This research Includes spelling variations on the surname such as Claxson, Clacston, Clackson, Clackstone, Clarkson, Clarkston, etc.


Claxton/Clarkson Research Project Overview – an introduction to the purpose of this site


Middle TN Claxton Roots – discussion covering the research on these Claxtons and Clarksons


From NC to TN – discussion covering the research which moved the line back into NC


TN Map with locations of Claxtons/Clarksons with TN roots with links to narrative and/or descendancy charts (**best viewed with Internet Explorer; large file, patience is a virtue; must have pop-ups enabled**)


Alphabetical list of Claxtons/Clarksons with TN roots with links to narrative and/or descendancy charts and migration maps


Links to other Claxton/Clarkson families with no connections to TN


Claxton Research Update Powerpoint – presented to two reunion groups in June, 2010; a summary of the findings presented below in the Middle TN Claxton Roots section


DNA Project Results Chart for the Clarkson/Clarkston/Claxton DNA project with FTDNA


DNA Powerpoint – an introduction to DNA which we have used in presentations to various groups


Contact Us – for more information, information to add, additional family lines to add, or corrections.  Our goal is to be a Claxton/Clarkson repository of accurate information with supporting documentation as much as possible.



Claxton/Clarkson Research Project

This site is where we post the results of the research compiled by several Claxton / Clarkson researchers.  This group of researchers are located from coast to coast and border to border across the U.S.  They all have Middle Tennessee Claxton/Clarkson ancestors in common.  They have been sharing information for several years.  Some of these researchers have been researching their families for 30, 40 or 50 years.

We post our research to this web site and freely share it with anyone.  It is an ongoing work as anyone in genealogy has found out.  In many cases we have provided links to pictures of people and tombstones.  We have also provided links to documents such as wills, court documents, etc.   This part of the project will always be changing as we provide more of the documentation to the existing information that is online.  The objects of these links can be downloaded by the viewer for their use.  If you need help downloading documentation, contact us.

In the spring of 2010 our group agreed upon the placement of most of the Middle Tennessee Claxtons.  Much of this was due to compilation of collaborative research and more recently obtained information.  The results of this research were presented at two Claxton reunions in the summer of 2010 (see PowerPoint presentation).  One was in the Tulsa, OK area and the other was in Athens, AL.

Basically, through several deeds, wills, prison statements, census info, as well as other documents we have been able to place most of the Claxtons.  However, due to lack of documentation, some of it was preponderance of evidence through a process of elimination as there was no other family in which to place them.

Like most researchers we have run into many “stone walls”.  Due to this, several of us have ventured out into other Claxton / Clarkson lines, both in Tennessee and in other states as well.  As part of extending this research, two members of our research group are project administrators of the Clarkson/Claxton DNA Project at Family Tree DNA (see results chart for the project).

The DNA project has allowed us to identify certain Claxton and Clarkson lines as being fairly closely related.  When you find someone whose DNA markers match your DNA markers, it really adds fuel to the fire to find out how they are related to your family.  We had one case where another family surname claimed the family story was that a neighboring Claxton man was the father to all of this woman’s children.  DNA found the off-spring lines of those children to be perfect DNA matches to the Claxton line thus confirming the family story.

The DNA project has also allowed us to show certain Claxton/Clarkson lines in Tennessee to be kin and other lines not to be kin.  Two of those lines found to be kin have yet to be connected by documentation.  We also have found at least two Tennessee Claxton lines that are not closely related according to the DNA.

Also as part of our project, in our attempt to break the “stone walls”, we offer to share research of other Claxton/Clarkson lines on our site.  Credit is provided to those that share information as they are the source of their compilations. 

If you find errors, omissions, changes, new information, etc., please share the information with us.  Our goal is to have accurate information on our Claxton/Clarkson families with as much documentation as possible.  If you have new lines to share, please contact us.

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Roots of Most Middle Tennessee Claxtons


Lack of critical Bedford Co., TN records has left Claxton researchers with a mystery:  there are 12 Claxton progenitors living in or around Bedford Co. from 1798 through 1850.  Their close proximity suggests familial relationships, but little specific documentation exists to prove these relationships.  Various theories have been presented over the years, many of which were based on oral traditions within families.  The discovery of a prison record for David Claxton, DNA sample results, and expansion of research into Sumner Co., TN has helped to shed new light on this mystery and led to expansion of the line back into NC.  The purpose of this web site is to record the research that has been done and to correct some of the misinformation which has been recorded as fact over the years.


