Cleator History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms
The Norman Conquest of England in 1066 added many new elements to an already vibrant culture. Among these were thousands of new names. The Cleator family lived in one of the many parishes by the name of Clayton in Staffordshire, Sussex, the West Riding of Yorkshire and Lancashire. Cloughton is a small village and civil parish in North Yorkshire.  
Early Origins of the Cleator family
The surname Cleator 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 Testa de Nevill, sive Liber Feodorum, temp. Henry III- Edward I. lists Robert de Cleyton, Lancashire, Henry III-Edward I. 
The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 list: 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.  "Taunton Hall [in Knott Lanes, Lancashire], was the seat of the Claytons as early as the reign of Henry VI." 
Early History of the Cleator family
This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cleator research. Another 129 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1632, 1689, 1677, 1684, 1685, 1676, 1665, 1676, 1612, 1693, 1629, 1707, 1693, 1773, 1693, 1705, 1612, 1629, 1707, 1706, 1692, 1702, 1695, 1758, 1695 and are included under the topic Early Cleator History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleator Spelling Variations
Norman surnames are characterized by a multitude of spelling variations. The frequent changes in surnames are largely due to the fact that the Old and Middle English languages lacked definite spelling rules. The introduction of Norman French to England, as well as the official court languages of Latin and French, also had pronounced influences on the spelling of surnames. Since medieval scribes and church officials recorded names as they sounded, rather than adhering to any specific spelling rules, it was common to find the same individual referred to with different spellings. The name has been spelled Clayton, Claydon, Clawton, Claughton and others.
Early Notables of the Cleator family (pre 1700)
Outstanding amongst the family at this time was Sir Richard Clayton of Adlington; William Clayton (1632-1689), English settler to America in 1677, acting Governor of the Pennsylvania Colony from 1684 to 1685; Richard Clayton (died 1676), English Canon, Oxford academic and administrator, Master of University College, Oxford (1665 to 1676); Sir Thomas Clayton (c 1612-1693), an English doctor, academic and politician; and Sir Robert Clayton (1629-1707) British merchant banker, politician and Lord Mayor of London.
John Clayton (1693-1773), was an English-born botanist, born at Fulham in 1693. His father...
Another 87 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cleator Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Migration of the Cleator family to Ireland
Some of the Cleator family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 108 words (8 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.
Cleator migration to the United States +
Many English families emigrated to North American colonies in order to escape the political chaos in Britain at this time. Unfortunately, many English families made the trip to the New World under extremely harsh conditions. Overcrowding on the ships caused the majority of the immigrants to arrive diseased, famished, and destitute from the long journey across the stormy Atlantic. Despite these hardships, many of the families prospered and went on to make invaluable contributions to the development of the cultures of the United States and Canada. Early North American immigration records have revealed a number of people bearing the name Cleator or a variant listed above:
Cleator Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
- Joseph Cleator, who arrived in Rye, NY in 1766 
Related Stories +
The Cleator Motto +
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 divitias
Motto Translation: Probity rather than riches.
- ^ Smith, Eldson Coles, New Dictionary of American Family Names New York: Harper & Row, 1956. Print
- ^ Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
- ^ Lower, 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)
- ^ Testa de Nevill or "Liber Feodorum" or "Book of Fees," thought to have been written by Ralph de Nevill, for King John (1199–1216)
- ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
- ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)