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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2016
Clayton is an ancient Norman name that arrived in England
after the Norman Conquest
of 1066. The Clayton family lived in one of the many parishes by the name of Clayton in Staffordshire
, the West Riding of Yorkshire
. Cloughton is a small village and civil parish in North Yorkshire
The surname Clayton was first found in Lancashire
where the family "claim descent from one Robert, who came into England
with the Conqueror, and received Clayton in reward of his services." 
For the most part, all villages derived their name from the Old English words "claeg" + "tun," collectively meaning "farmstead on clayey soil." 
Many villages date back to the Domesday Book
of 1086 and were listed with a variety of spellings: Claitone (three listings); Claitunea; and Claitone. 
Another early listing of the surname was Jordan de Claiton who was listed in Yorkshire
in 1191. 
The Hundredorum Rolls
of 1273 lists: Sewal de Claton in Hertfordshire; Hamo de Cleyton in Buckinghamshire; and William de Cletone in Shropshire
. The Yorkshire Poll Tax
Rolls of 1379 include: Willelmus de Clayton, of Clayton; Sara de Clayton; and Johannes de Clayton. 
Endless spelling variations are a prevailing characteristic of Norman surnames. Old and Middle English lacked any definite spelling rules, and the introduction of Norman French added an unfamiliar ingredient to the English linguistic stew. French and Latin, the languages of the court, also influenced spellings. Finally, Medieval scribes generally spelled words according to how they sounded, so one person was often referred to by different spellings in different documents. The name has been spelled Clayton, Claydon, Clawton, Claughton and others.
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Clayton research. Another 257 words (18 lines of text) covering the years 1632, 1689, 1677, 1684, 1685, 1676, 1665, 1676, 1612, 1693, 1629 and 1707 are included under the topic Early Clayton History in all our PDF Extended History products
Another 133 words (10 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Clayton Notables in all our PDF Extended History products
Some of the Clayton family moved to Ireland
, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. Another 87 words (6 lines of text) about their life in Ireland
is included in all our PDF Extended History products
To escape the political and religious persecution within England
at the time, many English families left for the various British colonies abroad. The voyage was extremely difficult, though, and the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving. But for those who made it, the trip was most often worth it. Many of the families who arrived went on to make valuable contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. An inquiry into the early roots of North American families reveals a number of immigrants bearing the name Clayton or a variant listed above:
Clayton Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
- Barnaby Clayton, who came to Massachusetts sometime between 1628 and 1629
- Tho Clayton, who arrived in Virginia in 1635
- Richard Clayton who settled in Virginia in 1636
- Richard Clayton, who arrived in Virginia in 1637
- Thomas Clayton settled in Austin, Rhode Island, in 1650
Clayton Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- William Clayton, who landed in New England in 1714
- Francis Clayton, who arrived in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1790
Clayton Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
- Thomas B Clayton, aged 20, arrived in New York in 1812
- H Clayton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
- F Clayton, who landed in San Francisco, California in 1851
Clayton Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century
- Mr. Clayton U.E who settled in Carleton [Saint John City], New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. John Clayton U.E who settled in St. Andrews, Charlotte County, New Brunswick c. 1783
- Mr. Samuel Clayton U.E who settled in Saint John, New Brunswick c. 1783
Clayton Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
- Isaac C Clayton, who arrived in Canada in 1841
- J Clayton, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862
- Mrs. Clayton, who arrived in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862
- T D Clayton, who landed in Victoria, British Columbia in 1862
Clayton Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
- James Patterson Clayton, English convict from Norfolk, who was transported aboard the "Albion" on May 17, 1823, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Australia
- George Clayton, English convict from Wiltshire, who was transported aboard the "Asia" on October 22nd, 1824, settling in New South Wales, Australia
- Henry Clayton, a farrier, arrived in New South Wales, Australia sometime between 1825 and 1832
- William Clayton, English convict from Somerset, who was transported aboard the "Argyle" on March 5th, 1831, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
- Ann Clayton, English convict from Lancaster, who was transported aboard the "Arab" on December 14, 1835, settling in Van Diemen's Land, Austraila
Clayton Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
- G I Clayton landed in Bay of Islands, New Zealand in 1838
- F. Clayton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
- G. Clayton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
- Ann Clayton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
- Charles Clayton arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "William Watson" in 1859
- William L. Clayton (1880-1966), U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for economic affairs
- Thomas Clayton (1777-1854), lawyer and U.S. senator from Delaware
- Joshua Clayton (1744-1798), physician, governor and U.S. senator from Delaware
- John M. Clayton (1796-1856), lawyer, U.S. senator from Delaware and U.S. Secretary of State
- Henry De Lamar Clayton Jr. (1857-1929), US Congressman from Alabama
- Henry DeLamar Clayton (1827-1889), Confederate officer and Alabama legislator
- Bertram Tracy Clayton (1862-1918), U.S. congressmen and U.S. Army officer killed in World War I
- Buck Clayton (1911-1991), American jazz trumpet player who was a leading member of Count Basie’s "Old Testament" orchestra
- John Middleton Clayton (1796-1856), American statesman
- Sir Robert Clayton (1629-1707), Lord Mayor of London (1679-1680), merchant banker and politician
- The Normans, 1720-1976, and Information on the Walker, Clayton and Weir Families of Mississippi by Maggie Laurie Carson.
- The Quaker Yeomen: A Genealogy of Clayton, Reynolds, Beals, Brown and Descended Related Lines by James E. Bellarts.
The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto. Motto:
Probitatum quam divitiasMotto Translation:
Probity rather than riches.
- ^ Lowe, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
- ^ Mills, A.D., Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4)
- ^ Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
- ^ Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- Markale, J. Celtic Civilization. London: Gordon & Cremonesi, 1976. Print.
- Sanders, Joanne McRee Edition. English Settlers in Barbados 1637-1800. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
- Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
- Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
- Bradford, William. History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 Edited by Samuel Eliot Morrison 2 Volumes. New York: Russell and Russell, 1968. Print.
- Elster, Robert J. International Who's Who. London: Europa/Routledge. Print.
- Burke, Sir Bernard. Genealogical and Heraldic History of the Peerage and Baronetage, The Privy Council, Knightage and Compainonage. London: Burke Publishing, 1921. Print.
- Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Noble and Gentle Men of England Or Notes Touching The Arms and Descendants of the Ancient Knightley and Gentle Houses of England Arranged in their Respective Counties 3rd Edition. Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols and Sons, 1866. Print.
- Robb H. Amanda and Andrew Chesler. Encyclopedia of American Family Names. New York: Haper Collins, 1995. Print. (ISBN 0-06-270075-8).
- Innes, Thomas and Learney. The Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland 1st Edition. Edinburgh: W & A. K. Johnston Limited, 1938. Print.
The Clayton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Clayton Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.
This page was last modified on 3 April 2016 at 10:02.
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