The Family of Isaac Claxton


It is not known for sure who Isaac Claxton’s father is but there is reason to believe it is John Claxton of Bedford County, TN.  John Claxton apparently moved from Bedford County to Giles County and died by 1843.  The Bedford County Family History Book states that Isaac Claxton was mentioned in John’s estate but I have not been able to find the estate papers.  Thomas S. Parsons of Giles County went to Bedford County in 1843 to bring suit on John Claxton Jr. for the estate of John Claxton of Giles County.  The only Parsons I have seen in relation to Isaac Claxton is Joseph C. Parsons who owned land bordering Isaac Claxton on Pigeon Roost Creek in Giles County.  Some have wondered if Thomas Parson was perhaps a brother-in-law or son-in-law to John Claxton.


According to the Bedford County Family History Book, John Claxton appears to be in Bedford County as the 1812 tax list has Johnthon Clackston listed.  The 1830 Census has John listed and the 1836 Tax list has John listed with 56 acres of land.  John is thought to be the father of David Claxton, John Claxton Jr., James Claxton, and Isaac Claxton.  Other Claxtons mentioned in census and tax records are Jonathan H., Wesley, Jeremiah, and Solomon.  According to a December 12, 1831 prison record of David Claxton there were six brothers and a sister living at that time.  We are not sure which six of these Claxton men are the sons of John Claxton.


John Claxton Jr. and Isaac Claxton each named their first daughter Sophia.  So was John’s wife Sophia or was John Jr. and Isaac’s unknown sister named Sophia, we do not know.


Other thoughts as to perhaps some relatives to Isaac Claxton are Solomon Claxton and Jeremiah Claxton.  At first look one would see the use of old testament names between these three individuals.  Secondly both Solomon and Isaac are found in Lincoln County in the Census.  Isaac Clanton is in the 1820 Census in the 19-26 age bracket.  Solomon Clarkson is found in the 1830 census in the 20-30 age bracket.  From this information it appears that Isaac is slightly older than Solomon. By 1830 Isaac is in Bedford County but then is found in Giles County by the 1836 Tax List.


According to the 1850 Census Isaac’s wife is Ann and they are both 51 years of age.  By 1860 the census shows that Isaac is a carpenter and 60 years old.  It also states that his wife is Jane.  The following court record of his son-in-law William Hyles as administrator of Isaac’s estate identifies all of Isaac’s children:


Giles County, TN 1867Chancery Court File Boxes, transcribed by Elizabeth W. White:

Box H, Case # 2536
William S. Hyles and others vs. William J. Claxton
Isaac Claxton died at his residence in Giles County, July 1867, intestate,leaving surviving Jane, his widow, Sophia A. wife of William S. Hyles, Susan E. wife of Simeon Gilmer, and Milton D. Claxton, his only children.  William J. and John Claxton, grandchildren of Isaac Claxton and children of deceased son William L. Claxton.  Isaac Claxton died owning a tract of land in the 11th district on the waters of Pigeon Roost Creek, bounded by lands of Joseph C. Parsons, C. W. McMillion, W. A. Jackson, and G. W. and Thomas McGrew.


Apparently Isaac’s first wife Ann had died as Isaac married Jane Self: Giles County marriage records: Isaac Claxton to James (Jane) Self 04/11/1857 04/12/1857 S.A. Parsons JP.  Jane was previously married to Owenby Self who died in 1856 leaving his widow Jane and daughters Emaline, Hepsibah, Rebecca E. and Mary Ann.


Prior to 1869 David Snow married Rebecca Self the daughter of Jane Self Claxton who was Isaac’s widow.   The 1870 census shows that Jane goes to live with this daughter. 1870 Census: Jane Clanton in the David Snow household with wife Rebecca.


Children of Isaac Claxton


1. Sophia Claxton


Sophia Claxton, born about 1828, married William S. Hyles born about 1825.  There is not a marriage record but the 1850 census shows them together in their own household.  There are no children to this union but they did raise a Nathaniel Claxton who is thought to be the son of her brother Milton Dudley Claxton.  Sophia moved to Limestone County, AL with Nathaniel Claxton and that is where she died.  We do not know where she is buried.


The 1875 Chancery Court records of Giles County show William S. Hyles was a partner in a blacksmith business by the name of Harmond & Hiles.  Census records show William as being a farmer.


William’s parents were Archibald and Susan S. Fleeman Hyles.  They came to Giles County from Virginia about 1834.  William, born in Virginia, was the first of eight children.  His brothers and sisters were: Born in VA Elizabeth, James, and Sarah Medora and Born in Giles County TN Lorenzo, John J., Archibald Jr., and Susan.


