William was born in Essex in 1655 according to his tombstone. In a deposition dated 4 April 1685, William describes himself as a Gent., aged about thirty. His birthplace was probably Rettendon, Essex, England, where his father was Rector of All Saints. He was the only son of Rev. William Clopton and his wife, Elizabeth Sutcliffe, the daughter of Rev. Isaiah Sutcliffe. All that is known at this time about his early life is that he was apprenticed to Joshua White in London.
Migration to America
He probably migrated to the Virginia Colony in 1673, where he was listed in a claim for head rights by Mr. Thomas Hall and Mr. John Pigg on 18 February 1673. William was one of seventy-seven persons that they claimed that they had transported to the colony. William was listed on two other head right patents later in 1673, but his name was probably being reused by subsequent applicants in false reporting, not an uncommon practice at that time.
Marriages and Children
William married Anne Booth, the widow of Captain Thomas Dennett and the daughter of Robert Booth. Anne's first husband had died in 1673, and she had taken his will to probate on 25 August of that year.
Anne died on 4 March 1716 and was interred just outside the Parish Church of St. Peter's.
Life in America
In 1682, William served as Constable of Hampton Parish in York County, Virginia Colony. In the winter of 1682-3, William and Anne had a servant named Elizabeth Cole, who had absented herself from her duties for 22 days. On 26 February, Elizabeth was ordered by the court of York County to serve her master for 44 days additional to her contract as well as pay him £1 6s to compensate him for the cost of bringing her back to his home. If she were not able to make the payment in cash, she was to work for William and Anne for a further additional period. However, Elizabeth was to gain a bit of revenge on 23 April 1683 when she testified before the court that she had overheard conversations among William, Anne, and Jack, Anne's son from her first marriage, in which they had belittled the justice that they received from the York Court and blamed the outcome on the fact that they were not rich.
On 23 January 1683/4, William executed a deed of gift to his two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth, "... for the preventing of questions or controversies that might arise or grow amongst my wife and children, touching the same to their great loss and prejudice if ... I should not dispose thereof in my lifetime". He gave "... unto my well beloved Daughter Ann Clopton one negro man named Peter and one Black Cow named Blackbird" and "... assigne unto said Elizabeth one Bay Mare named Tib".
At a meeting of the York County Court in February 1688 there was a suit pending between John Williams, plaintiff, and William Clopton, defendant, which was passed over to the next meeting of the court.
William had moved to St. Peters Parish of New Kent County sometime before 1 May 1694, when he was elected Vestryman of that parish. William and Anne resided in St. Peter's Parish for the rest of their lives, and there they raised a family, members of which married and raised families in the parish.
At the end of his first term as a Vestryman, William was elected to serve as Church Warden for the two years following 10 April 1696.
On 18 December 1697, William was still serving as a Parish Vestryman as well as a Church Warden. On that date, he was appointed Clerk of the Vestry, replacing Charles Turner, deceased. He was to receive remuneration equal to that having been paid to the said Mr. Turner. His seat as Vestryman was given to Capt. Thomas Bray, who would be sworn into office at the next meeting of the Vestry as required by law.
At the Vestry Meeting of 3 October 1698, William's tenure as Clerk was extended, and he was tasked with working with the representatives of the newly formed Parish of Bisland to define the lines separating the two parishes. His duties were further expanded two years later, when at the Vestry Meeting of 25 November 1700, he was appointed Surveyor for the Parish and given authority to call upon the parish to give its assistance in his efforts. He also was awarded 220 lbs. of tobacco for his efforts in recording proclamations and drawing up the parish's list of tithables.
William was awarded 110 lbs of tobacco for recording proclamations at the Meeting of 13 January 1700/1 when he also was charged with collecting 80 lbs of tobacco from every tithable in the parish.
An assembly of the freeholders and householders was held at the Parish Church on 1 June 1704 to elect Vestrymen for the upcoming year. At that time, William was elected Vestryman, but that conflicted with his office of Clerk of the Vestry. He had been relieved as a Vestryman when he first was selected as Clerk of the Vestry in 1697. The conflict was resolved at the Vestry Meeting of 14 June 1704 when his appointment as Clerk of the Vestry was conditioned on him serving only until the 1st of January next.
In the Rent Rolls of 1704 for New Kent County, William is listed as holding 454 acres by permission of Her Majesty.
William served as a Deputy Sheriff of New Kent County from 1709 until 1719.
At the Vestry Meeting of 23 April 1728, William's long tenure as Vestryman and Clerk of the Vestry came to an end. It was noted that he declined to continue because of "being Very aged & of not being able to attend on Vestry's". However, in his mid-seventies, William undertook another charge: caring for Charles Barker. He was remunerated 800 lbs of tobacco for doing so at the Vestry Meeting of 29 September 1731, and he agreed to continue caring for Mr Barker for the upcoming year. He died before that year was over, and the 800 lbs of tobacco was paid to his Executors on 7ber[sic] 29th 1732.
William was buried in the cemetery of St Peter's Church, New Kent County alongside the grave of his wife.