There have been several Claxton families that have traced their roots back to the Bedford County area of Middle Tennessee.  Due to factors such as multiple destructions of the county court house, early local records of Bedford County are scarce.  Consequently we find the progenitors of each of these lines with little or no documentation allowing us to relate them with each other.  Even though some of these Bedford County lines were eventually given relationships, these lines include the following as their progenitors: John, James 1798, Hiram, Avery, David, Isaac, Solomon, and Jeremiah. Other lines with Middle Tennessee connections include Joshua, Anson and James of Sumner County as well as Hiram Madison and his brother James of Tippah County, Mississippi.


Many Claxton families, predominately by word of mouth, have identified William Claxton and wife Mary Ann Anderson Claxton as the overall progenitor of some of these Claxton families.  Even Dr. P. P. Claxton’s biographer stated that William Claxton was the progenitor of his family.  We personally have reviewed Dr. Claxton’s papers and determined that he did not have documentation to support this fact:   he only repeated what had always been said within the family and the biographer recorded it as fact.  It seems that the only reason Dr. Claxton was researching the family was in an attempt to show a relationship to the seaman Thomas Claxton who was killed in the Battle of Lake Erie during the war of 1812.  The Navy was trying to find living descendants of that family to help dedicate the destroyer the U.S.S. Claxton.  As it turned out they were not able to show a relationship to that family.  Our Thomas Claxton descendancy chart has notations which provide an interesting insight into the history of Congress as well as events leading up to the War of 1812.  In fact, another Claxton line with TN connections WAS credited as being descendants of Seaman Thomas Claxton, but our research has proven this was not the fact.


At the time of publication of the Claxton family histories in the History and Families of Wright County, Missouri, it was the consensus of many researchers that this William was the ancestor of the Wright Co. Claxtons as reported in the P. P. Claxton biography.  However, to date we have not been able to document any relationship of the William and Mary Ann Anderson Claxton family to the Middle Tennessee Claxtons.  We invite anyone with documentation to share it with us as we would like to expand our research.


Representatives and descendants of several of these Claxton families have engaged in research of this Claxton dilemma for years.  They even made great headway in the family research and published their ideas on the Claxton family in the Bedford County Family History Book.  Since the publishing of this book, about eleven Claxton/Clarkson researchers have combined their efforts and shared ideas.  In doing so we expanded the research into other Middle Tennessee Counties.  In addition to Bedford they included Marshall, Giles, Lincoln, Franklin, Maury, Sumner, Wilson and Smith counties.  A lot of time was spent in Sumner County and this research has perhaps opened the linking of this Claxton family to Granville County, North Carolina.


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The first record of a Claxton in Granville Co., NC is James who was found there in 1765 where court documents ordered the care of orphan James Claxton until the next term of court when he would be bound out as an apprentice.  We see this James in Granville Co. through 1796, then in 1798 we do not find him in Granville Co., but in 1798 we find a James Claxton in Sumner Co., TN.  This fits a migration pattern that we see in that many land grants for land in Sumner Co., TN were issued in Granville Co., NC.  There was a major migration route which left Granville and went north into VA and then west into the Shenandoah Valley following the route of present-day I-81 down into TN.  At this point we are not sure if James’s family went through the Cumberland Gap into KY and back down into Sumner Co or whether they followed the Avery Trace into Sumner Co.  Are these two James Claxtons the same?  We cannot say for certain, but it seems very likely that they are.  Further support for this connection is the marriage record that we find for John Claxton/Clarkson, probable son of James, in Charlotte Co., VA.   It is believed that this James was the progenitor for many of the Middle Tennessee Claxton families. 


Children of this James are thought to be Anson, who is seen in the 1800 Granville Co. census and later in Sumner Co., Mary who marries William Omohundro in 1794 in Granville Co., John of Sumner, Wilson, Smith, Bedford and Giles Counties in TN, Joshua who has a Sumner Co. land grant in 1807, Rebecca who marries John Shaver about 1800, presumably in Sumner Co., and James born ca. 1790-1800 in NC and who married Polly Martin 3 MAR 1817 in Sumner Co.


Other Middle TN Claxtons include Avery, Solomon, Isaac, Jeremiah, John, Jr., and Hiram.  In addition to these, DNA results have shown a close relationship between the Middle TN group and James of Sumner, Gibson. and Fayette Counties in West TN through his sons Hiram Madison and  James, both of Tippah Co., MS, and to James Lee Clarkson of VA and Robert Clarkson of AL and MS.


For more information on these families, see their individual narratives which are linked at the top of this page.


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Thomas Claxton of PA, Doorkeeper of House of Representatives father of Seaman Thomas Claxton


John Claxton of PA


Henry Claxton of SC and GA


John Clarkson of Rives Co., MO


James Clarkson, ca. 1650, England


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