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The Cliftons of Delmarva and related lines

ByRuth C. Clifton

A genealogy Compiled and edited by Jud Clifton

2003

The Cliftons of Delmarva and related lines by Ruth Craine Clifton

Acknowledgments

Many people and organizations provided assistance that made the collecting of the material and the documentation of all this material possible. First, we give special thanks to the members of the Clifton family and associated families for freely giving of their time and sharing what information they had. Also we greatly appreciate the time and efforts of the staff members and volunteers in the many state, county and city record offices, archives, libraries, historical and genealogical organizations plus professional genealogists and the staff of Heritage Quest. The information available through the LDS Family History Center in Salt Lake City and the branch libraries in Minnesota was invaluable.

Personal research was done by Ruth Clifton and her sister Esther in Utah, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New England, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and England.

On one of the final pages appears a list of the families which became associated with the Clifton family over the years. Ruth’s research also extended into those families.

Ruth said shortly before her death, “Even though I didn’t complete my book, we certainly had some great trips and met many wonderful people while researching.” Jud Clifton February, 2003

This was written by Ruth in 1988 - She continued her research and note taking until approximately 1995.

“Nathan Clifton came from Kent County, Delaware in a covered wagon train that was attacked by Indians. He was the only survivor of his immediate family. He was eight years old, and escaped by hiding in a tree. He was taken in and raised by the John Clifton family, who may or may not have been related. It’s possible that he just took their last name and wasn’t a Clifton himself.”

This family legend was first related to me at an annual reunion of the family of Nathan Clifton, my husband’s great-grandfather. It was held on the third Sunday of August, 1968, near the farm where he settled in 1841 in Marshall County, Indiana. The story intrigued me–perhaps our last name shouldn’t be “Clifton” after all!

Not one to ignore a good mystery, I started right then to take copious notes from Lena Jefferies, the “family historian”, and others at the reunion, intending only to solve the question of Nathan’s parentage and our true last name. Thirty-five years later, I am still taking notes, although I found Nathan’s parents and, indeed, traced his lineage several more generations back to his Clifton ancestors who immigrated in the 17th century.

It must be noted that no evidence has been found to support the story of an “Indian” attack. The John Clifton (a first cousin) who raised Nathan, from age 8, lived in Ross and Fayette Counties in Ohio in 1826, moving to Marion County, Indiana with Nathan in 1838. What route Nathan took to get to Ohio, isn’t known but if there was an attack, it may not have been by the Indians.

Another version of the legend says that Nathan’s mother, father, sisters and brothers were all killed in the wagon train attack. This is an embellishment that has proved not to be true. Nathan’s mother died ca. 1822 and his father in 1826. His father’s estate was distributed to his widow (Nathan’s step mother), two daughters and a son by his first marriage, and four younger sons, including Nathan. The widow and three older children all signed receipts. The shares of the younger boys were listed, but there are no receipts for them. Perhaps this was an oversight, or their guardian, who was also administrator of the estate, didn’t feel it necessary to sign receipts from himself. It is also possible that these boys had been sent off on the wagon train with or to relatives, and the three brothers of Nathan’s were the ones who were killed, leaving Nathan the only one to survive the attack of those who were with the wagon train. There were no longer Indians on attack in the areas he most probably traveled through. There were non-Indian bands of robbers attacking wagon trains and killing travelers at that time. His half-sisters, half-brother and step-mother survived long afterward in Delaware and Maryland.

It is doubtful that Nathan’s father, Sciron, was killed on the wagon train as “funeral expenses” were paid from his estate, which would be unlikely if he was killed on the trail.

No graves have been found for any of the early Cliftons, who were probably buried on their own farms and no markers have survived.

Yet another story exists. It says the first of our Cliftons to come to this country was kidnapped off the docks in England (called “ being Barbadoed” in those days), brought over as an indentured servant, and was traded for a turkey gobbler. He evidently married his master’s daughter and became a land owner himself.

Ruth never was able to assemble a narrative including all the interesting aspects of her research into the draft of her book. What follows is an amalgamation of Ruth’s writings to family members and others interested in her Clifton family research.

The Narrative

My own sons have found that early American history has taken on a much more interesting and personal meaning now that they know the “characters” in the “drama” were some of their own 8th and 9th great grandparents. Hopefully your family’s interest will also be increased by reading this material.

Our proved line is Bruce9, John E.8, Charles W.7, Nathan6, Sciron5, Nathan4, Thomas3, and Jonathan2.

The preponderance of evidence is that this Thomas1 Clifton of Barbados was Jonathan2’s father and thus Thomas1. Jonathan2 was born by 1665, but probably not much before as he was the youngest of the still small family of Thomas1 and Jane Clifton (according to the will of Thomas Evans of Barbados). By piecing together information from land records, some of Jonathan’s children had to have been born in the 1690's, when he was in his 20s. Also there are close links with Evans families in Dorchester County, Maryland.

Most of my research starts with searches of Morman microfilms and books at the Minnesota Historical Society which contain abstracts of records in Maryland, Delaware, and elsewhere. I try to obtain copies of the original records, as abstracts frequently contain errors. I was fortunate enough to be able to go out to the library in Salt Lake City. It was much faster than waiting seven weeks or more for the films to come to the local LDS family history center.

I have unearthed many Cliftons in my searches through the records of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Barbados, etc. My sister and I even spent time in England but, we found no proof that any of the Clifton families there was ours. I’m still searching for our Cliftons in all the shires. The only Clifton family I have found with a son named Jonathan of acceptable age was Thomas Clifton of Barbados, and I am convinced he and his wife, Jane Evans, are our ancestors.

The stories I heard of Thomas1 of the Barbados being “Barbadoed” are typical. Barbados obtained a large number of servants from the “Spirits” [kidnappers] and it had become known as the largest single market for that kind of labor. Thomas1 Clifton could have been indentured to Thomas Evans. Thomas Clifton married Jane Evans and in 1663 owned land next to the Evans property on the island. Two deeds dated 20 October 1663 printed in the Barbados Museum Journal, Vol. xxii, pp. 182-3, show that Thomas Clifton and Thomas Evans had land bounding on Locust Hall plantation in the parish of St. George. The Barbados will of Thomas Evans (See Appendix B, Will B-1 to read it.) dated 29 November 1665, indicates his eldest child, Jane Evans married Thomas1 Clifton and their children listed in the Evans will include Jonathan2 Clifton.

In the Autumn of 1662, Captain William Hilton, in his ship Adventure, made the first exploratory expedition from New England to Cape Fear in what is now North Carolina (“New Englanders at Sea”, New England Genealogy and Historic Register, Vol. 124, P. 191). The following autumn he brought Barbadians to Cape Fear. In “The Shaftesbury Papers”, a petition to the Lt. General regarding high taxes and quality of the land, is signed by 14 men including Thomas1 Clifton. Their continuing appeals received no action. The settlers became disheartened. They felt cut off and abandoned. After they found a way to reach Albemarle Sound and Virginia by land, the colonists left. I am not sure of Thomas1 Clifton’s exact route there, but he seems to have been on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, in Maryland and finally Delaware.

His son Jonathan2 (born ca. 1664) settled in Dorchester County, Maryland, by 1709. when he and his wife Mary witnessed a will leaving their son William(3) a personalty [personal property], but the earliest land record I have for him was dated 1711. Jonathan2 may have been living on land owned by his father-in-law before that. When the Maryland/Delaware boundary was changed, this and his other properties became part of the Mispillion Hundred on the western edge of Kent County, Delaware. (See Appendix B - Properties)

It appears that William Woodgate (See Appendix B - Properties), who died in 1703, may have been the father of Jonathan2's wife Mary. He left no will, but I've been told there are two Dorchester estate accountings - Book 3, page 32 and Book 3, page 135, plus an inventory. The land tract "Beckells" (also variously written as Beckless or Back Close) was surveyed May 1696 for William Woodgate and at his death went to his heirs, who lived with James Cannon. Jonathon2 Clifton bought "Beckless" from William's son, John in 1715. John Woodgate died in 1722, and his inventory dated September 10, 1722 was signed by William Clifton and Thomas Clifton as next of kin.

These are the facts and deductions we can make so far:

1) Jonathan and Mary named their first son William

2) The Cliftons traditionally named their first son after the wife's father,

so William Woodgate would fit

3) They had no son named John

4) John Woodgate, son of William Woodgate, appears to have no wife,

brothers or sisters or children who would be closer kin to sign the

inventory. Perhaps he hadn't yet married.

5) William and Thomas Clifton, who signed John's inventory as next of

kin, appear to be his nephews, making William Woodgate their

grandfather and father of their mother Mary.