William was the posthumous legatee, along with his living children, of his nephew, William Hammond (son of his sister Margaret) whose will was dated 1732. Margaret had married Henry Hammond "of St. Katherine by ye Tower, clothworker". Henry's will, probated on 5 October 1713, mentions Margaret, their son, William, and "the children of my wife's brother William Clopton now living in Virginia". Margaret died intestate, and her estate was inherited by her son, William, in 1724. William Hammond died leaving property in the Parish of Eastwood in Essex, England to "my uncle William Clopton of Virginia for life, remainder to his children in fee". Only four of William's children were still alive when the legal proceedings reached the Virginia Colony; his son, Walter, had died. The surviving children appointed attorneys both in New Kent County, Virginia and in London to deal with the proceedings, which dragged on for many years, ultimately involving not only William's children, but his grandchildren as well.
Magna Carta Ancestry does not list any siblings of William but this is not conclusive, and Richardson does not say he was an only child. The arms on his wife's tomb at St Peter's churchyard, New Kent County, Virginia include a bend with a mullet for difference, which would normally indicate that he was a third son. The evidence from wills ('Family Wills' section above) shows that he had a sister called Margaret.
↑ 4.04.14.2 Douglas Richardson. Royal Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 5 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham, Vol II, pp 267-268 CLOPTON #22. Salt Lake City: the author, 2013. See also WikiTree's source page for Royal Ancestry.
↑ Richard Slatten. "Interpreting Headrights in Colonial-Virginia Patents: Uses and Abuses" in Surrey County [Virginia] Tithables 1668 - 1703, Baltimore, MD, Genealogical Publishing Company, 2007, p. xxi, Google Books
↑ 6.06.16.26.22.214.171.124Clopton Family, The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2, July 1902, pp. 67–73, JSTOR, accessed online 7 July 2019 (free access, registration required)
↑Historical and Genealogical Notes, The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 3, 1909, p. 227, [www.jstor.org/stable/1915950 JSTOR], accessed 8 July 2019
↑ B L Ancell. Dennett Family, The William & Mary Quarterly, July 1925, vol. 5, no. 3, p 200
↑ 9.09.19.29.39.49.5 Lyon G Tyler. Old Tombstones in New Kent County, The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 5, no. 2, 1896, pp. 77–81, JSTOR, accessed 7 July 2019
↑ C G Chamberlayne, (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, Richmond, VA: The Library Board, 1937, p. 426.
↑ W A Crozier (Editor). Virginia Heraldica. New York, NY: The Genealogical Association, 1898, p 21.
↑ "Clopton Family." The William and Mary Quarterly, July 1901, pp 54-55.
↑ L L Erwin. The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, pp. 133-134, Internet Archive.
↑ Worth S Ray, Colonial Granville and its People, 1945, p. 235, ancestry.com
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, pp. 42-43.
↑The Parish Register of Saint Peter's, New Kent County, Va. from 1680-1787, Richmond, VA: The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Virginia, Parish Record Series, No. 2, pp. 5-151.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, p. 48.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, p. 54.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, pp. 58-62.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, pp. 71-73.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, p. 79.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, pp. 98-100.
↑ T J Wertenbaker. The Planters of Colonial Virginia. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1922, p. 216.
↑ M H Harris. Old New Kent County - Some Account of the Planters, Plantations, and Places in New Kent County. Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2006. Volume I, p. 226. 
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, p. 211.
↑ Chamberlayne (Editor), The Vestry Book and Register of St. Peter's Parish New Kent and James City Counties, Virginia 1684-1786, pp. 227-232.
↑Cemetery Index at St Peter's, New Kent website: grave located in Old Plot Q, stone 18; the grave of Anne, his wife, is in Old Plot R, stone 19
↑ L L Erwin. The Ancestry of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, pp. 16-18, Internet Archive.
↑ Clopton papers in the David M Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University (North Carolina), Guide to Clopton Family Papers, accessed 27 July 2018
Richardson, Douglas. Magna Carta Ancestry: A Study in Colonial and Medieval Families, 4 vols, ed. Kimball G. Everingham. 2nd edition. Salt Lake City: the author, 2011. See also WikiTree's source page for Magna Carta Ancestry.
Clopton Family, The William and Mary Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 2, July 1902, pp. 67–73, JSTOR, accessed online 7 July 2019 (free access, registration required)
Clopton, Gene Carlton (compiler). The Ancestors and Descendants of William Clopton of York County, Virginia, privately printed
"Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants", Vol. III by J. Orton Buck and Timothy Field Beard
Weis, Frederick Lewis, with additions and corrections by Sheppard, Walter Lee Jr and Beall, William R. "The Magna Charta Sureties", 5th edition, Geneaogical Publishing Company, 1999, p. 8. line 5-18
Roberts, Gary Boyd. The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1993 (has William Clopton's descend from Edward I, King of England)
The Brookfield Ancestor Project - Immigrant Ancestor Pages lists nine Surety Barons who witnessed the signing of the Magna Charta and were ancestors of William Clopton
Genealogies of Virginia Families from the William and Mary College Quarterly Historical Magazine, Vol. I: Adams-Clopton, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1982, pp.850-865
For other potential trails, see: Ten Surety Barons. These will not be developed by the Project.
Sponsored Search by Ancestry.com
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with William by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share some percentage of DNA with William: