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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2015

Where did the English Claxton family come from? When did the Claxton family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Claxton family history?

The name Claxton is of Anglo-Saxon origin and came from when the family lived in Claxton, a small village in the county of Durham. It is generally believed that a branch of the Norman family of Heriz, settled here and assumed the local name. The surname is derived from the Old English word clacs-tun which literally means those who lived near the clayey soil.


It is only in the last few hundred years that the English language has been standardized. For that reason, early Anglo-Saxon surnames like Claxton are characterized by many spelling variations. As the English language changed and incorporated elements of other European languages, even literate people changed the spelling of their names. Scribes and monks in the Middle Ages spelled names they sounded, so it is common to find several variations that refer to a single person. The variations of the name Claxton include: Claxton, Claxon, Klaxon, Klaxton and others.

First found in Durham where it is believed the first reference of the name was found. There are three other listings of the place name in the Domesday Book: Claxton, or Long Clawson (Clachestone) in Leicestershire, Claxton (Clakestona, Clarestona) in Norfolk, and Claxton (Claxtorp) in North Yorkshire. [1] In Norfolk, Claxton Castle was built in 1333 in the village of Claxton, but it was largely demolished in the 17th century to build Claxton Hall. Today, Claxton is also a village and civil parish in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire, England.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Claxton research. Another 207 words (15 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Claxton History in all our PDF Extended History products.


More information is included under the topic Early Claxton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Many English families tired of political and religious strife left Britain for the new colonies in North America. Although the trip itself offered no relief - conditions on the ships were extremely cramped, and many travelers arrived diseased, starving, and destitute - these immigrants believed the opportunities that awaited them were worth the risks. Once in the colonies, many of the families did indeed prosper and, in turn, made significant contributions to the culture and economies of the growing colonies. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families has revealed a number of immigrants bearing the name Claxton or a variant listed above:

Claxton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century

  • Abraham Claxton who settled in Bermuda in 1635
  • Edward Claxton, who landed in Maryland in 1639
  • Bryan Claxton, who arrived in Maryland in 1669

Claxton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Richd Claxton, who arrived in Virginia in 1704
  • John and Sarah Claxton settled in Maryland in 1739
  • John Claxton, who arrived in Maryland in 1740
  • George Claxton settled in New England in 1767

Claxton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • William Claxton, who landed in New York in 1845

Claxton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century

  • Robert Claxton, aged 20, arrived in South Australia in 1850 aboard the ship "Trafalgar"

Claxton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century

  • William Claxton, aged 38, a tailor, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874
  • Hannah Claxton, aged 36, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874
  • Rebecca Claxton, aged 8, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874
  • Frank Claxton, aged 1, arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Waitangi" in 1874


  • William Claxton (1927-2008), American photographer
  • Thomas Claxton (1790-1813), American officer in the United States Navy during the War of 1812, eponym USS Claxton (DD-140) and USS Claxton (DD-571)
  • Craig "Speedy" Claxton (b. 1978), American basketball player
  • Rozelle Claxton (1913-1995), American jazz pianist
  • Philander Claxton (1862-1957), American educator, United States Commissioner of Education
  • Kate Claxton (1848-1924), born Kate Elizabeth Cone, American actress
  • Jimmy Claxton (1892-1970), Canadian Afro-American baseball pitcher
  • Sarah Claxton (b. 1979), English Olympic athlete
  • Marshall Claxton (1811-1881), English landscape and portrait painter
  • Florence Claxton (1840-1879), English artist




  1. ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)

Other References

  1. Skordas, Guest. Ed. The Early Settlers of Maryland an Index to Names or Immigrants Complied from Records of Land Patents 1633-1680 in the Hall of Records Annapolis, Maryland. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1968. Print.
  2. Egle, William Henry. Pennsylvania Genealogies Scotch-Irish and German. Harrisburg: L.S. Hart, 1886. Print.
  3. Leeson, Francis L. Dictionary of British Peerages. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0-8063-1121-5).
  4. Ingram, Rev. James. Translator Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 1823. Print.
  5. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  6. Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
  7. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  8. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  9. Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  10. Filby, P. William and Mary K Meyer. Passenger and Immigration Lists Index in Four Volumes. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Print. (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8).
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 11 June 2013 at 03:57.

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