We have a copy of Jonathan2’s will dated 15 February 1732 (See Appendix B, Will B-2 to read it.). His son was Thomas3 Clifton, Sr. We have a copy of Thomas’ will dated 2 November 1785 (See Appendix B, Will B-3 to read it.). Thomas3 owned roughly 1,000 acres of land composed of several mostly contiguous properties on which he settled his sons, later giving them their land by will. His son was Nathan4 Clifton for whom we also have a will.(See Appendix B, Will B-4 to read it.). Nathan4 added to his inheritance by purchasing some of the land from his brothers and adding other properties, so when he died, he also had around 1,000 acres. His will specified that if any of his heirs should allow Polly James to live with them or should support, aid or assist her in any way, they would forfeit their share in the estate. Polly apparently had done something to make Nathan4 so angry that he disinherited her and banished her from the family. Do suppose she ran off with someone else and left her father to take care of her kids?

Those looking for a Revolutionary War connection with the Delaware Cliftons will probably be disappointed. Most of the people in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where our Cliftons lived, didn’t support the Revolution. There were some Cliftons who served (apparently on both sides), but not from our line. Richard Clifton, eldest brother of our Nathan4 is believed to have gone to England after the war because of his English sympathies, but that author could not find any documentation to support that.

His son was Sciron5 which is spelled several ways. Sciron owned about 300 acres near Andrewville in Southwestern Kent County, near the boundary with Sussex County. Sciron died during February 1826 and we have Sciron’s probate dated 21 March 1826, and the probates of Richard Eccles and Ann Eccles, his second wife’s parents. Sciron was married three times and his widow, Cynthia Murphy Clifton, was left with children of his first wife, Ann Masten, children he had with his second wife Esther Eccles Taylor, children Esther had from her earlier marriage to George Taylor, and maybe some children of her own. I was able to establish that Nathan6 Clifton was Sciron’s child with Esther Eccles. I have a tremendous amount of material on the Cliftons who lived within a 30 mile radius of Sciron, all of whom appear to be related. They all had large families and many of the same names were used over and over (Thomas, Nathan, John, Mary, Nancy, Sara Ann, Robert and Daniel). Delaware kept tax records. They would be helpful if they were complete. The ones I am working with now have many people missing, often the year and place are omitted, and many do not list who paid their taxes, only the delinquents. The 1790 census was lost, but has been reconstructed from the tax records, which of course are incomplete.

Prior to the late 1800's no official birth or death records were kept. Unless found in church or bible records or on tombstones, exact dates are not known. I have never found a record of any tombstone for any Clifton until Nathan6 who died in Indiana in 1882 and is buried at the Poplar Grove Church Cemetery. The first federal census was in 1790, but many of them were lost and have been reconstructed from tax records, which give no ages and only show head of family, as in Delaware. Names of others in the household were not given until 1850. Marriage dates are occasionally from marriage bonds or licenses. Sometimes only the couple was mentioned in a will or deed, so they had to have been married before that date.

An example of how I have located people’s names would be the maiden name of Sciron’s second wife Esther. I knew her name was Esther and that she was the widow of George Taylor when she married Sciron. But, I didn’t know her maiden name. In re-reading my notes I found a reference to one of her daughters as being Ann Eccles Taylor. So, I wondered if Eccles could possibly be her mother’s maiden name. Thus, I checked back through the Kent County probate records and found Esther Eccles, daughter of Richard Eccles, who died in 1793. Late in 1796, when Richard’s widow, Ann Eccels (also spelled Eckels) died, the daughter had become Esther Taylor. So bit by bit, the Clifton ancestors are making themselves known.

After the death of Sciron5 in 1826, when Nathan6 was eight, he was sent to Ross County, in south central Ohio where two of his cousins, Benoni Clifton James and John Clifton James, had settled(See Appendix B for a Deed of John Clifton James, that connects the relationship clearly). They were the children of the Polly James, (mentioned above). In 1825 Benoni was married in Fayette County, Ohio, just over the line from Ross County. His brother John was married in Ross County in 1828 to the daughter of Thomas K. Clifton, who was probably a grandson of Thomas Clifton, Sr3. of Delaware. Many of our Clifton and related families settled in Ross and nearby Ohio counties between 1800 and 1830. John served as a foster parent for Nathan. Benoni and John by then had dropped the name James. John was the right general age so that he should be the John Clifton who brought Nathan to Indiana. He would have been about 8 years older than Nathan. Both appear to be in the 1830 Census for Ross County, Ohio.

Nathan6 went on to Lawrence County, in south central Indiana. There he met and married Mary Polly Smith 14 May 1840. They settled in Union Township, Marshall County, in north central Indiana in 1841/42. Nathan was a farmer. She was the granddaughter of Jonathan Gillam who fought the Indians in Washington County, Pennsylvania 1775-1779 before and during the Revolutionary War. Nathan6 died 29 June 1883 at the age of 65 years, 5 months, and 21 days.

Charles Wesley7 Clifton was the son of Nathan6 and Mary Smith Clifton. He was born 24 February, 1841 at Gilead, Indiana. He attended college in Valparaiso, Indiana and taught school four terms before enlisting May 13th, 1864, in the Indiana Volunteers to serve in the Civil War. He first served as a private in Company C of the 138th Regiment of the Indiana Volunteer Infantry commanded by Capt. Lewis G. Lytle. The Volunteers were part of the “One Hundred Days Volunteers” which were raised to relieve a large number of regular soldiers from garrison and guard duty and thus allow those to join their companions in arms on the front. He was discharged at Indianapolis, Indiana 22 September 1864. In August 1864, while serving at Camp Carrington in Indiana, he contracted a fever that caused the loss of his hair. He also had liver and stomach damage. He enlisted again 13 March 1865 in Capt. Francis M. Tyner’s Company H, 155th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. He was appointed Corporal 21 April 1865. After the brigade served in Alexandria, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, he was mustered out 4 August 1865 at Dover, Kent County, Delaware.

He Married Adaline Cole in 1866 and a year later left Indiana with his wife and all their possessions in a lumber wagon. They headed for Iowa where he farmed for two years. He entered the Methodist ministry in 1869 and came to the Northwest Iowa Conference when it was formed in 1872, serving as a circuit rider on 18 different circuits. This was just after the grasshoppers had cleaned out everything on the few and widely separated farms, and he received only $350 of the $400 per year that he had been pledged. Unable to supply himself with overshoes and an overcoat, he protected himself with quilts while riding horseback over the country. Charles was recalled as a “good preacher” who “did lots of good to hold the neighbors together.” He preached five years before he enjoyed the privilege of serving a field that had in it a church building. He greatly enjoyed his work and endeavored to do it well, because he was laying foundations. He bought a farm near Havelock in 1881 where the family lived off and on over the years. Many times Charles returned to Indiana and preached at Poplar Grove Church, to the delight of his family. Due to ailing health he spent the last 15 years on the farm at Havelock. Charles Wesley passed away 21 December 1909 and is buried at Washington Cemetery, at Havelock, Pocahontas County, Iowa.

In 1984, I discovered that Charles Wesley’s wife Adaline Cole, was descended from the families who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620, including Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster. Naturally they had to intermarry with other early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay area, including the Coles. So much has been written about these people and their ancestry that it has been very easy to trace Adaline’s roots back into the 15th and 16th century England, some even earlier.

John Eltsy8 Clifton, his son, was born 3 May 1882 in the Methodist parsonage in Rutland, Iowa. He attended high school in Havelock and took a business course in Omaha. He attended Morningside College in Sioux City for three years before returning to the farm after his father passed away. He married Elma Jeanette Patterson on 24 August 1910. After farming near Laurens, in Pocahontas County, and in Minnesota, he joined the ministry in 1923. He chose to work in the N. W. Conference in Iowa that his father had served. He served 10 different congregations during his 23 years as a minister. He died in 1 May 1947, two days after his 65th birthday. John Eltsy kept a journal, thus we have a lot of personal information on him.

Lula Clifton, one of his sisters, was a deaconess in the Methodist Church. She served in Fall River, Massachusetts, and Denver, Colorado, before going to Phoenix in the Arizona Territory in 1895. She had tuberculosis and expected to die soon. She lived to found what is now Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. She died at age 90. Her work in founding the hospital is covered in its history, the book, “Miss Lulu’s Legacy.” Lula was another Clifton whose name ended up having spelling variations.

I really think it is important for those of us interested in our family’s genealogies to get our collections compiled and published in some manner. Then all our work can be preserved and shared with the many present and future Clifton descendants. My father wrote a book on our Craine and Roberts families which is in many libraries and historical societies. I recently received a letter from a man in Florida who was asking for a copy of that book to replace his that was lost in a fire. His large library, 37 cartons of manuscripts, anecdotal records, an extensive correspondence file and address lists were destroyed when the farmhouse in which they were stored burned to the ground. He has ever since been trying to reconstruct his family tree which had been fairly complete. Please preserve and share. We would like to hear from anyone interested in the Clifton family history.

The above narrative was amalgamated by Ruth’s son, Jud, beginning in January, 2002

The Ancestral Line of Nathan Clifton of Indiana

The preparation of this section was developed by Ruth C. Clifton, between 1988 and 1992. It was completed by Jud Clifton in 2002

Generation

Number August 10, 1992

I THOMAS1 CLIFTON

Born ca. 1620 in England, he was married ca. 1650 to Jane Evans, daughter of Thomas Evans of Barbados. The Barbados will of Thomas Evans dated 29 Nov 1665, RB 6/15, page 452, probated 10 Jan 1665/66, shows Thomas Clifton and his wife Jane had the following children: 1) Thomas Clifton, Jr.,

2) Jane Clifton, Jr., 3) Edward Clifton, 4) William Clifton, 5) Jonathan2 Clifton, great-great-grandfather of Nathan6. There may have been additional children born after 1665.

