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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright 2000 - 2016


Claxton is a name of ancient Anglo-Saxon origin and comes from the family once having 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.

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Sound was what guided spelling in the essentially pre-literate Middle Ages, so one person's name was often recorded under several variations during a single lifetime. Also, before the advent of the printing press and the first dictionaries, the English language was not standardized. Therefore, spelling variations were common, even among the names of the most literate people. Known variations of the Claxton family name 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.


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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.

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

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For political, religious, and economic reasons, thousands of English families boarded ships for Ireland, Canada, the America colonies, and many of smaller tropical colonies in the hope of finding better lives abroad. Although the passage on the cramped, dank ships caused many to arrive in the New World diseased and starving, those families that survived the trip often went on to make valuable contributions to those new societies to which they arrived. Early immigrants bearing the Claxton surname or a spelling variation of the name include:

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

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  • 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
  • Francis S. Claxton, American politician, U.S. Consul in Moscow, 1857-61
  • E. C. Claxton, American Democrat politician, Chair of Wright County Democratic Party, 1939
  • B. A. Claxton, American Democrat politician, Candidate for Missouri State House of Representatives from Wright County, 1936

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  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. Cook, Chris. English Historical Facts 1603-1688. London: MacMillan, 1980. Print.
  2. Mills, A.D. Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-19-869156-4).
  3. Bede, The Venerable. Historia Ecclesiatica Gentis Anglorum (The Ecclesiastical History Of the English People). Available through Internet Medieval Sourcebook the Fordham University Centre for Medieval Studies. Print.
  4. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  5. Bardsley, C.W. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6).
  6. Hinde, Thomas Ed. The Domesday Book England's Heritage Then and Now. Surrey: Colour Library Books, 1995. Print. (ISBN 1-85833-440-3).
  7. Burke, Sir Bernard. General Armory Of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ramsbury: Heraldry Today. Print.
  8. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  9. Thirsk, Joan. The Agrarian History of England and Wales. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 7 Volumes. 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. ...

The Claxton Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Claxton 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 29 January 2016 at 09:10.

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