Thomas Clifton, died 1729

Thomas Clifton, a nailer from Halesowen, died about 31 Dec 1729 and left a will, held at Worcester, probate dated 9 Jan 1729/30. He is very likely the grandfather of Job Clifton (1734-1815). Unlike his putative grandson he is literate and signs his will.

Thomas Clifton’s will list his four sons, Thomas, Daniel, Job and John, and two daughters Mary Cooper and Sarah Thompson. We know from the Christ Church, Oldbury register that Job’s father was also a Job. However, it is difficult to match the baptisms of Thomas’s six children with any of the local parish registers. Mary, Thomas and John would appear to be baptised in Kings Norton.

There is a suspicious baptism record for a Daniel and Job Clifton in the Solihull register but there the father is named as Amos Clifton.  Amos Clifton appears to have died and be buried in Solihull in 1700. He would be the obvious other possible candidate to be father to the interim Job Clifton, father of Job Clifton (Jnr). Thomas and Amos are almost certainly closely related. Amos Clifton’s widow, Lydia, indeed appears to remarry in 1702 in St Nicholas, King’s Norton.

The Old Testament names of Job, Daniel, Samuel and Amos are redolent in this set of Cliftons in this and subsequent generations.

One further interesting note on the birth of Job Clifton, son of Amos on 8 Jan 1699/1700 (Solihull register) is that it states that he is a recusant child, that Amos is in the receipt of alms and the cause of recusancy is not ‘Papist’ but  ‘Anabaptist’ (sic). The fact that these Cliftons are non-conformists is expected, given that the other families (Darbys and Downings) that we trace on this line of ancestry are also Baptists and Presbyterians.

In summary, we can say with a fair degree of certainty that a Job Clifton (Snr) was born about 1700. His father was either Thomas Clifton, whose 1729 will is extant or possibly his ‘brother’ Amos. They were a non-conformist family who moved amongst the numerous non conformist communities around the Birmingham area at that time. The family of Job Clifton (Snr) (1700-1758) was first resident in Kings Norton or maybe Solihull and  after the marriage of Job Clifton and Mary Smith in St Phillip’s Birmingham on 18 Mar 1725 the new family settled in Oldbury. Oldbury and the non conformist chapel there had been frequented for over a century by the numerous strains of Darby family. Job Clifton (jnr) married Alice Darby in St Giles Rowley Regis, on 12 Dec 1769.


  • The 1702 entry in the King’s Norton register reads ‘Thomas Povey of West Bromwich and Lyddia Clifton of Solihull married ye 17 of February”
  • There are Clifton families in Coleshill and Sutton Coldfield at this time who may well be related – some of them share the common occupation of Baker. The Cliftons of Dudley would appear to be separate and there are recorded marriages both with the descendants of Humphrey Woodhouse and the Dudley alias Sutton family of Netherton.