Around 1664 Thomas1 Clifton moved his family from Barbados to a new settlement at Cape Fear in what is now North Carolina (British Public Record Office, Shaftesbury Papers, Bdle. 48, No. 81). By 1667 the new colony had failed and the colonists had moved on up into Albemarle Sound and the Chesapeake Bay region of Virginia, Maryland and Delaware (known as Delmarva), as well as points farther north.

II JONATHAN2 CLIFTON (Thomas1)

The youngest son of Thomas1, Jonathan2 was born ca 1664 in Barbados. He settled in Dorchester County, Maryland, where he owned several plantations, including "Boyce's Adventure" (or Venture), which provides the continuity to prove the accuracy of this family line, as it was willed from father to son for generations. His will, dated 11 Jan 1728/29, probated 15 Feb 1732/33, Maryland Will Book 20, Liber C.C.3, Folio 538, and the final distribution of his estate show that he had four sons and six daughters. The three older sons were born before 1708. Other records indicate that at least one daughter was born ca 1690. Jonathan willed "Boyce's Adventure" to his second son, Thomas3, Nathan6's great-grandfather.(See Appendix B, Will B-2 to read it.)

III THOMAS3 CLIFTON (Jonathan2 Thomas1)

Known as Thomas Clifton, Sr., he was born before 1709, when he received a legacy by will of Thomas Brummal. His father and mother, Jonathan2 and Mary Clifton, had witnessed the will. When the border between Maryland and Delaware was shifted to the west, most of the land that had belonged to his father, Jonathan2, became part of Delaware. Thomas3 acquired many other pieces of land, including "Addition to Boyce's Adventure." His will, dated 29 Oct 1783, (See Appendix B, Will B-3 to read it.) Was probated 2 Nov 1785, listing the following children in order of birth:

Sons: (sons were listed first and then the daughters)

1. Richard Clifton

2. Thomas4 Clifton, Jr., was an adult land owner before 1783; he died in 1797 in Kent

County, Delaware. His will and probate papers (Book A9, pp.155-162) show the

following children, all born in Delaware:

a. Daniel Clifton

b. Mary Clifton

c. Perthenia Clifton

d. Nathaniel Clifton ,

e. Sarah Clifton

f. John Clifton

g. Bernitha Clifton

h. Anne Clifton

i. Thomas5 Clifton (he was born ca. 1783 and was probably the father of Nancy

Clifton, who married John Clifton in Ross County, Ohio in 1828..

Note that this Thomas5 was a nephew of Nathan4 and not his brother; his father,

Thomas4 Clifton Jr. and Nathan4 were brothers, and their grandchildren,

Nancy6 and John6 respectively, would have been second cousins).

j. Levica Clifton

k. James Clifton

3. Ezekiell Clifton

4. Daniel Clifton

5. Fredrick Clifton

6. Matthew Clifton

7. Nathan4 Clifton, grandfather of Nathan6, inherited portions of "Boyce's Adventure"

and "Addition to Boyce's Adventure" by his father's will.

8. Clemment Clifton

Daughters:

9. Betty Clifton Burns or Burris

10. Ann Clifton Anderson

11. Mary Clifton Mills

12. Benitha Clifton Morgan

13. Phebe Clifton Cole

All of Thomas3 Clifton Sr.'s children except Clemment were married before 1783, when his will was written. Court records show that Thomas4 Clifton, Jr.'s lands could not support the family he left behind, and his brother Nathan4 purchased the land so that the money could be used to support the children. Guardians were appointed for the younger children, and Nathan4 became guardian for young Thomas5, his nephew.

IV NATHAN4 CLIFTON (Thomas3 Jonathan2 Thomas1)

Born before 1755, Nathan4 was over 45, as was his wife, in the 1800 census of Kent County, Delaware, and he was a land owner in the reconstructed census of 1782. He died 14 Mar 1818 in Kent County.

The deeds of Sussex and Kent County, Delaware show that Nathan4 continued to purchase hundreds of acres of land in addition to "Boyce's Adventure" and "Addition to Boyce's Adventure." which he had inherited from his father, Thomas3, Sr., and land purchased from his brothers. His land lay on both sides of the border between Kent and Sussex Counties, just east of the Maryland border along the road from Marshyhope Bridge to Milford.

Nathan4's will, signed 13 June 1817, was probated 6 April 1818. On the back of the will it is noted that he died 14 March 1818. (Kent County, Delaware Probate Volume A9, Page 147.) (See Appendix B, Will B-4 to read it.) His will lists the following:

1. Scyron5 Clifton, father of Nathan6, inherited from his father part of "Boyce's Adventure" and "Addition to Boyce's Adventure."

2. Clement Clifton

3. Mary "Polly" James - recently found documents indicate she may have been Nathan4's

daughter-in- law rather than his daughter, and may have been the widow of a son of

Nathan4's, also named Nathan, who died before Nathan4 wrote his will in 1817. She

may have then married a man whose last name was James, from whom her children

acquired the James name. Children of "Polly" according to Nathan4's will are:

a. Benona Clifton James, later known as Benona Clifton

b. John6 Clifton James, later known as John Clifton; m. Nancy Clifton in 1828 in Ohio.

c. Phebe Clifton James, later known as Phebe Clifton

d. Nancy Clifton James, later known as Nancy (or Anne) Clifton; m. Absalom Davis

Note: Nathan4 may have had other children who died before his will was written in 1817.

V SCIRON5 CLIFTON [Name also spelled Scyron, Skyron, Skiron] (Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2

Thomas1)

Sciron was born between 1774-1784, as calculated by census records, in Kent County, Delaware. He married first, before 1809, Ann Masten, mother of his first three children. He married 2nd widow Esther (Eccles) Taylor, who had eight children by her first husband, George Taylor. Sciron became co-executor of George's estate after his marriage to Esther, sometime before 1813. Nathan6 Clifton was a child of this marriage. After her death, Sciron married 3d Cynthia Murphy 16 October 1822. Whether or not Esther was the mother of all of the last three sons has not been determined. Sciron died in February 1826 leaving no will. Cynthia was allowed one-third of his land as her dower right, and the rest was sold to settle his debts. The following children were shown as Sciron's heirs on his estate papers (Kent County, Delaware. Records Office, Wills and Probate Papers Volume A9, pp 152-153):

1. Sally Ann Clifton, m. William Anderson between 1826-1831

2. Mary Clifton, m. Samuel Melony 2 September 1829

3. Hezekiah Clifton, named after his mother's father, Hezekiah Masten, settled in Maryland

4. Nathan6 Clifton, b. 1 January 1818

5. Leander Clifton

6. Morgan Clifton

7. Sciron Clifton

Cynthia and the older three children signed receipts for their inheritances. A bill was paid for Sciron's funeral expenses. If the family legend is true that Nathan6 came west on a wagon train that was attacked by Indians, and that he was the only survivor of his family, then only he and the three younger boys could have been with the wagon train; Sciron5 died in Delaware in February of 1826, and existing records show that his widow, Cynthia (Nathan6's step-mother), and his older three children survived many years afterwards. No further records have been found on the younger three boys.

VI NATHAN6 CLIFTON (Sciron5 Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2 Thomas1)

Born 1 January 1818 in Mispillion Hundred, Kent County, Delaware, Nathan6 went to Ohio after Sciron's death in 1826. He first lived with his cousin Benona Clifton (James), and later with Benona's brother John and Nancy, with whom he moved to Indiana. He was married 14 May 1840 in Miami County, Indiana to Mary "Polly" Smith, daughter of Charles Smith and Lettice Gillam. Nathan6 died 29 June 1883 at Maxinkuckie, Marshall County, Indiana and is buried at the cemetery next to Poplar Grove Church, Marshall County, Indiana. His death certificate states that his father was Sciron Clifton. The following children are recorded in the family Bible given to Nathan6 and Mary by their son, Rev. Charles7 Wesley Clifton. (See Appendix A - Pictures)

1. Charles7 Wesley Clifton, b. 24 Feb 1841, Gilead, Miami County, Indiana

2. Sarah Ann Clifton, b. 11 Jun 1842, Union Twp., Marshall County, Indiana

3. Nancy Jane Clifton, b. 30 Jul 1843

4. Lettice Ellen Clifton, b. 11 May 1845

5. James Henry Clifton, b. 11 Jun 1846, d. 19 Mar 1847

6. Leander Clifton, b. 1 Feb 1848

7. Hugh S. Clifton, b. 15 Jan 1850

8. Mary Elizabeth Clifton, b. 16 May 1851, d. 15 Jun 1852

9. John Thomas "Tom" Clifton, b. 23 May 1853

10. Julia Ann Clifton, b. 20 Jun 1856

11. Eliza J. Clifton, b. 21 Feb 1859

12. Rebecca B. Clifton, b. 1 Jan 1861

The above summarizes the direct male ancestral line of Nathan6 Clifton as proved by probate and land records. The compiler and writer was Ruth Clifton. What follows is the continuation of Ruth’s work by her son Jud, from records she amassed. This work began in the summer of 2002, following her death in January 2002.