2. Milton Dudley Claxton


Milton Dudley Claxton was born November 29, 1834 and he died May 2, 1901.  He is buried in New Zion Cemetery next to his second wife.  New Zion Cemetery is just north of the head waters of Pigeon Roost Creek in Giles County.


Milton’s first wife was Jane (?).  Jane was born June 15, 1826 and died May 16, 1868 and is buried in Diana Cemetery.  Milton then married Palestine Willeford on March 12, 1871.  After Milton died Palestine then married Isaac A. Lincoln who died in 1922.  She died after 1922 and they are both buried in New Zion Cemetery.


Milton enlisted in Company C of the 3rd TN regiment CSA at Pulaski, TN on October 31, 1862 for 3 years.  During May and June of 1863 he was listed as sick in the hospital in MS.  On February 25, 1864 he was ordered to the hospital by the surgeon.  He arrived at Stout Hospital in Madison GA on February 27, 1864.  On July 21, 1864 he returned to duty from St. Mary’s Hospital in LaGrange, GA.  Milton took the Oath of Amnesty at Pulaski, TN on January 12, 1865.  His complexion was light, his hair was light, eyes were gray, height was 5 feet 8 inches.  He signed by his mark.  According to the unit records Milton had to be in the Battle of Chickamaga in September of 1863.


In 1899 Milton applied for a Tennessee Confederate Pension.  He states he was living in Sumac, Giles County, TN.  In his application Milton states his health began to fail him in the latter part of 1862.  He took cold, commenced to spit up blood, and his voice began to grow weak.  This continued until he took sick in 1864.  He was without shoes or blankets and was suffering from something he contracted during the winter of 1864.  It lingered for a long while, his blood seemed to be in bad condition and resulted in a breaking out on his face.  The doctors called it a cancer and it continually grew worse from that time until a greater part of his nose and face was gone.  The application stated he had a wife of 56 and no children.  He owned about 50 acres worth about $10 per acre.  It was signed by his mark.


It is believed that Milton had a child by his first wife.  This would have been Nathaniel Vandon Claxton born March 23, 1863.  Nathaniel could have easily been conceived before Milton left for service.  Milton returned home from service in 1865 and his first wife died in 1868 at the age of 41.  By 1870 we see Nathaniel in the home of his aunt Sophia Hyles.  Milton then married again in 1871.  It is not until 1899 that he files his pension application and makes those statements.   So Nathaniel’s mother has passed away, his father is in bad shape with his face being destroyed from his sickness.  He is in no shape to raise a child.  Nathaniel goes to live with his Aunt.


3. William Lane Claxton


William was born about 1837 and was killed at the Battle of Raymond, Mississippi on May 12, 1863. William married Mary Ann Self apparently about 1857.  Mary Ann was the daughter of Isaac’s 2nd wife Jane Self.  To this union were born two boys William James Claxton and John Lane Claxton.


William enlisted in Company C of the 3rd TN regiment CSA at Pulaski, TN on November 10, 1862 for 3 years.  On May 12, 1863 William was reported wounded at Raymond, MS and in the hospital.  Later that day he was reported killed.  There is a stone in the cemetery at Raymond, MS with the following inscription Claxton, “W. L., Co H, 3rd Tennessee Infantry”.  The information at the cemetery states that those who died on the field were buried where they fell by the Union soldiers.  Since William apparently went to the hospital he probably is buried by his stone.


Isaac Claxton was appointed guardian of his two grandsons after William Lane was killed.  Mary Ann then marries Thomas Shadden.  Thomas and Mary Ann move to Fannin County, TX by the 1880 census.  Isaac’s grandsons William James and John Lane both move to TX along with their mother.  They are listed in the 1880 census but their last names were badly misspelled.  In fact if it were not for an obituary found in the family bible of William James Claxton, I would have not been able to document the link of the TX William and John Claxton to Giles County, TN.  The obituary stated that William was born in Tennessee and that he had half brothers of the surname Shadden, the same surname as the Thomas Shadden that married his mother Mary Ann.  With this obit and the TX census records I was able to connect William James Claxton to William Lane Claxton and Isaac Claxton.


4. Susan Emma Claxton


Susan was born about 1844.  She married Simeon Gilmore on September 25, 1866.  They had at least one son, John Gilmore born in 1869.  At this time I have not been able to find any more information on this Gilmore family.


The Isaac Claxton family of today


From this family of Isaac Claxton there exist today three Claxton surname branches.  The progenitors of these branches are William James Claxton of Fannin County, TX, John Lane Claxton of Lander, WY, and Nathaniel Vandon Claxton of Limestone County, AL.