This William Clayton (pre-1665) is enigmatic. He is probably the father of William Clayton documented to be born about 1655 and the grandfather of William Clayton and Solomon Clayton who served in the Lower House of Maryland. Each of these ancestors lived on the Eastern Shore.
The mystery around William Clayton is his relationship to the other Williams and Solomon. The counties involve Talbot, Queen Anne, and St. Mary’s in Maryland in the mid 1600s. There are two known records that indicate an adult William Clayton living on the Eastern Shore in 1665.
Early records from the Land Office Rent Rolls for Talbot County 1658-1726 indicate a relationship between
George Prouse, Mr. William Clayton 4 Apr 1665
300 acres, “Crow’s Park”, surveyed for George Prouse lying at the head of the north east branch of the Wye River: Possessors: Mr. William Clayton: Conveyances & Re-surveys: ** this land lies in Queen Anne’s County and entered there County: Queen Anne’s County
Proceedings of the Provincial Court, 1663-1666, for year 1665 (Maryland State Archives) indicate
19th John Whright dds writt agst Capt Thomas Smyth in an accon uppon his Case to the uallue of 18000lb tob: Warrt to sherriffe of St Marys County to arrest &c. Ret 13th June next Prouinall Court— The said Wright dds sumons for Robt Searell Boatswaine and Willm Clayton to testifye In the said Cause &c Summons to sherriffe of St Marys County to warne &cVndr alty of 500 tob if they appear not each person
While not conclusive, it is possible that this William was the original immigrant to Maryland and the father of William Clayton (1655-1721).
A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789 by Edward C. Papenfuse, Alan F. Day, David W. Jordan, and Gregory A. Stiverson, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1985, Volume 426, page 226
Land Office Rent Rolls Talbot County, 1658-1726 by Leslie Keddie, Neil Keddie and transcribed here Source