VII. CHARLES7 WESLEY CLIFTON (Nathan6 Sciron5 Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2 Thomas1)

Born 24 February 1841 in Gilead, Miami County, Indiana. Enrolled at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana in one of the first classes. Enrolled in Company C, 138th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry 3 May 1864 at Valparaiso, Indiana. Mustered out 22 September 1864 at Indianapolis, Indiana. Later enrolled in Company H, 155th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry 13 March 1865 at Plymouth, Marshall County, Indiana. Mustered in 30 March 1865 at Michigan City, LaPorte County, Indiana. Mustered out 4 August 1865 near Dover, Kent County, Delaware. Ranks: Private and Corporal. Married Adaline Cole, daughter of Alva H. Cole and Betsy Mariah Jones on 11 October 1866 in Walkerton, St. Joseph County, Indiana. Moved to Iowa to farm. After a time heard the call to the ministry and became a circuit rider for the newly formed Northwest Conference of the Methodist Church. Died 23 Dec 1909 at Havelock, Pocahontas County, Iowa. Covered in the History of Pocahontas County Iowa. (published in 1904).Buried in Havelock Cemetery. (See Appendix A - Pictures)

1. Mary Mariah Clifton, b. 7 Sep 1868, Sac City, Sac County, Iowa

2. Lula Ines Clifton, b. 29 Oct 1870, Havelock, Pocahontas County, Iowa

3. Alvah Nathan Clifton, b. 4 Nov 1873, Newell, Buena Vista County, Iowa

4. Charles Cole Clifton, b. 30 Mar 1878, Primghar, O’Brien County, Iowa

5. John Eltsy Clifton, b. 3 May 1882, Rutland, Humboldt County, Iowa

VIII. JOHN8 ELTSY CLIFTON (Charles7 Nathan6 Sciron5 Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2 Thomas1)

Born 3 May 1882, Rutland, Humboldt County, Iowa. Attended Morningside College, Sioux City, Woodbury County, Iowa. Married Elma Patterson, daughter of Nathan Patterson and Ella (Nancy Ellen) Mason on 24 Aug 1910 at Marathon, Buena Vista County, Iowa. Died 1 May 1947 at Storm Lake, Buena Vista County, Iowa. Buried at Storm Lake Memorial Park. (See Appendix A - Pictures)

1. Bruce Burdette Clifton, 21 August 1911, Havelock, Pocahontas County, Iowa.

2. Phyllis Arlene Clifton, 3 July 1917, Jeffers, Cottonwood, County, Minnesota.

IXa. BRUCE9 BURDETTE CLIFTON (John8 Charles7 Nathan6 Sciron5 Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2

Thomas1)

Born 21 August 1911, Havelock, Pocahontas County, Iowa. Graduated Burt High School, Burt, Kossuth County, Iowa. Went to Minneapolis School of Art, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota. Worked for Walgreens, Coast to Coast, and Red Owl Stores prior to moving to Long Beach, California, where he worked for Douglas Aircraft during World War II. From the mid ‘40s to 1951 he worked for Doughboy Industries at New Richmond, St. Croix County, Wisconsin as a commercial artist and industrial photographer. From 1951 to 1952 he ran a free circulation shopping newspaper at River Falls, Pierce County, Wisconsin. During the summer of 1952 he sold seed grain for Northwest Seed and Grain of Minneapolis in Nebraska. Starting in the fall of 1952 Bruce worked for the Andersen Corporation in Bayport, Minnesota as a commercial artist and industrial photographer. He retired from Andersen’s in 1973. Bruce also did wedding and other photography as a side business from the 1950s until he retired. Bruce was married twice. First to Patricia Junetta Kallberg in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota on 6 July 1940 by his father who acted as minister at the ceremony. Patricia was the daughter of Albin Theodore Kallberg and Judith Elizabeth Johnson. The second marriage was 7 October 1961 to Ruth Eleanor Craine at Bayport, Washington County, Minnesota. Ruth was the daughter of Lloyd Bascombe Craine and Violet Olson. Bruce Died 10 February 1975 at St. Paul, Ramsey County, Minnesota. He was buried at Acacia Park Cemetery, Mendota Heights, Dakota County., Minnesota. He had two sons, Jud by his first marriage, and John by his second marriage*. (See Appendix A - Pictures)

IXb. PHYLLIS ARLENE CLIFTON (John8 Charles7 Nathan6 Sciron5 Nathan4 Thomas3 Jonathan2

Thomas1)

Born 3 July 1917, Jeffers, Cottonwood Co., Minnesota. Graduated Eagle Grove High School in Iowa. Attended beauty school. Married William J. Cole Jr. Died 14 August 1974 at Long Beach, Los Angeles Co., California. (See Appendix A - Pictures)

She had two children Sandra and Craig*.

*Note: genealogical information on living Clifton descendants has been left out for privacy and security reasons.

-----------------------------------End of Ancestral Line Section----------------------------------------------

Appendix A – Photographs – This is not included on electronic version

Appendix B - Wills, Properties, and Historical Perspective

Wills

We are presently aware of four existing wills of early Clifton or related ancestors. This appendix includes those three. The first will (B-1) is that of Thomas Evans, the father-in-law of the earliest known Clifton, Thomas1. The second (B-2) is the will of his son Jonathan2. The third will (B-3) is Thomas3 ,Sr. The last will (B-4) is of the first of the two Nathans, Nathan1. The original spelling and grammar has been left, but a few changes were made to improve readability.

B1 -THE WILL OF THOMAS EVANS (1665)

RB6/15.452

Barbados - In the name of God Amen

Thomas Evans of the island abovesaid, being sick in body and through the mercy of God in perfect memory, do make this my last will and testament, first and especially bequeathing my soul to God that it may be redeemed and my body to be interred according to the discretion of my loving wife Mary Evans, and for my worldly estate I do give and bequeath as here after follows, vizt

Imprimis, I do appoint and constitute my wife Mary Evans to be my wife and sole executrix of all my real and personal estate and goods and chattels movables and immovables and do hereby will and enjoin her to pay all just and due debts, and also to see and order these following legacies to be particularly paid according to this my last will and testament.

2. I do give and bequeath unto my first born Jane Clifton one shilling or twelve pence to be paid when demanded lawfully for that I have largely furnished her with a portion already.

3. I do give and bequeath unto my son Thomas Evans one shilling or twelve pence when lawfully demanded for that I have also furnished him with a very considerable portion already.

4. I do give and bequeath unto my son John Evans five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar and five thousand pounds of scalded ginger one year after my decease and two thousand five hundred pounds of muscovado sugar and two thousand five hundred pounds of scalded ginger the year following.

5. I do give and bequeath unto my son James Evans five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar to be paid unto him the third year after my decease and five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar the year following.

6. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Mary Evans five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar at or upon the day of her marriage or at the age of twenty years, and five thousand pounds to be paid the next year following either of her marriage or of her coming to the above said age.

7. I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Elizabeth Evans five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar at or upon the day of her marriage or at the age of twenty years, and five thousand pounds to be paid the next year following either of her marriage or her coming to the above said age.

8.I do give and bequeath unto my daughter Hannah Evans five thousand pounds of muscovado sugar at or upon the day of her marriage or at the age of twenty years, and five thousand pounds to be paid the next year following either of her marriage or her coming to the above said age.

9. I do give and bequeath unto my son Henry Evans the one half of my land which is one hundred acres or thereabouts to be delivered unto him with twelve able negroes at the age of twenty years and after the death of my wife Mary Evans; he my said son is to possess and enjoy the one half moiety of my above said one hundred acres of land with all movable and immovables; and I do also will and require that my said son Henry Evans at the above said age of twenty shall have the one half of all movable and immovables except negoes, for that he is to have twelve negroes as above written.

10. If my above said son Henry Evans should die before being possessed as above said, or after without issue, that then the above said land, as also negroes moveables and immovables, shall be equally and proportionately divided between my above named James Evans and my above said daughters Mary, Elizabeth and Hannah Evans without any other partners.

11. I do will and require my loving friends who are here under constituted to see and order that if any of the said James, Mary, Elizabeth and Hannah should die before their possessing of either of their particular legacies according to the hereinbefore mentioned that then it shall be equally and proportionately divided between the survivors.

12. I do will and require my wife and sole executrix Mary Evans to furnish and maintain my daughters Mary Elizabeth and Hannah, also my son Henry, with befitting education and clothes and all other necessaries sufficient, not detaining or demanding any pound or penny out of either of their portions before mentioned, and I do also will and require my said executrix to keep in repair all such framed houses upon the above said land until my above said son Henry come to possess.

