Dear Mr. Simmons:
Thank you for your message.
Dr. Clayton Torrence, Director and Corresponding Secretary of the Virginia Historical Society, was the genealogical researcher who originally discovered that Colonel William Claiborne of Virginia was from King’s Lynn and that his parents were Thomas Cleyborne and Sara Smyth.
Here is the reference information for his article:
“The English Ancestry of William Claiborne of Virginia: Part I: A Critical Study of the Traditionally Stated English Origin” by Clayton Torrence in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 56, Part I: No. 3 (July 1948), pp. 328-343; Part II: No. 4, pp. 431-460.
You may read the first page of each of these articles (and purchase the full articles) at the following sites:
You may also read about this information at the National Society of Claiborne Family descendants site as follows:
The National Society of Claiborne Family Descendants: William Claiborne:
A later researcher, John Bennett Boddie, in his book “Virginia Historical Genealogies” from Pacific Coast Publishers, Redwood City, California, 1954. pp. 36-37, confirms the findings. You can read his entire book at Google Books at the following site:http://www.google.com/books?id=o95mAAAAMAAJ&ie=ISO-8859-1http://www.google.com/books?id=o95mAAAAMAAJ&ie=ISO-8859-1
“Thomas Cleyborne, the elder, of the Parish of St. Margaret, Borough of King's Lynn, Norfolk, merchant, was the grandfather of Secretary William Claiborne. Thomas was admitted free of King's Lynn in 1552/53. He was Mayor of the Borough of King's Lynn in 1573; Justice of the Peace, 1574; Alderman, 1587. His will was dated December 1, 1581, probated May 21, 1582. He desired to be buried "in the parish church of St. Margarets' in Kings Lynn near the Sepelture of my late wife". After many bequests to the church and charity he bequeathed to "Dorothie Clayborn my daughter L. 300, of which L. 150 shall be paid to her on marriage and the other L. 150 within one year immediately following, to her one of my best silver bowls; to Kathrine Clayborne my daughter (the same); to my said daughters for their maintence until their marriages L. 20 apiece yearly payable quarterly; to my brother, George Revelye, clerk, I forgive him his debts to me; to Johan, wife of William Lawrence, L. 10 equally divided amongst them; to Anne Baxter, my daughter-in-law L. 50 which I have of hers in my custody. I also give her L. 30 which I promised her to be paid at day of marriage. To Michael Revett, notary public the writer hereof 40/. The residue of my goods and chattels, shipping adventures abroad I give my son and Thomas Clayborne whom I make executor." Wits. Thomas Clayborn, Jr; Michal Revett, notary (P. C. C. 24 Tirewhite) (For further evidence as to identity of persons mentioned in will see discussion 56 V. 447).
I. Thomas. (See later).
III. Kathrine, probably the Katherine Claiborne who married June 15, 1587, William Lestrange.
IV. Johan, bapt. June 24, 1560; buried Sept. 29, 1575.
Thomas Cleyborne (c. 1557-1607) was executor of his father's will. He was admitted free of the Borough of Kings Lynn in 1578-9, his franchise being secured by birth. He was an Alderman in 1591 and Mayor of the Borough in 1592. He married on November 21, 1598, Sara James (nee Smyth), the widow of Roger James, of Bednal Green, Parish of Stebunheath, County Middlesex, citizen and brewer of London, who had died December 10, 1596. Soon thereafter Thomas moved to the Parish of Stepney, Middlesex, and then to the Parish of Crayford, Kent, where he died in 1607.
I. Thomas, bapt. St. Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex, July 1599, died 1633. Known children:
1. Jane, bapt. 24 Aug. 1627 at St. Martins within Ludgate.
2. Thomas, bapt. 7 Jan. 1628/9 at St. Martins within Ludgate.
3. George, bapt. 12 Jan. 1629/30 at St. Martins within Ludgate, buried 11 Feb. following.
II. William, bapt. in Parish of Crayford, Kent 10, Aug. 1600. (See later).
III. Sara, bapt. in Parish of Crayford, Kent 7, Mar. 1601/02.
IV. Katharine, bapt. in Parish of Crayford, Kent, 30 Mar. 1603.
V. Blanche, bapt. in Parish of Crayford, Kent, 5 Sept. 1605, administered on
estate of her mother, Sara, in June 1626.
William Claiborne, was baptized, as above shown in the Parish of Crayford, Kent, 10 August 1600. He was well educated for he entered Pembroke College, Cambridge, "Pensioner, age 16, May 31, 1617, son of Thomas of Crayford Kent. Matriculated 1617. (A. C. 1-350). In his twenty-first year he was appointed surveyor for the Virginia colony in June 1621 and arrived at Jamestown in October of that year. In March 1625-26 he was appointed Secretary of State for Virginia which office he held until 1637, and again from 1652 to 1660. This last period was during the time of the Commonwealth of the Cromwells.”
Modern researchers have found these findings to be correct.