at least some of the material he previously published might be true!

Apparently there is a will for a Thomas Clayton dated 10 Sep 1630 and proved 28 Apr 1631 (Consistory Court of Chichester) which names a wife Margaret, sons Walter, William, Mathew, Richard and Thomas, daughters Mary wife of Richard Martin and Elizabeth. Bellarts felt this might be the grandfather of our William which is definitely a possibility but I haven't added him to my tree yet without seeing some supportive evidence. Bellarts took it one more step and speculated that this Thomas was POSSIBLY the son of a John b. ca. 1530 who was the son of a Thomas born ca 1500 who made his will in Rudgwick parish 4 Jul 1557.

Personally, I think we are on pretty thin ice when birthdates start appearing as "about" at 30 year intervals! The English clergy kept very thorough records and there should be more definitive dates in the early parish registers so one shouldn't have to resort to "ca." dates.

Bellarts does say that the will of William circa 1658 proves conclusively that William of Chichester was not the "son of a London lawyer" but never admits that he led us up the wrong tree! AND he goes right on to say that Thomas Clayton MAY have been the grandson of Thomas De Clayton b. ca. 1440, eldest son of John de Clayton & Mary Mainwaring who was disinherited by his parents and it is likely having been disinherited Thomas would have left Lancashire perhaps settling in London or Sussex, a days journey south of London at that time...and he goes on! Nice effort on his part to salvage some useless data but I personally think he was incorporating more wishful thinking than hard evidence.

[See transcription of William Clayton's will provided by Marilyn L. Winton, Feb., 1997.]

Selected References

Beard, Alice L., Births, Deaths and Marriages of the Nottingham Quakers 1680-1889, Family Line Publications, (Westminster, MD), 1989.

Bellarts, James E., "The Five Clayton Families of Colonial America," unpublished paper, August, 1985.

Bjorkman, Gwen, Quaker Marriage Certificates Concord Monthly Meeting, Delaware Co., PA, 1679-1808, Heritage Books, 1991.

Consistory Court Wills Register 1553-1571, Vol. 8, p. 268, microfilm XA10/6 in West Sussex Records Office, Chichester, Sussex, England. Will is faded and could only be partially transcribed by Louis E. Jones.

Jones, Louis E., "William Clayton of Chichester" in The Quaker Yeoman, Jan., 1985, pp 1-2.

Consistory Court of Chichester Record, Vol. 18, p. 76b, microfilm STC I/18 XA/18, County Record Office, Chichester, Sussex copied by Louis E. Jones, 1984.

A Calendar of the Parish of Boxgrove, Sussex 1560-1812, by W.D. Peckham, 1946.

Futhey & Cope, History of Chester County, Pennsylvania, (Philadelphia, 1881), p. 498.

Hansen, Charles M., The Parentage of William Clayton, Quaker Immigrant to PA: A Correction in The Genealogist (1983) Vol. 4 #2 pp 169-173.

Hansen, Charles M., William Clayton's parentage: an addition in The Genealogist (1988) Vol. 9, pp 78-9.

Hepburn, Henry F., The Clayton Family (Papers of the Historical Society of Delaware, 41, Wilmington, 1904), pp. 12-20.

Hinshaw, William W., Burlington MM, NJ in The Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, Vol. II.

Hinshaw, William W., Pennsylvania Quaker Meeting Records, Concord MM, Shelby Publishing.

Document at Devonshire House London Port folio *:89 listing decease of Public Friends deceased in ye Co. of Chester in ye Province of Pa... William Clayton came from Chichester in ye County of Sussex and arrived ye year 1677 and died ye year 1688.

Other Online Clayton Descendants:

Dee Anderson descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Bruce Bales descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Brian Barnes descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Christa Barton descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Katie Bond descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

John Brickley is married to a descendant of Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Ardath Brown descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Victoria Cheney descends through Honour Clayton who m. James Brown and Prudence Clayton who m. Henry Reynolds.

Carol Beals Bigham descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Donna Braly descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Cheryl Cretin descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Frank Cullison descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Denise Dickson descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

John Duling descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

David Fisher descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Cathi Frost descends from William Clayton who m.Elizabeth Bezer.

Dorrene Hale descends from Prudence Clayton who m. Henry Reynolds and Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Brian Harrold descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

John Hope descendant of Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Kenneth Johnson descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown through their son Jeremiah Brown.

Robert Love descends from Prudence Clayton and Henry Reynolds through their son Francis Reynolds.

Jim Maule descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown. See his web site at http://www.cilp.org/~maule/mauleown.htm.

Heather Olsen descends from Prudence Clayton and Henry Reynolds.

Jean Powers descends William Clayton Jr. and wife Elizabeth Bezer.

Becky Pyle descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Joanne Rabun descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Larry Reneau descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Laura Van Horn descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals and Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Cheska Wheatley descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Anne Broomall Wiegledescends from Prudence Clayton who m. Henry Reynolds.

Nicole Wing's husband descends from Mary Clayton who m. John Beals.

Marilyn Winton Misch descends from Prudence Clayton and Henry Reynolds.

Karen Wohlwend descends from Honour Clayton who m. James Brown.

Larry Clayton does not descend from William & Prudence, but from a James Clayton who came on the Submission in 1682, settled in Bucks Co., PA and later Delaware. You may want to contact Larry if your Claytons were in these areas.

Let me know if you wish your e-mail address linked to this page so other Clayton researchers might contact you!

Join your fellow CLAYTON researchers on the CLAYTON-L mail list. To subscribe send an e-mail to [email protected]. Your message should contain only the word "subscribe" and nothing more.

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1996-2002

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