I do also order constitute and appoint my trusty and well beloved friends John Holder, Thomas Clark and Aron Bucher of the aforesaid island of Barbados to see every particular article of this my last will and testament justly and punctually performed according to all and every of the above mentioned articles, and this my last will and testament I do sign and seal this 29th day of November 1665.

Thomas X Evans

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of

Jo:Battyns John X Holmer Anthony Cady

I do also give and bequeath unto my grandchildren, the sons and daughter of Jane Clifton, vizt. Thomas Clifton junr, Jane Clifton junr, Edward, William and Jonathan, each of them twenty shillings sterling to be paid to them severally at their coming of age of twenty years.

I do also give and bequeath unto my youngest daughter Hannah Evans, beside what is mentioned in the eighth article herein written, one parcel of land lately bought by me from John Bush, supposed more than six acres, which is situated and bounded upon the lands of Job Lulman, Mr Edward Pye, Mr Robert Davers (though actually looking more like Bauers) and two acres of land belonging to the above said John Bush, which land I do will and require she should be possessed of at the age of twenty years according to the aforesaid eighth article, in which eighth article I do give her ten thousand pounds of muscovado sugar, that is five thousand pounds to be paid to her at her marriage or of her coming to the age of twenty years.

As witness my hand and seal this 29th day of November 1665

Thomas X Evans

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of

Jo:Battyns John X Holmer Anthony Cady

Barbados By the Deputy Governor

This 10th day of January 1665* personally appeared before me John Holmer and Anthony Cady and made oath that they did see the within and above named Thomas Evans sign seal publish and deliver the within and above written as his last will and testament.

Sworn before me

Henry Willoughby

Entered 19th January 1665

* This is, of course, 1666 by modern reckoning, as the New Year did not start until March then.

B2 - WILL OF JONATHAN2 CLIFTON (1732)

In the name of God Amen. This Eleven Day of January One Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Eight Nine, I Jonathan Clifton of Dorchester County in the Province of Maryland being very Sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory Thanks be given to God Therefore Calling to Mind the Mortality of my body and Knowing that it is appointed for all men once to Dye I Doe make and ordain this my Last Will and Testament: That is to Say Principally and first of all I Give and Recommend my Soul into the Hands of God that gave it and my Body I Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in Decent Christian Burial at the Discretion of my Executors nothing Doubting but at the General Resurrection I Shall receive The Same again By the mighty Power of God And as Touching Such Worldly Estate wherewith It hath pleased God to Bless me in this Life I Give Devise and Dispose of the Same in the following Manner and form Viz.

Imprimis I Give and bequeath unto William Clifton my Eldest Son Fiftie Acres of Land Called Cliftons Chance to him and his Heirs for Ever and forty Acres of Land Called the White Marsh to him and his Heirs for Ever Excepting the Privilege that I bequeath unto my Son Jonathan Clifton in ye sd. White Marsh for the Convenience of his Stock During the Spring of the Year. Item I give and Bequeath unto my Son Thomas Clifton One Hundred Acres of Land Called Boyces Adventure To him and his Heirs for Ever. Item I give and bequeath unto my Son Daniel Clifton Forty Acres of Land called Evanses Adventure to him and his Heirs for Ever. Item I Give and and bequeath unto my Young Son Jonathan Clifton one Hundred Acres of Land in two Tracts. The one is Called Becksleys and the other is Called Linkhorn to him and his Heirs for Ever. Furthermore I Give and Bequeath unto my Son Jonathan Clifton One Negro Gyrle Called Beck and my Great Byble and my Rideing horse with Saddle and Bridle. furthermore it is my Desire that my Son Jonathan Shall be Instructed to Read the Byble through Perfectly and the Charges to be Reduced out of my Principle Estate and my Son Jonathan Shall Be at his own Liberty at Sixteen Years of Age and till the Expiration of the sd. Time to be under the Conduct of his mother in law During her Widdowhood and at her Decease to be left to his Godfather John Boyin And I give unto my Son Jonathan the Best Sute of Apparell that I have and my Son Jonathan I alow not to buy Sell Barter nor Confisticate his Substance Away - neither Goods Chattles Lands nor Tenements - And my Son Jonathan from Tradeing I do not Disallow But from makeing Away the Princyple Estate that I have Endued him withall And all my Daughters to be at their own Liberty at the Day of my Decease - furthermore it is my Desire that after the fulfilling of these Articles the Remainder of my Estate may be Equally Divided amongst all my Children Likewise I Constitute and Ordain my Two Eldest Sons William and Thomas Clifton to be my Sole Executors of this my Last Will and Testament and singular my Lands Messuages and Tenements by them to be Possesed and Enjoyed as before Mentioned and I do hereby uterly Dissalow Revoke and Disanul all and every other former Testaments Wills Legacies and Bequests and Executors by me in any ways before named Willed and bequethed Rattifying and Confirming This and noe other to be my Last Will and Testament In Witness whereof I Hereunto sett My hand and Seal

his

Testis Jonathan Jon Clifton (Seale)

Signed Seal'd Declard and Mark

Pronouncd In the Presence of us

Thomas Hickman

Daniel Morris

his

James J Hickman At ye foot of ye aforegoing

mark Will was ye following Probate

her thus written

Elizabeth + Hickman

mark

February ye 15th 1732

Came Thomas Hickman & James Hickman, Two of the Subscribing Witnesses to ye Last Will and Testament of Jonathan Clifton Deceased and made Oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God that they saw ye above named Jonathan Clifton Sign and Seale & heard him Publish & Declare ye within Instrument of writing to be his Last Will and Testament and at ye time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehension in Perfect sense & Memory. The other Two witnesses Viz.t Daniel Morris and Elizabeth Hickman being there present signed with them as Evidences to the same.

Jon Pitt Depty Comty Dorset County

(Dorchester County, Maryland, Wills, Vol. 3, page 32 and 135.)

 
B3 - WILL OF THOMAS3 CLIFTON, Sr.(1783)

Will of Thomas3 Clifton, Sr., Kent County, Delaware. Computer formatted by Jud Clifton

Made October 29,1785

In the name of God Amen, the twenty-ninth day of October in the year of 1783.

I Thomas Clifton of Kent County in the Delaware State, a farmer being very sick and weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be to God therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body, knowing that it is appointed once for all men to die, do make and ordain this day my last will and testament. That is to say principally and first of all I give and recommend my soul in to the Hands of God that gave it and my body I recommend it to the earth to be buried in a Christian like and decent manor at the direction of my Executor nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly Estate. Where with it has pleased God to bless me with in this life I give and devise and dispose of the same in the following manor and form as follows.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my Eldest son, Richard Clifton one negro woman named Jean and fifty acres of Land with the plantation whereon he did live on the northwest end of a tract of land called Addition to Boyce’s Adventure and five pounds to be paid to him out of my estate if ever he comes for it. If not to his son Ezaih Clifton and his heirs forever if either of the comes home again, if not it is void for them to inherit any more of my Estate forever.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my second son Thomas Clifton one hundred acres of land where on he now lives called and known by the name Addition to Boyce’s Adventure with a small grove of plyman Swamp between his land and a tract that was Jon Hill’s called Nabourly Kindness of 2-20 acres and like wise one negro man called Esen which is in his possession now, to him and his heirs forever and to inherit no more of my Estate forever besides what he has already.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my second son Ezekiel Clifton one negro man called Jem that he carried away with him and what other goods he has received and to inherit no more of my Estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my fourth son Daniel Clifton part of a tract of land called and known by the name of Boyce’s Adventure whereon he now dwells. That is to say what is within his fencing as it stands now and to have no nearer the main road that 21 perches straight across the tract called Boyce’s Adventure and across a new tract that joins it and likewise the one half of that new tract of that lies between him and Frederick Clifton’s that is to say the same distance from the main road that is 21 perches and is the east side of the main road that leads from Marshyhope Bridge to the new ......... and likewise one negro boy called Donch to him and his heirs forever and to inherit no more of my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my sixth son Matthew Clifton forty-one acres of land called Venture where upon he now dwells and likewise the half of a tract of land containing two hundred and twenty- four acres and eight- tenths of an acre with a .......... at 6 percent for land ....... May 21,1766 and likewise thirty pounds cash to be paid to him out of my estate for what he has received already and to inherit no more of my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my eldest daughter Betty Burns one negro woman called Debbis with what she had received already and to inherit no more of my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my second daughter Ann Anderson one mulatta woman called Jean and what other goods she has received and to inherit no more of my estate forever.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my third daughter Mary Mills one mulotta woman called Brigett with the other things she has received already as 1 cow and calf and 1 cow and heifer she has had already and is to inherit no more of my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my fourth daughter Benitha Morgan one negro woman called Luci with what other things she has received already as a cow and a calf and a feather bed and furniture she has received and is not to inherit no more of my estate forever.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my fifth daughter Phebe Cole one negro woman called Suzz and one cow and calf and to inherit no more of my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my young son Clement Clifton one negro boy called Will and likewise one negro gal called Rabaka and one feather bed and furniture and bead kit and one cow and calf and two sows and pigs and two ewes and lambs and one pewter dish and basin and three pewter plates and one iron pot and one chest and five chairs and one mare called Dove and my jade and two years SC....ing and to be paid out of my Estate and likewise sixty-three acres of land with a plantation on it called Clifton’s Chance and a tract of land of one hundred and thirty-five acres in adjoining Nathan Hill’s 134-4/7 of an acres deeded November 29,1750 made over by a deed from Hill and his wife. All of this I give and bequeath unto my youngest son Clement Clifton to him and the heirs of his body forever.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my housekeeper Mary Morgan one feather bed and furniture and one calf and five head of year old hogs and one chest and one pewter dish small and a spoon.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my grand children Eziah Clifton and Seala Clifton each of them a two year old heifer apiece if he come back again and one young sow to Eziah Clifton and to inherit no more from my estate.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my seventh son Nathan Clifton my dwelling plantation with part of the tract of land called Boyce’s Adventure from the beginning red oak standing on the North side of my dwelling plantation and then to run twelve perches over the main road that leads to Marshyhope Bridge and towards ...... my son Daniel Clifton’s plantation and likewise part of a new tract of land that lies between Daniel Clifton’s land and Frederick Clifton’s land the same course and distance over the main road and likewise fifty acres of land called Addition to Boyce’s Adventure from the bounded white oak that stands near the red oak bounded tree of Boyce’s Adventure and likewise part of a tract of land beginning at a marked stake standing in my house field Cald .... and about 40 perches from the red oak bounded tree of Boyce’s Adventure and then runs into my wood at the mouth of my lane and then to the bounded tree at Clifton’s Chance and then to the main road and then with Frederick’s line at Good Luck and likewise the one half tract of land containing two hundred and twenty-four acres and eighth-tenths of an acre beginning at the founded tree of Boyce’s Adventure and surveyed May 20, 1766 by Sam McCall that is to say that Nathan Clifton’s half of this 224 acres and 8 tenths of an acre is to begin at bounded tree of Boyce’s Adventure and then ro run adjoining his own land as far as it reaches for one half all this land I have mentioned. I give and bequeath unto my son Nathan Clifton to him and his heirs forever and likewise one negro man called Moreah to him and his heirs forever.

