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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've a direct line to Stephen Clayson, and have heard the 'tradition' of the brothers going to France and changing names. Is there any information about the location they lived in Scotland, or clan records, or military records, or birth records from church etc?
Also, any information on the will where property was left to family from Stephen? Do you know Stephens and or Elizabeths burial location? Richard Clawson