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Claxton Family Updates. Current research on how we got to where we are today. Names in blue in this presentation indicate we have DNA on that line. DNA Project Overview. Currently we have 47 individuals who have returned kits These represent 32 separate progenitor lines

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claxton family updates

Claxton Family Updates

Current research on how we got to where we are today

Names in bluein this presentation indicate we have DNA on that line

dna project overview
DNA Project Overview
  • Currently we have 47 individuals who have returned kits
  • These represent 32 separate progenitor lines
  • Of those 32 lines, 7 lines match completely at the 37 marker level meaning there is about a 60% probability that they could have a common progenitor within 6 generations and the probability increases with each generation back
  • There are 3 lines which are 1 genetic marker off the main line in the first 25 markers
  • There are 2 lines which are 3 genetic markers off the main line
  • Of the remaining 35 lines, there is emerging a definite set of Clarkson/Clark markers with 3 family lines matching completely at 25 markers and 2 more lines being 1 genetic distance off that main Clarkson line.
dna project overview cont
DNA Project Overview, cont.
  • There is definite crossover between Claxton and Clarkson surnames
  • At this point the project results show that our geographic origins go back to western Europe, more specifically to the areas of western Ireland, northern Scotland, western France and the Basque area of northern Spain

Looking at the DARK RED color for our R1b1b2a1a group – the group in Ireland, northern Scotland, western France, and northeastern Spain

in the beginning
In the beginning . . .

St. Louis


documentation limits
Documentation Limits
  • Sources for the information here include
    • Bedford Co., TN History Book
    • Wright Co., MO Family History Book
    • US Census Records except:
      • 1890 which was lost for all states
      • 1800 and 1810 which were lost for TN
    • Cemetery Records
    • Bedford Co., TN tax lists for 1812 and 1836 (only county records available for the early years)
    • Other county tax, deed, marriage, and court records for a variety of counties and states
early records james claxton
Early Records – James Claxton
  • There is a 1765 Granville Co., NC County Court entry for Thomas Bryant who was ordered to care for “orphant James Claxton” until the next court when James is to be “bound out.”
    • People could be “bound out” as apprentices at least as early as age 9 and possibly earlier and until the age of 21
    • We next see James in 1769 in Granville Co. when he is listed on the tax list. So we are to assume that he turned 21 and was released from his bond by 1769. This would put his birth at about 1745-1748
  • This James is found in Granville Co. records through 1796 when we see him buying land from Joshua Bullock.
  • He is not in Granville records in 1798, but we pick up a James Claxton in Sumner Co., TN tax records in that year.
early records james cont
Early Records – James Cont.
  • While we do not see James in census in NC, we do see Anson Claxton in the 1800 census in Granville Co.; more on this later
  • Additionally, we find an 1804 deed where James Claxton enters 45 acres of land in Granville Co. This is the last entry we see for James in Granville
  • By 1808 James is back in Sumner Co., in court concerning an assault on Alexander McMillan. James serves on several juries and then we see more litigation with McMillan, some of which involves Joshua Claxton and a land dispute
early records james cont1
Early Records - James cont.
  • A year later, in 1809, we find James paying tax in Sumner Co. on 274 acres on Rocky Creek; he does not pay a poll tax which may be construed to mean he is over the age of 60. That would match with the age of the James in Granville who was “bound out” in 1765.
  • The next year, 1810, we find Joshua Claxton paying tax in Sumner Co. on 274 acres on Rocky Creek; he does pay a poll tax, so he is younger than 60 AND the listing for James now has no acreage but 1 poll – this could be where James is paying poll tax for another son who is over 21.
  • Then later that same year, on 3 OCT 1810, there is the marriage of Joshua Claxton to Susannah “Rice” (actually Ross) in Sumner Co. with James Claxton as bondsman
  • In the 1820 Sumner Co. census we find James with two males over 45 and a female over 45 in his household.