Item

I give and bequeath unto my son Nathan Clifton who I likewise constitute, make, and ordain as my soul executor of this my Last Will and Testament and I do hereby utterly disavow, revoke and dis.... all and every other former testaments, wills, and legacies, and bequeaths and executions by me in any before named, willed, and bequeathed ratifying. Further I give and bequeath unto my son Nathan Clifton all my moveable estate and my household goods that is not already willed and bequeathed and for him to support a land sale if any of the Rawleys shall sue for it again or to pay .... to my son Clement Clifton. In witness thereof I have hereto set my hand and seal the day and year above written, signed, and sealed, published, pronounced, declared by the said Thomas Clifton as his last Will and Testament in the presence of us the subscribed.

Daniel Morris Sen.

Robert Morris Thomas Clifton

Brinkley Morris

Mary Morris

B4 - WILL OF NATHAN4 CLIFTON (1818)

 

Kent Co., Delaware Transcribed from the original by

Probate Volume A9, Page 147 Ruth C. Clifton

Will date 13 Jun 1817 W. St. Paul, Mn

Death date 14 Mar 1818 Computer formatted

Will filed 6 Apr 1818 By Jud Clifton

In the name of God Amen. I Nathan Clifton of Mispillion hundred in the county of Kent and state of Delaware yeoman being at this time weak in body but of sound and perfect mind and memory blessed be Almighty God for the same do make and publish this my last will and Testament in manner and form following (that is to say) first I give and devise unto Benona C. James who now lives with me all the Tract of Land where I now live called Neighbourly Kindness also about one hundred and thirty five acres of land which I purchased of Clement Clifton and wife adjoining said Neighborly Kindness Also part of a Tract of Land called Addition to Boices Adventure where Daniel Thomas now lives, which so devised is on the Northernmost side of the following lines viz - Beginning at a White Oak of said Tract Neighbourly Kindness and running from thence with a cross (crop?) Fence on an Easterly or South Easterly direction to the main road passing through my premises, thence Extending nearly the same direction last mentioned to the woods, & then with a new marked line to the Land of Charles Clifton decd all of which said Lands & premises described as above I give and devise unto the said Benona Clifton James his heirs and assigns forever, Also the One half or Moiety of my personal or moveable Estate.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Item I give and devise unto John Clifton James who now lives with me and to his heirs and Assigns forever all the following described Tract or parcel of Land which adjoins the part above devised the same being bounded as follows Viz. Beginning at a Marked sapling in a line of Land late of Charles Clifton decd and running from thence by a new Marked line on a Northerly direction to a Marked White Oak sapling by the Road aforesaid which leads through my premises, thence by and with another new Marked line on an Northerly direction as aforesaid to a corner of a Lot of Ground formerly of Sego Potter, thence binding with William Taylors land till intersecting with a line of the Land where said Clement Clifton lives, thence therewith to the said Tract called Neighbourly Kindness, thence with that Land to the Beginning thereof, thence with the part devised to Benona Clifton James to Charles Clifton decd Land - & thence therewith to the place of Beginning Also I give and bequeath unto him the said John C. James his Heirs and Assigns the Remaining Moiety or half part of my personal or movable property - - - - - - -

Item I give and devise unto Phebe Clifton James who now lives with me and to her Heirs and Assigns forever, And also to Nancy Clifton James and her Heirs and Assigns forever All the following described Tract piece or parcel of Land to be Equally divided between them the same being bounded as follows Viz. Beginning at the before mentioned White Oak sapling by the aforesaid Road being a corner of the aforesaid part devised to the said John C. James and running therewith in a Southerly Course to a Marked sapling on a line of the Land late of said Charles Clifton decd thence therewith to the Land of Martin Dewaele, thence with said last mentioned Land to Land of Curtis Morris decd thence with said Morriss’s Land to Land of Cannon Morriss, thence with said Cannon Morris’ Land to Land of Lowder Layton, thence with said Layton’s Land to the Main Road aforesaid, thence with and up said Road to the Beginning White Oak sapling which Land last devised includes the dwelling place whereon Isaac Jones and Joshua White now live, likewise I give and devise unto them the said Phebe and Nancy, and their Heirs and Assigns forever All that Lot of Ground which I purchased at Sherriffs sale that was formerly Sego Potters Aforesaid to be Equally divided between them.

As to the above devise or bequeath of my personal Estate to Benona C. James & John C. James, I hereby countermand and change so much thereof as touches or relates to my Negroe woman Annis & Negroe girl Mattilda or Tid - said Negroe woman Annis I give and bequeath unto said Phebe C. James to serve five years from the date hereof, and said Negroe Girl Mattilda or Tid I hereby bequeath unto Nancy C. James to serve till she arrives to twenty five years of age she being aged about seven year at this time- - - - - - - - - - - -

Item I give and devise unto Scyron Clifton his Heirs and Assigns forever the dwelling plantation and Tract of land where Emanuel C. Jester now lives the Bounds of which are as follow, Viz. Beginning at the above mentioned White Oak by the aforesaid Road being the Corner of the tract devised to said John C. James & Phebe & Nancy C. James & running from thence with said James tract on a Northerly direction to a Corner of the lot formerly of sd Sego Potter, thence round said Lot to Land of Ralf Coldscott thence with Coldscotts Land to Land of Lowder Layton thence along said Laytons Land by the Beginning Red Oak of Land called Clifton’s Chance to a scrub White Oak near the main Road Aforesaid thence still with said Layton’s Land to said Road, thence with said main Road to the Beginning- - - - - - - - -

Item I give and bequeath unto Clement Clifton the rents and profits of my Tract of Land whereon he now lives during his natural life, and at his decease to fall to and be the Right and property of his Legal Heirs and their Heirs and assigns forever.

And my will and desire is that if Benona C. James, John C. James, Phebe C. James, Nancy C. James, Scyron Clifton or Clement Clifton, them or either of them shall suffer Polly James mother of said Benona, John, Phebe and Nancy C. James to live with them at any time hereafter, or to support, aid or assist in supporting her then and in such case my further Will is that such one or ones so doing shall forfit & loose such Estate as is hereby Willed to them & said part so forfited shall fall to & be the Right and property of my other devisees- - - - - - - -

And Lastly I hereby appoint said Benona C. James my whole and sole Executor of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all other wills heretofore made by In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this thirteenth day of June Eighteen hundred and seventeen.

Signed sealed published Nathan Clifton (seal)

and pronounced in presence

of us and in the presence of the

testator -

Anthony Cox

William Johnson

James Johnson

Note: Benona was underage when Nathan died and could not serve as executor. James Johnson was appointed to serve during Benona’s minority. Johnson died before probate was completed, and William Johnson succeeded him. Ruth Clifton (See below also: Deed John Clifton James. Jud Clifton)

The Properties

The Woodgate Properties and Maryland and Virginia

Note: the material on the Woodgates below was researched and written by Ruth Clifton. The comments about the material in italics are hers, unless otherwise identified.

-----THE WOODGATE PROPERTY IN DORCHESTER COUNTY, MARYLAND-----

4 Old 224/Mr 5 1698/William Woodgate of Dorchester County, planter to John Smith of the same County, cooper: “Leyster” near the head of Nanticoke R. and near a fresh water run called Clear Brook, containing 300 a. more or less. Ackn: Mar 5 1688/9 before Henry Trippe and John Brooke. Thos Pattison, Clk.

5 Old 82/Biv 3 1696/William Woodgate of Dorchester County, planter to John Claybourne of same Co., planter: “Batchelors Quarter” on the north side of Nanticoke River near the head of the river, adj land of Jeremiah Jadwin and containing 200 a. more or less. Wit: Hu. Eccleston, Jacob Loockerman, Junr. Ackn: Nov. 3 1696 before Thomas Ennalls and Thomas Hicks, Justices. Certificate of Francis Jenkins, deputy surveyor, re 200 a. called “Batchelors Quarter” laid out for Jermiah Jadwin of Virginia, asigned by Jadwin to William Woodgate of Somerset Co. Jun 7 1673.

6 Old 268/Jan 3 1715/Jno. Woodgate of Dorchester County, planter, to Jonathan Clifton of same county, cooper: “Beckless”on a branch of Naticoke River, containing 60 a. more or less. Wit: James Cannon, Thomas Cannon. Ack: Mar 20 1715 before Henry Ennalls and Charles Nutter, Justices. According to Scharf History of Delaware 2:1276, “Backcloss”was granted to Roger Adams 1 Jan 1696, Northwest Fork Hundred, Sussex Co, DE.

-----THE WOODGATE PROPERTIES IN SOMERSET, MD. RENT ROLLS 1663-1723-----

100 A. “Woodgate Dock”, 19 Mar 1672, William Woodgate, Nanticoke 100 On the Nanticoke River at a great pine on the south side. Possessed by Capt. John McCleastor. (Note: a hundred is a subdivision of a county in Maryland at that time and still is in Delaware. Jud Clifton)

300 A. “Ware”, 13 June 1674, William Woodgate, Nanticoke 100. Assigned Richard Samuell, on the south side of Nanticoke on Roaring Point. Possessed by Samuell.

200 A. “St. Albans”, 18 June 1674, William Woodgate, Nanticoke 100. Assigned Richard Townsend, at mouth of Salmon Gutt, the north east bounds of Francis Hutchins. Possessed by widow of John Ailworth.

- - - - - - - -

William Woodgate, of Somerset Co. immigrated in 1670. Land grant of 1670, probably Somerset, Liber 16, Folio 165. [It may be a grant to someone else using William Woodgate as a headright.] Early Settlers of Maryland, Edited by Gust Skordas, Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, 1979. (Note: a headright was a grant of money or land given to one who fulfilled certain conditions relating especially to settling and developing land in Virginia in the1600s. Jud Clifton. Fifty acres per person or “head” were granted for each person transported to the colonies. Those rights were freely purchased and traded often at the local taverns. Ruth Clifton)

- - - - - - - -

-----THE WOODGATES IN VIRGINIA-----

From Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. I, Page 35, Patent Book No. 1 - Part II. William Barker, Marriner, John Sadler & Richard Queyning (Quyening), Merchants, & to their Associates & Company, 1250 acs. Chas. Citt Co., 26 Nov 1635, p. 320. Extending into the woods from a seate or tract of land called Marchants Hope, formerly granted to sd. Barker, his Associates & Co. Due to them for the trans. of 25 pers: included in this list are Danll. Bromely and William Woodgate. Note: renewed & 600 acs. added. [Bromely and Woodgate may have been among the “associates” or may have been only used as headrights.] Note a Robert Brummell of Dorchester Co. left a personalty to the son of Jonathan Clifton and Mary Clifton. Could he have been the above? (Note: personalty is another term for personal property. Jud Clifton)

Nugent, Nell Marion, Cavaliers & Pioneers, Vol I, Page 100, Patent Book No. 1 - Part II

William Barker, Marriner, his Associates & Co., 1850 acs. Chas. Citty Co., 12 Feb. 1638, p. 609. 600 acs. of sd. land being heretofore called by the name of Powlebrooke & now known by the name of Merchants Hope. Said land beg. at a Cr. that parts it from Salters hill, extending to the warer side neare under the howse of one Richard Williams on the E. side thereof, bounded E. upon Merchants hope Cr., W. towards Chaplins, N. upon the river & S. into the woods. The other 1250 acs. extending backwards into the woods & adj. upon the Cr. Due, vizt: 600 acs. conveyed & assigned over to sd. Barker & acknowledged by him equally to belong to his said Associates by John Taylor, Citizen & Girdler of London, being purchased by him of Thomas Powell of Howlton in the Countie of Suffolke, yeoman, brother & lawful heire of Capt. Nathaniell Powell late of Va., deceased as by the deed of conveyance now upon record from sd. Taylor...The other 1250 acs. being due unto them for trans. of 25 pers: [the same list appears as above, including Daniell Bromly and Wm. Woodate.]

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William Woodgate was a Grand Juryman at a court held for Somerset County

12 March 1671. (From Old Somerset on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, p. 118.)

Early Settlers of Maryland of Somerset Co., Liber 16, Folio 165, shows he immigrated in 1670.

William Woodgate died in Dorchester Co., MD in 1702 or 1703. See Wills Vol. 3, page 32 and 135.

John Woodgate, son of William (according to rent rolls of Dorchester Co.), died in 1722. Inventory of his estate dated Sep 10, 1722 signed by kin William and Thomas Clifton, who were also the executors or administrators (can't quite read the abbreviation). It would appear John had no wife or children, at least not living or of age or they would have been listed as next of kin.

See estate account Liber 5, Folio 19, dated 5 Oct 1722 for John Woodgatt, dec., adm - Rachel Woodgatt. There may be a later final distribution or final account. Was Rachel his widow, or a sister?

Daniel Woodgate was 15 years old in Northampton County, VA Orders Book VIII, f. 166, April 1663. Could he have been a brother or son of William?

Daniel Woodgate was among 4 persons transported and claimed by Edward Moore for 200 acres in Northampton Co., VA, side Mesangoe Cr., 26 Mar 1672.

(Cavaliers and Pioneers II, p. 105.) He may have been transported years before he appeared as a headright, so he may or may not be the above Daniel.

WOODGATES IN DELAWARE

Francis Woodgate "Woodgate's Fortune," a tract of land situated in Northwest Fork Hundred, Sussex Co., DE on the main road that leads from Bridge Branch to Clear Brook Branch, and adjoining a tract called "Batchelor's Ramble," was granted March 18, 1710, to Francis Woodgate for three hundred and thirty-three acres. This land is located a short distance below Bridgeville, and a part of it was later called "Freeland." As of 1888 it was in the possession of Mrs. M. C. (Goslin) [Dickerson] Jacobs. Her mother was Hester Cannon. See Scharf's History of Delaware, Vol. II, p. 1277. Francis Woodgate possibly brother of John and son of William.

John Woodgate was a captain in Col. Samuel Patterson's battalion called up in September 1776 to protect the shores of the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays while Washington was in New Jersey. On the 19th of September Col. Patterson wrote, "I at last got them down to the wharf, fixed bayonets at the head of it and sent them off (into New Jersey). Captain Woodgate's arms not being done, I kept his company to go with me, but this morning I learned, to my astonishment, that his whole company, save eleven men, had deserted during the night." Col. Patterson had a very poor opinion of the men from Kent and Sussex counties. See Scharf's History of Delaware Vol. 2:239.

Jonathan Clifton’s Properties (1700s)

Name & Description Acquired Disposition

Clifton's Chance, 50A 1715. Grant? Willed to son William

N.E. side of Nanticoke

White Marsh, 40 or 50A 1725/26 from Joshua Morgan Willed to son William

Dorchester, at head of Dorchester Deeds 8 Old 116

Nanticoke

Boyce's Adventure, 100A 1722 from Joseph Boyce of Willed to son Thomas

Dorchester, at head of Sussex Co. PA & wife Mary

Nanticoke Deeds Old Book 2, P. 122

Evinses Adventure, 40A Willed to son Daniel

Becksleys, 60A 3 Jan 1715 from John Wood- Willed to son Jonathan

(BackClose, Buckley,etc.) gate; orig. surveyed for

Dorchester, on branch of William Woodgate 6 Old 268

Nanticoke

Linkhorn, 40A 1719 Grant Willed to son Jonathan

No. side of Clifton plan-

tation on W. Side of N.E.

fork of Nanticoke

Layton's Choice, 100A 1711 - from William Laten Sold 1729 to Thomas

Dorchester at head of N.W. of Dorch. Co. & wife Rachell Andrew

Fork of Nanticoke

(aka Layton's Chance)

In 1742 son (or grandson) Jonathan sold to Roger Adams Clifton's Delight, 29A; Addition to Linkhorn, 41A; Addition to Buckley, 77A; Good Luck, 130A; Bachelor's Quarter, 23A.

Batchelor's Quarter, 200 A Laid out for Jeremiah Jadwin, Sold 3 Nov 1696 by

Dorchester on N. side of of VA, assigned by him to Wm. Woodgate of Dor. to Nanticoke R., near the head Woodgate of Som. 7 Jun 1673 John Clayburne, Dor.

adj. Jadwin's land (5 Old 82)

Batchelor's Quarter, 23 A MD grant to Jonathan Clifton, Sold 12 Mar 1741 by

by the side of a small path father of William Clifton Wm. Clifton of Dor.

that leads from Wm. Owens to William Evins

to Jonathan Cliftons on W. (10 Old 231-233)

side of East fork of Nanticoke R.

Deed: John Clifton James & Wife to David Taylor(1831)

Note: Ruth Clifton searched for and located the deed below. The underlines and comments about the material in italics are Ruth Clifton’s, except for the addition of “lifton”by her son Jud. Also of note is the fact that Scyron is one of the variations of the spelling of Sciron’s Clifton’s name.

“This Indenture made this twenty-third day of March in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one between John Clifton otherwise called John Clifton James of Fayette County in the State of Ohio, yeoman and Nancy his wife of the one part and David Taylor of Kent County in the State of Delaware, yeoman of the other part WITNESSETH that the said John Clifton otherwise called John Clifton James and Nancy his wife for and in consideration of the sum of Eleven Hundred and Fifty Dollars lawful money of the United States of America to them in hand paid by the said David Taylor....have granted, bargained, and sold....unto the said David Taylor all of that certain tract or parcel of land devised to the said John under the name of John Clifton James in and by the last will and testament of a certain Nathan Clifton, late of Kent County aforesaid deceased the same beginning situate in Mispillion Hundred in said Kent County and meted and bounded as follows – BEGINNING at an old dead and broken topped white oak on cleared ground and at the beginning corner of a Maryland survey called Neighborly Kindness and running thence with land of Benoni C[lifton]. James...( Also bounded by land of ) Charles Clifton, deceased, Lowder Layton, Scyron Clifton, deceased, William Taylor, deceased, Clement Clifton...to land of Benoni C[lifton]. James.”

John is mentioned many more times in this deed. He is always referred to as “John Clifton otherwise called John Clifton James”.

Delaware Maryland Boundary Disputes 1685-1775

Note: When this dispute began Delaware had not been separated from William Penn’s colony known now as Pennsylvania. For this reason the dispute was between Penn and Lords Baltimore of the Maryland colony. The underlines are mine. I wanted to make it easier for you to locate the material most related to the Cliftons. Jud Clifton

For many decades the Penns and the Lords Baltimore disagreed over the boundary between the three Lower Counties of Penn’s colony and Lord Baltimore’s Maryland colony. In October 1685, the Lords of Trade decided the boundary between the Lower Counties and Maryland. They drew a line from the middle of Cape Henlopen (by Lewes) west to Chesapeake Bay. The mid point on that line was found. From it they drew a line north to the 40th parallel. All land west belonged to the Lords Baltimore, and the land east to the Penns. Although not yet legally authorized at this point, Penn had won a claim eventually upheld by the courts. Properties at the southern and western fringes of the three counties would have an uncertain status. (Those properties are where the early Cliftons were settled in Dorchester County.) Settlers usually avoided the disputed areas and the problems associated with them. To make matters more interesting the Lords Baltimore awarded 47 grants of large tracts of land in the disputed areas.

Forty-seven years later, in early 1732 the three Penns, reached an agreement in England with King Charles and Lord Baltimore. Everyone hoped it would end the boundary controversy. Baltimore gave up his claim to the Lower Counties (Newcastle, Kent and Sussex, which now make up the State of Delaware) and he accepted Fenwick Island (The false Cape Henlopen) as southern boundary in return for compensation on the northern line. (Fenwick Island is 30 miles south of Lewes, where the line had begun). The details of the boundary of the Lower Counties were in general agreement with the decision of the Crown in 1685. A transpeninsular line was to be drawn westward from Fenwick Island to the Chesapeake. From the middle point on this line another straight line was to be surveyed northward to make a tangent with a twelve-mile circle around New Castle. From the tangent point a line was go north to an east-west line drawn fifteen miles south of the most southern part of Philadelphia.

In May 1732, each side was to appoint commissioners, residents of America, to see the boundary work was begun in October 1732 and completed by Christmas 1733. Lord Baltimore, however, soon regretted the concessions he had made, and used excuses to delay.

Meanwhile, new outbreaks of violence occurred on the boundary. One involved James Newton who had bought land at the western edge of Kent County. Thinking the land was in Maryland, he first paid taxes on it there. He then learned it had originally been surveyed, ”seated”, and assessed for taxes as part of Kent County. So he ceased paying Maryland taxes. He refused repeated demands by the tax collector of Dorchester County, Maryland. In 1732, the undersheriff of Dorchester County, accompanied by “Ten or a dozen lusty, pirt fellows” burst into his house early one morning and carried him off, toward the county jail in Cambridge. A Kent County constable learned of the arrest and rallied a number of Newton’s neighbors. They set off after the Maryland posse, and they rescued Newton after a “Bloody Battle”, so goes the tale anyway.

Fifteen years of battles raged between the Penns and the Baltimores over who would control the counties. Finally, in 1750 a Chancery Court decision upheld the claims of the Penns and ruled against Lord Baltimore. Thus the boundary line could be surveyed and marked. Not so fast! There was then controversy about where the mid point of the line was to be. That point would become the southwestern corner of what is now Delaware. The point’s location depended on whether the west end of the survey ended at Slaughter Creek which was only two feet deep or if it went on three miles farther west across Taylor’s Island, a peninsula to the shore of the Chesapeake itself. The deaths of King Charles, and the Fifth Lord Baltimore further delayed the matter. Eventually in 1760 work began on the line. It was going to be a challenge to make the straight northward line tangent with the twelve mile circle around New Castle. Local surveyors worked from December of 1760 to August of 1763 and failed. So the proprietors employed two highly respected English surveyors and scientists, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon to complete the line.

Mason and Dixon arrived in America in the fall of 1763. First they determined the latitude of the southern edge of Philadelphia, (as the Maryland-Pennsylvania boundary was to be drawn exactly fifteen miles to the south of Philadelphia). There they erected a post marked “West” to mark the point from where the northern boundary of Maryland would head west (hereafter known as The Mason Dixon Line).

In June 1764 Mason and Dixon went to the transpeninsular line, which had been laid out in 1751, They found the mid point, the southwestern boundary of the Lower Counties, (the south end of the tangent line). From there they surveyed up to the circumference of the circle. As they were still several miles below the northern boundary of Maryland, they continued North until they reached the post marked “West”.

After the new western boundary was surveyed it was marked with stones. Every mile on the line had a stone, with Maryland on one side and Delaware on the other side. Then every five miles a larger stone, called a crown stone, marked five mile segments. The north south section of the Mason-Dixon Line (the less famous part of it) was completed before the end of 1765. The King approved the Maryland Delaware boundary four years later in January 11, 1769, but the assembly of the Lower Counties did not approve it until 1775. Governor Penn issued the final proclamation April 8th, 1775. Ninety years had passed since the first action on the boundary.

The north end of the new boundary was close to where it had been before. But by the time the line hit its southern end it was considerably west and much farther south than before. In Sussex County, the new boundary meant a significant addition of territory. The transpeninsular line was 30 miles farther south than before. Much of John Dagworthy’s baronial estate, awarded him by Maryland for his service to that colony in the French and Indian War, turned out to be in Sussex County, Delaware. So much territory was added to Sussex County, (though a great part of it was sparsely settled), that there was even talk of creating a fourth county, New Sussex. In time the courts moved from Lewes to a more central location at Georgetown.

On the Tomahawk Branch of the Marshyhope the boundary was now from 5 to 6 miles farther east. Land of Dorchester County, Maryland had moved to Kent County, in what is now Delaware.

Of possible additional interest may be the fact that there were a number of efforts by the Eastern Shore people of Maryland to separate from the Western Shore. The governor of Delaware and the Delaware assembly even drafted an act that would have annexed the Eastern Shore to Delaware. When that act was presented to the Maryland House of Assembly, it passed their senate but failed in their house.

Sources: Munroe, John A. Colonial Delaware, A History, Millwood. N J, KTO Press,1978

Hoffecker, Carol; Delaware A Bicentennial History, N.Y.C. Norton & Co., 1997

Jud Clifton

Appendix C. - Associated families

Ruth Clifton’s research over the years extended into the following Clifton associated families:

Bradstreet, Brewster, Briggs, Chester, Cole, Cross, Dudley, Deane, Eccles, Edster, Evans, Flack, Freeman, Gillam, Gorham, Grant, Gravely, Hamblin, Hazen, Hewlet, Houston, Hopkins, Howland, James, Jefferies, Jones, Lee, McDowell, Mason, Mayo, Merrick, Montgomery, Patterson, Perkins, Prence, Sanford, Sears, Smalley, Snow, Sturtevant, Terril, Thatcher, Tilley, Townsend, Tracy, Voreis, Wells, Wickizer, Wilcox, Woodgate, and Yorke

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