Saturday, April 11, 2015

Stephen Clayson or McClay and Elizabeth Periment

My father's seventh great grandparents are Stephen Clayson and Elizabeth Periment of Stamford, Connecticut. Tradition says that Stephen was Scots and his original name was McClay. He and his brother Williams fled to France because of Cromwell, perhaps survivors of the battle of Worcester. There they changed their name to Clayson (the meaning of McClay and Clayson is both the son of Clay). William eventually returned to Scotland, but Stephen came to Stamford and settled there. He married Elizabeth Periment 11 Nov 1654. Her originals are unknown. There are possible links to the Pennoyer family, but this has not been proven.

Stephen died sometime after 1699/1700. He left a will where he left his estate to son Samuel, his wife while a widow, sons Stephen and David, daughter Elizabeth, wife of Francis Dann, grandson Stephen, son of Jonathan and sister Sarah. My dad descends from his son David and his wife Mary Hardy.

Elizabeth Periment Clayson is more well known because she was accused of witchcraft. Sgt Daniel Westcott said she had bewitched his servant girl and a bill was found by the Grand Jury. The water test was applied and she floated like a cork when put in water bound hand and foot. A lot of stupid testimony was taken but her neighbors gave testimony in her favor and the Petit Jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty. She was tried with Mercy Hollingsworth Disbrow who is the stepdaughter of my tenth great grandfather on my mother's side. Apparently, she also survived the trial, unlike those in Salem where a witch hunt was also going on in Sept 1692.

Friday, April 10, 2015

General Benjamin Mooers

Although my son, Ben, was not named after this ancestor and our last name is not quite the same, I've always felt an affinity to General Benjamin Mooers. He is the fifth great uncle of my mother-in-law, Connie. His brother Jonathan Mooers married Elizabeth Gage and Connie is descended from this line.

 General Ben was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts on 1 Apr 1758, son of Benjamin Mooers and Abigail Hazen. He entered the Revolutionary Army in June, 1776 as a private in the militia. In March, 1778 he was promoted to Ensign and by 1780 he was Lieutenant and Adjutant of the Regiment. He had participated in most of the important battles of the Revolution including Ticonderoga, Saratoga, White Plains, and he was at Yorktown when General Cornwallis surrendered.

After the war he moved to Clinton County, New York and settled in Plattsburg. He was elected to the state legislature and was appointed an Elector to choose the President and Vice-President. He stayed in the state militia and was eventually promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1811 he was promoted to Major General and commanded the state militia at the battle of Plattsburg on Sept. 11, 1814 in the War of 1812 against the British. He commanded a total of six brigades extending from Franklin to Albany counties.

He died 20 Jan 1838 and is buried in Plattsburgh, New York. His house still stands in Plattsburgh and a cannonball that came in through an open door and lodged in the wall still shows today.