  • Six years later, on 30 NOV 1826, there is a record for James Claxton’s estate with John Shaver (possibly brother-in-law of James) as administrator; there is no will. Listed as a buyer at the sale is “Susan” Claxton – probably Joshua’s wife Susannah.
early records james summary
Early Records – James Summary
  • Summarizing this James:
    • 1747-48 – James is born
    • 1765 Granville Co., NC – “bound out”
    • 1769 – pays tax; bondage ended
    • 1796 – buys land in Granville
    • 1798 – a James pays tax in Sumner Co., TN
    • 1804 – James enters 45 acres of land in Granville Co.; last record in Granville
    • 1808 – James in court in Sumner Co. for assault on Alexander McMillan
    • 1809 – James pays tax on 274 acres on Rocky Creek in Sumner Co.; no poll
    • 1810 – James pays poll, but no acreage; Joshua Claxton now pays on 274 acres on Rocky Creek
    • 3 OCT 1810 Joshua marries Susannah Ross; James is surety
    • 1820 – James in census with 2 males and 1 female over 45
    • 30 NOV 1826 John Shaver in court as administrator of James’ estate; “Susan” Claxton is buyer at the estate sale
james and dna
James and DNA
  • Nothing conclusive is known about James Claxton of Granville Co. and our DNA project . . . but . . .
    • There seems to be a close association between James and Joshua Claxton, an association which would indicate a possible father/son relationship
    • We have two DNA samples from Joshua descendants – both match completely on the 1st 12 markers
    • Both differ SIGNIFICANTLY from the “main” Claxton group of markers
  • More on the possible implications of these facts will be presented after our notes on John
early records john claxton
Early Records – John Claxton
  • There is a John Claxton who marries Frances Martin in 1792 in Charlotte Co., VA. Though we have no record of a John Claxton in NC, Charlotte Co. is about 12 miles “as the crow flies” north of Granville Co., NC. Convenient.
  • In an 1889 Goodspeed biography for James A. Claxton of Wright Co., MO, it says his grandfather was a native of NC and that his father (James who married Temperance Rackley/Ratcliff) was born “on the road from NC to TN”
john claxton sumner co tn
John Claxton – Sumner Co., TN
  • It is POSSIBLE that the John Claxton that we see paying taxes in Sumner Co., TN in 1799 is the same one who marries Frances Martin in 1792 in Charlotte Co., VA.; no documentation to prove it
  • In 1803 John is in Mero District Court (which served Davidson, Sumner, and Wilson Counties in TN) in a land dispute
    • John is being evicted from his land that he leased
    • The land is said to be in Wilson Co., but was originally in Sumner Co. – this places John in Sumner Co. in early 1799 for the tax list, but in Wilson Co. when it was formed in Oct. 1799 (south of the Cumberland River)
    • John is still in Wilson Co. in 1809 when the court case is continued.
john claxton bedford co tn
John Claxton – Bedford Co., TN
  • We then see John Claxton in Bedford Co., TN in the 1812 tax list, so somewhere between 1809 and 1812 he relocates to Bedford Co.
  • We find John in Bedford Co. in the 1820 and 1830 censuses, but not in the 1840. We find him in the 1836 tax list, so it is assumed he died between 1836 and 1840. An 1843 court case in Bedford Co. supports this assumption (see John, Jr. for further information)
  • The age bracket for John in these 2 census records would put his birth around 1770-1775 – the right age to be getting married in 1792.
  • There are four Claxton males for whom there is acceptable documentation to say that they are sons of John. They are James, Isaac, David, and John, Jr.
john and dna
John and DNA
  • ASSUMING that these 4 men are sons of John and looking at the DNA from the three for whom we have DNA, we can make the following conclusions:
    • James, Isaac, and David match closely enough to POSSIBLY be John’s sons
    • James, Isaac, and David do NOT match Joshua
  • Based on these conclusions and the apparent close associations of John, James, Isaac and David and the close association of James and Joshua, we conclude that James of Granville Co. and John of Bedford Co. are probably NOT brothers and POSSIBLY are not even closely related.
four sons of john
Four Sons of John
  • So we have four possible sons of John:
    • James b. 1798 in VA “on the road” between NC and TN which coincides with John’s appearance in Sumner Co. in 1799
    • Isaac b. 1800 in TN lives two houses before John in 1830 census and is in Giles Co. in 1840 where we think John was when he died
    • David b. 1801 in Wilson Co., TN where John was living at that time
    • John, Jr. who was sued by Thomas Parsons on behalf of John’s estate concerning land he had mortgaged which belonged to John
james b 1798 son of john
James b. 1798 – son of John
  • James was b. 18 SEP 1798 in VA – d. 6 OCT 1871 in Wright Co., MO
  • His place of birth is listed as VA in census records which agrees with the statement made by James’ son James A. Claxton in the Goodspeed article that his father was born “on the road” from NC to TN
  • He married Temperance Rackley (also Ratliffe and Ratcliff) on 26 APR 1819 in Bedford Co., TN
    • Temperance was the dau. of Joshua Rackley (Ratcliff in the Goodspeed article) who was living next door to John Claxton, Jr., four households after James in the 1830 census
    • Temperance was b. 12 JUN 1804 in NC and d. 26 NOV 1877 in Wright Co., MO.
  • Both James and Temperance are buried in Durbin Cem. in Wright Co.
  • James is living next to John Claxton (Sr.) in the 1830 Bedford Co. census. Then in 1843, we see James in Bedford Co. Chancery Court being sued by Thomas S. Parsons, administrator of John Claxton’s estate, because James had apparently mortgaged the land he was living on to Benjamin Brown, even though the land still belonged to John Claxton. The court found in favor of Parsons.
james military service
James – Military Service
  • He enlisted in Jan. 1815 at Fayetteville, Lincoln Co., TN and was honorably discharged on 4 JUL 1815; this was the end of the War of 1812, but it was on this service that he applied for a pension in 1871.
  • He volunteered in JAN 1818 at Fayetteville, Lincoln Co., TN as a private in Capt. James Byrn’s company of the 1st TN Volunteers commanded by Col. R. H. Dyer in the Seminole Indian War. It was on this service that he received 80 acres of bounty land in MO about 1852
james military cont
James – Military, cont.
  • In looking at James’ bounty land application, all documents EXCEPT the application itself show James in Col. R. H. Dyer’s regiment: on the bounty land warrant it shows Col. William Dyer’s regiment.
  • This is of interest because in 1871, when James applied for his pension for his War of 1812 service, his application shows that he was in James Burns’ company of William Dyer’s regiment of TN Cavalry.
  • His application for pension was rejected 10 JUL 1872 apparently because they could not find record of his enlistment under the name of Capt. James Burns.
  • We wonder if – after the passage of 56 years – James had confused the two enlistments or if the spelling of the name Burns/Byrns made the pension office miss the enlistment record.
james residences
James’ Residences
  • As a son of John, James would have spent time in Sumner, Wilson, Smith, and Bedford Counties in TN as he grew up.
  • In 1820 James and Temperance are in Franklin Co., TN where at least their first child (Richard ?) was born and possibly two others; Richard dies before they leave TN
  • By 1830 they are in Bedford Co. and remain there until about 1851 so the rest of the children are born in Bedford Co.
  • In 1851 James applies for bounty land based on his Seminole War service. He gets 80 acres in Missouri and sometime between 1851 and 1855 they pack up the families – all their children except Joshua Calvin who remained in Bedford Co. – and head for an area near Springfield in Greene Co., MO where they are living by 1855.
james residences cont
James’ Residences, cont.
  • They only remained in Greene Co. a short time and then moved to Elk Creek in Wright Co., MO by 1860 where they settled and raised their families.
  • Their daughter Elizabeth and husband Stephen Sanders and their family came with the Claxtons to MO, but Elizabeth didn’t like it there and returned immediately to Bedford Co.
james family
James’ Family
  • Four of James’ children who stayed in MO had married before they left Bedford Co. These were Henderson, James Anderson, William Harvey, and John Wesley. They brought their families with them.
  • The other children, Noah, Temperance Adeline, Emily Adeline, and Margaret C., all married after they were in MO.
  • Son George Coleman, “Uncle Mike,” never married. He was a prominent farmer and had a lot of land on Elk Creek. He lived with his brother John Wesley’s family. He gave each of John’s children a farm of 40 to 80 acres and gave the youngest son, Charley, 120 acres – some of which was given to the Claxton Cemetery Association for use for the cemetery.
  • Many of the Claxtons in Wright Co. are buried in Claxton or Durbin Cemeteries.
isaac son of john
Isaac – son of John
  • Isaac was b. ca. 1800 in TN
  • Isaac can be traced through census records from 1820-1860 and his children are documented in his estate settlement
    • He was in Lincoln Co., TN in 1820
    • He was in Bedford Co., TN in 1830 living two households before John
    • He was in Giles Co., TN in the 1836 tax list and 1840-1860 censuses;
    • He owned land on Pigeon Roost Creek where the Parsons family also owned land; Thomas Parsons was executor of John Claxton’s estate
    • Isaac died there in July 1867
isaac children
Isaac - Children
  • Isaac married Ann ? prior to 1828 when his first child, Sophia, was born; Sophia m. William S. Hyles
  • Three other children born to Isaac and Ann were
    • Milton Dudley m. first Jane ? who d. in 1868; then m. second Palestine Willeford in 1871
    • William Lane m Mary Ann Self, dau. of Isaac’s second wife
    • Susan Emma m. Simeon Gilmore in 1866
  • Apparently Ann died and Isaac m. Jane Self, widow of Owenby Self on 11 APR 1857
isaac children cont
Isaac – Children, cont.
  • Milton Dudley enlisted 31 OCT 1863 to fight in the Civil War and suffered some serious health problems as a result.
    • His health problems may have been the reason that, when his wife died in 1868, he left the care of his son, Nathaniel Vandon, to his sister, Sophia, and her husband William Hyles.
    • Sophia and William had no children of their own, but in the 1900 census Sophia is listed as a widow in Nathaniel’s household and her relationship is listed as his “aunt.”
    • This census, the date of Nathaniel’s birth, 23 MAR 1863, and the fact that Nathaniel went by the Claxton surname, all point to Milton Dudley as Nathaniel’s father . . . AND . . .
isaac children cont1
Isaac – Children, cont.
  • The other evidence for Milton being Nathaniel’s father is found in Isaac’s estate settlement
    • Isaac’s three living children are named
    • Two of Isaac’s grandchildren are named: William James and John Lane, the two children of Isaac’s son William Lane are named because William had been killed 12 MAY 1863 at the Battle of Raymond, MS
    • Grandson Nathaniel is NOT named, we assume, because his father Milton D. IS named.
  • When William was killed, Mary Ann then married Thomas Shadden and by 1880 they are in Fannin Co., TX, taking her sons William James and John Lane with them.
david son of john
David – son of John
  • John Claxton is thought to be the father of David Claxton due to the following document:
    • In 1831 David Claxton made a statement to the warden of TN State Prison in Nashville on his admission to that facility. David’s statement said:
      • that he was born in 1801 in Wilson Co. and raised in Smith and Bedford Counties in TN.
      • that he had “6 brothers and 1 sister and his father and mother” still living in Bedford Co.
    • At that time, only two Claxton households were listed in the Bedford Co. census which had males old enough to have been David’s father
    • Most researchers believe that only John’s household has a Claxton as that oldest male, and remember John was involved in a court case which placed his land in Wilson Co. at the right time for David to be born there
    • SO . . . assuming John to be that father, there are 6 Claxton males besides David living in Bedford Co. in 1831 who are sons of John. But which ones are they? That is the tricky part! More on that coming up.
david residences
David - Residences
  • David is one of the more “colorful” characters in our Claxton clan
  • As already noted, much of what we can surmise about the Claxtons of Bedford Co., TN comes from David’s statement to the TN State Prison Warden whom David met because he had apparently been passing counterfeit bills in Bedford Co.!
  • David’s scars – which were noted on his entrance into the prison – seemed to indicate a somewhat rough life
  • But probably the best indicator of David’s temperament was that he served his 3 year term at the prison PLUS 35 days for BAD CONDUCT!
david residences1
David - Residences
  • David also moved around a bit
    • In the 1830 census when everyone else seems to be in Bedford Co., David and wife Rosanah (Moore) are in Cave In Rock, Gallatin Co., IL
      • They have been married about 3 years from what we know of the children
      • They have a son and dau. under age 5
    • We know where David was from 1831-1834 so there is a corresponding gap in the ages of the children
david residences2
David - Residences
  • Four more children are born between 1837 and 1843.
  • Then somewhere between 1843 and 1850 David disappears
    • In 1850 census Rosanah is listed as head of household and 5 of their 6 children are with her (Martha Ann had married Alfred Knott about 1848 and they are living next door to Rosanah with their first son)
    • At first researchers were not sure where David had gone, but he was finally “found” in Montgomery Co., TN where “D. C. Claxton” had married on 1 AUG 1849 Eliza Taylor (the little matter of the wife and 6 children in Bedford Co. must have temporarily slipped his mind!)
david residences3
David - Residences
  • By the 1860 census, David and Eliza with son Zachariah are in Lawrence Co., AR
  • That is the last time we see David – there is a family Bible record passed down through Zachariah’s family which says that David died in 1865 in TN
  • We need to insert a DNA note here, however. We have DNA from each of David’s marriages:
    • The DNA from the second marriage – from Zachariah’s descendant – matches the main Claxton line on all 37 markers
    • The DNA from the first marriage came from a descendant of Abraham, b. ca. 1828; it doesn’t match the main Claxton line AT ALL, and, in fact, it is in a DIFFERENT HAPLOGROUP (that group comes through the Scandinavian countries!) We really need to get DNA from another son of the first marriage because this looks more like a “non-paternal event.”
john son of john
John – son of John
  • John Claxton (Jr. to distinguish him from his father) was b. 12 JAN 1804 and d. 10 AUG 1869. John (Jr.) is thought to be a son of John (Sr.) because:
    • John, Jr. is living four households after John in the 1830 census
    • Descendants of James (b. 1798) and John, Jr. who remained in Bedford Co. called each other “cousin.”
  • John, Jr. married Sallie (?) about 1825 and they had at least two sons and three daughters. Tombstones in Pisgah Cemetery near North Fork Church in Bedford Co. tell much of what we know about this family.
john son of john1
John – son of John
  • John’s first son, John Kimbro died at age 1, then came Elizabeth, Matilda and Sophia; Elizabeth died at age 21, and the others married
  • At Sallie’s death, John m. second Margaret Oakley and they had three more children: T. A., Cannon, and Joshua
  • John died 10 AUG 1869 and is buried in Pisgah Cemetery with others of the family
from paper trails to dna
From Paper Trails to DNA
  • Of the four sons of John Claxton, we have DNA for three of them:
    • James through sons Henderson, John Wesley, and James Anderson
    • Isaac through sons William L. and Milton Dudley
    • David through Abraham, child of his first marriage and Zachariah, child of his second marriage
    • John, Jr.’s sons died with no issue
  • All of these lines show close matches with the “main” Claxton group with the exception of the line through David’s first marriage
  • In addition, there are other DNA samples that we have that also show close matches. We can look at these for the possible other two children of John.
possible sons of john by dna
Possible Sons of John by DNA
  • Avery b. ca. 1815, based on 1850 census which is the only one where we find him listed
    • He is a possibility for a son of John according to the DNA
    • There is a male in John’s household in 1820 and 1830 that matches Avery’s age
  • Avery married Leatha Nichols ca. 1842 (based on age of children in 1850)
  • He had 5 sons and three daughters
    • Sarah
    • Salinda Jane
    • William Morgan
    • James Henry
    • John Wesley
    • Thomas Leander
    • Risden C.
    • Frances Catherine
  • By 1857 Avery is either dead or has left the family because by 1858 Leatha marries Isaac Boaz
  • After this marriage the family moves to Caldwell Co., KY to try to be in a neutral state during the war
possible sons of john by dna1
Possible Sons of John by DNA
  • Solomon b. ca. 1802 in NC. Although his DNA matches the main Claxton line, it is not generally thought that Solomon is a son of John because John was not in NC in 1802.
  • Remember, though, Anson Claxton was in Granville Co. in the 1800 census. Definitely a possibility as father of Solomon. More support for this theory shortly.
possible sons of john by dna2
Possible Sons of John by DNA
  • Jeremiah – b. 1807 – family tradition says he was b. in Bedford Co.
  • He is not found in the 1830 census, but we find him selling cotton in 1831 in Bedford Co.
  • He is on the 1836 tax list in the Farmington District of Bedford Co. which later that year became Marshall Co.
  • Also, in OCT 1836 Jeremiah’s wife dies; she is buried just inside the Marshall Co. line at Farmington
  • In 1838 Jeremiah enlists in the Tennessee Volunteers for the Cherokee Removal for 3 months
  • He marries again in 1846 and buys land in 1853 which he sells in 1856 and then moves to Henry Co., TN
    • His first 6 children were born in Marshall Co., but the 7th child was b. in Henry Co.
  • Though we list Jeremiah as a possible son of John, there really is no matching person for him in the 1820 census for John’s household; there is only one male in Jeremiah’s age bracket and that would more likely be John, Jr.
possible sons of john no dna
Possible Sons of John – no DNA
  • Jonathan F. b. 1793 in NC is in the 1830, 1850 and 1860 Bedford Co. censuses. The birth date and location make him a possible son of John
    • In the 1830 census there are 5 males ranging from under 5 to 20-30 and 3 females ranging from 5-10 to 15-19 in addition to Jonathan and his wife who are 30-40
    • However, in the 1830 although Jonathan’s age matches the later censuses, his wife’s age does not match; it is possible that his first wife died and he remarried
    • We also need to point out that the male age 20-30 COULD be a brother of Jonathan and not his son; we do not have enough information to determine which is correct
    • In the 1850 and 1860 censuses, Jonathan’s wife is Dorcas and he has a son, Andrew J. b. 1842
  • Wesley Claxton is found only on the 1836 Bedford Co. tax list. Nothing further is known about Wesley, but Wesley becomes a common name among the Claxton families.
anson claxton john s brother
Anson Claxton – John’s Brother?
  • We have Anson Claxton in only one census: the 1800 Granville Co., NC
    • Anson is b. between 1755 and 1774, but there are two sons and a daughter under age 10, so we believe he was born closer to the 1774 date than the 1755 (remember that John (Sr.) was b. between 1770-1775)
    • There is a female over age 45 in the household – possibly Anson’s mother or mother-in-law
  • We then fast-forward 9 years to 1809 where we find Anson in Sumner Co., TN buying 25 acres of land
    • When he came to TN we do not know but he pays taxes in 1809-1812 (Thomas Claxton pays on the 25 acres in 1813)
    • In DEC 1814 he turns over possession of 25 acres to John Stamps – apparently Anson was moving
  • On 28 OCT 1817 we find Anson listed as bondsman with John Steele for the marriage of Hiram Claxton and Martha (Patsey) Steele in Christian Co., KY. This is accepted as evidence that Hiram is a son of Anson Claxton.
anson claxton john s brother1
Anson Claxton – John’s Brother?
  • So Anson Claxton is thought to have been born about 1774
  • John (Sr.) was b. between 1770-1775
  • Remember Solomon and Jeremiah who did not fit in John’s 1820 census record?
    • Solomon was b. in 1802 in NC
    • Anson was in NC in 1800 and not in TN until 1809 – room for Solomon to be his son
    • Jeremiah was b. ca. 1807 in TN
    • Anson was in TN by 1809, so again room for Jeremiah to be his son
    • Sometimes families tended to use either Old Testament OR New Testament names for their children (obviously this is not a RULE you can go by, but it happened quite often)
john and anson brothers
John and Anson – Brothers?
  • So if we look at the DNA
    • Hiram, Solomon, Jeremiah, James, David, and Avery descendants match on 37 markers
    • One Isaac descendant matches 24 of 25 markers
    • The DNA shows that there is a common ancestor for these people and probably not very far back
  • From the information we’ve found and the approximate date of birth for Anson and John, it is very possible that they were brothers. But who was their father?